Week 14: The streak is finally over

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Week 14: The streak is finally over

Virginia defeated in-state rival Virginia Tech for the first time since 2003 to win the ACC Coastal, Navy earned second place in their division, Penn State cruised to a sleepy victory and Maryland's season was brought to a merciful close.

Here's a recap of Week 14's local college football action.

Virginia 39, Virginia Tech 30

The good

Whether you are a Cavaliers or Hokies fan, this was a great game. Both offenses were able to move the ball well, and both defenses came up with big plays. There were three lead changes and three ties over the course of the game. Bronco Mendenhall said it best afterward when he declared the game "back and forth all the way to the very end as an in-state rivalry division championship game should be."

The bad

The difference in this game was the turnovers as Virginia won the turnover margin 4-1. One of those turnovers was an interception on a jump ball thrown by Hokies quarterback Hendon Hooker at the end of the first half, but the two second half turnovers were crucial. Hooker threw an interception on a third-and-19 in the fourth quarter from Virginia Tech's 47. The Hokies probably would not have converted, but a punt would have pinned Virginia deep. Instead, the Cavaliers got the ball at their 35 and drove for the game-winning field goal. On the next drive, Hooker fumbled the ball in the end zone off a third consecutive sack that was recovered by the Cavaliers for the touchdown.

The crazy

Bryce Perkins is Virginia's biggest playmaker. He threw for 311 yards, rushed for 164 and scored three total touchdowns. You would never know he was in the hospital overnight on Monday because of a severe case of tonsillitis.

You can read the full story here.

Penn State 27, Rutgers 6

The good

Will Levis played in place of injured quarterback Sean Clifford. While the passing attack wasn't much to look at (8 of 14 completions, 81 yards) Levis did most of his damage on the ground with 108 yards on 17 carries. Journey Brown added another 103 yards on 16 carries with three rushing touchdowns.

The bad

Penn State was outgained 383-333 by easily the worst team in the Big Ten and one of the worst in the nation. This was a close game with a 13-6 score at the end of three quarters. 

The crazy

Could this game cost Penn State? No, the Nittany Lions are not in the running for the College Football Playoff and the Big Ten East division was already wrapped up by Ohio State. But if the Buckeyes make the playoff -- and they will if they beat Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship -- the Big Ten's representative for the Rose Bowl is still up for grabs and will go to the highest-ranked team remaining. Will a lackluster game against a horrible Rutgers team end up dinging Nittany Lions in the rankings?

Wisconsin will likely move ahead of Penn State after blowing out Minnesota this week, but if the Badgers lose to Ohio State they will have three losses on the season. Penn State should have the edge in the Rose Bowl race, but it depends on how far Wisconsin rises this week and where Penn State falls, if at all. You'd hate to think the Nittany Lions just slept-walked their way out of the Rose Bowl.

Michigan State 19, Maryland 16

The good

Anthony McFarland had only eight carries, but he made the most of them with 134 yards including one 63-yard touchdown scamper.

The bad

Offense has been a struggle for Michigan State this season, but it wasn't on Saturday. Quarterback Brian Lewerke threw for a season-high 342 yards against the Terps. The Spartans' 430 total yards is the third-most they have managed against a Big Ten team this season.

The crazy

When Maryland started the season 2-0, not many would have thought that win over Syracuse in Week 2 was going to be the highlight of the season. The Terps would only win one of their final nine games.

The offense was clicking to start with 142 points in the first two wins. They would score only 161 points total in the next 10 games.

Navy 56, Houston 41

The good

Typically, the offense has been led by Malcolm Perry. He had another good game with 253 total yards, and he set a school record with his ninth 100-yard rushing game and tied another school record with his eighth consecutive 100-yard rushing game. The real story, however, was Jamale Carothers, who rushed for a career-high 188 yards and five (!!!) touchdowns.

Navy also got a big game from its defense who, despite giving up 41 points, forced five turnovers. The Midshipmen would turn those five turnovers into 21 points.

The bad

Despite the win, Navy's Cotton Bowl hopes were already dashed coming in. Memphis' win on Saturday locked up the AAC West Division for the Tigers. Instead of preparing to play Cincinnati next week in the conference championship, Navy will now look ahead to its final game of the season against Army.

The crazy

Perry threw for 107 yards. Guess how many passes he completed to get there? Two. Keoni-Kordell Makekau caught one pass for 60 yards and Carothers caught the second for 47.


Maryland at Michigan State: The Terps will need to show more fight against the Spartans

Maryland at Michigan State: The Terps will need to show more fight against the Spartans

Maryland (3-8, 1-7 Big Ten) will wrap up its season on the road in East Lansing against the Michigan State Spartans (5-6, 3-5 Big Ten). The game kicks off on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on FS1.

