CFB Week 8: Hokies roll past mighty Duke and the Cavs desperately search for a win

This week is PACKED with great college football games, and here are my recommendations. There is absolutely no reason to get up off the couch on Saturday!

After Alabama dismantled Missouri on Saturday, I thought I knew what I was going to write about today. Watch this ridiculous take down of Mizzou RB Russell Hansbrough by Alabama DT LaMichael Fanning:

Dang! Sure it looked sweet, but it was dangerous and unnecessary–at that point the Tide were up 32 points with under three minutes left in the game. “Typical Alabama nonsense!” I said to myself. “This will sure make it easy to talk shit on ‘Bama in next week’s column,” I continued. But, not so fast self! Nick “the Devil” Saban called Missouri’s head coach to apologize for the hit and had Fanning send a letter of apology as well. Classy stuff!

Here’s a couple notables from this past weekend that you may have missed:

Whoadang, I thought Louisiana Tech would keep it close with Texas A&M, but I didn’t expect a crazy offensive explosion that came down to a last-second failed two-point conversion (A&M ended up winning 59-57). Here are two interesting and relevant facts to Virginians: 1) Louisiana Tech has the #1 scoring offense in the nation, and 2) LaTech’s offensive coordinator played for Frank Beamer and with Bud Foster at Murray State. A possible candidate to rework VT’s continually disappointing offense? A Hokie can dream, right?

OK. This Notre Dame BS has got to stop. Someone tell me how this is not a touchdown. Explain it to me, you crappy Notre Dame-baised refs. EXPLAIN IT TO ME. Also, I understand that Stanford’s deal is to load up with extra linemen and pound the ball straight up the gut. I totally understand that mentality of “if we can’t get one yard on the ground we don’t deserve to win.” But surely the Cardinal has some other goal line plays in the playbook?

After Texas’s 63-21 loss to Oklahoma Mac Brown is officially on the Coaches Hot Seat. Maybe Will Muschamp was the secret sauce for the Longhorns a couple years back?

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Virginia Tech at #19 Clemson

Saturday, 12:00 PM; ABC

Just when you thought the Hokies couldn’t get any worse, they play 12 minutes of football against Duke. Those first twelve minutes were the worst minutes of Hokie football I have ever seen in my entire life. I’m not exaggerating, here’s how the first couple of possessions went:

  • Duke: blown coverage by Kyle Fuller resulted in a 62-yard touchdown.
  • Hokies: netted -4 yards–woo offense!
  • Duke: on one play the Hokies picked up 36 yards of penalties, and the Blue Devils kicked a field goal.
  • Hokies: VT picked up one first down, but then had to punt, and freshman punter AJ Hughes shanked it for 20 yards.
  • Duke: on the back of a 39-yard pass, the Blue Devils kicked a field goal.
  • Hokies: Logan Thomas’s screen pass to Tony Gregory was bobbled and freakishly intercepted for a touchdown.

That’s one nasty stretch of football. At this point, down twenty to Duke, I figured the Hokies would pack it in, start making stupid mistakes, and meltdown. But something crazy happened. The team started playing with passion, picking up first downs on offense and pressuring the quarterback on defense. Tech went on to score 41 unanswered points, the Hokie defense allowed 93 total yards in the second half, and the Hokies won in the biggest comeback ever under Frank Beamer.

Will all of that success carry over to this weekend’s game against Clemson? I dunno.

The Tigers are stocked on offense: #13 total offense, #11 passing offense, QB Tahj Boyd ranks 11th in yards per game, and WR DeAndre Hopkins is 3rd in receiving yards per game and 7th in receptions per game. None of that even mentions WR Sammy Watkins who had 1,219 yards and 12 TDs last year. While the Tigers have a pretty terrible defense, the Tech offense just isn’t potent enough to win in a shootout. Unless the Hokie Dline can pressure Tahj Boyd and disrupt the timing of that passing offense, Tech has no hope. Zero.

Virginia vs. Wake Forest

Saturday, 12:30 PM; FOX

What’s the worst thing for a college football team? How about a quarterback controversy? Or how about your opponent returning the opening kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown? UVA had both on Saturday!

Phillip Sims might be the future, but boy does he need some polishing. Sims went 13/28 with 1 TD and 1 INT and was benched in the 4th quarter. Right now the Hoos are looking for someone, anyone, to step up at the QB spot. But this particular quarterback controversy is absolutely needless. At 2-5, UVA’s season is already in the crapper. London needs to pick the guy that’s the future of the program (Sims) and let him get some game experience. Luckily (depending on how you look at it, I guess) Sims will get the start against Wake Forest this Saturday.

Wake Forest, somehow, has a win over North Carolina. They have shown the ability to beat teams at the game of football. UVA has yet to show that ability. The long season in Charlottesville continues on Saturday. Bleh.

Games worth watching

Thursday, 9PM, ESPN; #3 Oregon at Arizona State — Finally! A chance to watch an Oregon game without having to stay up until two in the morning! And this is a great matchup too, as Arizona State is 5-1 and riding a top ten defense. Oregon leads the Pac-12 in scoring offense and Arizona State leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense. This should be a good one.

12:00 PM, ESPN; #6 LSU at #18 Texas A&M — Both of these teams are coming off of crazy stressful wins last week. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle their respective emotions. You’ve got to think Texas A&M simply won’t be able to put up five dozen points against that LSU defense.

12:00 PM, ABC; Virginia Tech at #19 Clemson — Go Hokies!

12:30 PM, FOX; Wake Forest at Virginia — Go Hoos!

3:30 PM, CBS; #7 South Carolina at #2 Florida — It’s kind of boring talking about highly ranked SEC matchups each week, but here we go. The Gamecocks are probably very, very sad after their 4th-quarter loss last week and should expect similar results this week against Florida (who might be the truth).

7:00 PM, FOX; #4 Kansas State at #13 West Virginia — Last week Iowa State kept it close against KSU, and, even though the Cyclones were one of my Stupid Picks From the Heart, they couldn’t pull off the upset. This week the Wildcats take on the Mountaineers and one of the worst college defenses in all of the lands. Unlike most Big 12 teams, KSU is the whole package, sporting both and offense and a defense.

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  • Game of the WeekKansas State at West Virginia!
  • Gus Johnson WatchKansas State at West Virginia!
  • Stupid Predictions From the Heart — I was one bad call away from calling a Stanford victory over the Irish last week. This week’s pick is South Carolina over Florida (it’s a stupid prediciton, OK?). If I didn’t have a close friend who’s a huge Oregon fan, I’d pick ASU over Oregon, too–but I do, so I won’t.
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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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