Archives for posts with tag: Kippy & Buffy

Merry Christmas to one and all– and even though some of our favorite college football teams didn’t give us what we wanted under the tree, the area schools certainly supplied a few stocking stuffers of magnificent memories from 2018.  And even though they failed to beat Virginia Tech for the 15th straight year, my UVa tailgating pals Kippy & Buffy had one fun fall supporting their team as well as making new friends while enjoying pretty good wine.  They’d like to extend best wishes during the holiday season for all out there who enjoy a pregame beverage by sharing their game-by-game selections (excerpted from the award-snubbed “Presto’s Picks” on WTOP.COM.)

Richmond- One program that never changes at Scott Stadium is Kippy & Buffy’s tailgate, and the popped-collar pair are already in midseason form.  They kick off 2018 with a bottle of Moscato:  Beni di Batasiolo Moscato d’Asti Bosc dla Rei 2013.  On name value alone it impresses, but “with the palate profile packing D’Anjou pear and red apple nuances, the fizzy, fruit-forward themes run well-balanced from the semi-sweet start to fairly, full finish.”  What a way to start, indeed.

Indiana- Kippy & Buffy aren’t messing around with any short stuff at their tailgate:  Conundrum White 2015 “lures you with scents of apricot, pear and honeysuckle.”  There’s also a “hint of oak” that I think is more of a strong suggestion. I suggest a pairing with brie and crostini.

Ohio- A semi-neutral site game means a semi-neutral white wine for Kippy & Buffy;  nothing says “home away from home” better at the tailgate than Chateau O’Brien’s Northpoint White.  The 2017 Chardonnay offers “a beautiful array of creamy hazelnut and subtle butterscotch” and “shows a profound maturity, along with a balancing elegance and grace”.   Perfect with take-out from Bojangles.

Louisville- The first ACC game means Kippy & Buffy switch over from white to red wine…and there’s no better way to kick off conference play than with a bottle of A to Z Pinot Noir from Oregon.  The 2015 vintage offers “striking aromas of black cherries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are overlaid with a cornucopia of spices. As the wine moves across the palate, ripe, dusty tannins bracketed by juicy acidity give shape and definition to the powerful fruit flavors in harmony with a mineral quality, reminiscent of slate and graphite.”  As we’re already in the Beaver State, Kippy & Buffy break out the Rogue Smokey Blue cheese on multi-grain crisps.

NC State- this is the first meeting between these two founding ACC members since that game, so Kippy & Buffy go with the Founding Father inspired “Federalist Bourbon Barrel-Aged Zinfandel“.  The 2015 vintage possesses “aromas and flavors of black fruit, smoke, caramel and vanilla”.  Despite the portrait of university founder Thomas Jefferson’s rival Alexander Hamilton on the bottle, “the finish is long and smooth making this a thoroughly enjoyable wine.”  Enjoy with aged cheddar on club crackers.

Bye Week- don’t you dare think Kippy & Buffy will be taking it easy this weekend.  Bye weeks are for shuttering up the cottage in the Outer Banks-and there’s no better way to wave goodbye to summer than by enjoying a 2010 bottle of JM Gobillard et Fils Millesime Champagne.  “Straw color, lovely aromatics (violets and strawberries), persistent perlage (meaning the bubbles are evocative of pearls), and pleasant mix of fruity and pastry-like notes.”   Break out the Black Diamond Hackleback Caviar on toast points (the lighter toasted, the better).

Miami- Just like college football’s bluebloods (Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State) look down their noses at Miami as “nouveau riche” (even though they’ve been a force for over 30 years), Petit Verdot is a varietal that’s been around forever (the Romans enjoyed it) but only recently getting its due as a stand-alone varietal.  Trinchero Napa Valley’s Central Park West Vineyard Petit Verdot “presents a deep, inky purple color, supported by beautiful black fruit and floral aromas reminiscent of lavender and lilac. With layered blueberry and blackberry flavors, this wine’s ripe tannins lead to a sensual, round mouthfeel.” Kippy & Buffy concur.

Duke- Kippy & Buffy prepare for facing the ultimate “bro” school by once again tailgating with Breaux Vineyards-this time they break out the Cabernet Franc.  “Redolent of dark fruits and sweet spice (cardamom) and somewhat woodsy.  Full and juicy with loads of fruit and spice on the palate.  The drying tannins accompany a long juicy finish”.  Sadly, the finish this Saturday will be somewhat sour.

North Carolina- Kippy & Buffy would be more than happy to tell you that the 2015 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot also exceeds expectations, “underscored by polished tannins, the juiciness of the entry evolves into a lush, silky texture that carries the flavors to a long, generous finish marked by notes of freshly ground coffee beans with a splash of ripe, red cherry.”

