“I got a rock”.  For those who watched the Charlie Brown Halloween Special as kids there were three takeaways:  annual sponsors Almond Joy and Mounds both have creamy coconut but one decidedly does not include nuts,  Linus needs a psychologist pronto for his “involved imagination” and Charlie Brown gets a raw deal (despite the show being named after him).  Okay, so his ghost costume kind of sucks–but does the poor kid deserve a rock from every house?  If there’s a backstory we don’t know about–like he stalked these neighbors’ daughters, or let Snoopy go to the bathroom on their yards–I can kind of understand.  But seriously– a rock?  They couldn’t even give him raisins or a toothbrush?

Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech weren’t expecting king-size Snickers bars this fall by any stretch of the imagination.  But with over half of the season complete their fan bases have received more tricks than treats.  For the Terps, Halloween came early as they were unmasked by Bowling Green in a 21-point loss.  Kendall Fuller’s season-ending injury robbed the Hokies of their big brother who was going to take them trick-or-treating…and without their chaperone their parents aren’t letting them go more than a block away.  The Cavaliers changed costumes so many times in the first month (from white to blue to orange helmets), parents in the neighborhood are onto them:  “you’ve already been here, kid– no more candy for you!”  Enjoy the rocks.

Alma Mater Update– the Orange visit a Florida State team that is still smarting from last week’s upset loss to Georgia Tech.  I don’t see a lot of hope there– even though Seminoles QB Everett Golson won’t suit up due to concussion issues.  The window of opportunity was when this team was 3-1 and facing South Florida, Virginia and Pitt;  they got blown out in Tampa and lost one-possession games to the Cavaliers and Panthers.  With Clemson on the horizon, it’s getting tougher and tougher to dream about that Pinstripe Bowl banner.

Maryland at #10 Iowa– the Hawkeyes began the year under the radar…almost losing to Pitt…before going into Madison and shocking Wisconsin.   The Terps take a sloppy secondary to Kinnick Stadium with an offense that still turns the ball over too many times (24 giveaways are the most in the conference).  You could say they’ve got trouble.  Right there in Iowa City.  With a capital T that rhymes with G and that stands for ground game:  Iowa ranks second in the Big Ten at running the ball as well as stopping the run.  Last year Maryland went 3-1 on the road in the conference…this fall they’ve yet to win away from Byrd Stadium.  Hawkeyes handle things at home, 38-21.

Virginia entertains Georgia Tech– the Yellowjackets began the season ranked in the top 25 before losing five straight.  Was last Saturday’s last-second upset win over previously unbeaten Florida State the end of their drought or just a mirage?  They’ll have to stop the option–and while Virginia’s not great at it, run defense is the only category the team isn’t last or second to last at in the ACC.  Kippy and Buffy are enjoying a King Family 2012 Meritage: “concentrated on the nose, with a mélange of red and black berries, red plum, fern and sweet-spice-inflected cured meat.”  Goes great with nachos and wings, but they’ll be tasting gouda on Bremner Wafers.  Cavaliers come through, 26-21.

Virginia Tech visits Boston College– the Eagles are the last remaining winless school in ACC play…yet they lead the league in total defense.  Michael Brewer is back after throwing for 270 yards last week in the marathon defeat to Duke.  Lost in the shuffle of a season that’s gone aground (4 losses in 5 games) is a revitalized running game behind Travon McMillan:  the freshman is averaging 6 yards a carry and 112 yards over the last three games.  The Eagles aren’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard–38 total points in five ACC games–and injuries may force BC to start a fourth stringer at quarterback.  Hokies continue to keep December plans of alumni in question, 19-13.

Navy faces South Florida– USF began Halloween early, going as Two-Face:  they looked hopeless during a three game losing streak that included an 18-point loss to Maryland, but have won three straight against three schools that are a combined 7-15.  The Bulls boast a run-pass threat in quarterback Quinton Flowers–while runningback Marlon Mack is averaging 6.5 yards per carry, but the biggest concern for Keenan Reynolds and company is a USF run defense that allows just 3.3 yards per attempt.  They aired it out against Tulane last week;  okay, so it was just 134 yards passing-but for Navy that is as airing it out as you can get.  Midshipmen make it happen, 34-28.


Georgetown beats Lehigh (Sorry, Uncle Jim and Cousin David Watson), Howard falls to Savannah State, William & Mary edges James Madison, Towson tops Delaware.

Last Week: 6-3.

Overall: 51-14.