Virginia Cavaliers

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Starting Rutgers G Marcus Applefield transfers to Virginia

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Two months after leaving Rutgers, Marcus Applefield officially has a new college football home.

The offensive lineman took to his personal Twitter account Wednesday to reveal that he has “decided to play my last year at the University of Virginia in the ACC and work on a masters.” Applefield left the Scarlet Knights as a graduate transfer and can use his final season of eligibility this year with the Cavaliers.

This past season, Applefield started 10 of 12 games at right guard for the Scarlet Knights. All told, he played in 27 games the past three seasons after taking a redshirt as a true freshman in 2014.

Each of the last three years, Applefield, a three-star recruit coming out of high school in Florida, was an Academic All-Big Ten selection.

ACC releases complete 2018 football schedule

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The 2017 season was put to bed a little over a week ago, so the focus of the college football world has shifted to 2018.

In that vein, the ACC Wednesday released its football schedule for the upcoming season.  The first game featuring a team from the conference will have Wake Forest traveling to Tulane on Thursday, Aug. 30.  The first league game sees Virginia Tech traveling to Tallahassee on Labor Day to face Florida State in a primetime matchup.

Opening weekend will also see the ACC involved in a pair of neutral-site nonconference matchups: Louisville against defending national champion Alabama in Orlando Saturday, Sept. 1, and Miami facing LSU the next day in Arlington.

There are also five previously-announced games against scheduling partner Notre Dame, including road trips to South Bend for FSU (Nov. 10) and Pitt (Oct. 13).  Wake (Sept. 22) and Virginia Tech (Oct. 6) will play host to the Irish, while Syracuse and Notre Dame will square off at Yankee Stadium Nov. 17.

The release announcing the schedule notes that ACC teams will play more games (19) against Power 5 competition than any other P5, and their members will also play 27 games against non-conference opponents that participated in bowl games last season, the highest total among Power 5 conferences.

“The 2018 ACC Football schedule provides our schools and programs the opportunity to build upon the numerous football successes that have been achieved in recent years,” said ACC commissioner John Swofford in a statement. “Once again, our teams will be facing both a daunting conference schedule and what is collectively the most challenging non-conference schedule in the country. There will be no shortage of excitement for fans on a weekly basis.”

You can click HERE for the composite schedule, HERE for the team-by-team schedule and HERE for the ever-popular logo schedule.

Overmatched Virginia has no answers as Navy woodsheds Hoos in Military Bowl rout

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Navy began its 2017 season at a promising 5-0 before stumbling to a 1-6 finish to barely reach bowl eligibility.  The doom and gloom of the last half of the regular season, however, gave way to 2017 being put to bed on a positive note for the service academy.

After jumping out to a 28-7 halftime lead, Navy kept up that momentum throughout the second half in claiming an impressive 49-7 woodshedding of Virginia in the Military Bowl.  With the win, Ken Niumatalolo improved his record in bowl games to 5-4 as the Midshipmen claimed the Military Bowl, played on its home field, for the second time in three years.

Despite the win, Navy, at 7-6, did put the finishing touches on its worst season since going 5-7 in 2011.  That said, a punishing ground game — and their opponent’s benevolence — ensured the service academy would head into the offseason with a record north of the .500 mark.

Coming into the game second in the country averaging 343 yards per game, the Midshipmen passed that average in the third quarter en route to putting up 452 yards on the ground.  Starting quarterback Malcolm Perry led the way with 114 yards rushing while adding a pair of touchdowns on the ground.

Perry was injured early in the third quarter, however, and was replaced by the man he replaced as the starter, Zach Abey.  After rushing for a pair of first-half touchdowns, Abey added three more in the second half to give him a Military Bowl-record five and Player of the Game honors.  Abey ran for 88 yards, while Chris High chipped in with 101.  All told, a whopping 10 Navy players were credited with at least one carry.

Navy attempted just one pass in the contest, which fell incomplete.

