The kid brother always has it tough.  He gets hand-me-downs and has to deal with every teacher in school that admired his older sibling–even if the big brother wasn’t really all that.  The Big Ten’s version of “big brother, little brother” is Michigan-Michigan State:  the Wolverines are college football royalty even when their record doesn’t merit that status while the Spartans are the former “cow college” that should be lucky to even be in the Big Ten (actually, their inclusion in 1950 made the conference ten schools).  Michigan alums and students crow about how easy it allegedly is to get into State (I didn’t apply to either so I can’t comment), while Spartan fans remind everyone that they have two Big Ten titles this decade and the Wolverines haven’t even shared a championship since 2004.  And don’t even get me started on men’s basketball.  So last Saturday night when coach Mark Dantonio led the unranked Spartans into Ann Arbor and came out with a win over the #7 Wolverines, kid brothers across the college football world smiled knowing that the younger sibling prevailed over the favored son for the eighth time in ten years.

Alma Mater Update- nice to see the Orange even their record at 3-3 with a nailbiting victory over Pitt.  A necessary win as there are still slim hopes of hanging that Pinstripe Bowl banner in the Dome.  Good to see and hear from friends who made the trip back for Homecoming.  One of the few drawbacks of covering college football and the Nats is it means I am usually in DC for Alumni weekends.  I hope to make it someday…please save me a Dome Dog.

Maryland (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) received a rude awakening at #10 Ohio State in the form of a 62-14 smoking.  And guess what?  Quarterback Max Bortenschlager went down to injury and will likely be placed in concussion protocol for the week, meaning the Terps could very well be starting a fourth quarterback in game number seven.  Introducing Plan D:  UNC transfer Caleb Henderson.  Terrapin Triumphs:  Lorenzo Harrison returned a kickoff 100 yards for the team’s first score of the day.  Antoine Brooks notched 13 tackles to pace the Terps…while the defense did recover a pair of Buckeye fumbles.  Terrapin Troubles:  where to begin?  The offense converted just 1-of-15 third downs while Max Bortenschlager completed 3-of-13 passes for 16 yards while getting sacked four times.  The offense was held to 66 net yards on 55 plays from scrimmage.  The defense allowed OSU to cross midfield on 10 of 11 possessions over the first three quarters…and coughed up 5.6 yards per carry and almost 600 yards of total offense.  Next:  Saturday at 3:30 against 2-3 Northwestern.

Virginia (4-1, 1-0 ACC) has already doubled up its win total from 2016…and in their 28-21 victory over Duke gave the faithful in Charlottesville even more optimism in a return to postseason play.  Just make sure you get those wins before the November gauntlet of Miami, Louisville and Virginia Tech.  Cavalier Congrats: the defense held the Blue Devils to 14-of-42 passing and 5-of-17 on third down…and Quin Blanding tallied eight tackles while returning an interception 58 yards for a touchdown.  Olamide Zaccheaus notched eight catches.  Lester Coleman averaged over 50 yards per punt.  Cavalier Concerns:  two interceptions tossed by Kurt Benkert in the first quarter kept the Blue Devils in the game…and he’s fortunate he didn’t lose his fumble.  Next:  Saturday at 3:30 against 1-5 North Carolina.

Virginia Tech (5-1, 1-1 ACC) recovered from a tough loss at home to Clemson by beating Boston College 23-10 on the road.  It wasn’t the prettiest of wins…but while Chestnut Hill isn’t Death Valley, Alumni Stadium is a quirky place to play.  Hokie Highlights:  Sean Savoy paced the offense with nine catches for 139 yards and a touchdown.  The defense handcuffed BC to the tune of 2-for-15 on third down.  Joey Slye converted all three of his field goal attempts.  Hokie Humblings:  Josh Jackson was sacked five times and threw an interception.  Nine penalties for 67 yards might not matter against last-place BC, but it might against the Coastal Division contenders coming up in the schedule.  Next:  Saturday October 21st against North Carolina.

Navy (5-0) has been playing with fire all season, and they almost lost to Air Force before pulling out a 48-45 win in Annapolis.  The defense that has been a potential blemish all autumn is now apparent to every opponent from here on out.  Midshipmen Medals:  Zach Abey ran for 214 of the team’s 471 yards…and the offense produced points on seven of their last nine drives.  No turnovers for the first time all season.  D.J. Palmore tallied six tackles, a sack and two fumble recoveries.  Bennett Moehring connected on both of his field goal attempts and Owen White averaged over 45 yards per punt.  Midshipmen Miscues:  the defense coughed up 621 yards and allowed touchdowns on the Falcons’ first five drives of the second half.  The offense was held to 7-of-14 on third down.  Next:  Saturday at 3:45 at 4-1 Memphis.

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