Virginia Tech rallies past UNC; Duke tops Ga. Tech

Published 1:42 am Sunday, October 14, 2018

CHAPEL HILL (AP) — Ryan Willis and Virginia Tech’s offense struggled to sustain drives much of Saturday night at North Carolina, while the Hokies’ traditionally tough defense kept surrendering big chunks of yardage.

And yet, the Hokies hung in — then pounced when they got a chance to snatch the game away.

Willis threw the go-ahead 1-yard touchdown to Dalton Keene with 19 seconds to help Virginia Tech beat UNC 22-19, capping a game-defining final 6 ½ minutes that kept the Hokies unbeaten in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Hokies (4-2, 3-0 ACC) were on the verge of going down two scores with about 6 minutes left when they forced UNC tailback Michael Carter into a fumble as he neared the goal line. And that opened the door for Willis, who directed an 18-play, 98-yard drive for the win.

“That last drive,” Keene said, “was really incredible.”

Indeed. Just about everything was for the Hokies in those final 6 ½ minutes.

Virginia Tech converted four third downs along with a fourth-and-9 that saw Willis escape a collapsing pocket and run to keep the drive alive.

“We just needed to get our first first down, get the chains moving,” Willis said.

Meanwhile, the Tar Heels (1-4, 1-2) outgained the Hokies 522-375 yet committed a dizzying array of mistakes that all but gave the game away.

Carter’s fumble stood out, but there was also a dropped wide-open deep ball by Dazz Newsome for what should’ve been an 85-yard second-quarter score and Nathan Elliott missing a completely-alone Anthony Ratliff-Williams with a bad throw on what should’ve been a 17-yard TD in the third.

“Give them the credit, they made the plays when they had to and they got it done,” UNC coach Larry Fedora said, adding: “We just didn’t make enough plays to win the football game. And we had a lot of opportunities.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Virginia Tech: The Hokies continued trends of playing well on the road in the league and regrouping after a loss. Virginia Tech improved to 8-3 in ACC road games under Justin Fuente as well as 9-1 in the game following a loss. And Willis sure came up big in directing the final drive, including throwing a 2-point conversion pass to Damon Hazelton.

Asked about the toughest play of the drive, Willis said: “I don’t know. I’m kind of excited, kind of amped up right now.”

UNC: This has the potential to be a crushing loss. A touchdown from Carter (who had a huge running day with 165 yards on 18 carries) would’ve had them poised for a second league win after losing by 52 points in last year’s meeting. Yet the defense that had ranged from good to terrific all night couldn’t get a final stop, and that only piled on to an offense that repeatedly settled for field goals and left points on the field.

“I want it bad for them, I really do,” Fedora said. “I just want to make sure they know how close they are.”

•••

VIRGINIA USES DEFENSE TO BEAT NO. 16 MIAMI, 16-13

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — All week long, Bronco Mendenhall said, he had a sense that Virginia was ready to perform on a big stage.

The Cavaliers proved their coach right Saturday night, getting a touchdown from Jordan Ellis, three field goals from Brian Delaney and a stout defensive performance in a 16-13 victory over No. 16 Miami.

“They’re becoming resilient and they are becoming confident and they acknowledge and see that happening,” said Mendenhall, in his third season at Virginia. “For me and my staff, it’s just fun to watch them transforming.”

Ellis scored on a 7-yard run in the first half and Delaney connected on kicks of 26, 46 and 32 yards for the Cavaliers (4-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Miami appeared to have stopped Virginia on a third-down run in the final minutes, but a personal foul call against Tito Odenigbo kept the drive alive and the Cavaliers ran out the clock.

Delaney kicked a fourth field goal with 30 seconds left, but was run into on the play, giving Virginia a first down.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, fans streamed down the hill at one end of the stadium and onto the field.

The Hurricanes (5-2, 2-1) scored on an 11-yard run by Malik Rosier with 3:04 left, pulling them to 16-13, but when they tried an onside kick, Virginia tight end Evan Butts fielded it and returned it 30 yards to the Miami 27. The Hurricanes used all three of their timeouts to stop the clock, but Odenigbo’s personal foul after Bryce Perkins was stopped a yard short of a first down foiled their comeback bid.

“It’s going to be a tough pill to swallow,” Miami coach Mark Richt said. “It’s going to be a long flight home.”

Miami came in averaging 41.5 points and after an emotional victory last weekend over Florida State. In that game, the Hurricanes trailed 27-7 before N’Kosi Perry threw four touchdown passes in a 28-27 victory. Perry lasted only four series against the Cavaliers and was pulled after throwing his second interception.

•••

DUKE BEATS FUMBLE-PRONE GEORGIA TECH, 28-14

By CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP) — Duke’s Daniel Jones seized the advantage when Georgia Tech suffered a sudden flurry of three lost fumbles in the final three minutes of the third quarter.

