Extra Point: A Triangle football weekend to remember
Oct 8, 2012
Extra Point is a sometimes serious, always sarcastic Monday morning recap of what you missed from ACC football action over the weekend.
It's not often that North Carolina, Duke and NC State all win home ACC games on the same weekend. OK, "not often" may be a bit of a misnomer. It's only happened four times since the schools started playing football.
Prior to this weekend, it hadn't happened since Oct. 15, 1994, a string of nearly 18 years. On that Saturday, Duke beat Clemson, UNC beat Maryland and NC State downed Wake Forest.
Go crazy Triangle football fans! Go crazy!
Bernard powers Heels past struggling Virginia Tech
There isn't a good way to explain why it happens, but every now and then, offensive coaching staffs seem to forget about their best players. In the opening minutes of North Carolina's game against Virginia Tech, someone forgot about running back Gio Bernard.
On their first three offensive possessions (not including Sean Tapley's kickoff return touchdown), the Tar Heels tried to attack the Hokies through the air, resulting in an underwhelming nine plays, 25 yards and three punts. The Twitter chatter at that point even included discussion of how Virginia Tech's defense was finally coming together.
Funny how quickly things change.
Four hours later, Bernard had tallied a career-best 267 yards on 23 carries while helping the Tar Heels score 48 points on Virginia Tech, the most the Hokies have given up since joining the ACC. The career day was part of an impressive effort by the Tar Heels (4-2, 1-1), who racked up 533 yards of offense on what was supposed to be the second-best defense in the ACC.
Defensively, the Tar Heels, who allowed just 40 yards rushing, were great against the run and good enough against the pass. Considering the inconsistent play from nearly every ACC defense so far this season, being good against one or the other is usually more than enough to keep teams competitive.
Moving forward, Saturday's balanced offensive effort (Bryn Renner threw for just 194 yards) should be the blueprint North Carolina employs. Bernard is clearly the league's best back, and he deserves 25-30 touches a week.
Duke dominates in second half, downs Virginia
Another week, another win for the refreshing Blue Devils.
Following a pedestrian first half, Duke allowed just five first downs in the final two quarters, outscoring Virginia 28-0 over the final 36 minutes of the game to move to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC. At this point, the bowl game discussion isn't if, but where. That's not a joke, folks. Tough schedule or not, this Duke team is good enough to compete with any team in the league.
The Blue Devils didn't miss starting quarterback Sean Renfree one bit, as first-time starter Anthony Boone transitioned from goal line wildcat expert to everyone's favorite gun slinger. Boone finished 18-of-31 for 212 yards and four touchdowns.
Two of those scoring plays went to Conner Vernon, who became the ACC's all-time leading pass catcher midway through the opening quarter. Vernon's second touchdown catch, which covered 45 yards, capped a 7-reception, 93-yard afternoon and was the highlight of Duke's impressive second-half run.
The health of Duke's defense will be a concern as the Blue Devils head toward the tougher part of their schedule, but at this point, it's hard to doubt what the unit has been able to do in spite of all the injuries. Considering Virginia Tech's on-again, off-again offense, this weekend's trip to Blacksburg doesn't look nearly as imposing as it did even three weeks ago.
As for the bowl game discussion, a couple of Sunday projections placed the Blue Devils in Charlotte for the Belk Bowl. Wins over North Carolina (Oct. 20) and Miami (Nov. 24) would all but lock up a trip to the Queen City.
Wolfpack rally to stun third-ranked Seminoles
Following NC State's ugly loss to Miami a week ago, more than a few people floated the "wouldn't it be the most ACC thing ever for the Pack to beat Florida State" idea. Not many of them (myself included) did it with a straight face, but the talking point was acknowledged.
Next time, don't forget to make that joke with a straight face. Signed, Tom O'Brien's grin.
While Florida State (Jimbo Fisher) deserves plenty of blame for NC State's ability to rally from a 16-0 halftime deficit Saturday night, the Wolfpack, who made halftime adjustments on both offense and defense, deserve just as much credit.
Mike Glennon and Co. went uptempo, essentially negating a huge disadvantage up front to allow a patchwork offensive line to more than hold its own against the ACC's best defensive line. In the final minutes, it was that edge – and FSU's inability to cover anyone inside the hashmarks – that allowed the Wolfpack to march down the field and steal a win.
Defensively, NC State was able to put pressure on E.J. Manuel while also slowing down Chris Thompson, who looked unstoppable at times in the first two quarters. Considering how terrible the unit was a week ago in south Florida, Saturday's effort is really the least surprising aspect of the entire game. Look at the rest of the season. Inconsistency is the new consistency.
