There’s always that one point during Thanksgiving weekend where one realizes–there’s not much football left.  The NFL is down to 4 or 5 weeks (unless Roger Goodell gets his 25 game schedule approved) remaining and the conference championships (plus Army-Navy) are all that remain on the college pre-bowl schedule.  It’s been a fun fall marked by the rise and decline of the Mississippi schools…the Russian Roulette that is the Big 12 (Actual 10)…and high-octane offenses all over the place.  As we prepare for the playoff (which should be 8 instead of 4)…one last glance around a region that gave us more misery than magic in 2014.

 

Alma Mater Update– a forgettable loss at Boston College wraps up a season made memorable by wearing sweatpant colored uniforms in prime time against Notre Dame.  The Orange lost 9 games in Dick MacPherson’s second season…hopefully Scott Shafer is on the same path and track.  Because we know the alternative…and the Greg Robinson era still stings.

 

Maryland wasted a 25 point second quarter lead in their 41-38 loss to Rutgers.  So much for a winning conference record their first season in the Big Ten.  So much for sending the seniors out on a strong note.  So much for “welcoming back” former coach Ralph Friedgen on the video scoreboard (looking forward to Bob Wade’s welcome back at the next basketball game).  Terrapin Triumphs– Brandon Ross runs for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns while CJ Brown adds 107 yards rushing and a score…the defense tallies two takeaways…William Likely notches 12 tackles while Cole Farrand adds 10 stops.  Terrapin Troubles– the defense managed just one sack as Gary Nova gashed the team for 347 yards and 4 TD’s (196 yards after halftime)…CJ Brown completed just 4 of 11 passes for 30 yards in the second half…9 penalties for 70 yards, including two that kept a late first half drive by Rutgers alive:  a roughing the kicker call at midfield and a defensive offsides that wiped out a Will Likely INT at the goal line.  Now and Next: 7-5 (4-4) hoping they get a trip to the TaxSlayer.com Bowl as opposed to the previously “unnamed Detroit Bowl”.

 

Virginia Tech somehow staggered to bowl-eligibility with a 24-20 “nobody wants to win this one” victory over Virginia.  For UVa it means another season on the outside looking in on the postseason and another bitter pill to swallow in their one-sided rivalry with VT.  For the Blacksburg faithful it means they have to watch 60 more minutes of this bumbling, stumbling bunch.  Barring overtime.  Do they have to play OT?

Hokie Highlights– holding the Cavs to 38 yards rushing… Ken Ekanem notches 2 of the teams 4 sacks… JC Coleman rushes for 118 yards while Michael Brewer throws 2 TD passes, including the go-ahead strike with 1:48 left…special teams gets a TD on a blocked punt.  BEAMER BALL!!!!

Hokie Humblings– 8 penalties for 71 yards…and how can you eat a smoked turkey leg the day after Thanksgiving?  I’m not saying Lane Stadium needs to add sushi, but…

Now and Next:  6-6 (4-4) looking at a potential Military Bowl trip to Annapolis.  I think I’m taking the tree down that day…

Cavalier Congrats– Quin Blanding led the defense with 14 tackles…and coach Mike London gets at least one more year with his recruits as it was announced he’ll be back for 2015.

Cavalier Concerns– the offense converted just 4 of 18 third down attempts…and 9 penalties for 71 yards doesn’t help much either.  Will the quarterback Magic Eight Ball be back in Charlottesville next fall?

Now and Next: 5-7 (3-5) shows progress from last year’s disaster…but the hot seat settings are already in place for 2015.

 

Navy became bowl-eligible by beating South Alabama 42-40…making their game with Army meaningless.  Hah.  Midshipmen Medals– Keenan Reynolds paces the running game with 119 yards and 3 touchdowns…as the team rolls up 388 yards on the ground.  The defensive trio of Jordan Drake (13 tackles and a forced fumble), Anthony Will (12 tackles and a sack) and Myer Krah (10 tackles and an interception) shined as well.  JUST ONE PENALTY.  Hokies and Terps- watch and learn…

Midshipmen Miscues– 415 yards allowed to the Jaguars?  And how do they get away with using “USA” as their abbreviation?  I think there’s a copywright infringement somewhere…

Now and Next: 6-5 with a December 13th game against Army.  Okay, so it’s not exactly meaningless.

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