Jones threw three touchdown passes, all in the decisive span late in the third quarter, and Duke contained the nation’s top running attack to beat Georgia Tech 28-14 on Saturday.

“We wanted to force some turnovers and really that changed the game,” said Duke safety Dylan Singleton.

The game was tied before the flurry of fumbles converted to touchdowns gave Duke (5-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) a 28-7 lead.

“It was the game,” said Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson. “You can’t turn the ball over on three straight plays and expect to beat anybody … You’re not going to come back from that.”

Georgia Tech (3-4, 1-3) couldn’t maintain its offensive momentum after scoring more than 60 points in back-to-back wins over Bowling Green and Louisville.

The Yellow Jackets were held to 229 yards rushing, 144 below their nation-leading average.

•••

ALABAMA 39, MISSOURI 10

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Tua Tagovailoa gave Alabama a momentary scare. So did Missouri.

As usual, things turned out just fine for the top-ranked Crimson Tide.

Tagovailoa passed for 265 yards and three touchdowns but didn’t return after aggravating a right knee injury in No. 1 Alabama’s 39-10 victory over Missouri on Saturday night.

The Tide (7-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) shrugged off another would-be challenger in the league, but the star quarterback went down after sliding at the end of a run in the third quarter.

Tagovailoa went to the medical tent on the sideline after tweaking a sprained right knee. He was joined by his parents, and Jalen Hurts led the Tide the rest of the way with a big lead over the Tigers (3-3, 0-3).

The nation’s top scoring offense didn’t let up too much, and Tagovailoa hasn’t thrown a pass in a fourth quarter yet this season anyway.

“Tua could have went back in the game,” Tide coach Nick Saban said. “He wanted to go back in the game. I didn’t think it was worth him going back into the game.”

•••

HOUSTON 42, ECU 20

GREENVILLE (AP) — D’Eriq King threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and Houston’s defense mostly stifled East Carolina in a 42-20 win on Saturday night.

King threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Courtney Lark, and then ran for an 8-yard touchdown and the Cougars (5-1, 2-0 Conference USA) led 14-0 before the midway mark of the first quarter. With 68 seconds before halftime, King threw a 6-yard touchdown to Romello Booker for a 21-3 lead.

With five minutes left in the third, Ed Oliver sacked Reid Herring, forced a fumble and Emeke Egbule scooped it up and ran it five yards into the endzone for a 28-6 lead. East Carolina didn’t reach the endzone until 5:15 left to play. The Cougars’ defense held East Carolina to 41 yards rushing on 31 carries.

Trevon Brown led East Carolina (2-4, 0-3) with 13 receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown.

•••

LSU 36, GEORGIA 16

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Joe Burrow passed for 200 yards and had two short touchdown runs, LSU’s defense staggered Georgia’s normally prolific offense, and the 13th-ranked Tigers beat the No. 2 Bulldogs 36-16 on Saturday to give coach Ed Orgeron a signature victory.

Five fourth-down decisions by Orgeron influenced the result. LSU converted all four times it ran an offensive play on fourth down, sustaining three drives that produced a total of 13 points.

In another instance, Orgeron called timeout and elected to punt on fourth-and-2 after the offense initially remained on the field. That decision pinned Georgia at its 4, and Kristian Fulton’s interception of Jake Fromm’s pass shortly afterward set up another of Cole Tracy’s five field goals.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 133 yards for LSU (6-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference), and Justin Jefferson caught six passes for 108 yards, including a 41-yard snag of a pass rifled over the middle and between converging defenders. That catch set up Burrow’s second TD in the fourth quarter.

Nick Brossette added a short touchdown in the final minutes after Burrow’s 59-yard scamper. Fans rushed the field, ignoring pleas not to do so from the public address announcer, as the game ended.

Fromm had by far his worst game of the season for Georgia (6-1, 4-1), completing 16 of 34 passes for 209 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

IOWA STATE 30, NO. 6 WEST VIRGINIA 14

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Freshman Brock Purdy threw for 254 yards and three TDs and Iowa State throttled West Virginia, handing the Mountaineers their first loss in emphatic fashion.

David Montgomery had a career-high 189 yards rushing for the Cyclones (3-3, 2-2 Big 12), who capped a wild day by beating a Top 25 team for the fifth time in seven tries.

Iowa State scored 20 straight points after spotting West Virginia (5-1, 3-1) an early touchdown off a turnover.

NO. 5 N. DAME 19, PITT 14

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Ian Book threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Miles Boykin with 5:43 remaining and Notre Dame remained unbeaten.

The Fighting Irish are 7-0 for the first time since 2012, the year they went to the BCS title game.

Pitt (3-4) led 14-12 thanks to a long first-quarter touchdown drive and Maurice Ffrench’s 99-yard kickoff return to start the second half.

