Let's take a look at the good, bad, and ugly of week 2 of ACC football.
Slowly Gaining Respect.
Let’s face it the ACC has a long way to go before changing their national football perception. Years of poor performances in BCS games, and the lack of a nationally elite team for over decade will do that. With that said, there are subtle signs the tide may be slowly turning.
Which conference has the most teams ranked in the top 13 in both the AP and Coaches polls? The SEC has 4, next is the ACC. Those 3 are teams Florida State (5/6) Clemson (11/11) and Virginia Tech (13/13). Out of Conference there haven’t been any spectacular wins, but there haven’t been any embarrassing losses either. The ACC currently is 15-3 out of conference, and is the only BCS conference without a loss to a non-BCS school. Is the ACC suddenly a football conference? I’m certainly not saying that, but at the moment the ACC compares reasonably well to rest of the country. Hey you have to start somewhere.
Get out of here (part 2).
Going back to my Slowly Gaining Respect section, you don’t hang your hat on beating lower level Division 1 teams and FCS teams, but it’s mighty embarrassing when you lose to one. Clemson, Florida St, Georgia Tech, Boston College, and Virginia Tech outscored Ball St, Savannah St, Presbyterian, Maine, and Austin Peay 242-40. Nothing to take away from these games really, except those ACC teams did what they were supposed to. By the way FSU is giving up 1.5 pts a game.
Don’t underestimate Wake Forest… ever.
The Demon Deacons have done it again. Come on you did it again didn’t you? North Carolina coming off a 62-0 win over Elon looked pretty impressive under coach Larry Fedora’s new fast paced offense. The Deacs lack talent, they struggled to beat Liberty last week, now is the year we can push Wake Forest aside.
Not under Jim Grobe’s watch. The Deacs beat North Carolina 28-27 in a game that really shouldn’t surprise anyone. Tanner Price is completing 65% of his passes. Michael Campanaro is a weapon at WR. They head to Florida State to give the Seminoles their first opponent with an actual pulse. I’m telling you, if FSU looks ahead to Clemson this game will be uncomfortably close for the Seminoles, and the Deacs have no fear of Florida State winning 4 of the last 6 against them.
This is my job!
Michael Rocco is your starting quarterback at UVA and he isn’t giving up the position. Penn State is down, but that is still a name program from the Big 10 that Virginia defeated 17-16. Michael Rocco led the Cavaliers on a 77 yard 4th quarter drive to take the lead as the Cavaliers held on to beat the Nittany Lions. Phillip Sims might have the hype, but Michael Rocco is still the man at Virginia.
Breakout the Terps.
Maryland hadn’t played a quality game in over a year. The 7-6 win over William & Mary wasn’t inspiring much confidence either. Beating Temple 36-27 isn’t going to get the Terps in the top 20, but with the trainwreck this program had become any win is a good thing. Last year the Owls humiliated the Terrapins by 31 points in College Park. This year Maryland went on the road found a little offense and won the game. If Maryland can beat UCONN at home to start the year 3-0, they’ll have shot at a bowl game which would be a significant accomplishment for the Randy Edsall’s team.
I’ll take it.
NC State headed to Connecticut and came out with a 10-7 win. Impressive? Ok not really, but considering the way Tennessee torched the Wolfpack defense to give up less than 250 yards and only 7 points is a big improvement. An 0-2 start would have been disastrous for the Wolfpack. With South Alabama and the Citadel next, NC State can start building a little momentum the next couple of weeks.
When Duke travelled to Stanford this weekend you thought with the Cardinals coming off a 3 point win over San Jose St, that maybe the Blue Devils could keep this one competitive. Maybe they could even get position to spring the upset. It didn’t happen, not even close. Duke was plastered 50-13 in a game that was over before halftime. For a team whose goal is a bowl game, this is not the kind of effort you hope to see. The Blue Devils have very winnable games the next two weeks with North Carolina Central and Memphis next. They need to put this game behind them quickly.
No defense for this.
Last year Miami came within one play of beating Kansas St., this year it was 52-13. Miami has given up 84 points the last 2 weeks, which puts them just behind Buffalo and just ahead of Arkansas St. in scoring defense. The Hurricanes defensively are a mess, and if they don’t find a way to mask some of the deficiencies on that side of the ball, I’m having a hard time seeing them win more than 4 games. Bethune-Cookman provides a chance to sort some things out, before facing a Georgia Tech team that just rolled up over 700 yards of offense in their last game.
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