Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sports

Beamer bowling one last time

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Frank Beamer and his coaching staff aren't going anywhere for a few more weeks.

Joey Slye kicked a 41-yard field goal with 1:38 left and Virginia Tech beat Virginia 23-20 on Saturday, giving Beamer, 69, one more game to coach before he ends his 29-year coaching career at his alma mater. It will be the Hokies' 23rd consecutive season ending in a bowl game.

"I told them in there, I really appreciate them letting me be a part if this thing," Beamer said.

The dramatic victory came a week after the Hokies lost in Beamer's final home game, 30-27, to No. 11 North Carolina in overtime. But they rebounded to beat the Cavaliers for the 12th consecutive time.

"At the end of the day, we just really wanted to win this one for Coach Beamer," quarterback Michael Brewer said.

Brewer was sacked three times in the first half and was once very slow to get up, but got better protection the rest of the way. "I feel like this game took about five years off my life," he said.

After Slye's kick, Hokies cornerback Chuck Clark sealed the outcome by intercepting Matt Johns with 59 seconds left.

With Beamer set to retire, there have been reports that Memphis coach Justin Fuente will replace him. Fuente and Tech's athletic director, Whit Babcock, said the reports are premature. Babcock did not comment on the validity of the reports of a deal with Fuente but said that they are "not official at this time."

Beamer and his staff will coach the bowl game, Babcock said.

No. 11 UNC 45, N.C. State 34: North Carolina coach Larry Fedora spent all season dangling two goals in front of his players: An ACC division title and a mythical state championship.

A week after accomplishing the first, the Tar Heels took care of the second with a dominating start on the road against their longtime rival.

Elijah Hood and T.J. Logan ran for touchdowns in a 35-point first quarter, helping UNC to its 11th straight win. Hood had a career-high 220 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Fedora said he never sensed his players looking ahead to next week's league title game against No. 1 Clemson.

"No one talked about it," he said. "The coaches didn't talk about it. We knew what we had to do. This was to finish our goal. Now we reset those goals and we can talk about it now."

No. 1 Clemson 37, S. Carolina 32: Deshaun Watson had another big day, running for three touchdowns and passing for a fourth, as the visiting Tigers capped a perfect regular season by holding off their state rival.

Next up is the ACC championship game against North Carolina, and if Clemson wins that one a spot in the College Football Playoff — almost certainly as the No. 1 seed — awaits.

"We weren't worried about the national championship," Watson said. "We were just worrying about this game, achieve one of our goals and be state champs and that's what we did. The national championship will take care of itself."

Watson passed for 279 yards and ran for 114 and Clemson is 12-0 for the first time since winning the 1981 national title.

Georgia 13, Georgia Tech 7: Sony Michel rushed for 149 yards and scored Georgia's lone touchdown on the first possession of the game as the visiting Bulldogs edged their rival. Georgia also put coach Mark Richt in position for the 10th double-digit-win season of his 15-year tenure with a bowl victory, but speculation has run rampant that Richt's future is in doubt in Athens. "Clarity? I don't need any clarity right now," Richt said of his future. "I'm ready to recruit."

Duke 27, Wake Forest 21: Thomas Sirk threw two touchdown passes to Max McCaffrey and ran for another score as the visiting Blue Devils snapped a four-game losing streak.

Syracuse 20, BC 17: Cole Murphy hit a 35-yard field goal as time expired for the host Orange to give coach Scott Shafer a farewell win. Syracuse fired him Monday but let him coach the finale.

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