ACC Football: What Did We Learn? Week 1 Edition


Hello ACC fans! Welcome to a new segment this season. Each week, I’ll delve into 5 key things we learned following each week. So, here goes nothing with this week’s edition!

1) The ACC has been plagued with injuries.

Pittsburgh lost their leading rusher James Conner and Syracuse lost their starting quarterback Terrell Hunt for the season. Conner suffered a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL) and Hunt suffered a torn Achilles’.

The Hokies lost Michael Brewer 4-8 weeks to a broken collar bone. Brewer took a vicious hit while attempting a pass early in the 3rd quarter with the Hokies down 21-17. Replaced by Brendan Motley, the Hokies offense stalled, allowing Ohio State to take a commanding 42-24 win. Brewer was 11-16 with 156 passing yards and 2 touchdowns before leaving with the injury.

Mike Williams, a Clemson wide receiver, had an even scarier injury after he broke a bone in his neck catching a pass in the end zone. Williams went head first in to the goal post and had to be carted off the field, it’s unclear at this time if Williams will return this season.

With all the injuries, it will be interesting to see how teams adjust their strategies going forward. Week 1 is a celebration, full of excitement that a new season is here and now for a few players, they won’t even get to play.

2) Georgia Tech’s offense may be better than last years.

Justin Thomas looked good, granted it was an FCS opponent. Thomas was 3-4 with 54 yards and a passing and rushing touchdown. The offense saw a lot of variety as well. Six different Yellow Jackets scored rushing touchdowns, only 2 players scored more than once. Add in the passing touchdown, seven different players scored for the Yellow Jackets.

Freshman Marcus Marshall ran for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 8 carries. The Yellowjackets defeated Alcorn State 69-6, scoring on their first 7 possessions. The Yellow Jackets finished the game with 476 rushing yards as a team, a category they lead the nation in a season ago, so they’re off to a good start already.

3) Elijah Hood needs more than 12 carries a game.

That UNC-South Carolina game still haunts my memory. I watched Elijah Hood scamper across the field for 138 yards for UNC and then he just disappeared. No more carries and the coaches tried to allow Marquise Williams to do it all. The result? 3 turnovers including an interception where he simply threw it right to the defense in the their own end zone late.

UNC went scoreless in the second half, something that can’t happen going forward if they want to be successful, obviously. But Marquise Williams is a senior now, 3 interceptions can’t happen. Williams went 19/31 with 1 passing touchdown and 3 interceptions.

And how do you offset throwing too much? You run the ball, I think Elijah Hood would like some more carries. The Tar Heels scored zero rushing touchdowns all game.

4) Louisville Is Still Searching for a QB

As stated by @TalkinACCSports earlier in the week, Bobby Petrino has a bigger threat in freshman quarterback Lamar Jackson although Reggie Bonnafon is a better passer. So with that being said, is there a quarterback battle brewing in Louisville?

Auburn came out early and capitalized on a few mistakes by the Cardinals, leading 17-0 at halftime and 24-0 in the third quarter. The Cardinals responded though. Jackson went 9-20 with 200 passing yards in the air, and on his feet, he ran for 106 yards including a 10 yard touchdown. The Cardinals bounced back rather nicely behind Jackson in the end as well, the team almost mounted a comeback as well before losing 31-24.

Bobby Petrino has some decisions to make on offense going forward and lets hope he makes them fast, the Cardinals threw an interception on their first offensive possession of the game.

5) Everett Golson Looks Good for Florida State

Everett Golson looked well prepared in his debut for the Seminoles. He was 19-25 with 302 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. Granted the opponent was Texas State, but Golson was accurate and also mobile in the pocket as well. He showed poise and similar on-field leadership exhibited by last year’s starter Jamies Winston.

The rest of the team fell in line with Golson as well. Dalvin Cook ran for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns after a rather interesting off season that saw him suspended indefinitely for an off the field incident. Mario Pender had 92 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown as well.

Could the Seminoles be back in the College Football Playoffs? It remains to be seen, but this was certainly a good start putting up 59 points in an explosive offense.

Did I miss anything? Let me know what you think as well on Twitter @HereGoJayAgain.

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