Three games involving area teams Saturday saw valiant efforts…only to see Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech all lose and move to the green room for postseason elimination:  5 losses.  There was once a time when having 4 losses would put you on the Bowl bubble, but with ESPN needing programming for December if your school simply finishes .500 you get a 13th game.  The Terps and Cavaliers need miracles while the Hokies just need to snap out of their midseason funk–which would probably be a miracle in itself.  Who’s ready for Navy in the Military Bowl!?

Alma Mater Update– another weekend, another tough one-possession loss for the Orange.  What was once the school’s best start since 1991 is now another in the line of sub-500 seasons with missed opportunities and hopes for a better future regime in place.  Bring on basketball…

Maryland (2-5, 0-3 Big Ten) fell to Penn State 31-30 in a game reminiscent of many of their duels in the 80’s:  a hard-fought game with plenty of opportunities but one that ended with the Nittany Lion fans cheering and the Terps faithful crushed.  Terrapin Triumphs– that was CJ Brown at halftime, right?  Not playing in the game?  Perry Hills rocked for a second straight game, notching 124 yards rushing while passing for 225 yards.  Yannick Ngakoue notched 2 sacks as the Terps held the Nittany Lions to 3-13 on third down.  Terrapin Troubles– Hills tosses three interceptions and loses two fumbles…with two of his giveaways taking place in the red zone.  The secondary was also exposed on deep passes by Christian Hackenberg:  his first four completions were for 35+ yards.  Next– Saturday at 3:30pm at #10 Iowa:  the 7-0 Hawkeyes are fresh off their bye week.

Virginia (2-5, 1-2 ACC) lost at North Carolina 26-13 after a scoreless second half.  So much for the midseason mojo from that triple-overtime win over Syracuse.  Cavalier Congrats– Taquan Mizzell tallies 117 yards rushing while leading the team with 6 catches for 57 yards.  Quin Blanding stars defensively with 12 tackles and an interception…as the defense holds the Tar Heels to 2-8 on third down.  Cavalier Concerns– Matt Johns throws four second half interceptions and loses a fumble after intermission as well.  While UNC was held to a pair of field goals off the UVa’s turnovers, the fact that they turned the ball over on five of six second half possessions was deadly.  Committing ten penalties is one way to negate whatever momentum you have.  Next:  Saturday at 3:30pm against Georgia Tech–the 3-5 Yellowjackets ended a 5 game losing streak by upsetting #9 Florida State on a last-second return of a blocked field goal.

Virginia Tech (3-5, 1-3 ACC) came up short against Duke 45-43 in quadruple-overtime.  At least they scored in regulation this year before an OT tilt.  Hokie Highlights– Travon McMillan rushes for 142 yards and 2 touchdowns… while Michael Brewer makes his full-time return by tossing 3 TD passes.  Hokie Humblings– the defense never found an answer for Thomas Sirk, allowing the Blue Devils QB to run for 109 yards while throwing for 4 touchdowns.  Next:  Saturday at Boston College: the 3-5 Eagles’ 17-14 loss to Louisville is their fourth straight defeat.

Navy (5-1, 3-0 AAC) topped Temple 31-14.  While many are marvelling at unbeaten Memphis, and Temple–don’t sleep on the Mids in the AAC.  Midshipmen Medals– Keenan Reynolds returns from injury to run for a pair of touchdowns while throwing for 134 yards.  Quincy Adams leads the defense with 12 tackles.  Midshipmen Miscues– even with Reynolds back, the running game nets 2.5 yards per carry.  The defense coughs up 386 total yards (5.9 per play) and allows the Green Wave to convert over 50% of their third downs.  Next:  Saturday at noon they host South Florida: the 4-3 Bulls improved to 3-1 in league play with a 38-14 rout of SMU.