Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 24, 2015 · Page D9
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October 24, 2015

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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page D9

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Rochester, New York
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Saturday, October 24, 2015
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Page D9
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DemocratandChronicle .com Saturday,October24,2015 Page9D COLLEGE FOOTBALL It is weeks such as these that often produce the craziest results in college football. Only one game match- e s ranked teams — No. 15 Texas A&M at No. 25 Mississippi — so pretty much all the contenders are on upset alert. For some, such as ACC powers Clemson and Florida State, the threat-level is much higher than others. What to watch for in Week 8 of the college football season. S howdown stumbling block: The count- d own is on to what could be the Atlantic Coast Conference game of the year o n Nov. 7: No. 9 Florida S tate at No. 6 Clemson, with both teams undefeat- e d. But first they both face r oad tests today. No. 6 Clemson (6-0) travels to Miami to face the Hurricanes 4-2, the first of two straight road games for the Tigers. Florida State (6-0) faces d isappointing Georgia Tech (2-5) in Atlanta. Barrett’s turn: No. 1 Ohio State is giving J.T. Barrett back the starting quarterback job when it faces Rutgers tonight, replacing Cardale Jones who started the first seven games for the Buckeyes (7-0). Barrett was the Big T en play of the year last season after setting a con- f erence record by accounting for 45 touchdowns. He broke his ankle a gainst Michigan and J ones took over and led the Buckeyes to the na- t ional title. Coach Urban Meyer decided to stick w ith Jones as his starter this season, but the junior has been spotty and the Buckeyes offense inconsistent. Less-than-daunting opposition and a roster load- e d with talent kept the Buckeyes unbeaten. Barrett has run for five touchdowns and thrown two TD passes the last two games in relief of Jones and could be set up for a big day against the Scarlet Knights, who have the second-worst defense in the Big Ten (6.58 yards per play). R ested rival: Tennessee is the second straight o pponent No. 8 Alabama will face that is coming off an open week. Texas A &M also took a week off b efore facing the Tide. Though it didn’t do much g ood. Alabama won 41-23 at Kyle Field. A labama-Tennessee has been a rivalry in name only recently. The Crimson Tide has won eight straight as the Volunteers have gone through a rough stretch of national i rrelevance. Tennessee beat Georgia two weeks ago to snap adifficult stretch of losses in close games, but beating Alabama would be by far the biggest victory of coach Butch Jones’ three-year tenure in Knoxville. Zero to 60: No. 2 Baylor hosts Iowa State look- i ng for its sixth straight 60-point game. The cur- r ent streak of five in a row of Art Briles’ team is tied with 2008 Oklahoma for t he major college record. T he Bears are averaging 57.8 points in nine g ames. COLLEGE FOOTBALL ROUNDUP ACC powers on upset alert AP Baylor tight end LaQuan McGowan (80) celebrates with teammates after scoring a TD against Kansas. No. 2 Baylor h osts Iowa State, looking for its sixth straight 60-point game. RALPH D. RUSSO ASSOCIATED PRESS SYRACUSE - Three s traight losses have dealt S yracuse a good dose of reality. Now the Orange facea familiar foe intent on keeping that midsea- son skid going. A nd for the first time in six years, Pittsburgh will visit the Carrier Dome as a ranked team after breaking into the poll this week at No. 25. T hat has given the Panthers (5-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who also have sole possession o f first place in the ACC’s Coastal Division, a nice confidence boost in coach P at Narduzzi’s first season. “I think it’s huge,” Pitt quarterback Nate Peterman said. “It just makes us more motivated than we were before.” U nlike Syracuse (3-3, 1 -1), which played its first four games at home, Saturday’s game in the Carrie r Dome will be Pitt’s fifth road game of the season, its only loss com- i ng at undefeated Iowa on a57-yard field goal as time expired. “I don’t think that there’s another team in the country who has p layed four out of six g ames on the road,” Nar- duzzi said. “I think our kids have done a heck of a job reacting.” The Panthers have t hrived on their defense, which is ranked No. 17, yielding just over 300 yards per game. Pitt also is third nationally with 3.67 sacks per game and h as 22 on the season for 179 lost yards. “Pitt has an aggressive defense. They fly a round,” Syracuse offensive coordinator Tim Lester said. “They’re going to b e in our face all day, and they’re going to be in the backfield because they’re relentless. They play with their hair on fire.” Some things to know w hen Pitt visits Syracuse t oday: Eric football: Because of his competitive nature, S yracuse freshman QB Eric Dungey has had a difficult time following s uggestions despite missing a game with a head in- jury after a helmet-to- helmet hit. He’s been advised to be smarter with his body in his decision m