Pitt- Kippy & Buffy move the chains and much more during their tailgate by going with a 2015 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon:  “the aromas are bright, with notes of cherry, plum, vanilla and baking spice. The fruit flavors are plump, with plenty of barrel accents. The tannins come off as quite dry, leading to a sweet vanilla-filled finish. The oak is at the fore.” 

Liberty- The final home game at Scott Stadium has Kippy & Buffy breaking out white wine for a non-conference foe one final time, and this week it’s a bottle of 2017 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc“Tightly structured, with strong, vigorous passionfruit and lime flavors, woven with steely acidity, and obvious potential.”

Georgia Tech-  Kippy & Buffy hit the road with a bottle of Cain Five.  The 2014 vintage is 51% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Merlot (remaining grapes used are split between Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot).  “The aromas are discrete: fruity—floral—herbal—spicy—and pure. On the palate, the wine has a certain density, but now the tannins have melted and this wine just flows.” 

Virginia Tech- Ending a sorry streak is always a tough task, but Kippy & Buffy plan to do their part by breaking out a bottle of Chateau O’Brien 2013 Mourvèdre.  “The smell of Mourvèdre is an explosion of dark fruit, flowers like violet and herbaceous aromas of black pepper, thyme, and red meat.  The variety can be a difficult grape to grow, preferring “its face in the hot sun and its feet in the water.”

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Thursday night football is a sore spot for me nowadays.  The NFL version resembles supermarket fish sticks cooked in the oven from the burned exterior/frozen middle standpoint:  teams are playing on short rest, meaning they’re overworked (four days after playing in a car collision-type sport) and underprepared (three actual days to implement a gameplan in today’s three dimensional chess-like NFL?).  You’re going to get a couple of gems here and there (Rams-Minnesota last month) but more often than not the consumer will be treated to games where you spend half the night wishing you were watching “Night Court”, “Dear John” or “Suddenly Susan”.

However, college football on a Thursday night has far from that feel.  For the fan, the most recent Power Five Conference game was the late-Saturday Pac-12 extravaganza, meaning you’ve had four full days to recharge your college gridiron batteries.  As opposed to the NFL’s tight turnaround where it feels like you’re being force-fed shrimp cocktail fifteen minutes after enjoying one of those molten chocolate cakes (with Dulce De Leche ice cream, of course).  For the teams, the college game also sets up its Thursday night schedule smartly:  the two teams playing are coming off a bye week more often than not (and if they aren’t, it’s on four days rest instead of the three in the NFL-and that one day is one huge difference).  Coming off a bye, both teams are fully recovered as well as thoroughly prepared for their opponent.  Since the NFL has insisted on forcing the Thursday night package upon us, can’t they at least do right by the teams involved as well as the consumers who just want quality football? Until then, Thursday night college football is the “Seinfeld” to the NFL’s “Veronica’s Closet”.

 

Alma Mater Update- the Orange can clinch bowl eligibility Saturday when NC State comes to the Carrier Dome.  Let that sink in…three of the last four times SU has gone bowling they’ve had to win their final regular season game to do so.  To lock up that Pinstripe Bowl berth in October?  A dream come true.  While the 22nd ranked Wolfpack were unbeaten entering last Saturday’s showdown with then-#3 Clemson, it should be mentioned that they lost 41-7 and their unbeaten start was aided by having their game against West Virginia cancelled due to Hurricane Florence.  This week there’s been talk that redshirt freshman Tommy DeVito could start instead of senior Eric Dungey– one simply hopes we can hang on to what we’ve got.

 

Thursday Night-

Virginia Tech (4-2, 3-0 ACC) vs. Georgia Tech (3-4, 1-3), 7:30 p.m. (ESPN).  The Hokies may be 19-8 on this evening during the regular season this century, but they’re just 3-3 at home over the last ten seasons.  The Yellowjackets bring their highly-touted option offense to Blacksburg, one that leads the ACC with 352 yards per game (and 6.2 yards per carry).  There’s something to be said about getting extra time to prepare for Paul Johnson’s offense:  since 2009 Virginia Tech is 0-4 against Georgia Tech on Saturdays but 5-0 on Thursday nights (with the previous weekend off, meaning they’ve had almost two weeks to focus on the option offense).  The other game?  A 20-17 season-opening victory where they had the entire month of August to gameplan for the Yellowjackets.  Hokies use the extra prep time to their advantage in a 32-21 win.

