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Vice President Mike Pence and gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie, R-VA, wave during a campaign rally Saturday at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Abingdon, Va.
It was a north versus south battle of the vice presidents.
Vice President Mike Pence and former Vice President Joe Biden hit the campaign trail Saturday on behalf of their respective party’s candidates in the heated gubernatorial contest in Virginia.
The race between Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam is one of two governor’s races in this off-off-year. (The other is in New Jersey.) It has gained national attention as a proxy referendum on the Trump administration in a state that is, for the most part, ideologically split along regional lines. Trump voters are concentrated in southern regions while democrats, who carried the state for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, are found in bigger numbers in the north.
Pence rallied a rowdy pro-Trump, anti-sanctuary city crowd at the state fair in Abingdon, Va., where he told about 400 people he had been sent on a mission from Trump.
He also had a message for any democrats who might be in the audience. Quoting a tweet by Trump from the earlier in the day, Pence said, "The democrats in the southwest part of Virginia have been abandoned by their party and Ed Gillespie will never let you down."
"The president and I need allies and partners in states like Virginia," he confided to those gathered, adding that Gillespie "is as good as they come."
He went on extolling Gillespie’s bona fides, including being the son of an Irish immigrant, a businessman, and a champion of coal mining. But he spent nearly as much time reviewing Trump’s "strong leadership."
And for Virginians whose economy relies heavily on government defense contracts, he reminded them that the president "signed the largest increase in defense spending in nearly ten years."
A spending bill signed by Trump in May increased defense spending by $15 billion, though it also kept funding intact for so-called "sanctuary cities," which Pence also railed against in his speech.
"Ralph Northam cast the tiebreaking vote against a bill in the state Senate against a bill to crack down on sanctuary cities," Pence said, while his supporters booed.
Biden on the stump
Biden, on the other hand, eschewed large crowds while garnering support for Lt. Governor Northam, who is up by seven points in the race, according to a new poll by the Wason Center for Public Policy.
The former vice president instead spoke on a panel focused on growing jobs and education opportunities in a state with only 3.8 percent unemployment.
In rallying tech and business leaders to support Northam, Biden said the federal government has left a leadership vacuum.
Under the Trump administration, Biden said, "states are going to have to step up in ways the federal government should be stepping up."
"The only hope for leadership we have is at the state level," he said, before quoting an unnamed person who said, the Trump administration is "unified by incoherence and incompetence."
Northam has several big-named Democratic players in his corner. He attended a fundraising event with former Secretary of State Clinton, and former President Obama plans to join in on the gubernatorial fray this week. He will appear with Northam at a rally on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Gillespie, who is relying on support from independent voters, had been reluctant to acknowledge Trump’s support until Saturday.
When the Republican nominee was asked by Virginia’s WVEC-TV if he would want the president to campaign alongside him, Gillespie deftly answered the question, responding, "I don’t talk about campaign strategy with anyone, let alone the media."
He met a similar question asking if he was pleased by the president’s Oct. 5 Twitter endorsement, saying, "I wasn’t surprised he endorsed me."
With the election just three weeks away the campaigns are expected to become more intense, especially as both sides strive to win over undecided voters, who at six percent of the electorate, could make or break the race.
Woodgrove finished in second place at the Virginia 4A state championships. (Courtesy photo/Jason Lutman)
Seeking a lifeline halfway through the Virginia 4A state golf championship, Alex Price turned to the man who always knows what to do. Holed up in a hotel with his Woodgrove teammates, Price called his father David.
The junior missed short putt after short putt Tuesday, he told his father, and was trapped in his head. He shot a 77. The elder Price told his son to focus on placing the ball at a specific spot rather than obsess over getting it in the cup.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Kenny Hill avoided a defender in the backfield and lunged forward through two more for a 3-yard touchdown run with 2:53 left and No. 8 TCU remained the Big 12’s only undefeated team with a 31-24 victory over No. 23 West Virginia on Saturday.
Hill also threw a 45-yard touchdown pass and was on the receiving end of a 48-yard score for the Frogs (5-0, 2-0). His winning TD run came only five plays after an apparent interception was reversed on a replay review.
