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Nov. 1, 2004

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia returns home for the first time in 30 days to begin the season’s “Third Phase” this Saturday against Maryland. Kickoff is set for 3:30 the Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium. ABC will televise the game regionally.

The 30-day stretch between home games is the longest since a 35-day span in 1975.

Head coach Al Groh has said the goal all season has been to be “in the hunt” on Nov. 1 and Virginia is certainly in the hunt. The Cavaliers are 6-1 this season, including 3-1 in the ACC, and are tied with Miami and Virginia Tech for first place in the conference. They are also ranked 12th this week, their highest rank this late in the season in six years. Virginia became bowl eligible for the third consecutive season following its 37-16 win over Duke two weeks ago.

The 6-1 record is UVa’s best going into November since being 7-1 to start the season’s final month in 1998.

Groh calls November a month where “you can play your way in or play your way out.” Virginia is 6-6 in November (and one December regular season game) under Groh. The record is much better at home, however, as the Cavaliers have feasted on the opposition at Scott Stadium. Virginia is 19-5 at home under Groh, including a 6-2 mark in November/December. The Cavaliers, who have won 15 of their last 16 home games, have won five in a row at home in November/December.

Maryland comes into this game with a lot of momentum. The Terps ended their three-game losing streak last Saturday with an impressive 20-17 win over Florida State for their first win ever over the Seminoles. Maryland is battling to make its fourth consecutive bowl appearance and must win two of its last three games to become bowl eligible.

This is the fourth year in a row Maryland comes into this game following a win. And with the win over Florida State, the Terps have a bit of history on their side. FSU has lost eight ACC games all-time and the teams have used these wins to keep winning. ACC teams that beat FSU have won their next game five times, including the last three.

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