Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene.
Freeze and Ole Miss reunite; Willis and Corral to showcase for NFL scouts.
Liberty at Ole Miss might not be the biggest game in college football this coming weekend, but you’d be hard-pressed to find another with juicer storylines than when they meet for a noon kickoff on Saturday.
First of all, it will be the return of Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze, the former head coach at Ole Miss who left that program in disgrace.
Freeze resigned in 2017 as head coach of the Rebels after a scandal uncovered multiple recruiting and academic violations and the discovery that he used a university cellphone to call escort services during his five-year tenure that started in 2012.
In 2015, Freeze helped lead Ole Miss to a win at Alabama and a No. 3 ranking in the AP poll.
Now, Freeze will return to Oxford as the head coach at Liberty who is sporting a 25-8 record in his nearly three years with the Flames.
In addition to that storyline, the game will feature two people who could be the first two quarterbacks taken in next spring’s NFL Draft, Malik Willis of Liberty and Matt Corral of Ole Miss.
Expect the press box to be filled with NFL scouts and plenty of national attention on the game.
Armstrong suffers injury for Virginia in a high-scoring loss.
It was a double-whammy for Virginia on Saturday, starting with the fact the Cavaliers lost 66-49 at No. 25 BYU.
As bad as giving up 36 first downs and 734 yards of offense to BYU was, even worse was that Virginia star quarterback Brennan Armstrong suffered a rib injury in the fourth quarter.
His status going forward is unclear, which is why there couldn’t be a better time for Virginia to have a bye week before it hosts No. 8 Notre Dame on Nov. 13 and travels to Pittsburgh on Nov. 20.
The Cavaliers are currently one game in the loss column behind Pittsburgh in the ACC Coastal division.
Hokies get back on track.
Virginia Tech faced a must-win game at Georgia Tech on Saturday, and it was a win the Hokies needed in order not to fall out of the race in the ACC Coastal division.
Thanks to 187 yards receiving from Tre Turner, Virginia Tech snapped a three-game losing streak with the 26-17 victory.
Virginia Tech (4-4, 2-2) is one game back in the loss column of division-leading Pitt, although it’s still more like a two-game deficit because Pitt won at Virginia Tech and would own any head-to-head tiebreaker.
Still, it was something positive that could get the Hokies out of a funk with winnable games coming up the next two weeks at Boston College and against Duke.