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Virginia Tech holds off UNC

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Logan Thomas threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third, leading No. 9 Virginia Tech to a 24-21 victory over North Carolina on Thursday night and another 10-win season.

The Hokies (10-1, 6-1 ACC) won their sixth in a row since a home loss to No. 7 Clemson and remained on track for a rematch with the Tigers in the conference title game. Virginia Tech can clinch its fourth Coastal Division title in five years Saturday night if Virginia loses at No. 23 Florida State.

If the Cavaliers win, the Virginia rivals play Nov. 26 for a berth in the conference championship game.

North Carolina (6-5, 2-5) lost its second straight. The Tar Heels struggled on offense until the Hokies had taken a commanding lead, then made it tense for fans who remained on a frigid night.

UAB upsets no. 22 southern miss: Ty Long kicked a 38-yard field goal with 3:04 left to lift host UAB to a 34-31 upset of No. 22 Southern Mississippi.

The Blazers (3-8, 3-5 C-USA) earned their second victory ever against a ranked team, having beaten No. 17 East Carolina 36-17 in 1999.

The Golden Eagles (9-2, 5-2) pushed the ball across midfield twice in the final minutes, but Austin Davis' fourth-down pass was broken up by Jamie Bender. Davis' run for what would have been a first down was negated by Jason Weaver's chop block, setting up third and 20 from the Southern Miss 41.

UAB punted with 11 seconds left. The Golden Eagles had at least five laterals before the final play ended inside the Blazers 40.

Southern Miss can still claim the East Division title by beating Memphis.

Rose would take penn state: The chief administrative officer of the Rose Bowl said if Penn State wins the Big Ten title, the Nittany Lions will be free to play in the top-tier post­season game as far as he's concerned. Kevin Ash said the Rose Bowl would let the Big Ten decide if there is a reason its champion shouldn't play.

"Whoever the champions are," Ash said, "we'll welcome with open arms."

There have been calls for Penn State to decline a bowl bid because of a child sex abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Officials with Tampa's Outback Bowl and the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., Nos. 3 and 4 in the Big Ten order, declined to comment on how Penn State would be viewed by their selection committees. Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman said his conference has taken no position on a Penn State bowl bid.

Capital One Bowl chief executive Steve Hogan, whose game in Orlando is No. 2 in the Big Ten selection order, said it would be unfair to penalize Penn State players.

Missouri suspends coach: Missouri suspended coach Gary Pinkel for the final home game of the season and froze his salary for a year after he was charged with suspicion of drunken driving Wednesday night in Columbia, Mo. Athletic director Mike Alden said Pinkel would miss Saturday's game against Texas Tech and donate a week's salary to a campus alcohol-awareness program. The disciplinary measures include approximately $300,000 in penalties and 50 hours of community service. No decision had been made about filing formal criminal charges. In a statement, Pinkel, 59, said he accepts full responsibility and will abide by whatever action is taken. He said he had been having dinner with friends.

Illinois: Receiver Kenny Knight pleaded not guilty to charges of battery and resisting a police officer.

Washington: Redshirt freshman quarterback Nick Montana, the son of Joe Montana, will make his first career start Saturday at Oregon State. Regular starter Keith Price has a knee injury. Montana was 9 of 15 for 73 yards and threw a 20-yard touchdown in relief of Price last week against USC. For the season, he is 13 of 20 for 147 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Washington State: Starting quarterback Jeff Tuel is likely done for the season because of a sore collarbone.

Virginia Tech holds off UNC 11/17/11 [Last modified: Friday, November 18, 2011 12:23am]
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