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Sep
14
2014

10 quick takes on the ACC after week 3.

ACC-F

The ACC continues to look solid from top to Wake Forest. While this week didn’t match last week’s success, and there was the hiccup by Virginia Tech overall it was another good week led by Boston College’s huge upset win over USC. Again the ACC avoided any major upsets OOC, outside of the previously mentioned Hokies.

1) Boston College shocks the College Football World

Last week when Virginia Tech won at Ohio State it was a big upset, but most people thought the Hokies had a chance. I don’t think anyone, but BC fans, coaches, and players saw their upset of #9 USC coming. This was a true shocker in every sense of the word, but what a win for Steve Addiazo and the BC program.

I was on the road most of the game, but listened on radio. You could hear the excitement of the Boston College announcers. They knew something truly special was happening. Boston College physically took it to The Trojans. BC controlled the line of scrimmage, and QB Tyler Murphy was brilliant rushing for 191 yards. I’m not ready to say Boston College is a now a great team, but this is the kind of national attention grabbing win that Addazio can use in recruiting as he tries to build the Eagle program.

2) ACC getting signature wins from across conference

Who is the only conference in country with multiple top 10 non conference wins? It’s the ACC, and they aren’t from Florida State and Clemson. In the last couple of years FSU and Clemson have several signature non-conference wins, but this year Virginia Tech won at Ohio State and Boston College knocked off USC. This just doesn’t happen by accident. The ACC is putting together more of these wins with more regularity. We wondered if the ACC could start building some depth behind FSU and Clemson, and while no one has yet to step forward as an elite team, the quality further down the conference is improving.

3) Virginia Tech lays an egg

The Hokies followed up their best win in years, with a flat and disappointing effort Saturday against East Carolina. We knew the Pirates were dangerous, but for the Hokies to fall behind 21-0, lose 28-21 and give up 500 yards of offense tells me the Hokies weren’t ready to play today. That falls on the coaches. For all the praise the Hokies coaches got last week is as much criticism as they should take this week. Virginia Tech had an opportunity to build on the Ohio State win and they face planted at home.

Virginia Tech probably wasn’t as good as they showed last week, and probably not as bad as they showed this week. They are likely somewhere in between. Still this was an ugly loss, and arguably the worst loss in the ACC this year.

4) Virginia is legit

The Cavaliers coaching is finally catching up to their recruiting. Virginia beat a good Louisville team Saturday for one of their biggest wins in years. The defense is rock solid. Are the Cavaliers a contender in the Coastal. Sure why not? I don’t think Virginia will win it, but this is a greatly improved team that’s going to give teams headaches all year.

5) Now I know who Georgia Tech is

Last week I said I didn’t know what to make of Georgia Tech. I do now after the Jackets 42-38 win over Georgia Southern. Georgia Tech is very good on offense, and very bad on defense. The Yellow Jackets lost a 35-10 lead to GSU, before a late rally. If the Jackets had lost, Paul Johnson may have wanted to start printing out some resumes. The talent level on defense is among the worst in the ACC. The good news is Justin Thomas at QB. He gives Georgia Tech a chance to win 8 games this year. He’s that good.

6) Pittsburgh might be Coastal’s best team

The Panthers spotted FIU 16 points, then promptly outscored them 42-9. James Conner had another huge rushing day with 177 yards. They have been the Coastal’s most consistent team, and they might be the best. They should be able to beat a reeling Iowa team at home next week.

7) Don’t forget about Duke

Pitt looks dominanting at times. Virginia Tech has the Ohio State win. Virginia has the stifling defense, and UNC came into the season ranked. What about Duke? We seem to have forgot about them. Well the Blue Devils are 3-0 after a 41-3 win over Kansas. They should 4-0 after playing Tulane. David Cutcliffe is doing it again. The Blue Devils are a factor in the Coastal.

8) Syracuse and NC State with surprisingly easy wins

Last week Central Michigan beat Purdue by 21. Syracuse beat CMU 40-3. South Florida nearly knocked off Maryland, and North Carolina State defeated USF 49-17. During our weekly ACC podcast @Hokiesmash and I thought Syracuse and NC State might need to be on upset alert. No chance of that happening this week. The Orange and Wolfpack took care of business.

9) So who is the ACC’s third best team

While the ACC is adding depth, and picking up strong OOC conference wins who is behind FSU and Clemson now? Virginia Tech had a meltdown today. Louisville couldn’t handle their first ACC road game. Could it be Pitt? Maybe Duke? I still think at the end of the day it’s Virginia Tech, but barely. Pittsburgh is hard charging, and Duke is there too. Louisville surprised me with how sloppy they were at Virginia, so they have a ways to go.

10) It’s Florida State Clemson week!

It’s the ACC’s two best programs hooking up this week. My initial thought on this while Florida State hasn’t looked especially sharp in the early season, Clemson doesn’t have the playmakers to exploit this. This will be closer than last year’s blowout, but I’m having a hard time seeing a scenario where Clemson wins this game. Gameday will be there, so it’s another showcase for the ACC. That’s never a bad thing for the conference.

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