The ACC Week 2 Review this week has some huge upsets, some close ones and teams get back to winning ways. Ash and I said on the Pod last week that there would be a huge increase in production between weeks one and two. The cream of the ACC did not disappoint.
It appears as if the week one performance by Mateo Durant wasn’t a one off as Duke beat NC A&T 44-17. He again balled out against The Aggies. Durant did all his damage in the first half as he banged in three touchdowns. In fact The Blue Devils did all their work on the ground scoring wise as Gunnar Holmberg also scored twice on the ground. Duke spread the ball around amongst it’s pass catchers and Holmberg finished 20/27 for 270 yards just didn’t find the end zone.
Surprisingly both teams only scored through rushing plays as Aggies Quarterback Kingsley Ifedi scored twice running the ball. Duke’s defence was much better this week and after allowing 478 yards in week one they shut down The Aggies. They only allowed 264 total yards this week with star Linebacker Shaka Heyward racked up 16 Tackles. Duke faces a tougher test next week as they welcome Northwestern to Brooks Field.
After an easy week one, Virginia were handed a slightly stiffer task as they welcomed The Fighting Illini to town. In actuality though Virginia proved to be the far superior team as they brushed aside Illinois by halftime. In a sleepy week one affair Brennan Armstrong looked slow to start, however, that was corrected this week. Bronco Mendenhall must have given the Offence a boot up the backside this past week at training as Armstrong and The Cavaliers came out red hot. They scored on both of their opening drives. Armstrong would finish the day throwing 5 touchdowns in the 42-14 victory.
Jelani Woods looks like a weapon Armstrong can lean on from the Tight End position. Woods had 122 yards and a score. College Fantasy players take note, he could be a waiver steal. The Fighting Illini must feel a million miles away from their week one win. They look average across all three phases of the game and appear to not be able to bring down runners. Art Sitkowski was admirable in defeat, throwing for 221 yards, a pick and a score. He will need to step up in order to help Illinois going forward. Virginia faces North Carolina next and although they will go in as underdogs they have beaten NC the last four times they have suited up. What’s that line?
The Yellow Jackets got back to winning ways with a 45-17 win over The Owls. Jordan Yates stepped in as starter and became the first Georgia Tech Quarterback ever to throw four touchdowns on their debut. After the shocking loss to Northern Illinois last week it’s good to see Geoff Collins men perform. Another good sign for GT is that whilst he didn’t play, Jeff Sims did suit up and was on the sideline but was a scratch with his arm injury lingering.
The Yellow Jackets Defence was much improved and will need to be better again heading into next week. They forced three turnovers from the Owls. One a 70 yard fumble recovery scoop and score. They did however give up an onside kick to The Owls which is an anomaly in football. They travel to Death Valley next week to face The Clemson Tigers in a game that they will be heavy underdogs. Whilst Clemson got back to winning ways, they may still be warming up so GT might, might have a squeak.
Wake Forest breezed past The Spartans in a 41-16 win in which both the Quarterback and Running Back were impressive. Sam Hartman found the end zone once and tossed 244 yards. Running Back Christian Turner ran in two touchdowns and looked solid. Jaquarii Roberson scored again to make it six games in a row he’s found the end zone.
After not playing last year The Spartans scored the most points they ever have against FBS competition. It couldn’t have been an easier start for The Demon Deacons as they have faced two teams that didn’t play last year. In what were essentially two pre-season games, Wake has looked good. They have gotten better in efficiency and will look to take that improvement into next week’s ACC clash with the floundering Florida State Seminoles.
In what was slated as my ACC game of the week it didn’t disappoint. The Vols Quarterback fight was perhaps settled as Joe Milton went down with a lower leg and Hendon Hooker took snaps thereafter. Milton looked good and whilst Hooker looks like he can play he also made some errors. He threw a pick which really hurt. He did though at least look like he can lead a Narduzzi Offence. Ultimately though it was Pitts ability to cause havoc and stand strong in the fourth quarter that led to a 41-34 win. As we mentioned on the podcast, The Panthers Defence can be a beast and they collected five sacks, forced two fumbles and a pick in a big Defensive game.
Kenny Pickett looked good again as he threw for 286 yards and two scores but also chipped in with a score on the ground and 19 yards. He took a while to get Pitt going but after a few three and outs they scored on the next five drives. The Vols managed to get up by 10 due to the slow start and a blocked punt which resulted in a Tennessee touchdown. Pitt then rallied and came up with the win. Pitt welcomes Western Michigan next week and there are still three weeks before they face ACC competition.
Well my Hokies are clearly making a run for the ACC championship after demolishing lowly Mid Tenn. After the win last week in glorious circumstances, Justin Fuente must have had high expectations heading into this cupcake matchup. In reality though VT started slowly. Braxton Burmeister was average as he went 13/22 for 116 yards. It was Raheem Blackshear who impressed as he scored twice.
The Hokies had no less than nine players run the ball and ten players recorded a reception. They spread it round and suffocated the life out of The Blue Raiders. That’s how VT will win games, slow and steady. Watching them, they just aren’t built to blow team’s apart. All this win does for VT is improve it’s chance at a higher polling rank. Next up for The Hokies is a trip to West Virginia who just annihilated LIU 66-0.