MICHIGAN STATE 21, NO. 8 PENN STATE 17

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Brian Lewerke threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Felton Davis with 19 seconds left to lift Michigan State past Penn State, making it two consecutive seasons that the Spartans used a late score to hand the Nittany Lions a second straight loss.

Lewerke completed 25 of 52 passes for 259 yards with an interception and two touchdowns for the Spartans (4-2, 2-1 Big Ten). They were coming off a loss at Northwestern.

Davis, who came back from an injury he sustained on the previous drive, finished with eight catches for 100 yards. Miles Sanders ran for 162 yards and a touchdown for the Nittany Lions (4-2, 1-2). Trace McSorley completed 19 of 32 passes for 192 yards with a touchdown to become the program’s career passing yardage leader.

NO. 3 OHIO STATE 30, MINNESOTA 14

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Dwayne Haskins threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns and Ohio State held off persistent Minnesota.

The Buckeyes (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) needed Blake Haubiel’s two second-half field goals and Haskins’ late touchdown pass from K.J. Hill to put away the Gophers (3-3, 0-3).

r on the last three plays.

Brewer passed for 245 yards and a touchdown for the Bears (4-3, 2-2).

NO. 12 MICHIGAN 38, NO. 15 WISCONSIN 13

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Shea Patterson accounted for 214 yards of offense and a touchdown, leading Michigan past Wisconsin.

The Wolverines (6-1, 4-0 Big Ten) beat a ranked conference team for the first time since topping the Badgers two years ago. They have won six straight games since opening with a loss to Notre Dame.

The Badgers (4-2, 2-1) had won a record 17 straight regular season Big Ten games, and 10 consecutive road games in and out of conference play.

Patterson, who had an 81-yard run, scored on a 7-yard run and connected on a 2-point conversion pass to put Michigan up 21-7 early in the third. Patterson was 14 of 21 for 124 yards and ran for a career-high 90 yards and a score on nine carries.

NO. 14 FLORIDA 37, VANDERBILT 27

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jordan Scarlett ran 48 yards for the go-ahead touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, and Florida rallied from an 18-point deficit to beat Vanderbilt in a game marred by a near brawl, with both head coaches yelling as each team spilled onto the field.

An official held back Florida coach Dan Mullen as he yelled at Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason, who was near the Gators’ sideline after checking on the Commodores defender whose helmet was knocked off by a hit by linebacker James Houston IV. Both teams spilled onto the field, drawing unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. The penalty cost the Gators their leading tackler, with Vosean Joseph ejected for his second such penalty of the first half. Two people escorted an emotional Joseph off the field.

Mullen and Mason hugged each other at midfield after the game.

That overshadowed the Gators (6-1, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) scoring 24 straight points after Vanderbilt jumped out to a 21-3 lead midway through the second quarter.  The Gators beat Vanderbilt (3-4, 0-3) for the fifth straight year and 27th time in 28 games in this series.

VIRGINIA 16, NO. 16 MIAMI 13

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Jordan Ellis ran for a touchdown and Virginia kept Miami’s high-powered offense from ever getting going.

Ellis scored on a 7-yard run in the first half and Brian Delaney kicked three field goals for the Cavaliers (4-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Miami appeared to have stopped Virginia on a third-down run in the final minutes, but a personal foul call against Tito Odenigbo kept the drive alive and the Cavaliers were able to most of the rest of the clock out.

The Hurricanes (5-2, 2-1) scored on an 11-yard run by Malik Rosier with 3:04 left, pulling them to 16-13, but when they tried an onsides kick, Virginia tight end Evan Butts fielded it and returned it 30 yards to the Miami 27. The Hurricanes used all three of their timeouts to stop the clock, but Odenigbo’s personal foul after Bryce Perkins was stopped a yard short of a first down foiled their comeback bid.

TENNESSEE 30, NO. 21 AUBURN 24

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Jarrett Guarantano passed for 328 yards and two touchdowns and Tennessee snapped an 11-game Southeastern Conference losing streak.

The Volunteers (3-3, 1-2) forced three turnovers from Auburn’s lackluster offense, intercepting two of Jarrett Stidham’s passes and getting a strip sack that resulted in touchdown by Alontae Taylor.

The Tigers (4-3, 1-3) are off to their worst SEC start since also going 1-3 in 2015.

NO. 22 TEXAS A&M 26, SOUTH CAROLINA 23

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Kellen Mond threw for 353 yards and freshman Seth Small had four field goals, including the go-ahead kick in the fourth quarter, for Texas A&M.

The Aggies (5-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) won their third straight this season and moved to 5-0 against the Gamecocks (3-3, 2-3) since joining the league in 2012.

Mond also had a 4-yard touchdown pass to Jace Sternberger in the second quarter and, when Small hit a 32-yard field goal on the Aggies’ first drive of the second half to go up 16-0, it looked like more than enough to put away the Gamecocks. But Jake Bentley, returning from a knee injury, led a pair of third-quarter TD drives — and the two-point conversions both times.

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