 

Saturday-

Virginia (5-2, 3-1 ACC) vs. North Carolina (1-5, 1-3), 12:20 p.m. (ACC Network).  The Cavaliers can clinch bowl eligibility for a second straight season, something that hasn’t happened since the high point of the Al Groh era when Marques Hagans was the ultimate dual-threat quarterback.  Fast-forward 13 years as Bryce Perkins is destroying opponents with his arm and legs…and the Tar Heels have had issues all fall stopping the run and the pass.  What’s worse, they’re mistake-prone offense (-8 in turnover margin ranks last in the ACC and 126th overall in FBS) plays right into the hands of a Cavaliers defense that is much better than expected (3rd overall in the ACC, 4th against the pass and 5th against the run).  Kippy & Buffy would be more than happy to tell you that the 2015 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot also exceeds expectations, “underscored by polished tannins, the juiciness of the entry evolves into a lush, silky texture that carries the flavors to a long, generous finish marked by notes of freshly ground coffee beans with a splash of ripe, red cherry.”   Cavaliers make their splash into the bowl eligibility pool with a 27-13 victory.

 

Maryland (4-3, 2-2 Big Ten) vs. Illinois (3-4, 1-3), 3:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network).  How is this game not being played at noon?  This feels like Rutgers II:  the Sequel.  The Terps attempt to bounce back from a tough road loss against a ranked foe while facing an offensively challenged squad.  While the Fighting Illini boast runningback Reggie Corbin (Upper Marlboro, MD) who averages 7.9 yards per carry, their defense ranks either last (yards allowed and passing efficiency) or second to last (points, passing and rushing yards given up) in the league.  A lot of focus will be on Terps linebacker Tre Watson:  the graduate transfer played four years for the Illini and has been the lynchpin for a Terps defense that has more than held its own this fall.  Watson just happens to lead the Big Ten with 75 tackles and is tied for the conference lead with four interceptions.  Elementary…Terrapins triumph, 38-14.

 

Navy (2-5) vs. #3 Notre Dame (7-0), 8 p.m. (CBS).  What sort of year has this been for coach Ken Niumatalo’s team?  This is technically a home game, but one that will take the Mids over 2,600 miles away from Annapolis.  Not ideal in any circumstance, but when you’ve lost four straight and have been unable to allow fewer than 21 points all season taking on a juggernaut like the Fighting Irish might not be ideal.  Could Notre Dame overlook the Mids?  Not likely, as they’ve lost four of the last eleven in the series- with two of their wins by seven points or fewer.   Their defense  also has two weeks to prepare for Navy’s option offense.  Midshipmen meet their maker in a 45-12 loss.

Georgetown falls to Colgate, Howard handles South Carolina State, James Madison gets by Stony Brook, William & Mary falls to Rhode Island, Towson tops Delaware.

Last Week: 5-2. 

Overall: 43-22.

PORTIONS PREVIOUSLY APPEARING ON WTOP.COM–

Bye weeks are often a byproduct of the conference schedule…so most schools don’t have the option of when they take their annual hiatus.  The September break always feels a little odd;  we’re just getting into the rhythm of the season and learning what team we’ll see on the field before we have to take a week off.  While Virginia (October 6th) and Virginia Tech (October 20th) have their byes next month, Maryland and Navy get to sit at home this week and evaluate a much smaller sampler size.

Maryland is 3-1 with impressive wins over Texas and Minnesota outweighing the tough-to-stomach loss at home to Temple.  Causes for confidence include a running game that averages 6.2 yards per carry and a defense that has turned into a takeaway machine in the second halves of games.  Causes for concern begin with the lack of a legitimate receiving threat and continues with the team committing too many penalties (their 37 flags for 362 yards are the most in the Big Ten).

Navy is 2-2 with a pair of one-point games in AAC play.  They’re very much in the West Division race, but after this start none of their league games will be gimmes.  Causes for confidence include the triple option offense that leads the nation in rushing (355.8 yards per game) while causes for concern include a defense that hasn’t allowed under 20 points yet this fall.

Meanwhile, there’s a strange occurrence in Central New York…not unlike the Cicadas that show up in the DC Metro area once per generation.  Syracuse is 4-0 for the first time since 1991 and for just the fourth time since World War II.  Just like the ’91 edition the Orange have a September home win against a school from the sunshine state (although upsetting Steve Spurrier’s Gators was a little more impressive than beating a bad Florida State team).  And just like the squad that dared to start 4-0, SU heads into the deep south for a game against a top-5 school.  Let the record show that Marvin Graves & company actually led #1 Florida State 14-7 before the bottom fell out in a 46-14 loss at Doak Campbell Stadium.  This time it’s a trip to #3 Clemson–a school that won’t be looking past the Orange after last year’s upset win in the Dome.

