PORTIONS PREVIOUSLY APPEARING ON WTOP.COM–

First let me state that last weekend was one of the more exciting opening weekends in college football history…at least in an era when every game was available on every channel.  That said, it appears as though they could have saved maybe one or two of those non-conference intersectional matchups for week two.  Instead of Texas-Notre Dame, we get Notre Dame-Nevada and Texas-UTEP.  I’d even take a South Carolina-Vanderbilt over some of the mismatches we’ll be force-fed this week.  Thus one titles this weekend “Golden Ticket Time”.  Gentlemen, here is your chance to acquire that magical marker which allows you to enjoy the season when things get serious.  Guys, take your girfriend apple picking and antiquing.  Attend a reading at Politics & Prose.  Enjoy a Saturday brunch at a restaurant where there are no TV’s in view.  BE EMOTIONALLY AVAILABLE. Husbands, wake up at 7 Saturday morning and do every imaginable errand that will need completion over the next three months.  Storm windows?  Lawn-liming?  GET IT DONE.  Because the simple high of watching Clemson-Troy is nothing compared to the pain of having to miss Clemson-Florida State when that showdown hits the calendar.  You’ll thank me later…  

Alma Mater Update- it’s even easier for my Syracuse friends to earn “Husband of the Year”, “Fiancee of the Year”, “Boyfriend of the Year” or “Guy She Tolerates But Can Do So Much Better Than of the Year” points.  The Orange face #13 Louisville Friday evening, allowing the SU faithful to fit in a game-watch while still doing the right thing Saturday.  Sadly, that’s where the good times end as one feels this will be a matchup where the Orange will be exposed:   on offense as a team that can’t run, on defense as a team that can’t contain, and on uniforms as a team that can’t dress properly.  Seriously, orange on orange?  Why don’t I just have ranch dressing with boneless breaded wings?  And for the record, boneless wings are not “boneless wings”.  They’re chicken fingers.

Maryland at FIU, 7:30 p.m. Friday (CBS Sports Network)- Friday night football in Florida! (I’ll spare readers who weren’t around in the 80’s the tired Miami Vice reference).  The Terps try to build off their 39-point thumping of Howard while the Golden Panthers look to bounce back from a disappointing loss at Indiana (they led 13-12 before coughing up 22 fourth quarter points).  FIU coughed up 246 yards on the ground to the Hoosiers…and if there’s one thing we’ve seen the Terps do well in their limited sample size it’s run the football (7+ yards per carry against the Bison).  After a week where the passing game was not needed for the most part, it will be interesting to see how much they’ll have Perry Hills challenge the Golden Panther secondary.  Defensively they have to find a way to contain FIU tight end Jonnu Smith (8 catches against IU, 61 with 8 TD’s as a sophomore).  Terrapins triumph, 30-16.

Navy vs UConn, 3:30 p.m. Saturday (CBS Sports Network)- the Midshipmen break in a new starting quarterback with Will Worth taking over for the injured Tago Smith.  During my preseason preview I mentioned how Ken Niumatalolo has developed a culture that would survive the loss of record-setting quarterback Keenan Reynolds.  That culture will let Worth thrive against a Connecticut team that needed a field goal to beat Maine.  More than culture, the presence of Chris High (176 yards against Fordham) will give Worth a hand up against the Huskies.  Defensively, the Midshipmen have to deal with dual threat quarterback Bryan Shirreffs (95 yards rushing against the Black Bears, 2 touchdown passes against the Mids last year).  Midshipmen humble the Huskies, 35-20.

Virginia Tech plays #17 Tenessee at Bristol Motor Speedway, 8 p.m. Saturday (ABC)- here is your chance to enjoy a smoked turkey leg on an orange checkerboard tablecloth as one of the few interesting matchups between Power Five Conference schools this week takes place right smack between Knoxville and Blacksburg.  Both teams had to rally against FCS schools on opening weekend, with the Volunteers coming achingly close to falling at home to Appalachian State.  Lost in the fog of the Hokies’ rout of Liberty was the fact they had issues running the ball.  Not a problem against Liberty…but definitely a concern against an SEC bear that got poked in both eyes last week and is looking to get coach Butch Jones off their back.  For the record this game will be played at “Bristol Motor Speedway” and NOT “Bristol Motor Raceway”.  After extensive research, I believe the difference between a speedway and a raceway is one is elected and the other is appointed. Hokies come up short, 23-17. 

Virginia at #24 Oregon, 10:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN)- who exactly does the scheduling in Charlottesville?  Last year Mike London’s September was dotted with the likes of UCLA, Boise State and Notre Dame.  This fall Bronco Mendenhall has to deal with a week two trip to Eugene.  Not only do the Ducks freak you out with their up-tempo offense, but their uniform combinations have been known to give opponents migraines.  It’s also been established in the loss to Richmond that this team has problems stopping the pass.  Kippy & Buffy are proud to announce they will be following the Cavaliers on the road this year…and instead of enjoying a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (let the record show Ponzi changed my life a decade ago),  they’ve shipped cross-country a few bottles of the 2015 Pippin Hill Farm Chardonnay: “bright aromas of pear, apple and hints of toasted brioche that extend to the palate”.  Perfect with selles-sur-cher on Onesto sea salt crackers.  Cavaliers get crushed, 42-21.

 

Howard falls at Rutgers, Georgetown beats Marist, JMU rips Central Connecticut, Richmond routs Norfolk State, William & Mary handles Hampton, Towson tops St. Francis, Morgan State slips at Marshall.

 

Last Week:  7-1.

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