Randy Edsall’s Maryland Terrapins are the last remaining unbeaten team in ACC play after picking up a 27-20 win at Virginia on Saturday.
The Terps improved to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in the ACC and have clearly exceeded expectations for this season. Many pundits picked the Terps to win maybe two games, and after a season-opening 7-6 victory over FCS member Williams & Mary, few observers expected Maryland to win again.
Half of the season remains, but so far Edsall’s team is the biggest positive surprise in the conference.
Here is this week’s report card: Boston College – Playing at Florida State a week after the Seminoles suffered a shocking loss wasn’t exactly an enviable task the Eagles adopted. And the result was rather predictable: FSU 51. BC 7. The Eagles amassed just 225 yards whole allowing FSU 649 yards. Grade: F. Clemson – Did not play.
Duke – At 5-1, Duke led Virginia Tech 20-0 late in the first quarter in Blacksburg. That’s as good as it has been for the Blue Devils’ program in 18 years. From that point on, the Hokies reeled off 41 unanswered points and cruised to a 41-10 victory. Many lessons learned for Duke, but the greater one will come this week in how the Devils respond. Grade: C-.
Florida State – E.J. Manuel had a sensational game completing 27 of 34 pass attempts for 439 yards and four touchdowns in a 51-7 rout of visiting Boston College. Manuel was intercepted twice, but it didn’t much matter given that FSU opened an early big lead and cruised. FSU finished with 649 total yards to BC’s 225. Grade: A+.
Georgia Tech – Did not play.
Maryland – It’s not always about winning the stat sheet for the Terrapins, which was the case in Saturday’s 27-20 win at Virginia. The Wahoos had 386 yards and 20 first downs to Maryland’s 235 and 10. But forcing two turnovers, getting a kickoff returned for a touchdown to start the game, and making other plays keyed the victory. Grade: B.
Miami – The Hurricanes had their chances. UNC miscues in the red zone and 15 penalties for 140 yards gave the Canes chances, but they simply didn’t take enough advantage. Miami rushed for 180 yards, but struggled late, and Stephen Morris tossed a pair of interceptions to stymie itself. This young club has now dropped consecutive games and is no longer unbeaten in ACC play. Grade: C-.
North Carolina – UNC had 484 total yards and 30 first downs, yet still managed just 18 points in a four-point win at Miami. The Tar Heels moved the ball at will until they got to the red zone. They missed two field goals and turned over the ball in the red zone, leaving points on the field. Gio Bernard was sensational again, picking up 177 yards on 27 carries. Grade: B-
N.C. State – Did not play.
Virginia – Well, at least the Cavaliers were competitive in falling 27-20 at home to Maryland. Virginia had been blown out a few times, so this was progress. That said, Virginia has now lost seven of its last eight games versus FBS teams with the one victory by one point at home over a Penn State team that missed four field goal attempts. Grade: C.
Virginia Tech – Sometimes a team needs to hit rock bottom in order to spring forward, and that may be what happened when the Hokies fell behind Duke 20-0 in the first quarter at home. But Frank Beamer’s team came to life and outscored the Blue Devils 41-0 to close out the game. Tech finished with 525 yards, 269 on the ground and 256 by Logan Thomas through the air. Huge win for the Hokies. Could be a major springboard moving forward. Grade: A. Wake Forest – Did not play.