 

Saturday’s Games:

Virginia (3-1, 1-0 ACC) at NC State (3-0), 12:20 p.m. (ACC Network).  The Cavaliers’ defense is much improved this fall–and Coach Bronco Mendenhall feels they’re making better in-game adjustments as well, allowing just 16 second-half points over four games.  They’ll be hard-pressed to contain this week’s foe:  Wolfpack senior quarterback Ryan Finley leads the ACC in passing yardage and NC State converts 58.5% of their third downs to lead the conference.  UVa has also had issues on the road in league play lately: 2-18 since the 2012 season…when they went into Raleigh and beat the Wolfpack by 27.  This is the first meeting between these two founding ACC members since that game, so Kippy & Buffy go with the Founding Father inspired “Federalist Bourbon Barrel-Aged Zinfandel”.  The 2015 vintage possesses “aromas and flavors of black fruit, smoke, caramel and vanilla”.  Despite the portrait of university founder Thomas Jefferson’s rival Alexander Hamilton on the bottle, “the finish is long and smooth making this a thoroughly enjoyable wine.”  Enjoy with aged cheddar on club crackers.  Cavaliers come up short, 38-31.

 

Virginia Tech (2-1, 1-0 ACC) at #22 Duke (4-0), 7 p.m., (ESPN2).  Entering the season the secondary was a primary concern, which made the team’s shut-down of Florida State in Tallahassee all the more impressive.  Since then we’ve seen the Seminoles convert 1-of-14 third downs against a Syracuse team that allowed 42 points to Western Michigan, while the Hokie D earned an F in coughing up 35 second half points at Old Dominion.  They also lost quarterback Josh Jackson with a fractured fibula in that game…and former Kansas QB Ryan Willis gets the start Saturday in Durham.  The Blue Devils are also going with plan B at that position with Quentin Harris tossing six touchdowns to no interceptions in two starts after taking over for the injured Daniel Jones. Hokies suffer another September stumble, 31-26.

Georgetown slips at Brown, James Madison beats Richmond, William & Mary falls to Colgate, Towson tops The Citadel.

Last Week: 4-5.  Contemplating firing my offensive coordinator…

Overall: 20-13.

 

 

PORTIONS PREVIOUSLY APPEARING ON WTOP.COM-

College football’s “Show Me Month” shows worlds turned upside-down in Lincoln and Tallahassee:  traditional powers Nebraska and Florida State are off to less than ideal starts with new head coaches.

While the Cornhuskers are not the program in the 21st century they were during the glory run of Tom Osborne, this is a program that hasn’t been 0-2 since 1957.  The coach that year was William Jennings, although it may just as well be William Jennings Bryan.  The idea when they hired Scott Frost away from UCF was their former quarterback would be the magic potion for a program that hadn’t competed for a conference crown since the Big Ten boasted its ill-advised “Leaders” and “Legends” divisions.  Instead, consecutive losses at home has the red jacket-clad fan base wondering if two years at an AAC school was enough of a proving ground.  Thank goodness they’ve rescheduled an opponent to fill the void when the Akron game was cancelled:  0-3 Bethune-Cookman (from the MEAC) comes to Lincoln October 27th.

Any panic you may see in the midwest pales in comparison to the horror on the gulf coast:  the Seminoles’ come from behind win over Samford can hardly cover up an 0-2 ACC start where the offense has scored just one touchdown.  And this is an 0-2 start in the conference with Miami and Clemson still on the schedule.  What happened to the program that posted double digit wins every year from 2012-2016?  And have visiting aliens kidnapped Deondre Francois?  Seriously, folks.  As a freshman the kid netted 8.4 yards per pass attempt (two full yards better than what he’s doing this year) with a 20-to-7 touchdown to interception ratio (he’s thrown three TD’s with four INT’s so far this fall).  Perhaps Jimbo Fisher departed for Texas A&M just in time?  The good news for FSU fans is that Willie Taggart has started slow in his previous stops as head coach before eventually delivering winners at Western Kentucky and South Florida.  But will a fan base that views a 10-win season as a “bad year” have the necessary patience?

Alma Mater Update– Syracuse is 3-0 for the second time this century and entertains UConn Saturday.  The Huskies are beyond bad this fall;  they’ve allowed an average of 56 points per game–including 49 in a win over FCS Rhode Island (I’m hoping they didn’t make up a “trophy” for that game).  But there’s a reason the Orange haven’t started 4-0 since 1991–and it’s that they used to lose games like this all the time.  Somehow the likes of East Carolina, Middle Tennessee, NC State and Cincinnati often have the last laugh.  Perhaps SU alum Randy Edsall will go easy on his alma mater.

