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October 15, 2012

Monday Morning QB: Week 7

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Virginia Tech - Duke Thoughts

- Unbelievable game, well, sort of. Seeing the Hokies go down 20-0 was not that big of a surprise based on the displays we have seen this summer, but what a win for this team by storming back score 41 unanswered points. Just what the doctor ordered?

- Not to toot my own horn, but I just had a feeling that freshman running back J.C. Coleman would have a huge day. That was really just based on a hunch, but thankfully for Virginia Tech fans, I was right. He was a monster, registering 183 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. With scores of 86 and 45 yards, those big plays were just what this sluggish offense needed. Now, Coleman has likely secured his spot as the feature back.

- Senior wide receiver Marcus Davis has really been great, aside from some drops. He is averaging 103 yards per game over his last three contests and will surpass 1,000 yards for the season if he keeps it up. He has 585 yards right now, proving junior quarterback Logan Thomas with that go-to target he has been needing.

- Not the greatest performance by Thomas, but it was enough. He did throw an interception but was solid with 256 yards passing and two touchdown throws, while also adding 50 yards on the ground. The offensive line was pretty good on the day, but with the loss of junior center Andrew Miller for the season, more pressure goes on the Hokies. With that said, it appeared to be a big step forward after a horrific opening 12 minutes.

- The defense did a nice job of settling in after a slow start. Two interceptions, five sacks and two fumble recoveries equal a victory in most cases. We still wait for 60 full minutes though.

- Tight ends Randall Dunn and Ryan Malleck both caught a pass of at least 30 yards. The guys have tons of ability and need to be consistent for this offense. Perhaps this is a building point to hit these guys for big gains moving forward. The more weapons for Thomas, the better.

- Nice day for junior kicker Cody Journell, whose redemption story has just been awesome. He drilled two field goals and five extra points. He has hit nine of 10 field goals this season, good for 12th-best percentage-wise this season nationally.

- Not sure there has been a game Virginia Tech needed more than this one in the last few seasons. Could you imagine this team being 3-4, 1-2 in ACC after a loss to Duke with a game at Clemson next week? Tons of momentum now after this one.

ACC Rewind

- Virginia Tech fans have to be thrilled that North Carolina beat Miami 18-14. Now, the showdown with the Canes on Thursday, Nov. 1 could be the deciding game in the Coastal Division. Yes, the Hokies are still alive.

- Don't look now, but Maryland is 2-0 in the ACC. With games coming up against NC State, Boston College and Georgia Tech, the Terps could be in contention, serious contention, for the Atlantic Division title come November. How about freshman Stefon Diggs, too? 89 yards receiving a kickoff return 100 yards to the house. The true freshman is special.

- When does Virginia coach Mike London's job security come into question? The Hoos are 2-5 overall, 0-3 in the ACC. Not many predicted another big year out of Virginia, but this has just been awful. Quarterback Mike Rocco starts, then Phillip Sims, now what? Rocco looked better in the loss to Maryland. Look, the guy has recruited greatly but the team hasn't been anything special on the field. Where have we seen that before?

- Florida State bounced back nicely with a 51-7 blowout win against BC. Now, a rivalry game at Miami next week. Can the Seminoles keep it going after the heartbreaking loss to NC State?


ACC Power Poll

1. Florida State (6-1) - The Seminoles weren't tested against the Eagles, but they did their job in bouncing back with a big performance. E.J. Manuel tossed for over 400 yards and four touchdowns in the win.

2. Clemson (5-1) - The Tigers were off, but they have played well this season, better than the teams below. Now, with an extra week to prepare for the Hokies, they look to kick it into high gear.

3. Miami (4-3) - Simply by default, coming off losses to Notre Dame and North Carolina. The Canes are the favorites still in the Coastal. Big week ahead though against FSU.

4. Maryland (4-2) - Surprise, surprise. The boys from college park are having a solid season so far and should have enough in them to make a bowl game after taking care of Virginia.

5. Virginia Tech (4-3) - Great win, but there are still so many questions. Win at Clemson next week, and you quiet the doubters.

Conference Player of the Week -Hokies running back J.C. Coleman - The Oscar Smith (Va,) four-star product was electric with his massive runs. It was just what this team needed and he should get plenty of touches moving forward. If the offensive line can keep opening up the holes, the quick back should have no trouble breaking some more big-time runs. The true freshman showed exactly what he is capable off, pulling off a memorable performance and the first 100-yard rushing game this season for a Virginia Tech player.

Five National Thoughts

1. Just when West Virginia was about to convince me that its a national title contender, it lays and egg at Texas Tech, losing 49-14. Even if the team had a defense, it wouldn't have escaped. The offense could get anything going all day.

2. Florida all of a sudden jumps into national championship contention after its 31-17 win over Vanderbilt. South Carolina and the Mountaineers lose and UF is up to No. 3. Playing the Gamecocks and Georgia in the next two weeks will tell us all we need to know about the Gators.

3. I really thought Kansas State had a good chance of slipping up at Iowa State, but the country's No. 4 team did just enough. Prove how good you are next week in Morgantown.

4. Luck of the Irish for Notre Dame against Stanford. Very questionable on goal-line stand in overtime. They still have games at Oklahoma and USC on the schedule. But, the Irish look great on defense. ND still needs to find a quarterback.

5. Not a hotter coach in the nation than Mike Riley of Oregon State. He has the Beavers at No. 8 in the AP poll. This team could run the table in the Pac 12 and have Oregon at home towards the end of the season. Watch out.

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