A Good Old Fashioned Maryland-Virginia Grudge Match - NBC4 Washington

A Good Old Fashioned Maryland-Virginia Grudge Match

Cavaliers go for four straight against the Terps



    A Good Old Fashioned Maryland-Virginia Grudge Match
    Getty Images
    COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 13: Center Kyle Schmitt #72 of the Maryland Terrapins gets ready to hike the football during the game against the Virginia Cavaliers on November 13, 2003 at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Maryland. The Terps defeated the Cavs 27-17. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

    Virginia's players can't really explain it, but they know this: They don't like Maryland, and won't even pretend to feel otherwise with the Terrapins coming to town on Saturday.

    "Every year since I've been here, Maryland has always been a big week for us," center Anthony Mihota said this week. "It's just something about how close they are to us. I guess it's because we don't like them very much. Something about them that gets under our skin."

    Wide receiver Dontrelle Inman was less diplomatic.

    "From the past three years, I've grown not to like them even more," he said. "It's just one of those feelings where you dislike someone but you don't know why. That's the take we have for this rivalry. I'm hoping when we get out there, that it's truly a rivalry game."

    The Cavaliers (4-5, 1-4 ACC) actually have room to talk in this matchup. They have won three straight and 14 of 18, but are coming off a loss at Duke in which they allowed 55 points and 489 yards. They lost on a TD run in the final minute despite gaining 643 yards.

    That the game will be the final one at home for several Cavaliers adds to the stakes.

    "It's going to be hard," Inman, one of 32 seniors that will be recognized before the game, said. "Just walking into the stadium, knowing that it's going to be the last time walking on this field and playing the game with my teammates, with my brothers.

    "I'm really looking forward to giving my all and make it a memorable moment."

    Despite its recent dominance in the series, Virginia is facing an uphill climb.

    Maryland (6-3, 3-2) has already won four more games than it did all of last season and would win the Atlantic Division title in the Atlantic Coast Conference if it wins out.

    The Terps are also looking to bounce back after a last-minute loss at Miami, and coach Ralph Friedgen thinks the key to getting back on course is not getting ahead of themselves.

    "At this point of the season, we usually try to crank it up, but we need to slow it down, focusing on each of the remaining games," he said. "As of right now we are still in control of our own destiny. We haven't looked past our next game and we will not do that now."

    With a spot in the championship game theirs for the taking, Friedgen has cautioned his team against becoming content with what it has already accomplished in its turnaround.

    "I mentioned to the team last night, we need to jump back up on our feet," he said Tuesday. "Right now we're one of ten teams eligible for a bowl game. I told them that just because you are bowl eligible, does not mean you are going to make a bowl.

    He said they also discussed what Virginia is able to do that could jeopardize not just the team's contention for a bowl, but our conference championship.

    And if that wasn't enough, perhaps the Cavaliers offered some motivation, too.

    "They'll probably be pretty ready to go, since we've beaten them three years in a row," Mihota said. "We've got to bring our 'A' game."