#ACC Football: What Did We Learn? Week 9 Edition

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Well if you’re Travis Rudolph, you’re certainly leaving certain clips on your career highlight reel. This week saw a lot of good, some bad officiating, and we’re saying farewell to a legend at the end of the season…here’s what we learned….

1) The ACC Refs have some explaining to do.

In the Duke-Miami game, the ACC officials have a lot of explaining to do. In a game where the Hurricanes were flagged for 23 penalties for 194 yards, it took an improbable 8 lateral kickoff return, that was reviewed, then reviewed some more, before it was ruled a touchdown before Miami beat Duke 30-27 to end the game in controversial fashion.

We’re going to here a lot of grumbling in the coming weeks but the point of instituting replay is to get these type of crazy plays correct if not during the actual play itself. After all, Duke had 34 first downs, forced 2 turnovers, rushed for 182 yards as a team, and still managed to leave it up to a play that the refs still probably got wrong in the end.

As a result, Duke is 3-1 in the Coastal and North Carolina controls its own destiny under so much scrutiny, nonetheless. Stay tuned, Duke faces North Carolina next week!

2) UNC looks prime for an ACC Coastal Title

In an early Thursday game, the North Carolina Tar Heels got a statement win against a tough Pittsburgh team 26-19. Running back Elijah Hood had 20 carries for 98 yards but it was quarterback Marquise Williams who silenced some critics. Williams was 14-23 with 27o passing yards and 2 passing touchdowns. Williams connected with receiver Ryan Switzer on a long pass touchdown after breaking a few tackles which is a glimpse of just how far Williams has come as a quarterback.

The Tar Heels have now won 7 straight games since losing their home opener to South Carolina. The Tar Heels sacked the Panthers 5 times and held freshman running Qadree Ollison to 54 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Suprisingly, the Tar Heels have only allowed ACC opponents to score 77 points so far this season, (1st in the ACC). The Tar Heels defense is looking good after the hiring of former Auburn coach Gene Chizik. Next week they face Duke, which should make for a tough match up on both sides of the ball.

3) Learning Curves are good, only for Louisville though.

Now, the Louisville Cardinals are a young team, they’re new to the ACC, and also not an offensively dominant team, but, their 20-19 win over Wake Forest is nothing to frown about. There is a lot to learn from a decent performance against a not very good but usually competitive Demon Deacon squad.

Freshhman quarterback Lamar Jackson 19-26 with 207 yards and 2 passing touchdowns. Junior receiver Jamari Staples had another breakout game with 10 receptions for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns and the defense did what they do best; force turnovers with 4 interceptions by 4 different Cardinals defenders.

Now, the Cardinals won but there’s a lot to learn from a 1 point victory over Wake Forest. They were 5-18 on 3rd downs and only rushed for 68 yards as a team. There is plenty to learn from, even in a victory. The Cardinals also had 10 penalties for 89 yards. The offense had a good day passing but on a day where the pass rush is a bit more difficult, the Cardinals could see a bit more difficulty in winning. But they’re young, which is a good thing as they can hopefully learn from it.

4) Clemson’s Balance is Key

Clemson used a bit of balance to defeat the NC State Wolfpack, and it took a while before the Tigers pulled away 56-41. Quarterback Deshaun Watson continues to lead the way as a pocket passer. Watson was 23-30 with 383 passing yards and 5 passing touchdowns; one could say it was one of Watson’s best game. Watson also scored a rushing touchdown and had 54 rushing yards on the day.

Not to be forgotten, running back Wayne Gallman carried the ball 31 times for 172 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers. The game saw 8 different receivers record a passing reception, 5 different receivers scored touchdowns as well. If anything, we’re seeing a leader being born out of Deshaun Watson. Needless to say, it has been fun to watch!

5) Farewell Frank Beamer, You Will Be Missed!

All good things must come to an end. Don’t get me wrong, what Frank Beamer has done at Virginia Tech is to be celebrated, honored, and remembered, but the time for change has come. Although the Hokies made easy work of Boston College this week 26-10, it was announced on Sunday that Frank Beamer will retire at the season’s end.

277 career victories, 22 consecutive bowl berths, 93 NFL draftees, 4 ACC titles, 13 seasons with 10+ wins, the list goes on of accolades that can’t be denied. Congratulations to Frank Beamer for all he has done for Virginia Tech and I look forward to running into him in Blacksburg under his special assistant role.


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