Not that they needed the help, but the Midshipmen were greatly aided by three turnovers by the Cavaliers.  Those three turnovers, incidentally, were turned into 21 points by Navy.  While not counting as a turnover officially, the Hoos also handed the ball back to the Midshipmen inside UVa.’s 25-yard line when their punter touched his knee to the ground prior to getting off a punt late in the third quarter.  Navy, of course, turned that into more points on Abey’s fifth touchdown.

Even when they maintained possession of the ball, UVa. couldn’t do much with it.  Through three quarters of play, the Cavaliers managed just 138 yards of offense, including a woeful five yards on 14 carries; they would finish with a season-low 163 total yards and averaged 1.7 yards per rush attempt.  In fact, their only score of the game came when the opening kickoff of the first half was returned for a touchdown by Joe Reed.

Virginia finished the 2017 season at 6-7, the sixth straight seasons they’ve finished the year with a sub-.500 record.  Their last winning season came in 2011 when Mike London went 8-5 in his second season in Charlottesville.  London’s successor, Bronco Mendenhall, is now 8-17 as the Hoos head coach.

Navy running through Virginia at halftime of Military Bowl

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Navy came into its Military Bowl matchup with Virginia losers of three in a row and six of its last seven.  After 30 minutes of play, the Midshipmen appear to be headed back in the right, potentially winning direction.

Things didn’t start out well for the service academy, however, as the Cavaliers’ Joe Reed returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown.  That was it for the Hoos the remainder of the half as the Midshipmen hold a commanding 28-7 lead at the half in a bowl game being played in their own home stadium.

Navy scored on its first two offensive possessions in the first quarter, and both of the scores came (surprise!!!) on the ground.  Former starting quarterback Zach Abey scored from one yard out to knot the score at 7-all, while current starting quarterback Malcolm Perry found the end zone from 22 yards away with just over four minutes left in the opening stanza to give Navy its first lead of the contest.

After a lull that included just Navy’s 17th three-and-out this season, Perry posted his second rushing touchdown on the afternoon, this one a 19-yarder, to push the lead into double digits.  Following a Virginia fumble on the ensuing possession, the Hoos’ second turnover in the half, Abey scored his second rushing touchdown on a one-yard run to push the lead to three scores.

Navy, which came into the game second in the country averaging 343 yards a game on the ground, put up 264 first-half rushing yards on a Cavaliers defense that had almost no answer for that facet of the Midshipmen’s offense.  In fact, that was the only facet of the service academy’s offense as Navy once again didn’t even attempt a pass.

Eight different Navy players carried the ball at least once, with Perry leading the way with 109 yards on 14 attempts.

Conversely, the Cavaliers could do next to nothing offensively either on the ground or through the air.  UVa. managed just 79 yards of offense — 69 passing and 10 rushing.  Quarterback Kurt Benkert struggled throughout, completing just 8-of-20 passes for all 69 of those passing yards and an interception.  Benkert came into the game averaging more than 250 yards per game through the air, and had thrown 26 touchdowns and eight picks.

Navy will get the ball back to start the second half.

CFT Previews: Your Dec. 28 Bowl Viewer’s Guide

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Taking a quick-hit look at the Dec. 28 bowl menu, with three of the four games on the menu today featuring ranked-vs.-ranked matchups.

WHO: Navy (6-6) vs. Virginia (6-6)
WHAT: The 10th Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman
WHEN: 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland
THE LINE: Pick ’em
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: No. 22 Virginia Tech (9-3) vs. No. 19 Oklahoma State (9-3)
WHAT: The 28th annual Camping World Bowl
WHEN: 5:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida
THE LINE: Virginia Tech, +6
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: No. 16 Michigan State (9-3) vs. No. 18 Washington State (9-3)
WHAT:
The 40th Holiday Bowl
WHEN:
9 p.m. ET on FS1
WHERE:
SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, California
THE LINE
: Washington State, +1½
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

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WHO: No. 13 Stanford (9-4) vs. No. 15 TCU (10-3)
WHAT: 
The 25th Valero Alamo Bowl
WHEN:
9 p.m. ET on ESPN
WHERE: 
The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas
THE LINE
: Stanford, +3
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.