The ACC took care of business this weekend, with a 4-1 record in non-conference games.
And the six teams that opened ACC play? Well, they served up some good games.
For a recap of Thursday’s game between Miami and Pittsburgh, check out what Ben Kercheval wrote HERE .
Florida State blanked Wake Forest’s high-powered offense 31-0, with Christian Ponder scoring three times for the Seminoles.
Virginia Tech also pitched a shutout, but this game came against the Eagles of Boston College. The Hokies intercepted Eagle quarterback Dave Shinskie in the red zone early and never looked back, winning the game 19-0 in Chestnut Hill.
This game will certainly boost the morale of the Hokies for the remainder of the year, and we know very well that every Virginia Tech game counts heavily for other teams.
Duke entered the fourth quarter of yesterday’s game against Army down 35-7. In the Blue Devils’ ACC opener against Wake Forest, I thought Duke’s offense had taken a turn for the better and would improve significantly.
With back-to-back embarrassing losses, I think the only direction Duke is headed for is the ACC basement, once again.
Both Virginia and Maryland took care of weaker opponents, beating VMI and FIU respectively by a combined 55 points.
North Carolina State most certainly had the most impressive victory, a 45-28 win over Georgia Tech. The Wolfpack forced two turnovers, scored on a blocked punt, and quarterback Russell Wilson FINALLY broke onto the national scene.
Wilson quietly threw for 17 touchdowns as a freshman, with just one interception. Last year, he led the ACC in touchdown passes with a 31-11 ratio.
So far this year, he has 11 scores through the air and just one blemish for the 4-0 squad. The remainder of NC State’s schedule is all ACC games, expect a bout at East Carolina.
If Wilson can serve up some more wins, and with the lack of impressive ACC play, who is to say that the Tom O’Brien-led group cannot reach a BCS bowl?
What about the Big East?
The weak east coast conference totaled a record of 3-4 over the weekend. All seven games ended as they should have, and even in the losses most felt rest assured. Three teams played real tough matches, coming up short by a score or less.
Cincinnati nearly had the biggest upset, losing by two points to No. 8 Oklahoma. Quarterback Zach Collaros has his best effort of the season, and did so in a game that the Bearcats desperately needed—connecting on 60.5% of his passes for 305 yards and a score.
What may have killed Cincinnati was a missed extra point very early during the second quarter. The Bearcats ultimately lost by two, with their final score coming with around 70 seconds remaining in the game.
If Cincinnati had converted the earlier PAT, then they may have opted to go for the two-point conversion and possibly tie the match with Oklahoma. The Sooners won 31-29.
The Mountaineers of West Virginia also had an upset brewing. With a 17-14 deficit expanded by three points at the beginning of the fourth quarter, West Virginia needed a score to take the lead. The LSU defense had other ideas; they forced two punts and a missed field goal in the final quarter to preserve its six point victory.
The Tigers ate up nearly eight minutes of the clock in that period, and had fantastic field position, forcing young quarterback Geno Smith to make plays, something he could not handle that late in the game. The Tigers went on to win 20-14.
As for the Big East’s victories, Syracuse, Connecticut, and South Florida took care of non-BCS opponents by an average of three touchdowns. Rutgers played a tough battle with North Carolina, limiting Tar Heels quarterback TJ Yates significantly.