A scoreless first half gave way to an error strewn second half that saw 2.5 point underdogs Rutgers come out 17-7 winners. That’s all there is to say about this one really. Syracuse Quarterback Tommy DeVito was inconsistent and fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter which handed Rutgers the ball on the Cuse 10 yard line. They kicked it through and made it a 17-7 game with just over 8 minutes left. Rutgers improves to 2-0 whilst The Orange slide to 1-1.
Big Phil Jurkovec was injured during the 45-28 win over UMass. He was taken to hospital but at the time of writing there are no results from his x-ray. In place of Phil, Dennis Grosel totalled 199 yards and a score three the air whilst also punching one in on the ground.
It was the turnovers which cost The Minute Men the win. The biggest error was a punt return fumble which was taken to the house. This made it 34-14 late in the third and effectively won the game. The injury to Jurkovec could be a problem for The Eagles who may be ok without Phil next week but after that who knows. With Clemson looming in a few weeks they will hope that he is ok for then.
Normal service resumed for Dabo and his boys. Well I say normal service, on Offence it was a whole new world as the Defence did that the Defence does. DJ U and new 5-star Freshman Running Back Will Shipley blew away the cobwebs from last week. DJ did what he had to through the air and ended with 14/24, 171 yards and a score. He also ran in two touchdowns as Clemson punished The Bulldogs on the ground. Shipley also scored twice whilst toting up 80 yards rushing.
DJ looked much better and had a better understanding of the speed of the game and his pocket presence awareness was too notch. This was the perfect get right game as the minnow was greeted by the shark. It was great to see Justyn Ross get into the end zone again as he notched up 3 catches for 52 yards and a score. Clemson will face the resurging Georgia Tech next in what should be a tougher game for The Tigers.
In a game that may have mirrored some of Louisville’s walkthroughs, Malik Cunningham showed out. He scored three times, two of which were on the ground and ended the night with 277 yards. In a huge stroke of bad luck, he could have had another score as his 95 yard pass was then dropped on the one yard line. The culprit of that dropped ball, Freshman Ahmari Huggins-Bruce. However he ended up with 150 receiving yards and a true Freshman record to boot. The 30-3 win wasn’t nearly as pretty as The Cardinals would have liked and they will want to play better on Offence next week in a nationally televised match. Louisville hosts Central Florida on Friday night in a game they will want to show up in.
After the tough loss last week The Hurricanes had to come from behind again against a rugged App State team that nearly pulled off the upset. Miami started the game 7.5 point favourites yet went into halftime trailing by two points but came out 25-23 winners. It wasn’t quite the last-minute come back that last week was but with 2 minutes remaining they kicked a FG to go up by two. The Defence held firm and got the ball back to run out the clock. D’Eriq King was superb and whilst he didn’t score, he led The Seminoles on drives that ended in scores for Running Backs Cam’Ron Harris and Don Chaney.
Perhaps the real story of this game was the cat. In a catch that was better than any made on the field, the crowd caught the cat in an American flag. After getting caught in some signage in the upper deck and struggling to hold on, the cat fell into the crowd. There with the flag outstretched, the crowd caught the feline and it appeared unhurt and was taken away by staff. The Hurricanes host Michigan State next up in a game in which King could go over the 8,000 passing yard mark in his career. He is just 10 away!
A game I thought was going to be a win for The wolfpack ended in a whimper rather than a snarling victory in a 24-10 loss. From the first play NC State was in trouble. Lideatrick Griffin returned a 100 yard kickoff return and Mississippi State was never behind again. The Bulldogs stifled the much heralded NC State Offence. Holding star Running Backs Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person to just 50 yards. They also made life tough for Devin Leary as although he threw for 303 yards, he only scored one touchdown and it was in garbage time. Leary aslo got picked off in the end zone early on which could have tied the game up. From there it was all Bulldog pressure and The Wolfpack had no answers. That’s about the long and short of it here, Mississippi were just the better team. NC State hosts Furman on Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium.
Staying in Carolina, Sam Howell and his fellow Tar Heels got back to winning ways in a much sharper performance. It was admittedly against a lesser opponent that VT last week but Howell looked much better in the 59-17 win. He finished the game going 21/29 with 352 yards and scoring 3 touchdowns. He also scored twice on the ground, which is a skill we don’t often see from Howell. This bodes well as the NFL are after dual threat guys and this adds to his resume. Antoine Green led the way in the receiving game catching all three of his targets for 117 yards and a score. They still have issues on the Offensive line as the run game other than Howell struggled to get going. They will need to perform better next week in a tough ACC matchup with Virginia.
My oh my. What on earth happened here?! No Defence from The Seminoles meant JSU could claw their way back into this one on the last play of the game. FSU looked like they wanted to stop the field goal with just six seconds left and left a gaping hole in the secondary and two missed tackles later The Gamecocks walked off with the win. It was as strange a Defensive play call as you will see all year. The Noles are now in trouble and need to respond after this 20-17 loss.
After the heroic return last week, McKenzie Milton came crashing back to earth with a 18/31 passes for 133 yards, one touchdown and a pick. He wasn’t the aura shadowed player he was last week. With this performance FSU have a decision to make again at Quarterback. Milton may be the best option but that isn’t guaranteed going forward with Hunter’s rushing ability. A tough matchup against Wake Forest comes next for Florida State. They will want to get a win in the ACC matchup and push forward.
Written by Stocks @5yardrush