ACC week two is all about The U
Posted September 4, 2013
Updated September 5, 2013
The perception of ACC football went up a notch when Clemson knocked off Georgia. Better showings by the Virginia Tech offense and the North Carolina defense in games against big-time SEC opponents would have made it a better week for the ACC, but at least the league avoided bad losses. In week two, it’s all about the U.
Miami has a golden opportunity to put itself and the ACC on college football’s front page if the Hurricanes can knock off No. 10 Florida. The Gators boast a great defense, but against Toledo had only three plays that gained more than 20 yards and none over 30. Miami’s Duke Johnson can top those numbers all by himself. Quarterback Stephen Morris gives the Hurricanes another big play threat, and remember, the Canes return almost their entire defense from last year. Miami hosts this game and although Sun Life Stadium is not ranked among the nation’s most feared places to play, not having to go to Gainesville is big for Miami.
Elsewhere: VT and UNC look to rebound in games against directional schools. Tech has the easier task, taking on perennial Southern Conference doormat Western Carolina. The Hokies gave their offense a makeover in the off-season but that wasn’t evident against Alabama. They didn’t run from the spread any better than they ran from the I. Presumably quarterback Logan Thomas’ receivers can get open THIS WEEK against the Catamounts. When Thomas was throwing to wide receivers Jarrett Boykin and Danny Coale in 2011 he completed nearly 60%. Now, ughhhhhh.
Completing passes isn’t the problem for Carolina. It’s stopping passes and runs. The Tar Heels should show marked improvement in these areas against Middle Tennessee, although fans should note the Blue Raiders have beaten Georgia Tech and Maryland (twice) in the last five seasons. Blue Raiders coach says controlling tempo against UNC will be key
Clemson welcomes South Carolina State. Wes Durham, the ACC’s newest TV play-by-play announcer, should have fun when Clemson’s on offense in this game.
Duke goes to Memphis for what should be an easy win. The Tigers barely gained 150 yards last year against a Blue Devil defense that was beaten up along the defensive front, and Duke’s D is healthy now.
NC State hosts Richmond on Military Appreciation Night at Carter-Finley Stadium. That’s appropriate, since State hopes to march up and down the field against Richmond. Still, the Spiders are ranked 16th in the latest FCS poll and Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren needs to find some way to get running and passing from his quarterbacks while the injured starter Brandon Mitchell mends.
Maryland takes on Old Dominion. The Monarchs demonstrated against East Carolina they can score points. But Maryland, playing this season with a real quarterback in CJ Brown, should be more than equal to the task.
Virginia picked up a nice win over BYU but now must do battle with Oregon. I don’t think the Cavs defensive coordinator John Tenuta can call blitzes as quickly as the Ducks can fire off big plays.
Syracuse visits No. 22 Northwestern. The Orange looked pretty solid in a close loss against Penn State but lack a little in team speed and big play potential. If the Wildcats are on their game they should win, however Syracuse will not beat itself.
FSU, Pitt, and Georgia Tech are off this week.
Oops, almost forgot, still getting used to those Friday night games! Wake Forest tries to climb Chestnut Hill in what could be one of the weekend’s most intriguing contests. Deacons head coach Jim Grobe has fared well against Boston College, going 5 and 5. To win this week, the Deacons need to run the ball and slow down the fine BC passing combination of quarterback Chase Rettig and wide receiver Alex Amidon. If wide receiver Michael Campanaro can go full speed Friday night, that helps Wake. Wake fell behind against Presbyterian for goodness sakes, can’t do that against BC.