Duke clinches bowl eligibility (again) and sits atop ACC Coastal (technically)

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Maybe we should start getting used to this whole winning thing Duke has been doing. Maybe David Cutcliffe should start making some room for another possible coaching award. For the third straight season, Duke (6-1, 2-1 ACC) is eligible for postseason play, and the Blue Devils have now moved into first place in the ACC Coastal. The bowl-eligibility clincher came Saturday afternoon with a 20-13 victory over Virginia (4-3, 2-1 ACC). The win puts Duke on top of a crowded and wide-open ACC Coastal Division, but the Blue Devils now get a week off to get ready for a potential division championship defense in November.

Duke’s ability to win this game against Virginia took some character. The Blue Devils were held to 334 yards of offense while Virginia racked up 465 yards, including 325 through the air. Duke was just 4-for-13 on third down conversions and Virginia was a much more successful 8-for-16. Virginia even owned a small advantage in time of possession, but Duke won where it counts the most. They did so playing disciplined football with just three penalties to Virginia’s six, and not having a turnover on offense (Virgina had one).

Anthony Boone completed 22 of his 37 pass attempts for 176 yards and a touchdown. Jamison Crowder was the big target, as he usually is for Duke, with 99 receiving yards on eight catches. Virginia receiver Miles Gooch (129 yards ) was the big target for Miles Gooch (129 yards ) was the big target for Matt Johns, who passed for 306 yards.

At this particular moment, there is a four-way tie for first place in the ACC Coastal between Duke, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh played Thursday night, beating Virginia Tech. Georgia Tech is at North Carolina tonight. Duke owns head-to-head victories over Georgia Tech and Virginia.

Duke gets a week off before returning to action. The Blue Devils take to the road to visit Pittsburgh on November 1. Pittsburgh is coming off a Thursday night victory over Virginia Tech this week and will be coming off a home game against Georgia Tech before Duke arrives in the Steel City.

Virginia will be home next weekend when North Carolina travels to Charlottesville. Virginia has an important stretch that kicked off against Duke. After hosting UNC, Virginia travels to Georgia Tech and then Florida State before reaching a bye week.

Oregon’s leading receiver, TE Jake Breeland, suffers season-ending leg injury

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It turns out the leg injury suffered by Oregon tight end Jake Breeland was pretty serious. Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal confirmed the news on Monday that Breeland will miss the remainder of the 2019 season with a left leg injury.

“It hurts you personally and it hurts everyone when a guy that’s worked so hard, has overcome as much as he has and the type of season he was having, to have to endure something like this,” Cristobal said in a press conference on Monday, according to The Oregonian. “He’s ready to attack the whole process of getting healthy again so he can play again.”

Breeland will have his 2019 season brought to a premature close after leading the team with 405 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Oregon’s receivers have been banged up at times already this season, and losing the top tight end in the offense won’t make things any easier. Oregon visits Washington this week for a pivotal Pac-12 North matchup with the defending conference champions.

So, who replaces Breeland at the position? Oregon’s latest depth chart currently has Ryan Bay and Hunter Kampmoyer filling the top spots at the tight end positions for the Ducks. Bay, a senior, has appeared in all six games and has caught three passes for 35 yards and a touchdown. Kampmoyer, a junior, has caught one pass for 21 yards and a touchdown in six games this season.

Knee injury knocks Boston College QB Anthony Brown out for a second season

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Anthony Brown had his redshirt freshman season cut short due to a knee injury, battled back to start all 12 games in 2018 and BC’s first six contests this fall, until yet another knee injury knocked him out for another season.

Boston College head coach Steve Addazio revealed Monday that Brown will miss the remainder of the season with what the school is calling a “lower leg injury.” Brown made a cut avoiding a tackle during BC’s Oct. 5 game against Louisville and immediately clutched his left knee. Boston College lost the game, 41-39, though Brown began the contest 6-of-7 for 193 yards and a touchdown.

“We’re very, very sad for Anthony. He worked hard to get himself where he was. He’s seventh all-time in passing in BC history and heading towards greater things this year. He’s had a great career and he’s prepared and practiced and put so much into it. We’re so proud of him,” Addazio said.

The fourth-year junior from Cliffwood, N.J., finishes his season 81-of-137 for 1,250 yards with nine touchdowns against two interceptions while rushing for 128 yards and two scores.

“It’s a tough deal, but he’s a tough guy and he’ll bounce back,” Addazio said. “We’re gonna love him and support him and get him back to where he was, but his season has come to an end.”

Brown can return as a fifth-year senior in 2020, with two year-ending knee injuries under his belt, literally and figuratively.

Virginia loses CB Bryce Hall for the season

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Virginia has lost cornerback Bryce Hall for the season, head coach Bronco Mendenhall revealed Monday.

He suffered an ankle injury in Virginia’s loss to Miami on Friday and underwent surgery on Monday, which will spell the end of his college career. The injury came while Hall was blocking on a punt return. Trainers put the injured ankle in an air cast and, while players on both teams gave him good wishes, ESPN decided the injury was gruesome enough that it would not air replays of the play.

“Bryce Hall is in good spirits,” Mendenhall said. “We expect a good recovery, he sustained a left ankle injury and had surgery Monday. We do not expect him back this season. He is an amazing young person, I am thankful for his efforts and to be his coach. On the bus after the game, Bryce was sitting behind me and he said to me, ‘Coach, I’m a human buoy.’ He has been exemplary in everything he has done here.”

Hall is the best player on Virginia’s roster. The Harrisburg, Pa., senior entered the season a Preseason All-American on multiple lists and led the nation in 2018 with 24 passes defended. He also posted two interceptions and 62 tackles, earning him First Team All-ACC honors.

 

South Carolina apologizes for hedge-ripping after Gamecocks upset of No. 10 Georgia

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South Carolina pulled the upset of the season on Saturday, knocking off then-No. 3 Georgia 20-17 in overtime, in Athens. And the ‘Cocks left Sanford Stadium with souvenirs, claiming some of Georgia’s famous hedges for themselves.

Some hedges were even seen in the hands of South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp, a Georgia player and former Bulldog.

While some may call it good, old victory fun, Georgia AD Greg McGarity did not have a sense of humor about his shrubbery getting ripped up.

“I don’t like it all,” he told DawgNation. “We sure don’t do that when we win at an opponents’ venue under Kirby’s leadership.”

McGarity also said his South Carolina counterpart, Ray Tanner, apologized for his team’s postgame celebration.

“Ray just apologized for those actions,” he told the site.