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
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 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.
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.
Penn State 27, Rutgers 6
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.
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.
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
Anthony McFarland had only eight carries, but he made the most of them with 134 yards including one 63-yard touchdown scamper.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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