Maryland (2-1) vs. Minnesota (3-0), noon (Big Ten Network)-  can the Terrapins bounce back from last week’s ugly loss to Temple and begin conference play on the right note, providing positive momentum entering the bye week?  Quarterback Kasim Hill needs to turn his season around;  the redshirt freshman has seen his passing yardage decline from 222 to 121 to 56 this month.  Golden Gophers coach P.J. Fleck brings a defense that allows under ten points per game and ranks first in the Big Ten in passing efficiency into College Park– he also brings wide receiver Tyler Johnson (20 catches for 283 yards and 5 touchdowns) to apply pressure on a much-improved Maryland defense (tops in the Big Ten in getting off of the field on third down).  Terrapins tumble, 27-17.

 

Navy (2-1) at SMU (0-3), noon (ESPN News)- the two AAC West schools provide quite a contrast in coaching stability:  Ken Niumatalolo is in his 11th season at the helm while first-year coach Sonny Dykes is the Mustangs’ fifth in that span.  It’s been a rough start for Dykes, with two of their losses coming against ranked foes and the other loss was against unbeaten North Texas.  It’s just as rough for third-year starting quarterback Ben Hicks, minus both of his top targets from last year as Trey Quinn is currently with the Washington Redskins and Courtland Sutton is playing for the Denver Broncos.  Last fall the Mids needed a last-second field goal to prevail in Annapolis;  so far this September Navy boasts the best turnover margin (+7) in the conference and has a ground game that holds the ball over 36 minutes per game.  Midshipmen handle the Mustangs, 31-14.

 

Virginia (2-1) vs. Louisville (2-1), 12:30 p.m. (ACC Network)- the Cardinals own a three game winning streak over UVa, but that was with quarterback Lamar Jackson. This year’s already brought a change at the position with Malik Cunningham getting the nod instead of Jawon Ross this week.  Virginia counters with dual threat quarterback Bryce Perkins (4th in the ACC in passing efficiency while averaging 80 yards rushing per game).  The first ACC game means Kippy & Buffy switch over from white to red wine…and there’s no better way to kick off conference play than with a bottle of A to Z Pinot Noir from Oregon.  The 2015 vintage offers “striking aromas of black cherries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are overlaid with a cornucopia of spices. As the wine moves across the palate, ripe, dusty tannins bracketed by juicy acidity give shape and definition to the powerful fruit flavors in harmony with a mineral quality, reminiscent of slate and graphite.”  As we’re already in the Beaver State, Kippy & Buffy break out the Rogue Smokey Blue cheese on multi-grain crisps.  Cavaliers come through, 28-20.

  

Virginia Tech (2-0) at Old Dominion (0-3), 3:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)- the Hokies may be on the road but Norfolk is well within the program’s footprint.  Last year they turned FedEx Field into a sort of “Blacksburg North” for their game with West Virginia.  Hopefully they’ve brought plenty of Lane Stadium turkey legs for their faithful to consume.  The Monarchs may be winless, but one benefit of having last Saturday off was coach Justin Fuente’s team had a chance to see multiple upsets.  They won’t be taking ODU lightly, even with the Monarchs’ offense converting just 28% of third down conversions.   Hokies handle business on the road, 38-14. 

 

Howard tops Bethune-Cookman, Georgetown loses to Columbia, James Madison beats William & Mary, Richmond gets by Stony Brook, Morgan State comes up short at North Carolina A&T.

 

Last Week: 4-2.

For the Season: 16-8.

One finally saw the sun Thursday afternoon during a gloomy Washington week that had more than its share of clouds.  But make no mistake, this break is precisely that.  Hurricane Florence has already made its mark;  either canceling (Virginia Tech-East Carolina), postponing (Howard-Savannah State), shifting (James Madison-Robert Morris from Saturday to Thursday) or transporting (Virginia-Ohio from Charlottesville to Nashville) week three area action.

First and foremost, during a bad weather weekend that could escalate into something disastrous, be safe.  There’s a Washington DC traffic reporter who tweets “#TurnAroundDontDrown”…and along with it being a catchy rhyme “TADD” should serve as a message to those who think they can drive their low-to-the-ground-axle Honda Civic through a miniature pond in the middle of an intersection where there’s little chance of regular drainage.  Don’t.

