Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer has often said that a team’s biggest improvement is between its first and second games.  Whether or not that’s an accurate assessment or merely a statement that’s been overplayed to the point where we view it as gospel is up to you.  That can be a good thing, because who wants to give up on a season September 6th?  For fans, the second game does offer another reference point and dimension–I often call some of these games “ceiling/floor games”.  A win means increased optimism while poor play makes one look ahead to basketball.


Alma Mater Update– thank goodness the Orange have a week off to prepare for… Central Michigan?  Shouldn’t SU have scheduled its bye before say… Clemson or Florida State?  Hold on…after needing a fake field goal in double overtime and a missed two-point conversion to beat FCS Villanova, maybe the powers that be know what the deal is.


Maryland at South Florida– one week after dismembering James Madison, the Terps tangle with a Bulls team that barely beat Western Carolina.  (What is it with the “Western”?  There are the Universities of North and South Carolina plus East Carolina University…does the “ern” give the Catamounts something special or something to be ashamed of?)  The Bulls boast an impressive freshman at running back named Marlon Mack– who gained 275 yards in his first game last weekend (the Terps did cough up 161 yards on the ground against JMU).  Will CJ Brown shake his opening day inconsistencies?  Will the heat in the sunshine state become a factor?  And why am I not headed to Tampa for in-depth coverage?Terps triumph, 28-14.


Virginia Tech at #8 Ohio State– both teams survived slow starts while rolling to week one wins…the Hokies handling William & Mary and Buckeyes pulling away from Navy (HANG ON SLOOPY).  Coach Frank Beamer was very pleased with his team’s play against the Tribe but understands that OSU will present a much tougher test (SLOOPY HANG ON).  Ohio State redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett might not be Braxton Miller, but he completed 12 of 15 passes for 226 yards and 2 scores while leading the Buckeyes in rushing against Navy. (O!  H!  I!  O!)  Will the Tech attack improve or regress after struggling early before succeeding against  William & Mary?   Hokies fail to dot the I… slipping 27-22.


Virginia entertains Richmond– coach Mike London confronts his past:  he played for the Spiders from 1979-82 and coached his alma mater to an FCS National Championship in 2007.  He also confronts his present:  the all too familiar quarterback quandary after backup Matt Johns threw two touchdown passes and starter Greyson Lambert threw two passes that were intercepted for touchdowns.  London said Wednesday he wouldn’t proclaim a winner until gametime.  The Spiders boast a pair of quarterbacks who have also competed for playing time in Charlottesville– Michael Strauss transferred after not getting on the field during his redshirt freshman season of 2011, Michael Rocco departing UVa after sharing the starting job with Phillip Sims one year later.  Inconsistency at quarterback has undermined the program Mike London has tried to build over the last five years… and sadly one surreal snapshot of the issue will be visible Saturday.  Cavaliers come from behind with last year’s starter David Watford leading the rally…38-29.


Navy at Temple.  What is it with the Owls nautically themed schedule?  They opened the season with a win against the Commodores of Vanderbilt– and now they face a Midshipmen team that played well but not well enough against Ohio State.  While the Owls held Vandy to 54 yards rushing–Navy gained 370 yards on the ground against a Buckeyes defense that knew they’d be facing the option first, second and third.  In theory they should fare better against Temple–unless the Owls are suddenly the pride of the American Athletic Conference of America.  Midshipmen make it happen, 23-14.


Howard loses at Rutgers, Georgetown slips at Dayton, James Madison loses to Lehigh, Towson falls at West Virginia, William & Mary holds off Hampton, Old Dominion comes undone at NC State.

Last Week– 8-2.