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Oct
06
2015

#ACC Football: What Did We Learn? Week 5 Edition

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Another week and hats off to Clemson on their big win in Death Valley. They definitely proved a lot of folks wrong in pulling out a close win against Notre Dame.

1) The Hokies Played Like Hyde

Keeping the Jekyll & Hyde theme going, the Hokies were like Hyde last week, losing another game, this time at home 17-13 to Pittsburgh. The Hokies did it all to the tune of 100 yards of total offense, the lowest since Frank Beamer’s first year coaching in 1987. The offensive line allowed 7 sacks, Brenden Motley played visibly hurt, and well, when it rains it pours in Blacksburg. The Hokies medical staff recently announced the loss of cornerback Kendall Fuller and running back Marshawn Williams to injury for the season.

What’s going on in Blacksburg? Between recruiting, injuries, and losing, one has to wonder, at 2-3, is it time to panic yet? The short answer is no. The win column has been kind to the Hokies in years past, however, with coaching changes comes a bit of growing pain. Granted, the starting quarterback Michael Brewer is out with an injury but if Brewer does play Friday, which he’s been cleared to practice already, you might see a different Hokie team come Friday night against the NC State Wolfpack.

2) Louisville has a QB in Lamar Jackson

Now ignoring the fact that Lamar Jackson was 10 for 27 passing for 103 passing yards, Saturday was a day of growth as a team for the Cardinals. Despite their youth, Louisville went to Raleigh and got a much needed ACC win 20-13. The Cardinals jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and never looked back. Led by a 68 yard rush in the opening quarter by Lamar Jackson, the Cardinals managed 203 rushing yards as a team while holding the Wolfpack to only 45 rushing yards on defense.

Louisville has quite a few freshmen starting for them.

Louisville has quite a few freshmen starting for them.

The Wolfpack were without the team’s leading rusher Shad Thornton who was kicked off the team following his arrest for an accident on campus. The Wolfpack travel to Blacksburg this Friday so let’s see if they can bounce back in conference play.

3) Clemson is the “Team to Beat” in ACC Play

Clemson was my favorite to win the Atlantic Division and ACC Crown and I’m sticking with them, especially after Saturday’s performance. The Clemson defense forced 4 turnovers (3 fumbles, 1 interception) on their way to a 24-22 victory. Granted the Tigers won after a failed 2-pt conversion by Notre Dame, but they still won!

The Tigers managed 199 yards on the ground, led by Wayne Gallman’s 98 rushing yards, and Deshaun Watson was responsible for 3 touchdowns on the game (1 rush, 2 passing) in what was a marquee matchup with “College Football Playoff” implications written all over it.

The Tigers didn’t pass it like DeShone Kizer did though, who threw for 321 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. But Kizer was 19-34 with an interception, still hard to ignore the freshman’s efforts, leading the Irish back from being down 21-3 in the second half.

4) Miami has reached “Peak Hurricane”

Well their uniforms were cool as hell to look at but Miami football still was lackluster at best. The Hurricanes lost to Cincinatti 34-23 in disappointing fashion. Kicker Michael Badgley missed two field goal attempts (51, 53) and Brad Kaaya didn’t throw a passing touchdown in what was a game where Miami left a lot of points on the field.

Kaaya was unable to convert on a 4th and goal from the 5 yard line with 4:41 left in the game. Could this be Al Golden’s last season as the Hurricanes head coach? The Hurricanes travel to Florida State this Saturday, a win here could loom huge for them as they teeter at 3-1.

5) BC has a REALLY good defense (Rushing anyways)

I know the the Boston College Eagles lost 9-7 but the fact that they only gave up 9 points is a testament to their defense. It’s the Eagles 2nd loss in ACC play as well, but giving up 14 points to Florida State (7 if you count a fumble recovery for a touchdown by the Seminoles) and 9 points to Duke is definitely something you can hang your hat on as a team.

The BC Eagles fought valiantly against Duke as well, only giving up 33 rushing yards. On the season, the Eagles are only giving a 1.5 yards per play on defense, 43.4 rushing yards per game. If they can limit their turnovers and grow through experience, maybe, we’ll see them towards the top of the ACC Football standings for years to come.

Comments? Questions? Feedback? Let me know on Twitter at @AllSportsDACC or @HereGoJayAgain, feedback is always welcome!

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