One week remains in the regular season…with one area school competing for a conference championship, another fighting for a spot in the postseason, a third actively searching for their next head coach while a fourth is wondering if they should make a coaching change. Just like everyone at the Thanksgiving table has different things to be thankful for, the four schools come to Grandmother’s house taking different roads: Navy is thankful that Keenan Reynolds chose to attend the academy, Virginia Tech is thankful that Frank Beamer built a juggernaut of a program in Blacksburg, Maryland is thankful they are in the Big Ten with Under Armour backing and Virginia is thankful they have basketball. Pass the yams…
Maryland (2-9, 0-7 Big Ten) fell on Senior Day to Indiana 47-28. This was after taking a 21-3 first quarter lead. The Terps lose their 8th straight and sadly send a senior class towards a potential 10-loss season (it would be the third in seven years for this program). Terrapin Triumphs- Brandon Ross rushed for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns in his final game at Byrd. Yannick Ngakoue tallied a sack for the 10th straight game, giving him a school-record 13.5 for the year. No turnovers for a team that has a nation-high 35 giveaways on the season. Terrapin Troubles- the defense coughed up 225 yards and 20 points in the second quarter…while notching just one sack all afternoon and allowing 385 yards passing. The offense converted just 3 of 16 third downs. Next- Saturday at noon against Rutgers: the 4-7 Scarlet Knights are coming off a 31-21 victory over Army…their only Big Ten win is a 3-point triumph over Indiana.
Virginia Tech (5-6, 3-4 ACC) came up short in overtime to #12 North Carolina, 30-27. Despite the defeat, the Lane Stadium crowd saluted coach Frank Beamer in fine fashion–as befits a program-builder of his magnitude. Now they need to beat Virginia (as they have every year since they’ve joined the ACC) to qualify for a bowl. Hokie Highlights- Isaiah Ford ran wild throughout the Tar Heel secondary, notching 8 catches for 155 yards and a touchdown. The defense forces two 4th quarter fumbles that wound up leading to scoring drives that sent the game into overtime. Hokie Humblings- the offensive line allows 5 sacks while. The defense while the Hokie D coughs up over 5 yards a carry. Next- Saturday at noon against Virginia.
Virginia (4-7, 3-4 ACC) defeated Duke 42-34…showing firepower not often seen this fall. While a bowl is out of the question this fall, snapping their 11-game losing streak to Virginia Tech is not. Cavalier Congrats- Matt Johns throws for a career-high 344 yards and 2 touchdowns…while Taquan Mizzell adds 61 yards rushing and 2 scores while notching a TD catch. Micah Kiser takes ACC Linebacker of the Week honors with 17 tackles and a sack. Cavalier Concerns-the defense allows 245 yards on four 4th quarter possessions…and the offense converts just one 3rd down in the final period of play. They were very fortunate to escape with a win. Next- Saturday at noon against Virginia Tech. Should be fun.
Navy (9-1, 7-0 AAC) stayed on track to win the AAC West by torching Tulsa 44-21. This is their best start since 1963-the year Roger Staubach won the Heisman Trophy and was slated to appear on the cover of Time Magazine. Until November 22nd. Midshipmen Medals- 476 yards rushing for the team…and another solid outing from Reynolds (81 yards and a touchdown rushing plus a TD pass). Will Anthony tallies 10 tackles and a sack while the defense limits the Golden Hurricanes to 5 of 13 on third down. Midshipmen Miscues- Dane Evans was able to complete 32 passes against the Navy D. The Mids can be passed on this year…and that might come back to haunt them. Next- Friday at noon against Houston: the 10-1 Cougars lost at Connecticut this past weekend after consecutive one-possession victories.