“You try to be the same team every week to give us a chance to play with some of the schemes and some of the calls and some of the things that make us a good football team. Now, whether we execute the same every week, that’s up for debate, I guess.”
— Coach Mike London
Actually, when it comes to executing well, it’s not really up for debate at all. The Cavaliers have yet to win consecutive ACC games under London, though they appear to be in prime position to do so Saturday at Maryland. The Terrapins (2-6, 1-4 ACC) have not played what you would call inspiring football this season. Virginia (5-3, 2-2), on the other hand, has at times.
And that last prepositional phrase is important. You all remember what happened after the Cavaliers defeated then-No. 12 Georgia Tech, 24-21, on Oct. 15. In case you don’t, they lost at home to North Carolina State, 28-14. Now, Virginia is coming off a 28-21 victory at Miami. Which Virginia squad will show up Saturday in College Park? The one that impressed against Georgia Tech and Miami? Or the one that sorely disappointed against N.C. State?
On the bright side, Virginia has come away from its previous two trips to Byrd Stadium (in 2007 and 2009) with wins. But the Cavaliers have not won a game in the month of November in their past 13 tries. Maryland is injured and otherwise short-handed – the Terrapins indefinitely suspended staring defensive end David Mackall this week for a violation of team rules – in Year One of the Randy Edsall era. If there were an opportune time to snap that November losing streak, it would appear to be now.
All that said, how do you think Virginia will fare Saturday at Maryland? As always, feel free to expand on your vote in the comments section below and/or e-mail me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.