Will Grier threw for 366 yards and three TDs for West Virginia (3-2, 1-1), including two long catch-and-run scores in a span of about 2 1/2 minutes late in the third quarter. It was tied at 24 after Grier hooked up with David Sills V on a 64-yard scoring play and then Ka’Raun White for a 76-yarder.
TCU led 7-3 at halftime in the only game Saturday matching Top 25 teams, but the two quarterbacks who started their careers at SEC schools led their teams after that.
After those two long West Virginia TDs, the Frogs used a little trickery to go ahead again. KaVontae Turpin took a handoff and swept to the right before stopping and throwing back to Hill, who sprinted down the left sideline for the score.
West Virginia got even at 31 on Sills’ 4-yard TD catch with 9:50 left, a nice reaching grab in the back of the end zone. He had seven catches for 116 yards and now has nine TD catches this season.
West Virginia: With the feisty Grier, Sills and Big 12 leading rusher Justin Crawford (111 yards rushing), the Mountaineers aren’t backing down from anyone. Remember, the top two teams will get into the league’s championship game, and there’s still a long way to go in the season. They can move the ball, with 508 total yards against the defensive Frogs.
TCU: Hill had his struggles at times, especially before halftime, but again managed to make the plays the Frogs needed to win. John Diarse made some key catches, Kyle Hicks was back with 71 yards rushing and Sewo Olonilua took a direct snap for a diving 2-yard TD. Unranked to start the season, TCU is clearly becoming a favorite to contend for a Big 12 title.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers play three of their next four games at home, starting next Saturday against Texas Tech.
TCU: A trip to coach Gary Patterson’s alma mater, when the Frogs play at Kansas State next Saturday.
Charlottesville, Virginia, often referred to as Cville, has long proved its place in America’s history.
The city was once the home of both Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe (the former’s mountain-top plantation Monticello ― which includes a mansion and rebuilt slave quarters ― borders the city). Additionally, Charlottesville made headlines in August when it was the site of the now-infamous “Unite the Right” rally. One person was killed and others were injured when the contentious white supremacist rally clashed with counterprotesters.
The city stands strong and thrives despite the hardships it has seen. It’s home to Shenandoah National Park, several breweries, the prestigious University of Virginia and much more.
HuffPost set up shop at the University of Virginia’s McIntire Ampitheatre during its 25-city Listen to America tour to talk to locals about what they love most about Cville. Take a look at some of the Virginia goodness we experienced:
Quarterback Josh Jackson and No. 12 Virginia Tech will upset No. 2 Clemson on Saturday night. (
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Clemson beat Auburn, smoked Louisville and has looked every bit as capable of winning the national championship as the Tigers team that pulled off that feat last year.
Wasn’t this supposed to be a step-back year?
It’s not. Clemson is a contender, and it now seems foolish to ever think the Tigers wouldn’t be the this year. But someone has to knock them off once, right? Someone in he ACC will step up?
How about this weekend? No. 2 Clemson has to go into Blacksburg, Va., on Saturday night for a top-25 matchup against No. 12 Virginia Tech. The Hokies are looking to take the next step under Justin Fuente. Virginia Tech hasn’t been in the top-10 of the Associated Press college football poll since 2011. It will return next week after upsetting Clemson on Saturday.
That’s what I’m calling for in this week’s national and Big Ten picks. Let’s see if anyone else jumps on board. Our reader picker Kyle Cartwright of Alexandria, Ohio likes the Hokies with the points this week. Kyle can be found on Twitter @kcartwright77.
Our picks for this week’s games are below, but first last week’s results, where reader Chase Richardson beat us all.
Last week’s results
Reader Chase Richardson: 10-5
Tim Bielik: 9-6
Bill Landis: 6-9
Doug Lesmerises: 6-9
Tim and Bill both hit on their Big Ten best bets, but we were all looking up at Chase last week. He put the readers in the lead in the overall season standings. That was inevitable.
