Halloween Costumes have come a long way over the years– does anybody remember the cardboard masks/plastic smocks we used to march around in during Elementary School? Sadly, after one wear the outfit is usually tossed…and what was Planet of the Apes one year becomes Happy Days the next. Unless your parents put tin foil on the mask and say…”Hey– wouldn’t you like to be a robot this year?”. The area schools have worn different disguises over the first two months: Maryland as a healthy team… Virginia Tech as a club that could actually run the football and Virginia as a defense about to turn the corner. Sadly, you can only wear the mask/smock for so long (I think the plastic actually dissolves in water)…

Alma Mater Update– talking about masquerades…who were those people wearing blue helmets with blue jerseys and orange pants last weekend in Atlanta? I’m still recovering from getting gutted by Georgia Tech, as well as eating breakfast twice at Waffle House. Thank goodness they have this weekend off to prepare for Wake Forest…perhaps after seeing the success of the 3-4 defense they shift to a 2-5 or a 1-4-2. The good news is we did have the creamed spinach–I recommend you try it the next time you’re at a Morton’s near you. You’ll want to rub it all over…your steak.

Maryland vs #9 Clemson– the Terps hold Homecoming by hosting an irate top ten team coming off a 37-point humbling by Florida State. Who schedules these games? Isn’t Homecoming supposed to be the day you welcome “Northeast Southwest Tech State”? While Tajh Boyd isn’t Jameis Winston–who is?–the Tigers quarterback is probably the second-best in the league. And now that Tommy Bowden is a distant memory on the sidelines, the Terps don’t seem to have that weird hex they had over Clemson (6-3 from 2001-09) anymore. Did I mention that the Terps are more banged up than they were last week? Quarterback CJ Brown’s out with a “trunk” injury while their leading rusher (Brandon Ross) and top two receivers (Stefon Diggs and Deon Long combine for over 50% of the team’s receptions) are sidelined as well. Do any of the distinguished alums returning have eligibility remaining? Terps tumble, 34-18.

Virginia vs Georgia Tech– I’ve seen the Yellowjacket option. It’s only scary if you can’t tackle…and the Cavalier defense has been rather cavalier during the four game losing streak, allowing an average of 31 points per game. That’s already not ideal–but the fact that this is not a team built to play catch-up (last in the ACC in passing efficiency) gives on the impression that is could be a long afternoon in Charlottesville. Kippy and Buffy are right to bring a bottle of Boxwood 2010 Topiary (61% Cabernet Franc 39% Merlot): “brick-red color, with a very complex nose of strawberry, pepper, tobacco and molasses with some oak notes”…enjoyed with white cheddar and M.Y. San Skyflakes Crackers. Cavaliers come up short, 26-17.

#16 Virginia Tech vs Duke– So much for a soft spot coming out of the bye week…the Blue Devils rallied from 22 points down in Charlottesville last weekend and can clinch bowl eligibility for the second time in three years Saturday. With Anthony Boone at quarterback, these aren’t your father’s Dukies (unless you’re thinking Sonny Jurgensen in the 50’s, Ben Bennett in the early 80’s or Steve Spurrier’s 1989 ACC Champs). The Hokies have won six straight despite a ground game that ranks 11th in the ACC… and has seen quarterback Logan Thomas emerge as the main running threat (he’s led the Hokies in rushing in three of the last four games). Good thing Thomas has settled down after a shaky start– the senior’s gone three games without throwing an interception. Hokies continue to streak towards a Coastal Division Clash with unbeaten Miami, defeating Duke 28-24.

Navy slips to Pitt, Georgetown falls to Colgate, Howard gets by Morgan State, Towson tops Richmond, James Madison beats William & Mary.

Last Week: 5-3.
Overall: 45-10.