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Oct
19
2014

10 quick takes on the ACC after week 8.

Winston

Somebody looks likes a favorite in the Coastal… a real favorite, well at least until next week. The Atlantic is still Florida State’s to lose, and so is that playoff spot.

1) Florida State beats Notre Dame in a classic.

Florida State took as many shots from Notre Dame as they did against Clemson. Guess what they won both games. Look the Noles aren’t the 2013 team, but if they are anything it is resilient. Say what you want about Jameis Winston off the field, but on the field he’s every bit the gamer Vince Young or Cam Newton was. Winston was brilliant in the 2nd half leading Florida State back. Now in 2 Thursday nights, FSU will go to Louisville in one of the Seminoles last major tests. Don’t sleep on Louisville Nole fans. That Cardinal defense is every bit is as good as Clemson’s was, and with Devante Parker’s return at WR and Michael Dyer and RB they have elite talent on offense. The Seminoles have now beat 3 teams, that were currently ranked this week… (Notre Dame, Clemson, and Oklahoma State). Maybe the criticism of Florida State should finally come to end.

2) We hear ya Duke. We hear ya. 

Miami? Nope. UNC? Nah Virginia Tech? You had us for a minute. Georgia Tech? They have already lost to Duke. All of these teams at point or another looked like the team to beat in the Coastal Division. In the end defending Coastal Division Champs, the Duke Blue Devils are truly the team to beat in the 2nd Half of the ACC season. The Blue Devils moved to 6-1 after beating a good Virginia team today. The Blue Devils now have a 2 weeks to prepare for a dangerous game at Pittsburgh. If they win that game, I think the Coastal Division will be theirs. I could say wow this is great. Duke is good. It is shocking, but it isn’t anymore. The Blue Devils are a now good football “program”. They aren’t just a one hit wonder. David Cutcliffe has rebuilt Duke and they are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

3) Clemson wins with Defense again.

Clemson had a very tricky game at Boston College this week. You knew the offense was going to have problems. It did. You knew the defense had to play great to win. It did and that’s what happened. Cole Stoudt is not the answer at QB, but he’s all Clemson has until Deshaun Watson returns. He wasn’t good today, but he did play well enough to lead the Tigers to the go ahead TD. Clemson’s defense is top-notch and with Syracuse and Wake Forest next, the Tigers shouldn’t have much problem with them. Today was the game that needed to be gutted out. Clemson moves to 5-2, and will remain in the top 25.

4) Ohio State win seems like a lifetime ago for Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is a beat up injured football team, that is just playing bad. That’s not a good combination. Against Pittsburgh Thursday the Hokies looked downright awful. It’s hard to believe the Hokies won at Ohio State a few weeks ago. All the good will from that game is history. The Hokies are in real trouble now at 4-3. Their Coastal Division hopes are on life support. The Coastal Winner isn’t going 4-4, 5-3 at worst, and I’m predicting 6-2. Virginia Tech is faced with a MUST win at home against Miami. They get Duke on the road later in the year, but the Hokies need to make a move NOW.

5) Louisville get their offensive stars going. 

WR Devante Parker was back and had 132 yards receiving. Michael Dyer had 173 yards rushing. Will Gardner was playing QB. The Cardinal had a blue collar effort defeating NC State 30-18. Now the Cardinals get a bye week to prepare for a huge Thursday night game where they get to host Florida State on October 3oth.

6) Pittsburgh – up down up down up down

One minute Pitt looks like an 8-4 team, then next a 4-8 team, then 8-4, then 4-8. Thursday night against Virginia Tech in a 21-16 it was the 8-4 version. The Panthers held the Hokies to an amazing 26 yards rushing, and ground out over 200 on a good Hokie defense. Pittsburgh now has a chance to make a real move in the Coastal. Next week they face at home, a Georgia Tech team that is defensively reeling.

7) Georgia Tech’s 5-0 start is a distant memory. 

Earlier we said Virginia Tech’s win over Ohio State seemed like a lifetime ago. Georgia Tech’s 5-0 start also seems like an distant memory. The Yellow Jackets were done in by several questionable decisions including some bizarre calls by Paul Johnson in a 48-43 loss to UNC. The Jackets onsides kick with well over 10 minutes, because Johnson apparently doesn’t trust his defense, but yet doesn’t use a Timeout on UNC’s final drive? That said the real problem is simply a terrible defense. Georgia Tech doesn’t do one thing well on that side of the ball. It’s a shame because I think the Triple Option offense is as efficient as it’s been in years.  Summary of GT/UNC game? UNC defense bad, GT defense more bad. 

8) UNC setting up for another 2nd Half push? 

The Tar Heels nearly knocked off Notre Dame last week. This week they outscored Georgia Tech 48-43. Are they ready for another 2nd half push like last year? I’m not sure about that yet. The Tar Heels are an awful team on defense, but they are starting to get very difficult to stop on offense. It’s wouldn’t shock anyone if they had another 2nd half run, but ask me again after the Tar Heels play at Virginia next week. If they win that game, I’ll start to believe they can have another strong finish.

9) Did anyone watch Syracuse and Wake Forest play? 

Syracuse won 30-7 , so there’s that. I think these schools fanbases have turned the page to basketball. Danny Manning is recruiting well at Wake Forest, and Syracuse basketball is still Syracuse basketball.

10) How big is Virginia Tech\Miami Thursday night? 

Both of these teams have 3 losses, 2 in the ACC. A loss would effectively end either team’s Coastal Division’s hopes. Miami has struggled away from home. Virginia Tech has been struggling since their Ohio State win. Let’s be honest the loser of this game’s season will be down the drain. Yes it’s a big game, but not for the right reasons.

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