Year to date results
Readers: 30-26 (2-2 best bets)
Tim: 28-28 (2-2 best bets)
Bill: 27-29 (3-1 best bets)
Doug: 26-30 (0-4 best bets)
And finally, this week’s picks with 11 games on the slate:
BIG TEN GAMES
Northwestern at Wisconsin (-15.5), 12 p.m., ABC
Northwestern: Bill, Kyle, Doug
Maryland at Minnesota (-12.5), 12 p.m., FS1
Minnesota: Bill, Kyle, Tim
Indiana at Penn State (-19), 3:30 p.m., BTN
Indiana: Bill, Kyle
Penn State: Tim, Doug
Iowa at Michigan State (-4), 4 p.m., FOX
Iowa: Kyle, Tim
Michigan State: Bill, Doug
Ohio State at Rutgers (+30), 7:30 p.m., BTN
Ohio State: Everyone
Georgia at Tennessee (+8), 3:30 p.m., CBS
Georgia: Bill, Tim, Doug
Miami (Ohio) at Notre Dame (-21), 5 p.m., NBCSN
Notre Dame: Kyle, Tim, Doug
Mississippi State at Auburn (-8.5), 6 p.m., ESPN
Mississippi State: Bill, Doug
Auburn: Kyle, Tim
Clemson at Virginia Tech (+7), 8 p.m., ABC
Clemson: Tim, Doug
Virginia Tech: Bill, Kyle
Ole Miss at Alabama (-27.5), 9 p.m., ESPN
Ole Miss: Bill
Alabama: Tim, Kyle, Doug
Cal at Oregon (-15), 10:30 p.m., FS1
Cal: Bill, Kyle
Oregon: Tim, Doug
BIG TEN BEST BET
Kyle: Indiana (+19) at Penn State
Penn State will run all over Indiana, but I feel the Hoosiers will be able to throw with Richard Lagow and those big receivers. I see it as a two-touchdown game.
Bill: Minnesota (-12.5) vs. Maryland
P.J. Fleck quietly has one of the best defenses in the country, and Maryland is down to its third quarterback. Minnesota is coming off a bye, and the Terps are reeling after getting blown out at home while being handed a dose of reality against Central Florida. Row the boat to cover town.
Tim: Minnesota (-12.5) vs. Maryland
The Terrapins are down to their third-string quarterback after the injury to promising freshman Kasim Hill. Without him, they mustered just 10 points vs. UCF. Minnesota’s defense has allowed just 24 points. So offense for Maryland will be hard to come by. The Gophers will score enough to down the Terps by multiple possessions.
Doug: Ohio State (-30) vs. Rutgers
Can a man finally win a best bet? This will be pretty close to a repeat of last year’s 58-0 win for the Buckeyes.
What does Chris Ash have to do to succeed at Rutgers? Ohio State football analysis
COLUMBUS, Ohio — There is a familiar face on the opposite sideline of Urban Meyer on Saturday night in Piscataway.
Chris Ash, the former defensive coordinator on Ohio State’s 2015 national championship team, is in his second season trying to rebuild Rutgers football.
He has his work cut out for him considering Rutgers’ best football came when its coach was Greg Schiano, who is now OSU’s defensive coordinator.
So what does Ash have to do to get Rutgers turned around?
Watch us discuss in the video above. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Ohio State Football on cleveland.com channel on YouTube.
K’Von Wallace finally will get an opportunity to play college football at Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium, just not for the team he grew up expecting to.
The Virginia native went to camps at Virginia Tech early in his high school career hoping to earn an offer from the Hokies and was disappointed when that didn’t happen.
He ended up choosing Clemson on Signing Day in 2016 and is now a key member of the Tigers’ secondary. Wallace is anxious to get a shot to face the Hokies on Saturday.
“They were the school that I wanted to go to in ninth and 10th grade,” Wallace told The State. “I feel like I have a lot to prove, not just here but definitely to that school. I want to show them that I’m a great player and prove them wrong and prove this team right.”
Wallace’s recruitment blew up late in the process when he received offers from Clemson, Ohio State, Michigan State and others in the weeks leading to Signing Day.
Virginia Tech finally offered, but at that point, it was too late.
“It was like a smack in the face,” Wallace said. “I felt like they should have been one of my first offers. They came in after Clemson. I felt like they really didn’t want me.”
