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Sep
28
2014

10 quick takes on the ACC after week 5.

ACC-F

The ACC backed up a forgettable week 4 with another forgettable week 5. We assess the damage and more in this week’s 10 quick takes on the ACC.

1) Florida State won’t just be turning it on this year.

Remember last season when Boston College pushed Florida State, and then Seminoles just turned on switch and became into a dominant team the rest of the year. That’s not happening in 2014. The Seminoles probably should have lost last weekend, and were on the ropes Saturday to an NC State team that went hasn’t won an ACC game in nearly two years. The Wolfpack are improved, but the Seminoles have issues with an underachieving offensive line, and an injury ravaged defensive front. The Seminoles are still a top 10 caliber team, but they have issues that I’m not sure can be fixed this year.

The good news is that FSU faces Wake Forest and Syracuse the next 2 weeks before playing Notre Dame. Those are games the Noles should be able to win on sheer talent alone. FSU doesn’t have to be as good as last year, they just need to keep finding ways to win. That’s what they have done so far.

2) UNC was ranked? 

29, 27, 70 and 50… The Tar Heel defense is giving up a whopping 44 points a game. Yes this team was ranked just a couple of weeks ago. I’m not sure what voters ever thought, but this is one of the worst defensive teams in the country. Yes Larry Fedora has had to deal with some scholarship issues, but the Tar Heels especially defensively should not be this bad. If the Heels can’t beat Virginia Tech next week, I don’t think a 4-8, 5-7 season is out of the question.

3) Pittsburgh you had us fooled

The Pitt bandwagon started emptying out last week following the loss to Iowa. It’s completely empty now after a very ugly defeat at the hands of the Akron Zips. Akron lost to Marshall 41-17, but they dominated the Panthers.  2 Weeks ago we thought Pittsburgh could contend in the Coastal. At the moment getting bowl eligible might be a good goal.

4) Boston College you had us fooled too

Boston College you put on a brilliant performance beating USC a couple of weeks ago. You followed that up with solid looking win against Maine. Against a decent Colorado St. at home, it seemed BC was ready to build some momentum. They started out fine jumping out to a 14-0 lead, and then things went all wrong, as the Eagles got outscored 24-7 the rest of the way. Who is Boston College, because I don’t know.

5) Duke, I think you also had us fooled

Duke looked poised to become the Coastal Division favorite. They were 4-0, and were playing a Miami team with some talent, but had been inconsistent at best this year. The Blue Devils went down to Miami and put up a listless sloppy effort in losing to the Canes. Miami is not an elite defensive team, but they stuffed Duke’s attack. Duke is still a bowl quality 7-8 win team, but I expected much more tonight.

6) Clemson hides offensive line problems, but they are there.

The Tigers scored 50 points against UNC. They had over 500 yards of offense. Deshaun Watson threw 6 TDs, so what’s the problem? The Tigers couldn’t run the ball. They only 92 yards on the ground and barely averaged 2 yards a carry. Watson made plays with his feet, but a less mobile QB would have spent most of the evening on his back. The Tigers still have a chance to be a very good, but they’ll have problems at some point in the year if they can’t get a ground game going. UNC’s defensive front is a not a great unit. Dabo Swinney has to get this sorted out.

7) Well Hello there NC State

NC State is a pleasant surprise in the ACC year. THey’ve started the year 4-1, and nearly knocked off Florida State Saturday. If you follow the blog you knew that Wolfpack could be a surprise ACC team.  Jacoby Brissett played extremely well against the Noles and is going to be headache for ACC defensive coordinators all year. Earlier in this article I said NC State hadn’t won an ACC game in nearly two years. I guarantee that streak comes to an end this year. The Wolfpack will be bowling.

8) Miami and defense in the same sentence? 

Miami got a key ACC Coastal win Saturday against Duke 22-10, and they did it with defense. Defense? Yep they held Duke to 294 yards of offense. I still don’t think Miami will win the Coastal. They already have a loss to Louisville, and a likely loss to FSU. I have a hard time seeing them run the table in the Coastal, but if the Canes can really starting playing some consistent defense, they will be a factor. Next week’s game with Georgia Tech suddenly got a lot more interesting.

9) Ok Virginia, ready to make your move? 

Virginia’s only losses are to a couple of really good teams in UCLA and BYU, and they knocked off a solid Louisville bunch. The expectations were low for the Cavaliers, but in the WIDE OPEN Coastal the Cavaliers have played as consistent as anyone. Virginia whooped a bad Kent State team, and next week they face a reeling Pittsburgh group. If the Hoos are the team, that I think they have become they should win. Then you’d have to consider them someone that could win the Coastal Division.

10) Will anyone in the ACC stand up and play some consistent football? 

If there’s one word to describe the ACC this year it’s inconsistent, and that’s not good for the conference. The last two weeks have resulted in some ugly losses, and trying pick a winner in a game is a total crap shoot.

What I’m sure of is FSU and Clemson are still the class of the ACC, but a step down from last year. Virginia and Louisville have mostly been consistent and look like pretty good teams. NC State is clearly improved. Georgia Tech is 4-0, but I need to see them beat Miami next to convince me something real is there in Atlanta. After that your guess is as good as mine.

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