I hope everyone had a fun Halloween weekend– although it’s not the actual day until the 31st many use the weekend before as their opportunity to dress up as “Slutty (fill in the blank)”, wear presidential masks or go as “that guy/girl from the hot show, movie or commercial”. Just like last year, 2013 was not the October where “Slutty Hazmat Worker”, “James K. Polk” or “Tom Hanks’ 6 roles in Cloud Atlas” took off. And just like last year, when it came time for area schools to trick or treat–they didn’t score King Size Snickers bars. While this year’s kids in costumes (combined 13-11 record) looks a little bit better than last year (10-14)–they all scored rocks Halloween Weekend.

Alma Mater Update– no loss for the Orange during the bye weekend (and after the Georgia Tech loss, anything is possible)…SU begins its home stretch with just one game in its last five against a school with a winning ACC record…#3 Florida State. So there’s optimism…this glass of Orange isn’t half-empty, it’s one eighth full!

Maryland had the ingredients of an upset brewing…a home game with a top ten team trying to forget one ugly loss. And for three quarters, they stayed with #9 Clemson–before falling 40-27 to the Tigers. Encouraging that they hung tough with all of the injuries (5 offensive starters out)…discouraging because this was a great opportunity for a signature victory. Terrapin Triumphs– Red Zone Defense will now be referred to as RED ZONE DEFENSE, because in the first half the Terps forced the Tigers to settle for field goals of 25, 29 and 31 yards (shades of Virginia). The D forced fumbles on consecutive Clemson possessions in the third quarter. Levern Jacobs notched a career high 8 catches for 158 yards…highlighted by a 71 yard reception for a score. Cole Ferrands tallied 23 tackles while Abner Logan added 14 stops. Terrapin Troubles– after securing consecutive fumble recoveries inside the 25 in the third quarter…the Terps managed just 2 yards on 6 plays and settled for a pair of field goals when a TD/FG combo would have given them the lead. Caleb Rowe went through a 3 for 19 stretch in the second half. And my “What does the N stand for in Clemson?” joke got rather old…actually to say that is generous because it implies the joke was actually amusing in the first place. Next Up: November 9th at Syracuse.

Virginia had the ingredients of a season-changing victory…going toe to toe with a Georgia Tech team that could be had (unless of course, you’re Syracuse-but that’s for another day). Unfortunately, the 35-22 loss puts UVa on the precipice of postseason elimination–with the schedule not getting any warmer in November. Cavalier Congrats— Darius Jennings (13 catches for 119 yards and 3 touchdowns) and Tim Smith (10-151) both had huge afternoons on a day when the running game went nowhere. The D notched 5 takeaways, no small feat considering they had 10 takeaways over the first seven games of the season. And David Watford threw just one interception in 62 attempts–ice that arm down, pronto. Cavalier Concerns– late in the first half a chance to take the lead bogged down at the GT one yard line as time expired after a Kevin Parks run on 2nd down…not getting ANY points there was disastrous. Four fumbles (all recovered, but still) doesn’t help. And allowing GT the home-run ball (3 touchdowns of 29 yards or more) sealed UVa’s fate. Next: Saturday vs #9 Clemson.

Virginia Tech had the ingredients of a successful moving month in place–having come out of their September Slumber (3 straight one-possession wins) with consecutive victories by double digits–but couldn’t defeat a Duke team that hadn’t beaten a ranked opponent on the road since 1971. The 13-10 loss was tough on the VT’s Coastal Division hopes…tougher on the fans for both teams (8 interceptions). Hokie Highlights– the defense held Duke to 0-11 on third down and intercepted Anthony Boone four times (3 from freshman Kendall Fuller). Logan Thomas ran for 101 yards and a touchdown. VT went 4-6 on third down. Hokie Humblings– Thomas threw four interceptions. Cody Journell missed a pair of field goals…(BEAMER BALL, anyone?). And the Hokies losing to Duke in football at home is like the Hokies winning at Duke in basketball. Just doesn’t feel right. Next: Saturday at Boston College.