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Sep
05
2011

ACC Week 1 awards. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. (Updated for Miami\Maryland)

Week 1 of the ACC is in the books. I wanted to start what will become a weekly Sunday post The Good the Bad and The Ugly awards of that week’s ACC games. So how did this week look so far starting with The Good now that I’ve updated the post with the thrilling Miami\Maryland game?

The Good

Stats of the Week

Triple Option team Georgia Tech had 365 yards passing in a 63-21 win over Western Carolina. It was only FCS school Western Carolina, but last year the Jackets had trouble passing against anyone on their schedule. Talented but struggling with confidence last year, wideout Stephen Hill had 181 yards receiving. That’s a good start for Hill.

New North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner completed 22 out of 23 passes for 277 yards and 2 Touchdowns against James Madison. I’m not sure how often you could complete that many passes in practice much less a game. Renner seemed like a forgotten QB in the ACC, he won’t be now.

Hello ACC

Clemson’s WR Sammy Watkins was every bit as good as advertised. I was at this game, and the moment Watkins stepped on the field he was the Tigers best wide receiver. He had 7 catches for 81 yards and a TD. Highly touted running back Mike Bellamy had a 75 yard TD run. Hello!

Still the Best

LB Luke Kuechly had 19 tackles and an interception in BC’s game with Northwestern. He’s still the best defensive player in the ACC. Too bad the Eagles can’t clone Kuechly because Boston College lost the game 24-17.

Getting Defensive

Virginia held William & Mary to 169 yards in one of the better ACC defensive performances of the weekend.  Don’t knock it, the last time these two played in 2009, the Cavs lost.

Right On Cue

The ACC’s two highest rated teams Florida State and Virginia Tech outscored their opponents Louisiana-Monore and Appalachian State by a combined score 100-13. Impressive start for the Seminoles and Hokies.

Prime time Performances

Miami and Maryland, now that’s how you play a primetime game as opposed to the two primetime snoozefests on Saturday night. Maryland won the game 32-24, but it was a thriller until the final minute.

Maryland’s QB Danny O’Brien is this guy good or what? He had 348 yards in the air on 31 of 44 passing. If the Terps can figure out how to get their redzone offense into the endzone, which they struggled with against Miami, watch out, they can be dangerous in the ACC Atlantic.

Lamar Miller had 119 yards rushing for Miami, and looks like he’s clearly one of the better backs in the ACC.

The Bad

Where’s the defense?

NC State giving up 406 yards of offense to Liberty and Troy with 423 against Clemson. Those defenses need to play better in the future. The two ACC teams won and that’s what matter though, but the defenses need work.

The Ugly

Oh No Not again

Duke lost to FCS school Richmond for the third time in 6 years with Saturday’s 23-21 defeat at the hands of the Spiders. The Blue Devils faint bowl hopes took a serious hit, and certainly the ACC does not need losses like this on the conference resume.

Let’s beat somebody in a BCS-Conference.

This isn’t the start the ACC wanted. Wake Forest losing to Syracuse 35-29 wasn’t a big surprise, and it would have been an upset if the Deacs had won, but blowing a 2nd half lead still hurts. Wake Forest had a 29-14 4th qtr lead, when Syracuse rallied to tie the game and win in OT. This isn’t the first time in the last year Demon Deacons have blown a 4th quarter lead.

Boston College’s performance against Northwestern was particularly disappointing. Playing at home and against Northwestern’s backup quarterback Kain Colter the Eagles still found a way to lose despite 479 yards of offense. The normally stout defense gave up 227 yards rushing, and the ACC lost an opportunity for a solid non-conference win.


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