The ACC didn’t change the football world’s opinion of it this past weekend, but it wasn’t hurt either.
Duke and Miami suffered embarrassing nonconference blowout losses, but Virginia, N.C. State and Maryland picked up wins over teams from BCS conferences. Here is this week’s report card:
Boston College: After a slow start against FCS member Maine, BC got it going and cruised to a 34-3 victory. The defense held the Black Bears to 193 yards and limited Maine to just 3-for-18 on 3rd-down conversion opportunities. BC QB Chase Rettig passed for 219 yards and three scores. Grade: B.
Clemson: The Tigers ran 55 offensive plays in the first half before giving way to the reserves in a 52-27 victory over Ball State at Death Valley. Tajh Boyd passed for 229 yards and three touchdowns and backup Cole Stoudt passed for 123 yards and a score in the rout. Grade: B.
Duke: Despite all of the talk about David Cutcliffe’s program taking steps forward, it went backwards Saturday night. Duke’s 50-13 loss at Stanford was every bit as bad as the score indicates. The Blue Devils couldn’t convert on third downs, faced too many 3rd-and-longs, couldn’t stop the Cardinal on the ground, in the air and on special teams. It was a truly ugly performance. Grade: F-. Florida State: In perhaps the greatest act of benevolence we may see this season, FSU officials agreed to play the second half versus Savannah State with a running clock before the game was canceled late in the third quarter because of weather with the Seminoles leading 55-0. Grade: A.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets racked up 712 total yards, including 243 through the air, in a 59-3 pummeling of FCS member Presbyterian. Zach Laskey ran for 116 yards and backup QB Vad Lee gained 101 with a touchdown on eight rushing attempts. PC scored its three points with five seconds left in the game. Grade: A+.
Maryland: Life is stranger than fiction, and look at Maryland’s 36-27 victory at Temple as Exhibit A when looking for evidence for this football season. After barely beating William & Mary 7-6 a week ago, the Terps thrashed Temple, 36-27. The Owls made a late push, but the suddenly defensive Terrapins held them off. Grade: A+.
Miami: Most people who follow this team knew it would be inconsistent. The Hurricanes are so young, that a positive week followed by a poor performance won’t be a surprise. However, getting completely manhandled at Kansas State 52-13. K-State had 27 first downs, 498 total yards, and forced three turnovers. Grade: F.
North Carolina: In an otherwise even game, the Tar Heels lost at Wake Forest, 28-27, on a late touchdown because UNC failed to convert a couple of golden opportunities and then couldn’t make plays on Wake’s game-winning, 93-yard TD drive. UNC was okay, but didn’t much resemble the fast-break team that throttled Elon a week earlier. Grade: C-.
N.C. State: A win is a win, and seeing how the Wolfpack played in getting ripped by Tennessee in the opener, Saturday’s 10-7 victory at UConn is good enough. State had just258 yards, Mike Glennon completed just half of his 30 pass attempts, and the rushing attack was real bad, but the defense played well and a win is a win, especially at a BCS school. Grade: B-.
Virginia: It wasn’t pretty, but the Cavaliers managed to escape with a 17-16 victory over Penn State in a mistake-filled game in Charlottesville. Michael Rocco passed for 258 yards and led UVa on an 86-yard scoring drive to win the game in the final quarter after being benched for two series. Grade: C+.
Virginia Tech: After a slow start, the Hokies got it going enough to beat up Austin Peay 42-7. The Hokies averaged 4.9 yards on 38 rushing attempts, but still haven’t found a feature back. And if the staff thinks that will be QB Logan Thomas it’s making a mistake. Grade: B+.
Wake Forest: If anyone ever doubts what an excellent coach Wake’s Jim Grobe is they need to follow a different sport. He learned a ton about his team in its narrow escape against FCS member Liberty and got the Demon Deacons ready to beat UNC, as they did, 28-27. The Deacs were well prepared for Carolina’s spread offense and bandit/ram defense. Tanner Price passed for 327 yards and Michael Campanaro caught 13 passes for 164 yards for the Deacs. Grade: A.