Thanksgiving involves family, feasting and football–not necessarily in that order.  Hopefully everyone had an opportunity to share some time with loved ones–or even disliked ones that you’re mandated to spend time with because of family ties.  What do area teams have to be thankful for this November?  Maryland enjoyed a major feast this fall with a first-ever win at Penn State plus a first-ever win against Michigan (and in the Big House no less).  That is one huge turkey with multiple sides in the form of Will Likely interceptions, Andre Monroe sacks and CJ Brown grit.  Virginia got to experience some nice hors d’oeuvres with solid performances against UCLA and BYU plus a Coastal Division lead before starving itself over the last month.  Virginia Tech got nothing but gizzards and overcooked sides before the Wake Forest game provided food poisoning (must have been something in the gravy).  Navy gives us a fantastic dessert in the form of Keenan Reynolds– despite the less than stellar season the Midshipman Magician of a quarterback sends folks home happy like an incredible piece of pumpkin pie.  All I know is that after everything I’ve had to digest this fall… I need a nap on the couch.

 

Alma Mater Update– the Orange autumn of discontent wraps up with a road trip to Boston College to watch the Eagles celebrate their senior day.  Hopefully this offseason will provide coach Scott Shafer the impetus to continue the course originally set by Doug Marrone.  This program can be good but can’t afford major mis-steps…and if they’re able to get settled at quarterback perhaps 2015 will represent a bounce-back season.  It’s a shame they’re not playing in the Coastal Division…

 

Maryland vs Rutgers– the Terps wrap up their first season inside the Big Ten by facing the other “new kid in town”…while reuniting with a familiar face.  Ralph Friedgen coached in College Park for ten years–and after an extended vacation paid for in part by the University of Maryland he’s back on the sidelines as the Scarlet Knights offensive coordinator.  Rutgers first season in the Big Ten mostly mirrors Maryland’s–both losing to Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State while playing one-possession games with Penn State and Michigan.  But the Scarlet Knights have dropped four of five since getting off to a 5-1 start…a 5-1 start upon closer examination that includes a three point win at last in the Pac-12 Washington State plus a 13 point victory over Howard.  Thank goodness Tulane was on the schedule.  Saturday’s a big day at Byrd Stadium because it’s a senior day for a group of kids that went from 2-10 to two bowl appearances.  After coach Randy Edsall’s first season at the helm a lot of kids cut and run on his program–but those that stayed have succeeded.  Terps triumph, 35-13.

 

Virginia at Virginia Tech– sometimes the glass is half-empty…other times half-full.  For the Hokies faithful, there’s the agony of losing games to East Carolina and Georgia Tech at home…plus the stinker they threw out there last Saturday at Wake Forest.  At 5-6 they need a win to become bowl-eligible and continue a postseason streak that stretches back to 1993–but that means they have to experience another 60 minutes of this team playing against a quality opponent in a less than desirable location.  For the Cavaliers fans still working off the contact high of a senior day triumph over Miami, there’s the ecstasy of watching their team exceed expectations–however minimal those expectations may have been.  They led the Coastal Division for five minutes!  They can go bowling by beating their rivals!  Time for a dose of reality:  UVa hasn’t beaten Tech since 2003–and hasn’t won in Blacksburg since 1998.  That’s pre-Michael Vick, boys and girls.  Kippy and Buffy can take consolation that Tony Bennett has a top-10 team on the court preparing to invade College Park for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.  Hokies earn themselves a few more weeks of not thinking about basketball, 27-20.

 

Navy faces South Alabama– Directional November continues for the Academy two weeks after crushing Georgia Southern.  In an odd scoreboard twist, websites will be posting a “Navy-USA” result Saturday-which seems kind of counterproductive.  South Alabama lost to Georgia Southern by 22 in September, so the transitive property would say that it looks good for the visitors– and the Mids have a healthy Keenan Reynolds running at full speed.  Bring on Army.  Midshipmen cruise, 34-19.

 

Richmond beats Morgan State, James Madison tops Liberty.

Last Week: 4-5.  Closing month?  I’m not even close to sniffing a set of steak knives…was the empty box Mitch and Murray set on my desk an early Christmas present?

Overall: 82-36.

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