The Hokies hired Justin Fuente as their coach in November, and he scouted one of Wallace’s playoff games. Wallace was expecting an offer, but it did not come until a couple of months later.
While Virginia Tech brought in a new head coach, defensive coordinator Bud Foster remained on staff, so it’s not as if the Hokies were unaware of Wallace.
He expects to have several friends and family members in the stands on Saturday.
“I’m trying to get at least 20 people there,” he said. “Having a lot of those family members there and them seeing me for the first time and contributing to the team is really special.”
Wallace played mostly on special teams as a freshman but has been a versatile member of Clemson’s secondary through four games in 2017.
He has eight tackles and a pass breakup while splitting time between corner and safety. Wallace worked at cornerback during the spring and preseason camp but has played mostly safety this season, including starting against Auburn when Van Smith was out with an injury.
Wallace is moving back to cornerback for this weekend’s game because Marcus Edmond, Mark Fields and Trayvon Mullen recently sustained injuries. The status of those three for the game is unknown, but Wallace believes he is ready to step up at cornerback if needed.
“I know all the positions on the field. I’ve shown my versatility,” Wallace said. “Coach (Dabo) Swinney and coach (Brent) Venables always stressed playing many positions because you don’t know who could be hurt… Showing those coaches that I can do those things is what helped me play as a true freshman.”
Who: Clemson (4-0) vs. Virginia Tech (4-0)
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Blacksburg, Va.
Radio: 93.1 FM
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Are you considering Virginia for the first time, or are you a longtime admirer of this commonwealth? It does not matter because you will enjoy up close and personal all of the different ways Virginia is truly for lovers.
You can choose to wash the cares of the day away along the Eastern Shores of the beach. Or, you can choose to party the night away with the crowd at Virginia Beachâs nightlife.
If you are looking for something more family friendly, theme parks and water parks are open every day of the week.
However, if you are planning to attend during the autumn, there are some events to keep in mind during your weekend getaway or your planned vacation.
Patrick County Agricultural Fair
Located in Stuart, Virginia, this fair is held during the last two weeks of September and is stationed at the Stuart Rotary Field. It opens every evening at 5:30 pm and closes at 10:30 pm. There is wonderful entertainment every night like:
â¢ Miss Patrick County Beauty Pageant
â¢ Four-Wheeler Mud Bogging
â¢ Youth livestock shows
â¢ Demolition Derby
The fair is wheelchair accessible, and the price of admission for adults is $5. The admission price for children is $3.
Hampton Cup Regatta
This two-day event is held in September in Hampton, Virginia. 2017 marks 91 years the Annual Hampton Cup Regatta has taken place.
Join 20,000 other spectators for a weekend that is full of chills, thrills and racing excitement in the water. Take some time to view the boats up close as well as meet the pit crew and drivers.
On both days the racing begins at noon and does not end until 5 pm. Even if you arrive early, it is best to bring a lawn chair with you because the bleacher seating is very limited.
Also keep in mind that pets, skateboards, coolers and bikes are not allowed at the event.
These are only two of the many fall events you can enjoy in Virginia. Chances are after your first visit, you will add Virginia to the top of your vacation destination list.
Virginia voters give Democrat Ralph Northam the edge over Republican Ed Gillespie by 42-38 percent in the race for governor, according to a new Fox News Poll. That four-point advantage is within the poll’s margin of sampling error. Libertarian Cliff Hyra receives 2 percent, and another 18 percent are undecided or plan to support someone else.
This benchmark poll of the Virginia governor’s race comes as the major party candidates prepare to debate Tuesday. Northam is the state’s lieutenant governor, and Gillespie was the 2014 GOP nominee for U.S. Senate (he lost to Sen. Mark Warner by less than a percentage point).
Over half of registered voters (53 percent) are “extremely” (23 percent) or “very” (30 percent) interested in the governor’s race. Among just those interested voters, Gillespie tops Northam by one point (45-44 percent).
With less than two months to go, one quarter of Virginia voters say they could change their mind before Election Day (27 percent). Some 74 percent of Northam’s backers are certain they will vote for him. That’s just a touch more than the 70 percent of Gillespie’s supporters who feel sure to back him.
