ACC Week 3 awards: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The Good

ESPN Gameday to the ACC

With upsets to USC and Michigan St. the ACC will feature it’s first top 10 matchup since 2007 between Florida State and Clemson. Florida St. plastered Wake Forest 52-0 and Clemson pushed Furman aside 41-7. It will be the ACC’s showcase game of the year and ESPN’s Gameday will be there in Tallahassee. The winner will squarely be in the national title discussion.

Razor Sharp

I remember thinking against Virginia Tech, why is Paul Johnson calling such a vanilla game. 2 games and more than 110 points later Georgia Tech played look razor sharp in a 56-20 blowout of Virginia.

This wasn’t Presbyterian out there. The Jackets scored from all over the field and ran up nearly 600 yards of offense. The offense is utilizing the pistol and Tevin Washington is getting just enough in the passing game. The defense is as physical as it’s been in years. If Georgia Tech can follow up this with a win over Miami, we might be on to something here.

Turning back the clock

I don’t how else to describe what Florida State did to Wake Forest Saturday y other than it was 1990s Florida State-esque. Back then their players were better than yours; their coaches were better than yours and they just dismantled teams.

That’s what I saw today. Now some national guys might say it was only Wake Forest, but ACC fans know the Deacs are a very well coached by Jim Grobe and have been a thorn in the side of the Noles for years. My goodness what a display Florida State put on. Now here comes Clemson and all their offensive weapons matching up with that ferocious defense.

Sammy’s back

It was the return of Sammy Watkins for Clemson against Furman Saturday. He scored on a 58 yard run. That’s all you need to know.

A win is a win

For a few ACC teams struggling to find their identity sometimes you just need a win. Duke defeated North Carolina Central 54-17, North Carolina St. beat South Alabama 31-7 and Miami pounded Bethune-Cookman 38-10. You don’t really learn a lot from opponents like this, but you better not lose.

The Bad

Out of Conference Blues

The ACC’s encouraging 15-3 OOC took a hit Saturday. With Virginia Tech, Maryland, Boston College, and North Carolina all losing the ACC went 0-4 against BCS opponents. Virginia Tech’s loss as a top 15 team was so galling they get special mention all on their own later.

Maryland had a chance to start the year 3-0, but lost at home to a mediocre Connecticut team. 205 yards of total offense? The Terps are going to have trouble moving the ball all year, and next week’s game with West Virginia could get really ugly.

Boston College was supposed to be awful this year. Ok they aren’t very good, but at least they are showing some fight and hung in as long as they could in a 22-13 loss to Northwestern. It looks like Chase Rettig may be starting to find his way throwing the football. He had 291 yards through the air. It wouldn’t surprise me if BC pulls an upset or two along the way.

It looked like North Carolina was going to get blown away by a good Louisville team. At one point down 36-7 the Heels mounted a furious comeback but lost 39-34. Giovani Bernard wasn’t available,and the Heels could have used him. They only had 47 yards on the ground.

The Ugly

Going backwards

Virginia Tech’s loss at Pittsburgh was bad on so many levels. I’m not taking anything away from Pittsburgh; they executed their gameplan and played an excellent game. They had a little too much offensive talent to be as bad as they had shown the first two weeks. That said it was one of the worst coaching efforts I’ve ever seen from a Frank Beamer staff. The Hokies were lucky the final score was only 35-17. Bryan Stinespring’s play calling was comical at best, and Bud Foster’s defense looked confused and often out of position to put it lightly.

It is only 1 loss, and Virginia Tech is still in the ACC Coastal Division Drivers seat, but you just get the feeling that the Hokies are starting to really fall behind Florida State and Clemson in the ACC pecking order. It was a bad looking loss for the ACC too. Future games with Clemson and Florida State will certainly lose some luster and the Hokies have a long way to go before they can expect to compete with those teams.

As opposed to some other early season losses for the Virginia Tech in recent years, the Hokies looked inept on both sides of the ball, and rather than improve since the OT win over Georgia Tech they’ve regressed. Frank Beamer has a lot of work to do.

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