Second, why limit your store runs to “milk, bread and toilet paper”?  Stock up on juices you don’t need to refrigerate immediately like grapefruit and cranberry (they actually make a good blend).  Get some cereal (recommending Cinnamon Quaker Oatmeal Squares)  while grabbing a book or two (my fiction for the summer was “After Anatevka”, about what happened to the middle daughter after the events of “Fiddler on the Roof”) to keep you occupied if the cable goes out.

Lastly, if you’re not going to be in College Park or Annapolis, set up your alternate viewing for the day:  Hawaii-Army kicks off at noon (it’s going to feel like 6 a.m. to the Rainbow Warriors), Auburn-LSU begins at 3:30 p.m. (nothing like the SEC West undercard) and Ohio State-TCU start at 8 p.m. (the Buckeyes may miss Urban Meyer more against the Horned Frogs than they did against Rutgers).  Stay safe…

 

Alma Mater Update- Syracuse entertains a struggling Florida State as the Orange attempt to start 3-0 for the second time since…1991?  That season saw a week three win at home against a highly-rated Florida…so if Dino Babers calls a reverse on the opening kickoff you’ll know what he was thinking.

 

Maryland (2-0) vs. Temple (0-2), noon (Big Ten Network).  The Owls have lost home games to FCS Villanova and Buffalo (not the Bills, although it should be said the Bulls have had much better quarterbacking than their NFL counterparts).  So naturally Terps interim head coach Matt Canada said in his Tuesday press conference that the Owls have a “great tradition”.  Temple may have won ten games twice this decade, but the school’s “tradition” includes losing by 40+ points to Penn State and having to join the Mid-American Conference because the old Big East didn’t want them.  While the Owls are a scrappy team that has a defensive and special teams touchdown to its credit this month, the Terps just have too much talent on both sides of the ball to get caught off-guard.  Terrapins triumph, 30-14.

 

Navy (1-1) vs Lehigh (1-1), 3:30 p.m (CBS Sports Network). The Midshipmen are coming off of a season-salvaging win against Memphis;  not only did they beat the preseason AAC West favorites but coach Ken Niumatalolo’s team held possession for 38 minutes.  While one win doesn’t deliver the division, at least the Mids can think of themselves as a team that can win the West if they continue to improve.  Lehigh did make the FCS Playoffs last year as Patriot League champ and boasts a three-time 1,000-yard rusher in senior Dominic Bragalone, but they’ll be hard-pressed to match the Midshipmen’s clock and yardage grinding offense.  Side note:  my uncle Jimmy Watson and two of his kids attended Lehigh, but when the team’s nickname was the Engineers.  Now they’re the “Mountain Hawks”.  Midshipmen manhandle the Mountain Hawks, 37-13.

 

Virginia (1-1) vs. Ohio (1-0), 4:30 p.m. (ACC Network).  The Cavaliers and Bobcats moved the game from Charlottesville to Nashville.  While UVA naturally would have liked to have kept the home game, the Bobcats are thankful they don’t have a bye for the second straight week.  They needed a bye week in between Howard and Virginia?  Perhaps–Ohio trailed the Bison at the half while playing at home.  A semi-neutral site game means a semi-neutral white wine for Kippy & Buffy;  nothing says “home away from home” better at the tailgate than Chateau O’Brien’s Northpoint White.  The 2017 Chardonnay offers “a beautiful array of creamy hazelnut and subtle butterscotch” and “shows a profound maturity, along with a balancing elegance and grace”.   Perfect with take-out from Bojangles.  The Cavaliers show maturity along with balance in a 28-17 win.

Georgetown falls to Dartmouth, Towson falls at Villanova.

Last Week: 7-2. Overall: 12-6.

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College football lost a friend this week when actor Burt Reynolds passed away at the age of 82.  Years before tearing up interstate highways as the Bandit, Reynolds was turning defenders inside-out as a runningback at Florida State.  The recruit from West Palm Beach made his entrance with a 33-yard reception against Georgia (the Bulldogs played away non-conference games then?  How ABOUT that!) as a freshman and would score touchdowns against Louisville and Stetson (okay, so the Seminoles schedule wasn’t necessarily the toughest in the 50’s).  Injuries prevented “Buddy”, as he was called, from being any more than a flash of the pan on the gridiron…so he found a different stage (literally) for his talents.  Reynolds found a sweet spot from the mid-1970’s to the early 80’s where most everything he touched on the cinematic gridiron went for a touchdown.  And perhaps a little bit of Burt rubbed off on his roommate at Florida State–explaining Lee Corso’s entertaining presence on ESPN’s College Gameday.

