Virginia Tech Hokies win a thriller, but Maryland stumbles again - Daybreak 5th Quarter
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With the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens both taking their bye week, coupled with the Columbus Day holiday, you'd think thew crew here at Daybreak 5th Quarter (you know...me) would take a much needed day off.
You'd think wrong...and if you do find yourself with paid time off, go do something fun today, would you? It's going to be beautiful outside, according to ABC7 meteorologist Chris Naille. Go out and play some football after you're done reading about it.
In today's Daybreak 5th Quarter, the Hokies come back to win a key ACC match-up, the Terps get tripped up in their first road test of 2011 and the Carolina Panthers get my vote for the dumbest decision of the season thus far.
CARDIAC HOKIES - You see, now THIS was the kind of excitement the Atlantic Coast Conference was hoping for when they added Miami and Virginia Tech. The Hurricanes visited Blacksburg with the intentions of snagging their first conference win, but a frenzied finish kept Miami under .500 and vaulted the Hokies to a 5-1 record.
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas capped off a five-touchdown day by rushing for a 19-yard score with 56 seconds left to cap a 38-35 victory. The touchdown came less than two minutes after Lamar Miller gave Miami a four-point lead on a 30-yard touchdown run of his own.
Miami came back from down 10 points twice and seemed dead in the water when Thomas hit Jarrett Boykin on a 60-yard touchdown pass early in the 4th quarter, but the Hurricanes wouldn't go quietly into the afternoon. Thomas finished the day with only two incompletions - a 23/25 passing performance with three touchdowns and two more scores on the ground keyed the Hokies performance.
Next up - The Hokies hit the road to Winston-Salem for a conference battle with Wake Forest, who spent their Saturday roughing up Florida State en route to a 35-30 upset victory.
STUNG AGAIN - The Maryland Terrapins sputtering start is now not just limited to Byrd Stadium, and this time, sophomore quarterback Danny O'Brien wasn't around to see the final seconds.
An ineffective O'Brien was benched in favor of C.J. Brown in the 2nd quarter, but the Terps offense continued to stagnate in a 21-16 loss to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Atlanta.
O'Brien sputtered before being yanked, throwing for only one completion and a pick. Brown didn't fare much better, finishing 4/17 with an interception of his own.
However, with the Terps down 21-3, Brown's legs got the team back into it. Brown's 77-yard touchdown scamper with 12:01 left in the 4th quarter spurred a late rally, followed up five minutes later by a Davin Meggett 1-yard plunge, brought Maryland to a 21-16 deficit.
The Terrapins would only get the ball back once more, though, and a brief six-play drive ended with 1:43 left when Brown couldn't hit Kerry Boykins on 4th and 8 near midfield.
The bad news didn't end there for Maryland. The team will be without starting left guard Andrew Gonnella for the rest of the season (and his career - he's a senior) after suffering a devastating knee injury.
Georgia Tech's undisciplined play - the Jackets took eight penalties for 63 yards - kept the Jackets high-flying offense at bay all day. GT came into Saturday's game averaging over 50 points per game.
Regardless, the win sent the Yellow Jackets to 6-0 for the first time since 1966.
Eric Prisbell of the Washington Post says the Terps may have a quarterback controversy on their hands after O'Brien's struggles.
Next up - It's homecoming in College Park, but you can bet Clemson will be ready to spoil the party. The surprising 8th-ranked Tigers will be trying to move to 7-0.
MEET VIRGINIA - The Cavaliers enjoyed a bye week after their 21-20 nailbiter of a win last Saturday over Idaho. They'll get their own crack at Georgia Tech this Saturday in Charlottesville.
-Isn't the story supposed to go something like, the Ohio State Buckeyes trail in the 3rd quarter and then mount an epic comeback to send their fans in Columbus into yet another frenzy? Well, the exact opposite happened in Lincoln, where the Cornhuskers overcame a 27-6 3rd quarter deficit to beat the Buckeyes 34-27. It was the first Big Ten home game for Nebraska and they sent a sellout crowd into delirium with four 2nd-half touchdowns.
-When was the last time we saw the Florida Gators get run like they did on Saturday? It's one thing to trot out a 3rd-string quarterback in a road game - in this case, Jacoby Brissett - but it's quite another to do it in Baton Rouge against #1 LSU. By definition, that doesn't end well, and it didn't - the Tigers romped to a 41-11 win.
-The first edition of the 2011 BCS Rankings are scheduled to come out this coming Sunday. So we've got that going for us, which is nice.
After the jump, a brief look at the NFL weekend sans Ravens and Redskins.
The Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens both took this weekend to kind of hang out - so we'll skip straight to the rest of the league.
NFL Hot Reads
-I've got some free advice for Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. When your opponent is struggling to get a field goal off with two seconds left in the 1st half of a football game, I highly advise you to NOT CALL A TIME OUT. Instead, they did, allowing the New Orleans Saints to add three points in a game that they ended up losing by...you guessed it...three points.
-The Philadelphia Eagles punchlines write themselves at this point, don't they? The self-anointed Dream Team dropped to 1-4 in a sloppy 31-24 loss in Buffalo. The calls for Andy Reid's head are growing again.
-More free advice, this time for the 1-4 Arizona Cardinals: If you see Adrian Peterson running around free in your secondary, you may want to put a hat on him before he scores three touchdowns in the first quarter.
-We would be remiss, obviously, if we didn't mention the passing of a football pioneer. Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis died on Saturday after nearly half a century at the helm of the Raiders organization. No matter your opinion on the man and how he went about his business, his impact on the game of football is indisputable.
Longtime NFL general manager Gil Brandt had this to say about Davis:
"I met Al in 1954, and I want to tell you that he was as mentally sharp last week as he was 10, 20, 30 years ago. It had gotten tough for him, physically, but not mentally. He was the Steve Jobs of the NFL, and also the AFL.
"Think about this: Al created the concept of the vertical pass. Al also created the bump-and-run to prevent it. That's genius is what that is."
Brandt provides exclusive commentary for WJLA.com every week for Daybreak 5th Quarter.
Next up - The Ravens welcome the Houston Texans to the Charm City on Sunday, while the Redskins play host to the Eagles.