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Virginia players react to Maryland move

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Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 9:37 pm | Updated: 10:58 pm, Mon Nov 19, 2012.

With its biggest rival on the horizon, the Virginia football program took time to answer questions on Monday concerning an adversary that won’t be around much longer.

The Cavaliers (4-7, 2-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) will travel to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech (5-6, 3-4) at noon, Saturday, but trips to College Park, Md., are set to become simple memories.

Announced Monday, Maryland is leaving the ACC for the Big Ten starting in 2014.

“That was crazy,” said UVa sophomore safety Brandon Phelps, a Damascus, Md., native. “I didn’t think that was going to happen. For me, that was always a fun thing to know that I was going to be playing Maryland, but stuff happens.”

The Wahoo-Terrapin 2013 game will be the last of its kind.

A series that dates back to 1919 will not have any league ramifications after next season.

“It seems like everybody is switching conferences these days,” said quarterback Michael Rocco, who has Big Ten family ties with a father and uncle who played at Penn State and a grandfather who coached the Nittany Lions. “I know Maryland’s a big rival of ours so it’s crazy that it’s happening. But it seems like it’s happening a lot. That’s what the new thing is — to just switch conferences.

“I don’t really have any opinion about it. It seems like it’s the new thing to do.”

Virginia lost to Maryland, 27-20, on Oct. 13. The current group of UVa juniors is 1-2 against the Terps.

Phelps is already placing extra value on next year’s matchup.

“Definitely,” Phelps said.

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