And, finally, place kicker Alex Vozenilek, 6 for 6 since being pressed into duty two games ago, missed from 42 yards just before the buzzer.
That is a loss.
Stanford and Georgia were the most prominent teams to suffer losses Saturday, the fifth-ranked Cardinal going down at Utah while seventh-ranked Georgia was embarrassed at home by Missouri.
That might be a little bit unfair to Georgia, given that Missouri is both unbeaten and ranked and the Bulldogs have played the toughest schedule in the country to date: losses to Clemson and Missouri and wins over LSU and South Carolina are on their résumé.
Still, the loss no doubt will bring about yet another round in the continuing saga known in the South as “How Mark Richt Turns” — or doesn’t win quite enough to keep Georgia fans from complaining about him all the time. Richt is in his 13th season at Georgia and has a record of 122-42. On Planet Earth that’s a pretty good record. On Planet SEC, it keeps him under fire almost nonstop. Georgia was 12-2 a year ago but did not beat Alabama in the Southeastern Conference title game when it had a golden chance to play for the national championship.
Richt isn’t going to get fired; he’s just going to hear considerable whining. The same may be true at Virginia, but Mike London has to be feeling some serious heat. The Cavaliers are 2-4 after starting the season with an impressive victory over Brigham Young. Since then, their only victory was over Football Championship Series opponent VMI, and they were embarrassed — at home — by Ball State prior to the loss at Maryland.
The question then is this: Is London’s job in jeopardy? The answer is a firm maybe.
The good news for London is that most people believe there are some good young players in the program with another sterling recruiting class on the way. Since becoming the coach in Charlottesville four seasons ago, he has revived U-Va.’s recruiting, especially in-state. Virginia appeared to be trending in the right direction two seasons ago when it went 8-5 in London’s second season and played Virginia Tech for the ACC Coastal Division title. The Cavaliers got a bowl bid, and London was voted conference coach of the year.
Since then, though, little has gone right. Virginia regressed to 4-8 a year ago and London made major changes in his coaching staff, including at all three coordinator positions. Since the BYU game, the Cavaliers have been destroyed by Oregon (a team that destroys most opponents) but also have lost to a mediocre Pittsburgh team (scoring three points), Ball State and now Maryland.