Many have said that Virginia’s shortcomings in the Mike London era is due to inconsistent quarterbacking.  Yes, Phillip Sims was a mistake that imploded the depth chart.  And yes…Matt Johns looks like the answer right now.  But who would have thought that not one but two former UVa QB’s would shine in their new digs?  Greyson Lambert only completed 24 of 25 passes for Georgia against South Carolina to set an NCAA record for completion percentage; the night before David Watford threw for 279 yards while running for two scores at RFK Stadium in DC for Hampton against Howard.  At least Michael Rocco didn’t come back to haunt the Cavaliers last year…

Alma Mater Update– the cup of Gennesee Cream Ale is half-full!  Who’s pumped up about a 3-0 start!  The last time the Orange began with 3 straight wins it was 1991.  I was a senior living in a split level suite in Watson Hall while submitting demo tapes made from the Carrier Dome’s photo deck atop the stadium.  Play by play auditions that thankfully have been misplaced or burned in the intervening years.  I think while trying to say “offensive philosophy” I said “theology”.  Not awesome.  Sadly the cup of Genny does not run over, as Syracuse has to face #8 LSU this week.  Cup still not half-empty? Freshman quarterback Eric Dungey is a question mark for the game thanks to a concussion suffered against Central Michigan.  It’s never ideal to pin your offensive hopes and dreams on a kid who just five months ago was rehearsing for the Senior Class Show.  It’s also not ideal to trot out a kid recovering from a head injury against a defense like the Tigers.  But we’ll always have 3-0…

Maryland bounced back in fine fashion from its loss to Bowling Green by beating South Florida 35-17…in a game that felt eerily similar to their loss against the Falcons as they were in a one possession affair late in the first half despite dominating the yardage battle.  But a last-minute drive to end the first half and a quick touchdown coming out of intermission gave the Terps a cushion they’d maintain for the rest of the afternoon.  Terrapin Triumphs– Caleb Rowe threw for 297 yards and 4 touchdowns…while providing the necessary arm to extend the passing game and create breathing room for the offense.  The offensive line kept Rowe upright as for the third straight game they didn’t allow a sack. The defense notched 6 sacks (2 from Roman Braglio) and 2 interceptions (both by Sean Davis)…while holding the Bulls to 7 of 18 on third down.  Terrapin Troubles– Rowe threw 3 interceptions…2 of which led to both of South Florida’s touchdowns.  He also fumbled 3 times…each of which was recovered by the Terps (one was a botched pitchout that Brandon Ross took into the endzone for a TD) and was “not as crisp in the huddle” as coach Randy Edsall would have preferred.  The defense did allow 240 yards rushing…and South Florida is a far cry from Ohio State and Wisconsin.  The team was penalized 12 times for 120 yards…I can only imagine the film session breakdown on that dirty dozen.  Next:  Saturday at 3pm at West Virginia (2-0 coming off a bye week…seriously who takes a week off in September?)

Virginia avoided its first 0-3 start since 2009 by holding on to edge William & Mary 35-29.   Nothing like a nailbiting non-conference win against an FCS school…and after switching helmets from white (UCLA) to blue (Notre Dame) to now orange, UVa appears to have found a winning formula.  Cavalier Congrats– Taquan Mizzell continues to be a dual threat, rushing for 44 yards on 5 carries while catching 5 passes for 123 yards.  Micah Kiser leads the defense with 15 tackles, including 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble.  Nicholas Conte punted just once…and what a beaut: 58 yards.  Cavalier Concerns– how do you let this team stay with you?  The defense that was gashed for 34 points in weeks one and two continues to have issues.  And will there be a fourth helmet color next week?  Next:  Friday at 8pm against Boise State (Broncos are 2-1 after a 52-0 rout of Idaho State)…Kippy and Buffy bracing for one uncomfortable evening.

Virginia Tech pulled away from Purdue in the second half, blistering the Boilermakers 51-24.  After learning they’re not on par with the #1 team in the nation and much better than an FCS school, discovering a Big Ten bottom-feeder isn’t up to their level doesn’t exactly clarify what kind of season we’ll see–but it’s nice to avoid a September stumble.  Hokie Highlights– Brenden Motley went another game without tossing an interception…and the running game by committee posted 238 yards on the ground.  The defense held Purdue to 2 for 15 on third down…led by Adonis Alexander (7 tackles and an interception).  Special teams averaged over 11 yards per punt return…and tallied a 58 yard kickoff return. BEAMER BALL!  Hokie Humblings–  Five fumbles could have been disastrous…thank goodness they lost only one of those drops.  Penalties were a problem again–getting flagged 11 times for 87 yards.  Next:  Saturday at East Carolina.  Beware the September Stumble…

Navy began American Athletic Conference (of America) play with a 45-21 rout of East Carolina.  Thank goodness this game wasn’t played in Greenville during Halloween weekend.  I hear it gets crazy on campus.  Midshipmen Medals– Keenan Reynolds runs for 142 yards and 5 touchdowns while Chris Swain adds 123 yards and a score…the offense converting 13 of 17 third downs.  Will Anthony makes the difference on defense with a fumble recovery and a sack.  Midshipmen Miscues– the Pirates gained over 400 yards of total offense…converting 8 of 13 third downs.  Coach Ken Niumatalolo won’t be pleased with the 6 penalties–but at least he’s not in Blacksburg or College Park.  Next: Saturday at noon against UConn (the 2-1 Huskies are coming off a 9-6 loss at Missouri).

Advertisements