aking, but in a triple- o vertime loss last week at Virginia he still leaped over a defender and scored as he was hit again in the head by a defend- e r’s helmet. “He makes plays. He goes into his Johnny Manziel wanting to run around,” Lester said. “You just keep on show- i ng him the hits he didn’t have to take. We called 32 pass plays and he only threw 22 times. That’s got t o change.” Familiar foes: Nar- duzzi and Syracuse’s S cott Shafer coached together as assistants at Rhode Island (1993-95) and Northern Illinois (2000-02). Expect a pre- game smile, a handshake, and not much more. “ It’ll be special before t he game starts, and after that it’s war,” Narduzzi said. T arget please: Now that they’re ranked, the Panthers know what’s in s tore. “What does number 25 mean? Every week games get bigger,” said Narduzzi, a candidate for the Paul “Bear” Bryant C oach of the Year Award. “ Now the target is on your back and they know who you are. You’re not going to jump up and surprise anybody.” C lose calls: Both teams have won and lost close games. Syracuse beat Central Michigan in overtime and the Panthers are 4-1in games de- c ided by single digits, including last week’s 31-28 victory at Georgia Tech. Pitt has won 11of the past 1 3 games in the series with Syracuse, but tight games have been the rule. T wo of the last three have been decided by a single point — with each team winning. Comeback kids: Since 2002, Pitt has won 25 games with second-half c omebacks. In 2013, the P anthers beat Notre Dame 28-21, Syracuse 1716, and Bowling Green 302 7 (in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl) with second- half rallies. PITTSBURGH AT SYRACUSE AP LSU running back Leonard Fournette avoids the tackle attempt of Syracuse cornerback Wayne Morgan in Sept. 26 game. Orange hostNo. 25 Pitt i n bid to snap 3-game slide JOHN KEKIS ASSOCIATED PRESS BALTIMORE - In virtually any other scenario, James Franklin would wish Mike Locksley the best of luck in his debut as Maryland’s interim coach. Franklin and Locksley f ormed a solid friendship m ore than a decade ago a s assistant coaches at M aryland. On Saturday, they’ll be on opposite sidelines when the Terrapins face Penn State in a Big Ten matchup at the home stadium of the Baltimore Ravens. Franklin is in his second year as Penn State’s coach. Locksley was bumped up from Maryland’s offensive coordinator when Randy Edsall was fired on Oct. 11. L ooking back on their time together, Franklin said, “That was kind of early in my career, and me and Mike built a strong relationship. I’ve got a lot of respect for him and what he does with his job. I’m excited f or the opportunity that he has there.” F ranklin has a job to do, too, and this weekend his task is guide Penn State (5-2, 2-1) past a M aryland team that has lost three straight by a combined 122-34 score. Locksley’s goal is help the Terrapins (2-4, 0-2) t ake another step toward t urning this lopsided series into a rivalry. Although the Terrapins won at Penn State last year on a late field goal, t he Nittany Lions are 352 -1all-time against Maryland. “Fortunately for us, we were able to get a jump last year with the w in, but it’ll take some t ime to build this thing into a rivalry that I’m sure our fans will like to see,” Locksley said. “Rivalries are usually start- e d with being competitive on the field.” Some things to know about the Penn State- M aryland matchup: B uckeye black eye: Both teams are coming blowout losses to top- ranked Ohio State. Maryland lost 49-28 two weeks ago in what turned out to be Edsall’s final game. The Terps were tied at 21 in the third quarter before the Buckeyes pulled a way. Penn State held the e arly lead last week but u nraveled in a 38-10 def eat. Hills stars: Perry Hills temporarily halted the quarterback carousel at Maryland with a 170-yard rushing effort at Ohio State. Hills started the opener, but by Week 3 was third on the depth chart. Now he’s starting again, and the Nittany Lions hope the experience they gained last week against versatile Ohio S tate quarterback J.T. Barrett will help them contain the elusive Hills. Anything goes: Locksley is asking his players to enjoy the game of football instead of pressing to make the right play. He hopes they bring that m indset to the stadium on Saturday. “It’s back in the d ay when you’d go out and play with your friends in the backyard, and you just let it all cut l oose,” he said. “That’s the kind of mentality we want to play with, because we really have nothing to lose as a pro- g ram.” Franklin is telling h is team to be ready for anything. About last year: One of the highlights of the Edsall era was last year’s 2 0-19 win at Penn State. E dsall’s gone now, but memories of that home loss remain for the Nittany Lions. “We’re going to play with a chip on our s houlder,” sophomore s afety Marcus Allen said. This Penn State team is different than last year’s squad. “They’re doing a much better job of cons istently running the ball,” Maryland defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski said. MARYLAND AT PENN STATE AP Maryland quarterback Perry Hills will get the start against Penn State today. Locksley debuts as Maryland interim coach DAVID GINSBURG ASSOCIATED PRESS

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