Your Burt Reynolds playbook:

First Down- Smokey and the Bandit (1977). Reynolds helped turn what was basically a beer run into 96-minutes of pure cinematic fun.  If you have to audible out of that film check out The Cannonball Run (1981).  More cars, more characters, more fun.

Second Down- The Longest Yard (1974).  Prisoners against the guards as nature intended, no offense to the Adam Sandler remake.  Audible into Semi-Tough (1977).  Reynolds shares the field with Kris Kristofferson in the adaptation of Hall of Fame sportswriter Dan Jenkins’ novel.

Third Down- when you want to move the chains, you go with critical big plays.  Deliverance (1972) proved that Reynolds was more than just the guy from “Gunsmoke” and is not for the faint of heart.  You can audible out of some grisly scenes, but can’t avoid death in Boogie Nights (1997), which garnered Reynolds his only Oscar nomination.

Fourth Down- if the first three plays don’t get it done for you, I’m going to punt with Norm MacDonald’s parody/portrayal/homage/imitation of Reynolds on “Saturday Night Live”.  From auditioning for “Star Wars” to wearing a funny hat as “Turd Ferguson” on “Jeopardy”, MacDonald turned Reynolds’ cool 70’s persona inside-out.

Alma Mater Update- the Orange enter week two unbeaten and with a home game against Wagner look to reach 2-0 which is no small feat, given last year’s loss at home to Middle Tennessee.  While the high-octane SU offense is back in 2018, sadly so is a very accomodating defense.  Fingers are crossed–even with Wagner coming to the Dome.

#12 Virginia Tech (1-0) vs William & Mary (1-0), 2 p.m., (ACC Network)

So…my questions regarding a Hokies defense that was replacing eight starters may have been unfounded.  Now that they came out of Tallahassee with an ACC win, coach Justin Fuente’s team has to battle the dreaded five-day turnaround.  They also need to find better offensive consistency, as they were held to under twenty yards on six of their seven possessions in the second half.  William & Mary began its final season under Jimmye Laycock with a victory at Bucknell, but will be hard-pressed to repeat that feat in Blacksburg.   Hokies make it happen, 41-16.

Navy (0-1) vs. Memphis (1-0), 330 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)

The Midshipmen’s flight back from Hawaii was made longer by their 59-41 loss to the Rainbow Warriors.  The option offense is built for many things–and rallying from 28 points down is definitely not one of them.  While the offense appears to be in midseason form with Malcolm Perry and Zach Abey but the defense looks like it’s going to go through some growing pains minus last year’s top tackler Micah Thomas.  It doesn’t get any easier–this week they attempt to contain a Tigers team that tacked 66 points on the board in their opener.  Memphis replaced starting quarterback Brady White after the junior threw five touchdown passes with freshman Brady McBride.  I think they both get a discount at Vineyard Vines.  Midshipmen fall 37-31.

Maryland (1-0) at Bowling Green (0-1), 6 p.m. (ESPN+)

The Terps try to follow up their upset of Texas by winning on the road against a Falcons team that actually led Oregon 10-0 behind quarterback Jared Doege.  While Maryland’s offense provided quite a bit of sizzle in week one with Jeshaun Jones scoring on touchdown runs and receptions while throwing for a score, the steak is a defense that turned the Longhorns over three times in the fourth quarter.  They’ll need another superior effort to get out of Mid-American Conference country with a victory.  Funfact;  the second-leading rusher in Bowling Green history is “Dave Preston”, who led the MAC in rushing as a sophomore before playing six years with the Denver Broncos in the NFL.  Sadly, I’m not him.  Terrapins triumph, 30-20.

Virginia (1-0) at Indiana (1-0), 7:30 p.m., (Big Ten Network)

The Cavaliers of 2017 won on the arm of Kurt Benkert, tried to run to keep foes honest and employed a defense that hung on for dear life.  If week one is any indication (and we know that week one wins against FCS schools carry a caveat), this year’s success is going to arrive thanks to a punishing running game and stingy defense.  I wouldn’t expect UVa to air it out 66 times against the Hoosiers like they did last September.  Peyton Ramsey led IU to victory in Charlottesville last year as redshirt freshman;  expect plenty of short stuff in the passing game (in nine career games Ramsey averages under 10 yards per completed pass).  Kippy & Buffy aren’t messing around with any short stuff at their tailgate:  Conundrum White 2015 “lures you with scents of apricot, pear and honeysuckle.”  There’s also a “hint of oak” that I think is more of a strong suggestion. I suggest a pairing with brie and crostini.  Cavaliers come up short, 31-28.

