Duke fights hard, North Carolina fall hard, Maryland does it the hard way by a FG over Tigers

Posted by Andy Durham on October 3, 2009 at 3:58 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

from www.theacc.com:

Football
Virginia 16, North Carolina 3
12:00 PM
Chapel Hill, N.C.

Virginia Tech 34, Duke 26
12:00 PM
Durham, N.C.

Maryland 24, Clemson 21
12:00 PM
College Park, Md.

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Tyrod Taylor threw two long touchdown passes and sixth-ranked Virginia Tech dodged a letdown and beat Duke 34-26 on Saturday.

Taylor was 17 of 22 for a career-high 327 yards with TD tosses of 36 yards to Danny Coale and 28 yards to Jarrett Boykin. Josh Oglesby had two late touchdown runs for Virginia Tech (4-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Playing one week after dominating then-No. 9 Miami, the Hokies were nowhere near that sharp this time – but they were good enough to claim their ninth straight victory over the Blue Devils.

Thaddeus Lewis was 22 for 40 for 359 yards with two touchdown passes, including a 4-yarder to Austin Kelly with 25 seconds left.

Will Snyderline kicked four field goals for pesky Duke (2-3, 0-1), including a 43-yarder that pulled the Blue Devils to 27-19 with 7 minutes left.

The Blue Devils, 17-point underdogs, kept this one tight throughout but were denied their first win over a top-10 opponent in two decades. Before last year’s 14-3 loss in Blacksburg, Duke hadn’t come within 24 points of the Hokies since they joined the ACC in 2004.

Tech spent much of this one looking ripe for an upset after routing the Hurricanes 31-7 last week to vault back into the top 10. One sign of the Hokies’ sloppiness: By halftime, they had matched their season highs with seven penalties for 55 yards, and finished with 12 flags for 105 yards.

Ryan Williams, the nation’s sixth-leading rusher, was held to 83 yards on the ground – 40 fewer than his average. But he had 41 yards and a pair of third-down conversions during the drive that ended when Oglesby’s 12-yard touchdown run made it 27-16 with 9 1/2 minutes remaining. Oglesby added a 19-yard score that made it 34-19 with 2 1/2 minutes left.

Meanwhile, a week after Taylor took care of the Hurricanes with his legs, he used his arm to beat the Blue Devils. He led the Hokies to 17 points in a 9-minute stretch of the first half and making just enough plays down the stretch to preserve their early lead.

He directed three straight scoring drives to help the Hokies rally from an early 7-0 deficit, countering Duke’s first touchdown pass with his touchdown to Coale. Then, one series after Matt Waldron’s 40-yard field goal put Tech ahead to stay, Taylor put the Hokies up 17-7 with his scoring pass to Boykin – who wrestled Duke’s Leon Wright for the ball and came down with it near the side of the end zone.

Later, Taylor connected with Boykin for 64 yards on third-and-34 to keep alive a drive that ended with a 33-yard field goal by Waldron that put Tech up 20-13, and surpassed his previous best of 287 yards set two years ago in his first college start against Ohio.

Duke’s only lead came late in the first quarter when Lewis faked a handoff and hit a wide-open King in stride down the left side for a 48-yard score. Snyderwine added field goals of 29, 25 and 47 yards for Duke.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Mikell Simpson ran for the game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter while Virginia’s defense turned in a dominating performance to beat North Carolina 16-3 on Saturday.

Robert Randolph kicked three field goals for the Cavaliers (1-3, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who came out of a bye week with a desperately needed win after a terrible start to the season. Simpson added 100 yards rushing, but the Cavs didn’t need much offense considering the way their defense completely locked down on the Tar Heels (3-2, 0-2).

North Carolina got nothing from its rushing attack, committed three turnovers and managed just 174 total yards. And when Simpson ran it in from 8 yards out with 5:49 left, Virginia had a two-possession lead that sent most of the light blue-clad Tar Heel fans bolting for the Kenan Stadium exits.

The Tar Heels came into the season facing several questions about their offense and knowing that their defense would have to carry the load. The defense did its part for most of the day, with Robert Quinn tallying three sacks and Virginia managing just 254 total yards. But the offense turned in a bad performance for the second straight week, failing to reach the end zone against a defense that was allowing 31 points per game coming in.

It wasn’t the kind of performance the Tar Heels expected from a team that was nationally ranked just two weeks ago before a 24-7 loss at Georgia Tech. But for the Cavaliers, it was exactly what they needed after a tumultuous opening month of the season that had led to speculation about coach Al Groh’s future.

Virginia had lost at home to Championship Subdivision team William & Mary in the opener, then followed that with a home loss to TCU. The Cavaliers then scrapped some of the spread offense they had installed in the preseason before the Southern Mississippi game and led by 17 points halftime before falling 37-34.

Now the Cavaliers have won 10 of 12 meetings against their cross-border rivals, including all three since Butch Davis took over in Chapel Hill in 2007.


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