Here's what you need to know.

Who will play quarterback is a question again

Four quarterbacks played for Maryland last week and none was able to find much success. Josh Jackson is listed as questionable for Saturday's game, but it seems likely he will play. Tyrrell Pigrome left the Nebraska game early due to a lower-body injury. Because he is a running threat, you have to wonder if he will be limited this week. Freshman Lance LeGendre dislocated his shoulder and will not play.

Regardless of who plays, the passing game is inconsistent

As a team, Maryland has not completed at least 50-percent of its passes since Oct. 12 against Purdue. That's a run of five straight games. That's a problem in general, but it makes for a more difficult matchup this week given that Michigan State's defense is much better against the run than the pass. The Spartans rank fourth in the Big Ten against the run (103.6 yards per game) and ninth against the pass (215.9). It looks like the Terps just don't have the weapons to exploit that weakness.

A bad offense vs. a bad defense

The key matchup on Saturday might be Michigan State's offense vs. Maryland's defense and not in a good way. Both units have struggled tremendously this season.

The Spartans are usually in contention for the division and not struggling just to reach a bowl game. Don't let last week's 27-0 win over Rutgers fool you, there is no bigger reason for the team's struggles this season than the anemic offense which ranks 10th in the Big Ten.

Heck, even Maryland put up 48 against the Scarlet Knights!

However, if there is a defense the Spartans can exploit, it is Maryland's which ranks dead last in the Big Ten and 107th nationally with 450.9 yards given up per game. There is no part of the defense that is particularly clicking at the moment with the team giving up 186.1 yards on the ground, 264.8 yards through the air and 36.1 points per game.

Maryland still has playmakers on defense

The Terps may be bad on that defensive side of the ball, but they do still have several key weapons.

Senior linebacker and Ohio State transfer Keandre Jones leads the team with seven sacks and has a tackle for loss in 10 of 11 games. He is also 25th in the conference with 63 total tackles, making him one of three Maryland players to rank in the top 25. Linebacker Ayinde Eley leads the team with 79 and safety Antoine Brooks has 65.

Leake needs a bounceback

Maryland's top offensive weapon this season, Javon Leake had a horrendous game against Nebraska with three fumbles. He still managed 10-yards per carry for 80 yards on the day. He leads the team with 716 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.

In addition, Leake is one kickoff touchdown away from setting the school's all-time record. His three has him tied with Torrey Smith.

Michigan State needs to win to become bowl eligible

For the second consecutive week, Maryland will be playing a team that must win to become bowl eligible. The Terps have nothing left to play for but pride at this point and that certainly was not enough last week.

There's no nice way to say it, but Maryland looked like it had quit against the Cornhuskers. They were obliterated 54-7 at home against a team that really is not all that good. The Terps will have to show more fight on the road against the Spartans to avoid a similar fate this week.


College Football Week 14 What to Watch: Rivalry week

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College Football Week 14 What to Watch: Rivalry week

Virginia Tech and Virginia meet in Charlottesville for a winner-take-all rivalry matchup to decide the ACC Coastal Division. Plus, Penn State wraps up its regular season against Rutgers, Maryland's season comes to a merciful end and Navy looks to win the AAC West.

Here is a breakdown of all the local action.

Virginia vs. No. 24 Virginia Tech

When: 12 p.m. Friday
Where: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, Va.
How to watch: ABC

Virginia has not beaten the Hokies since 2003. This year, the teams meet to battle for the Commonwealth Cup with the ACC Coastal Division crown and a probable trip to the Orange Bowl on the line.

No. 10 Penn State vs. Rutgers

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Beaver Stadium, University Park, Pa.
How to watch: BTN

From playing the biggest game of the week in college football to wrapping up the regular season against Rutgers. Talk about a let down.

Maryland at Michigan State

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Mich.
How to watch: FS1

A season that began with such promise has turned into a disaster for the Terps. It all mercifully will come to a close on Saturday against Michigan State.

Navy at Houston

When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: TDECU Stadium, Houston, Texas
How to watch: ESPN2

The AAC Division is still up for grabs. Navy needs to beat Houston and for Memphis to lose to Cincinnati.

Game of the week: No. 15 Auburn vs. No. 5 Alabama

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, Ala.
How to watch: CBS

On NBC Sports Washington

Syracuse vs. Wake Forest

When: 12:30 p.m., Saturday
Where: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

Other local teams

Old Dominion vs. Charlotte, 2 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+