The final spin around the dance floor has to happen some time.  Rarely does a college football coach get to leave on his own terms and depart on a high…unless he’s leaving for an NFL job.  Even hall of fame mentors leave in less than ideal circumstances…from Woody Hayes punching a Clemson player to Darrell Royal suffering through the indignity of a 5-5-1 campaign.  Even Bobby Bowden’s final four years saw once-mighty Florida State finish third twice and fifth once in their ACC division…tallying 22 losses. 

Since advancing to the 2011 ACC Championship Game, Virginia Tech has gone 25-24 with a 13-15 conference mark.  For comparison, over the previous eight years the Hokies lost 15 league games.  Frank Beamer’s bunch will be hard-pressed to make a bowl this fall…and Sunday the Virginia Tech alumnus announced that his 29th season as head coach would be his final one in Blacksburg.  As stated in this space earlier this fall, the school owes all of its modern day success to Beamer.  He took a middling independent and transformed the school into a Big East and ACC Champion.  Beamer made Blacksburg the place to be on Saturday afternoons and the occasional Thursday night.  Special teams grew into something more than simply special– the Hokie kicking game was a weapon unto itself.  He made Virginia a football safety-school in their own commonwealth…and now that run is going to end.  Unfortunately with the recent decline, it’s a move that one almost expects.   Here’s to three more games of smoked turkey legs, special teams mayhem and good times for the man in maroon and orange.

Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3 ACC) beats Boston College 26-10 in what was either a duel of dominant defenses or ineffective offenses.  Regardless, a nice contrast to basketball-on-grass that the Big 12 calls football.  Hokie Highlights– Travon McMillan runs for 105 yards.  Andrew Motuapuaka notches 7 tackles and 1 sack while returning a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown.  The defense limits BC to 1-12 on third down and keeps the Eagles out of the end zone for over 58 minutes.  Hokie Humblings– the offense moves the chains on just 3 of 15 third downs.  Penalties continue to pose problems…with 11 flags for 98 yards.  VT is now tied for second most in FBS with 74 for the season (only 3 behind Miami).   Next:  Thursday November 12th at Georgia Tech (Yellowjackets are 3-6 and 1-5 in the league after falling 27-21 at Virginia).

Maryland (2-5, 0-3 Big Ten) lost at #10 Iowa 31-15…ending an October where there were more tricks (0-4 with an average score of 35-18) than treats;  when do they get Indiana and Rutgers? Terrapin Triumphs– Perry Hills rushes for 104 yards while throwing a touchdown pass.  Will Likely accounts for the other score on a 100-yard kickoff return, taking Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week honors.  The defense held the Hawkeyes to 2.5 yards per carry.  Terrapin Troubles– four more turnovers this week…including a pick-six thrown by Hills as the Terps were knocking on the door trying to make the game a single-digit affair.  The team also went 1-10 on third down and committed 8 penalties.  Next:  Saturday at 3:30 against Wisconsin:  Badgers are 7-2 and 4-1 in the Big Ten thanks to their 48-10 rout of Rutgers– their only two losses coming to top ten teams Alabama and Iowa. Happy homecoming!

Virginia (3-5, 2-2 ACC) edges Georgia Tech 27-21.  Believe it or not, there is still a scenario where UVa can win the ACC Coastal Division…and figuring it out was the byproduct of eating too much Halloween candy.  Cavalier Congrats– Taquan Mizzell shines on the ground (75 yards rushing with 5 receptions) as the Cavs rush for 233 yards on the day.  The defense tallies two takeaways while holding the Yellowjacket option in check (only 144 yards rushing for the visitors).  Cavalier Concerns– seven penalties for 45 yards isn’t ideal.  Another one-possession game;  there are those who will say that UVa is just two TD’s away from being 5-3 and in first place of the ACC Coastal–they’re also three scores away from being 0-8.  Next: Saturday at 3pm at Miami:  Hurricanes are 5-3 with a 2-2 ACC mark after their 8-lateral/should-have-been-called-back kickoff-return gave them a 30-27 win at #22 Duke.

Navy (6-1, 4-0 AAC) rallied past South Florida 29-17...as Keenan Reynolds tied an NCAA mark with his 77th career rushing touchdowns.  The American Athletic Conference (of America) may have lost one unbeaten when Temple fell to Notre Dame (the same Fighting Irish that handed Navy it’s lone loss this year), but with Memphis and Houston in the top 20 the league’s second year looks like one to remember.  Midshipmen Medals–  Reynolds, Chris Swain and Dishan Romine provided a triple-back attack in grinding out 428 yards rushing…as the offense converted 9 of 17 third downs.  Midshipmen Miscues– the passing game earns an incomplete:  3 of 9 for 16 yards.  The Bulls stayed in this game much longer than they should have thanks to an opening kickoff returned for a TD.  Next: Saturday at 7pm at #15 Memphis:  Tigers are 8-0 with a 4-0 AAC mark after topping Tulane 41-13.

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