A majority of Virginia voters, 53 percent, disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as president. That includes 44 percent who “strongly” disapprove, which is more than the total percentage who approve of Trump’s performance (42 percent).
Most, however, say the president isn’t a factor in their vote for governor (74 percent). And nearly equal numbers say their vote is intended to show support for Trump (10 percent) as say it’s to express opposition (13 percent).
In addition, 82 percent of Trump voters back or lean to Gillespie, while 84 percent of Hillary Clinton’s voters support or lean to Northam.
“Virginia is a bellwether state, and this election promises to be close,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll along with Democrat Chris Anderson.
“Gillespie is not especially tight with Trump, though, so the race may be of limited value for those who want to see these contests as a referendum on the current administration.”
Overall, two-thirds are happy with the way things are going in Virginia (67 percent). Those backing Northam (81 percent) are 31 points more likely than Gillespie supporters (50 percent) to be satisfied.
The Fox News Poll is conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R). The poll was conducted Sept. 17-18, 2017, by telephone (landline and cellphone) with live interviewers among a sample of 507 voters selected from a statewide voter file in Virginia. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points for the total sample.
Insurer plans to offer ACA plans in 68 cities and counties Most didn’t have any Obamacare options after dropouts
Anthem Inc. reversed course and said it will offer Obamacare plans in Virginia, after a pullback by another insurer threatened to leave the state with large gaps in coverage.
Anthem revised its 2018 offerings, saying in a statement that it would now offer plans in 68 cities and counties in Virginia. Around the U.S., insurers face deadlines at the end of this month to decide whether they will participate in the Obamacare markets and what plans they will offer.
Anthem had earlier said it would exit Virginia entirely next year, along with rivals Aetna Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc.
Shares of the insurer were little changed in trading on Friday, and have gained 30 percent so far this year.
Most of the areas where Anthem will now sell coverage would have been left without access to any Obamacare plans after Optima Health Plan decided to pare its presence in the state last week. Optima’s change in plans could have left about 70,000 people in 63 counties without Obamacare coverage available to them for next year. The insurer later said it would offer plans in five counties that otherwise wouldn’t have had options.
Anthem has pulled back from Obamacare markets in nine states as uncertainty around the Affordable Care Act grows. The Trump administration has cut outreach funding and Republicans in Congress are still weighing efforts to repeal the law despite a separate effort within their own party to stabilize it.
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Virginia Tech announced today that linebacker Tavante Beckett has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities. The 5-10, 221-pound sophomore was listed as the backup at middle linebacker (behind senior Andrew Motuapuaka), so depending on the length of his suspension, it could be a tough situation for the Hokies to overcome.
If it ends up being short-term, the primary losses will be Beckett’s special teams production (though he had yet to record a tackle in coverage through two games in 2017) and getting him game reps to prepare for next season. With limited experience, and Motuapuaka and fellow linebacker Tremaine Edmunds playing nearly every snap for the position group, there haven’t been as many opportunities for a backup like Beckett to refine his game. The longer he’s away from the team, the less chance he has to do that.
If the suspension turns into a long-term ordeal, it becomes even tougher for VT. Motuapuaka will exhaust his eligibility at the end of this season, and his new backup, former walk-on Sean Huelskamp, is a redshirt senior. The depth chart at that position is wiped out if Beckett does not return to the team. True freshman Rayshard Ashby has gotten some time on special teams, as has redshirt freshman walk-on Daniel Griffith. The only depth linebackers (besides Beckett) to see game time thus far. VT signed a big linebacker class – four players – in 2017, and will probably look to playing some of those youngsters, as well.
Long-term, the Hokies’ ability to bring in three linebackers – as has been the plan for some time – looks a little more reasonable with another scholarship slot not only open, but from a player potentially vacating that position. If Beckett is unable to return to the program, it makes sense that the third linebacker becomes a reality.
Overall, it’s probably the best-case scenario for VT that Beckett is able to work through the issue that has seen him suspended and return to the squad. In the unfortunate instance he’s unable to do so, the Hokies have players ready to step up – but they may take a little longer to prepare for primetime than he would have.