Virginia Tech’s dominance in Miami opens door for all in ACC Coastal

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Virginia Tech (7-3, 4-2 ACC) snapped their losing skid in a big way. After putting together their best effort of the season by blowing away Miami (7-2, 3-2 ACC) by a score of 42-24, the Hokies started to take control in the ACC Coastal division and could now be the team to beat to get to Charlotte to take on Florida State.

Or maybe Duke is the team to beat? Or maybe it is Georgia Tech? Or maybe it’s still Miami? At this point, nobody really knows for sure.

As it stands, a potential four-way tie in the ACC Coastal Division could make for a very complicated tiebreaker procedure at the end of the season, but there is still some time to sort it all out and perhaps let the games play out to make things a bit more clear before figuring out who gets the right to challenge the Seminoles in the ACC Championship Game. Miami, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Duke all have two losses in ACC play.

For the first time all season though, Virginia Tech truly looked like the team to beat in this messy division. The Hokies have struggled on offense throughout much of the season, so go figure that their best offensive performance of the season came in a constant down pour in Miami. Virginia Tech had a season high in total offensive yards and scored over 40 points for just the second time of the year. Logan Thomas had a masterful performance throwing the football, completing 24 of 30 pass attempts for 356 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Trey Edmunds had four rushing touchdowns, including three in the first half to capitalize on Miami’s special teams mistakes. Willie Byrn had his second 100 yard receiving game of the year. The Hokies defense frustrated Miami all night with the Hurricanes clearly suffering without the injured Duke Johnson, erratic play from quarterback Stephen Morris and a special teams unit that had a rough night. Miami may have also been in a bit of a slumber after getting a sleeper hold put on them a week ago by Florida State.

Of course, Virgina Tech was coming off two straight losses to Duke and Boston College.

Of the ACC Coastal teams still in the mix, Virginia Tech may have the most favorable schedule the rest of the way. The Hokies play Virginia and Maryland to close out the regular season while Georgia Tech gets plays at Clemson in their final ACC game next Thursday. Duke and Miami square off next week and the Blue Devils end the season with road games at Wake Forest and North Carolina. Miami has Virginia and Pittsburgh after playing Duke as well.

Things look good for Virginia Tech at this point, if they can just avoid a major letdown.

Jerry Kill to make health-related decision on future as Rutgers’ OC

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Once again, Jerry Kill‘s health could force him to step away from the game.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, nj.com is reporting that the Rutgers’ offensive coordinator “is evaluating his options and is expected to make a health-related decision in the coming days” on his coaching future. The 56-year-old Kill was hospitalized in September of this year after suffering what was described as a minor seizure related to his ongoing battle with epilepsy, although he returned to his coaching duties shortly thereafter.

Ahead of an official decision, the website added, head coach Chris Ash has been informing prospects on the recruiting trail of the possibility that Kill might not be with the Scarlet Knights because of the issues that stretch back years.

In October of 2015, Kill was forced to step down as Minnesota’s head football coach because of health issues related to ongoing epileptic seizures.  Prior to joining the Rutgers staff, Kill spent the 2016 season in a non-coaching role at Kansas State.

In the year prior to Kill’s arrival, RU was 127th nationally in points per game (15.7) and 18th in total offense (283 yards per games).  In Kill’s first season in 2017, they were 121st in the former category (18 ppg) and 129th in the latter (263 ypg).

Nebraska’s Scott Frost confirms he will indeed coach UCF in bowl game

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After a little uncertainty, Scott Frost will indeed finish what he started this season.

After Frost led them to a perfect regular season and AAC championship, UCF earned the Group of Five’s bid to a New Year’s Six Bowl. In between the title win and bowl announcement, however, Frost was hired as the head coach at Nebraska. At the time, all of the sides involved indicated that Frost and his coaching staff, all of whom are following him to Lincoln, would be coaching the Knights in that bowl game.

As recently as late last week, however, there was some uncertainty as to whether Frost would actually lead UCF in the New Year’s Day Peach Bowl matchup with Auburn.  Tuesday, though, Frost was back at UCF with his undefeated Knights team and confirmed that he will coach them one last time, calling it “an honor” to do so.

“There’s some unusual circumstances but we’re gonna handle this as we would any bowl game of this type,” Frost said according to the Omaha World-Herald. “Our staff is completely committed and we’re going to do everything we can for this football team. …

“It’s an honor to be invited to this game. These players have poured their hearts out to accomplish a lot this year. There’s been a lot of circumstances swirling around this season and that’s been tough to navigate but they’ve been great with that. I’m grateful we have a chance to give them their best possible chance to put on the best show in Atlanta and win a football game.”

Frost had been on the road recruiting for his new team before returning to Orlando Monday night.  He and his assistants will remain there through Thursday as they continue preparing for the bowl game, then will continue recruiting duties for the Cornhuskers right up until the dead period starts Dec. 17 while continuing prep work for the Knights’ postseason.

Unlike in any other year, there’s an early signing period that starts on Dec. 20 and goes for 72 hours.  After that early signing period ends, there’ll be just a week or so left until Frost takes the field one last time as the Knights’ head coach.

Sonny Dykes to coach new team, SMU, in bowl game vs. old team, Louisiana Tech

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This is something you don’t see every day, in a couple of ways.

Monday night, SMU confirmed reports that had surfaced earlier in the day that Sonny Dykes has been named as the Mustangs’ new head football coach.  Dykes replaces Chad Morris, who left for the same job at Arkansas late last week.

At an introductory press conference Tuesday afternoon, Dykes’ new boss, athletic director Rick Hart, revealed that the new coach will get to work immediately as he will coach the Mustangs in their bowl game Dec. 20.  Dykes will immediately begin assembling his coaching staff to help in preparation for the Frisco Bowl.

And SMU’s opponent in the Frisco Bowl?  Louisiana Tech, which Dykes was the head coach of from 2010-12.  After going 22-15 in three years at Tech, he left for the same job at Cal in December of 2012.  He went 19-30 with the Bears before being fired after his fourth season in 2016.

Jack Cichy won’t seek sixth season, leaves Wisconsin for NFL

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One snakebitten Wisconsin linebacker has decided to call it a career, at least when it comes to the Badgers.

Jack Cichy announced in a Players’ Tribune article Tuesday that he will be leaving UW and making himself available for the 2018 NFL draft.  The fifth-year senior could’ve, because of injuries, applied for a sixth season of eligibility.

“I’m excited for what’s to come, but I can tell you that deciding to leave Madison was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make,” Cichy wrote. “This place has become my home. …

“I’m a Badger for life.”

Projected to be one of the top linebackers in the Big Ten this season, Cichy was instead sidelined for the entire year after suffering a torn ACL during summer camp this past August.  Last season, Cichy started the first seven games for the Badgers before going down with a torn pectoral muscle that sidelined him for the remainder of the year.  Despite missing nearly half the season, he was still named honorable mention All-Big Ten.

All told, he started 11 games during his time in Madison, which began as a walk-on in 2013.