Football season is back, and so is the Weekend Sports Review.
I guess you could say we’ve been non-existent — kinda like Virginia’s offense so far under new coach Tony Elliott.
Saturday was chock full of local college football, and William & Mary and Hampton improved to 2-0, while ODU dropped to 1-1 and Norfolk State fell to 0-2.
Old Dominion slipped and slid its way to a loss on a soggy East Carolina field, managing only 15 yards rushing (FIFTEEN!) in a 39-21 loss to the Pirates. ECU rolled up 531 total yards, but didn’t pull away til the fourth quarter.
From staff writer David Hall: ECU, geographically the closest FBS program to Norfolk, took a 4-0 lead in the series, including a 24-21 victory at ODU in 2019.
The Monarchs couldn’t follow up their big season-opening victory, but another local team did …
William & Mary, ranked 20th nationally, followed up its victory over Charlotte last week with a home win over Camel. The Tribe gained 559 yards against Charlotte, an FBS program, and gained 392 against the Camels.
Coach Mike London tried a little trickery to start the game — opting for a double-reverse flea-flicker that gained 34 yards on the game’s opening play.
“Christian Taylor, our offensive (coordinator), is doing a great job of putting packages together that accentuate players’ skill sets,” Tribe coach Mike London said.
There’s a decided buzz about the Tribe so far. Can W&M keep it going?
Hampton is 2-0 and has three quarterbacks, but who will coach Robert Prunt choose for this week’s Battle of the Bay against Norfolk State? That didn’t matter Saturday as HU dominated Tuskegee, outgaining the Division II team by 227 yards.
Eight of nine plays on the drive to start the second half were runs, capped by Tymere Robinson’s 2-yard rush.
Elijah Burris led the charge with 104 yards on 14 attempts.
Norfolk State will be happy to come back to FCS play and the Battle of the Bay. The Spartans are 0-2 after trips to Marshall (a winner this week over Notre Dame) and James Madison. The Dukes, looking plenty ready to take on the Sun Belt Conference in its first FBS season, built a 35-0 halftime lead in a rout of the Spartans in Harrisonburg.
And speaking of offensive …
Virginia had one of the country’s most prolific offenses last season, and if anything was expected under first-year coach Tony Elliott — regarded as an offensive guru as an assistant at Clemson — it was more yards for star QB Brennan Armstrong. But, yikes.
On Saturday against Illinois, Armstrong struggled. He completed just 13 of 32 passes for 180 yards with two interceptions. He threw for 405 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-14 win against the Illini in 2021. The final Saturday: Illinois 24, Virginia 3.
“Hopefully this will be the catalyst that sparks us to make sure that we don’t take anything for granted,” Elliott said.
Virginia Tech fans, a week after a head-shaking loss to ODU in Norfolk, must have rejoiced in the rain in Blacksburg on Saturday night. Metallica blared, Lane Stadium was rocking, and the Hokies played ferocious defense in a win over Boston College.
Virginia Tech chased quarterback Phil Jurkovec all night, sacking the QB five times and intercepting a pass in a 27-10 win.
New Bern, North Carolina, is known as the birthplace of Pepsi (Google it), and the town’s high school team is making it an annual tradition to take the fizz out of one of the 757′s top teams.
New Bern finished with 306 rushing yards and grinded out a 21-14 victory over Maury at Powhatan Field in Norfolk on Friday night. The Commodores, ranked No. 3 in Hampton Roads, lost their season opener and dropped a second consecutive game after losing last year’s state championship game on a last-play heartbreaker.
More than two dozen games were played by 757 teams on Friday night, and the #757TeamzMVP was a Lake Taylor running back who had a huge night in a win over Currituck County, of North Carolina.
Check out Friday night’s scores and highlights.
QB Carson Wentz threw two interceptions in his first regular-season game as a Washington Commander, but he rallied the team for a victory Sunday against Jacksonville.
Wentz finished 27 for 41 for 313 yards, four touchdowns and the two interceptions in the win. It was Wentz’s first four-TD game since the day he tore the ACL in his left knee while with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017.
But, still, anybody else miss Taylor Heinicke’s roller-coaster Sundays as a starting QB in the NFL?
Local college football is highlighted by ODU at Virginia and the Battle of the Bay — Hampton at Norfolk State:
As it happens
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Wofford at Virginia Tech, 11 a.m.
Hampton at Norfolk State, 2 p.m.
Old Dominion at Virginia, 2 p.m.
Apprentice at CNU, 7 p.m.
William & Mary at Lafayette, 3:30 p.m.
Jami Frankenberry, 757-446-2376, email@example.com