SPORTS

Daybreak 5th Quarter

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This week's Daybreak 5th Quarter comes to you from beautiful New Orleans, where the hometown Saints got into a good ol' fashioned shootout with the Houston Texans on Sunday.

To say that it was a wild weekend across the pro and college gridiron would be quite the understatement. In fact, there were so many excellent games, there's not enough time to get to them all.

The best part? It's not even over for us here in Washington.

As always, we start with the college game, which for the local schools was a mix of awesome and hideous.

RUNNING ROUGHSHOD - David Nelson has spent most of September looking for his breakout performance for the Virginia Tech Hokies. Hr got his shot against Marshall.

Wilson, who is looking to fill the very big rushing shoes of Tyrod Taylor, went off for 132 yards and Josh Oglesby found the end zone twice in a 30-10 win over the Thundering Herd in Huntington.

The Hokies defense limited the Herd to a paltry 6 rushing yards.

NEXT UP - A tough conference test is in line for the Hokies, as they'll take on the Clemson Tigers, who neatly took care of Florida State in Death Valley.

MISERY LOVES COMPANY - The Maryland Terrapins found a way to make the first half of their loss to West Virginia look good.

Against Temple, they strung together two miserable halves. In front of what could generously be described as a half-full Byrd Stadium, Bernard Pierce victimized the Terps for five touchdowns - a single-game record against Maryland - en route to a stunning 38-7 thumping.

"What happened today is unacceptable," Terrapins head coach Randy Edsall said after the game - possibly the understatement of the season in college football thus far.

The two telling stats for Maryland, other than Pierce's ridiculous performance, came via the offense and special teams. Not only did the Terrapins only control the ball for little more than 18 minutes, they had their first punt blocked since 1999.

Needless to say, it couldn't have gone much worse.

NEXT UP - The Terps close out a four-game home stand with a Saturday afternoon tilt against FCS Towsonk.

GOLDEN FRIED - Once again, the Virginia Cavaliers found themselves down at the half on their home field. As it has gone so many times before in recent seasons, the Wahoos rallied, but fell short.

Austin Davis threw three touchdown passes and the Cavaliers couldn't stop him when it mattered most as the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles left Charlottesville with a 30-24 win.

Perhaps Davis' biggest play came late in the 4th quarter. Pinned in their own territory and clinging to a three-point lead, Davis hit Tracy Lampley for a 41-yard catch and run on 3rd and 23 to set up a game-icing field goal.

Michael Rocco fired three interceptions in the losing effort.

NEXT UP - The Wahoos wrap up their non-conference schedule with a visit by Idaho to Scott Stadium.

College Huddle

-Did you catch the wild ending between Toledo and Syracuse? In a game that likely no one watched outside, well, Toledo and Syracuse, an Orange botched extra point was called good by the referees AND replay officials to give 'Cuse a crucial 30-27 lead. Toledo then kicked a field goal with no time left that should have won them the game with no time left, but instead, it merely tied it. Syracuse then won in OT. Brutal.

-The brutal ending hex struck the Miami Hurricanes as well. Down 28-24 to Kansas State with just seconds remaining, it looked as if Jacory Harris had scrambled into the end zone for a go-ahead score. However, replays showed that his knee was down a yard short of the goal line, forcing a turnover on downs. One kneel down sealed a big road win for the Wildcats.

-Oklahoma State, who is now a clear front runner for the Big 12 title, rallied from down 20-3 at the half, on the road in hostile College Station, to pull off a remarkable 30-29 win over Texas A&M. Even better for the Cowboys, the game ended before 3:30 a.m., unlike their win over Tulsa last weekend.

-The Arizona State Sun Devils removed a huge monkey off the program's back when they halted an 11-game losing streak to USC with a convincing 43-22 win in Tempe. The Devils had not beaten the Trojans since 1999.

-Finally, while driving through Pennsylvania and listening to Pitt/Notre Dame on a Pittsburgh radio station on Saturday, a studio host referred to the out-of-town ACC scoreboard as a "look at Pitt's future opponents." Really? Already?

RUNAWAY IN THE GATEWAY - Perhaps the Terrapins struggled so badly on Saturday because one of their ex-receivers was getting ready for his coming out party? Maybe not, but you couldn't ignore Ravens rookie Torrey Smith in the first quarter of their game against St. Louis on Sunday.

Joe Flacco hit Smith for touchdown passes of 74, 41, and 18 yards - all in the first quarter(!) - to lead the Ravens to a 37-7 drubbing of the Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. Smith ended the day with five catches for 152 yards.

The Ravens had the game put away by halftime and limited Rams quarterback Sam Bradford to 166 yards through the air.

NEXT UP - The Ravens return to prime time on Sunday, hosting the New York Jets on Snday night in the Charm City.

COWBOY UP - Monday night is Redskins night this week, as Washington travels to Dallas to take on the Cowboys.

The big story centers around Tony Romo and his injured ribs. Romo suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung in his team's comeback victory over San Francisco. The rhetoric blew up late last week, when DeAngelo Hall said he'd definitely be targeting Romo and the Cowboys' other injured star, running back Felix Jones.

The Redskins have lost four of their last five games to Dallas.

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