Following a much-needed bye week, don't be surprised to see the Wolfpack go on one of Tom O'Brien's patented late-season runs. The Wolfpack travel to Maryland, Chapel Hill and Clemson and host Virginia, Wake Forest and Boston College.
Most Recent Comments
RE: Extra Point: A Triangle football weekend to rememberLOL at Holes trying to blame FSU losing on one bad call.
You guys were expecting a 40+ point blowout. Didn't get no satisfaction, did ya? LOL again!
RE: Extra Point: A Triangle football weekend to remember
- Posted by shakennotstirred- Posted by heelsforever- Posted by trueblue0100Congrats to State and Duke.- Posted by kkevin7048
Congrats to the officials....No one has asked this so I will.....were those repalcement officials at the FSU/NCSU game? I need to know, because I saw a Packer/Seattle monent on FSU's next to last possession. The officials CLEARLY made a horrible call. The FSU receiver made a catch (in bounds), spun around, went out of bounds and fell to the ground. Upon the receiver AND ball hitting the ground, the official called it an incomplete pass.bIt was clearly the wrong call as well as a bad call and even after a review they got it wrong. If the officials had gotten the call right, FSU would have had a first down and in all probability NCSU doesn't get that last ditch chance to score. If the the game had been played in Tallahassee instead of Carter-Finley, the officials probably would have gotten it RIGHT. NCSU got a win that they probably didn't deserve.
FSU should have never been in that position to begin with. As a highly ranked team playing an unranked team, take care of your business and one missed call doesn't hurt you. I personally didn't see the play, so I don't know if it was missed or not, but again, it's FSU's fault for being in that position in the first place.
It was ruled an incompletion. Not because he didn't get his foot down inbounds, but because, by rule, the player must hold onto the ball even when hitting the ground. Now what's all the hoopla about UNC's wins? Have they beaten anybody with a winning record or anyone who is power ranked in the top 75? I'm not sure, just asking. Kind of like the basketball teams winning their first 10 games against UNC-Smithfield or the likes...
And it was reviewed and (I believe) it was confirmed, not just stands as called. Confirmed means the call was correct. Stands as called means there is not enough video evidence either way.
RE: Extra Point: A Triangle football weekend to rememberVT's secondary is playing like the youth that we are right now. Out of position for the most part. Our safety didn't line up properly on the 63 yard burst. Not many Foster defenses allow this when a team needs 1 foot to make a 1st. I sure hope that we don't line up in a junk defense like this again. We should have at least 3 back by 3-5 yards off of the LOS. UNC won. My 3rd congratulation.
RE: Extra Point: A Triangle football weekend to rememberGreat weekend for football in the triangle! I was shocked by all 3 outcomes. Thought Duke would win against UVa, unc and VT would be a battle, but not the shootout it became, and I certainly didn't expect Bernard to run for 260! Good gracious! I thknk he's still running!
BUT - the SHOCK of the season happend at Carter Finley! I happiy ate crow yesterday. Turned down tickets because I expected a blow out. Now, I wish I had been there.
So much better than the NFL garbage we got to watch here yesterday
RE: Extra Point: A Triangle football weekend to remember
FSU obviously did not maintain possession all the way to the ground and in my opinion it was so blatent that it was one of Fisher's many mistakes to even challenge it. I was 60 feet away and I could see him lose the ball, no need for replay to see it.- Posted by OneManWolfpack
This article is 100% correct the O'Brien outcoached Fisher. I feel like I am one of the few that have not ever called for O'Brein's job, or maybe the supporters just aren't as vocal as the complainers. Tudor had a great point in the N&O about O'Brien's clean record and how UNC's fallout has in part given O'Brien job security. His program is clean and he does more with less talent than many coaches in the ACC. He doesn't recruit the best talent, but he recruits hard working, coachable and responsible young men. Selling out to more talented players may lead you into UNC's debacle.
One last point. Fisher got bailed out. State was killing FSU with the short crossing routes, and with FSU blowing its timeouts it didn't have one to spare to make an adjustment. So, one of their guys "cramped". The FSU defense was allowed to meet with their coaches and from them on they stuffed the crossing routes. I believe teams should not be able to meet with coaches during injuries. This was treated like a timeout that FSU did not deserve.
Reporting has said that we exploited FSU with crossing routes, but this only worked for a while. Once FSU made the adjustment we made our own by targeting the Tight End and using slants. Great job again by Glennon and the offense. They need credit for this as well.
And rules need to change to disallow injuries to be used as timeouts.
I'm a Heels fan, but I have to agree with you about that "bonus" T/O FSU got. That stop in play did allow Fisher to talk to his players, just as long, if not longer than an actual T/O. State won that game fair and square and anybody who says otherwise is just bitter.