 

Georgetown beats Campbell, Howard slips at Kent State, James Madison beats Norfolk State, Richmond handles Fordham, Towson tumbles at Wake Forest.

Last Week: 5-4.

PORTIONS PREVIOUSLY APPEARING ON WTOP.COM–

Welcome back to another exciting season of college football- where last year’s preseason and postseason number one-is this year’s top-ranked team.  Once again the Crimson Tide have a ton of talent and a schedule where they either have byes or play FCS foes (or Missouri, which is kind of semi-FCS nowadays) the week before their big games.  Clemson is once again expected to wreak havoc in the ACC while Virginia and Virginia Tech benefit by playing in the softer Coastal Division.  The Big Ten East will be loaded–and unfortunately that’s the highway Maryland tries to avoid becoming roadkill.  Navy tries to Navigate a competitive AAC West with a new quarterback at the helm and the area FCS schools boast a few contenders (James Madison is ranked #2 while Richmond receives votes) but mostly pretenders where things have more than a chance to get rough early.  Are we sure this is a new year?

Look closer at the AP Preseason Top 25 beyond #1 Alabama:  Oklahoma (7th) and Texas (23rd) are in the exact same spots they were last August while Virginia Tech and Stanford are ranked one spot higher than in 2017.  Ohio State and Clemson are top five teams again this seasons and seven of last year’s top ten find their way back.  Twelve of last year’s top 15 are in same neighborhood entering Labor Day weekend (instead of Michigan at #11 this year it’s Michigan State-forgive us).

Over the last decade we’ve dealt with plenty of change to the game, from schools jumping conferences to the BCS becoming the CFP.  Instead of something seismic in 2018, it’s more like meet the new boss–same as the old boss.  Who’s next?

Maryland vs #23 Texas, noon. (FOX).  Last year the Terrapins went into Austin and upset the 23rd ranked Longhorns behind quarterbacks Tyrell Pigrome and Kasim Hill.  So the sneaking up factor might not come into play…and while Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison are back to provide a 1-2 punch on the ground, there’s no DJ Moore to stretch the field or move the chains in the passing game.  Tom Herman’s team took a while to adapt to the new regime, winning four of six to finish last fall.  Unlike last September, Ehlinger is firmly entrenched as the #1 quarterback.  Terrapins tumble, 38-19.

Richmond at Virginia, 6 p.m. (ACC Network).  Two years ago the Spiders won at Scott Stadium by 17 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated, but that team had Kyle Lauletta and that UVa team was still finding its footing under then-first year coach Bronco Mendenhall and transfer quarterback Kurt Benkert.  This year there’s a new QB in Bryce Perkins but coach Mendenhall returns five starters on offense and eight more on defense that have grown up in his program.  One program that never changes at Scott Stadium is Kippy & Buffy’s tailgate, and the popped-collar pair are already in midseason form.  They kick off 2018 with a bottle of Moscato:  Beni di Batasiolo Moscato d’Asti Bosc dla Rei 2013.  On name value alone it impresses, but “with the palate profile packing D’Anjou pear and red apple nuances, the fizzy, fruit-forward themes run well-balanced from the semi-sweet start to fairly, full finish.”  What a way to start, indeed.  Cavaliers come through, 31-14.

Navy at Hawaii, 11 p.m. (CBS Sports Network and 1500 AM).  The Midshipmen are 1-2 all-time in Honolulu with their victory coming against Cal in the 1996 Aloha Bowl.  The Rainbow Warriors are coming off of a 3-9 season but as one would expect are a much better team at home over the last ten years (.507 winning percentage at Aloha Stadium, .245 anywhere else).  The synthetic turf will give Malcolm Perry a little extra zip as the junior runs the option against a rebuilding defense that coughed up 5.3 yards per carry in 2017.  Midshipmen make it happen, 34-24.

Monday Night-#20 Virginia Tech at #19 Florida State, 8 p.m. (ESPN).  The Seminoles have a new head coach in Willie Taggart, but the same old talent and expectations.  They’re also looking to prove that last season’s 7-6 finish was an aberration instead of a trend.  Diondre Francis going down for the year with an injury in the opener was a major reason for the subpar season.  He’s back and has FSU’s usual array of offensive weapons at his disposal.  The Hokies’ secondary is a primary concern after they lost one starter to academics, another to arrest and a projected fill-in to injury.  Can Josh Jackson and the offense win a shootout?  Hokies fall, 44-20. 

James Madison falls at NC State, Georgetown loses to Marist, Howard slips to Ohio, William & Mary beats Bucknell, Towson tops Morgan State.

Last Year: 79-27.