ACC Week 1 awards: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Week 1 in the ACC is the books, so that means a return to weekly series the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in the ACC.

The Good:

What Orange Bowl? 

The Clemson Tigers sent several messages in week 1, but the most important one was the Orange Bowl debacle is history. When you beat a SEC team that isn’t from Kentucky or Mississppi, you earn some credibility. In the 26-19 victory over Auburn, Clemson was the more physical team. That they won without their best player Sammy Watkins who will be back in 2 more weeks illustrates the depth this team has on offense.

Get out of here!

With team after team struggling with lower level Division 1 squads and FCS schools Florida State and North Carolina showed how you are supposed to handle those types of opponents. How’s outscoring their opponents Murray State and Elon 131-3. That’s how you do it.

Virginia cruised over Richmond 43-19. I have another note on the Cavaliers. They play a reeling Penn State team that’s coming of a loss to Ohio. If the Cavs are a legit contender in the ACC Coastal Division, they’ll beat Penn State.

Duke and “the Duke” Shine

Duke put their game against FIU away by halftime. Sean Renfree was sharp throwing for 290 yards. The competition goes way up with a game at Stanford next. The Cardinals barely got by San Jose St.  The Blue Devils may be able to throw a scare into Stanford.

Miami’s Duke Johnson had two 50 yard+ runs, in the Hurricanes 41-32 win over Boston College. Are the Canes for real? We will find out when they head to Kansas St. Saturday. By the way who saw Boston College’s Chase Retting throw for 441 on anyone? Did the Eagles discover an offense?

In the Driver’s Seat

Ever since 2005 the winner of the Georgia Tech/Virginia Tech game has went on to win the ACC Coastal Division. The Yellow Jackets pushed the Hokies, but Virginia Tech rallied late for 20-17 win in OT. Virginia Tech always gets better as the season progresses, so anyone else looking for Hokies to come back to the pack may need to keep on looking. Logan Thomas displayed both his tremendous skill and inconsistency in the same game. If Thomas could ever harness all that ability…

The Bad:

Not ready for prime time.

NC State was overwhelmed and out outplayed by Tennessee last Friday in a 35-21 loss. The vaunted secondary was shredded by Tyler Bray and the Wolfpack blew a major opportunity to gain some national respect. The Wolfpack can’t afford a loss at Connecticut next or all the off-season goodwill be lost.

Playmakers anyone?

Georgia Tech fought hard against Virginia Tech, but this team talent wise is a shadow of the Jonathan Dwyer and Demaryius Thomas days. Paul Johnson has let the talent degrade to a point that the Yellow Jackets have to play nearly perfect to beat a high quality team.

 Nearly a disaster

Wake Forest and Maryland nearly opened the season with absolute trainwrecks. Remember what FSU and UNC did? Wake Forest and Maryland beat their FCS teams Liberty and William & Mary by a combined 4 points. Losing either game would have been humiliating for the ACC and those schools. They barely won. Just throw away the video and move on.

The Ugly:

Not making any friends

Pittsburgh isn’t even in the ACC yet, but their 2 TD home loss to Youngstown St was so bad it gets a mention here. The humiliating defeat was one Wake Forest and Maryland escaped from, but Pitt couldn’t. I’ve been behind Pitt as a future ACC member, but not everyone has been.

This only fueled the anti-Pitt fire, and it’s a loss that you simply can’t defend. If the Panthers are trying to endear themselves to their conference brethren they failed miserably.

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