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Derek Medlin

Extra Point: A Triangle football weekend to remember

Posted October 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. 

25 Comments

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  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Oct 9, 6:11 a.m.

    LOL 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!

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Oct 9, 6:09 a.m.

    Congrats to State and Duke.

    — Posted by kkevin7048

    Congrats to the officials....No one has asked this so I will.....were those repalcement... View More

    — Posted by trueblue0100

    FSU should have never been in that position to begin with. As a highly ranked team playing an... View More

    — Posted by heelsforever

    It was ruled an incompletion. Not because he didn't get his foot down inbounds, but because, by... View More

    — Posted by shakennotstirred

    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.

  • Hokies94 Oct 8, 6:05 p.m.

    VT'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.

  • Got Peart Oct 8, 4:27 p.m.

    Great 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

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Oct 8, 3:13 p.m.

    FSU obviously did not maintain possession all the way to the ground and in my opinion it was so... View More

    — Posted by OneManWolfpack

    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.

  • Hokies94 Oct 8, 3:09 p.m.

    My hat is off to all 3 teams. Gio played like an All American. State did a super job in the 2nd half and never relented to FSU. Duke is playing above any year that I can remember lately. What 92? VT had better coach some people this week.

  • Tarheel born Oct 8, 2:28 p.m.

    Congratulations to all three Triangle teams. What a football weekend it was! UNC, State and Duke all took care of business plain and simple. State has a remarkable comeback to echo Jimmy V's famous quote "Never give up, never ever give up", Duke catches fire in the second half and UNC's Gio scorches the grass with his running attack beating VT to stop the skid of 13 consecutive wins in N.C. To quote an old Wolfpacker friend of mine whose gone on to that "football stadium" in the clouds "How sweet it is! Great God 'amighty how sweet it is". I'm sure Fletcher enjoyed this past weekend.

    GO HEELS!!

  • heelsforever Oct 8, 1:50 p.m.

    Congrats to State and Duke.

    — Posted by kkevin7048

    Congrats to the officials....No one has asked this so I will.....were those repalcement... View More

    — Posted by trueblue0100

    FSU should have never been in that position to begin with. As a highly ranked team playing an... View More

    — Posted by heelsforever

    It was ruled an incompletion. Not because he didn't get his foot down inbounds, but because, by... View More

    — Posted by shakennotstirred

    I thought we were talking about State's game....

    As for UNC, I'm still not convinced one way or another about them because I don't have a good fell for any of the three teams they've played not called Elon or Idaho. Furthermore, I don't expect to know anything more about the Heels until at least the State game. Who knows if Miami is any good, and I'm still not convinced that Duke is anything more than average. Honestly, UNC could run the table and I'm not sure one could say with certainty that they are anything more than average also. I look at their remaining games and don't see anyone who has set the world on fire. I personally think all of their remaining games, except maybe UMd, are toss ups.

  • kornfan2448 Oct 8, 12:58 p.m.

    HOOOOOORRRAAAYYYYYYY FOOTBALL!!

  • BenFranklin Oct 8, 12:19 p.m.

    Congrats to all three teams! We need a few more weekends like this one when bball begins!

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
Final
NCSU 60
BSU 54
Final
PIT 2
CAR 4
Final
CHA 101
GSW 106
Final
UF 64
UNC 75
 
3rd
TULSA 14
ECU 21
 
Final
BOS 102
CHI 109
Final
CHA 101
GSW 106
Final
TOR 102
DAL 106
 
Final
DET 88
MIL 104
 
Final
ATL 100
NOP 91
 
Final
HOU 85
LAC 102
 
Final
OKC 105
NYK 78
 
Final
IND 98
ORL 83
 
4th
SAN 102
SAC 88
 
3rd
DEN 77
PHO 55
 
2nd
POR 25
MEM 23
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIN
Final
WMICH 21
NILL 31
Final
SMU 9
HOU 35
Final
IOWA 34
NEB 37
Final
SFLA 0
UCF 16
Final
MARS 66
WKENT 67
Final
KSU 27
AKR 24
Final
BGU 24
BST 41
Final
UMASS 21
BUF 41
Final
EMICH 16
TOL 52
Final
MIZZ 21
ARK 14
Final
SALABAMA 40
NAVY 42
Final
ARZ 42
ARST 35
Final
AFA 27
COLST 24
Final
UCLA 10
STAN 31
3rd
VT 10
UVA 13
 
3rd
TULSA 14
ECU 21
 
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
Final
KU 82
TENN 67
Final
TEXAM 87
NO 65
 
Final
NCAT 57
RAD 65
 
Final
GEOR 58
BUT 64
Final
BRO 81
PVU 71
Final
RIU 66
SCU 44
Final
NARZ 70
SOUTH 63
Final
DART 68
MAST 67
Final
WRST 59
FIU 61
Final
XAV 73
UTEP 77
Final
OSU 73
JMU 56
Final
TXSOU 71
LAM 59
 
Final
TAMCC 75
MVSU 66
 
Final
AKAN 51
MIZST 55
Final
BUCK 80
PSU 88
 
Final
PROV 72
YALE 66
Final
UGA 62
MINN 66
Final
WISC 69
OKLA 56
Final
Terriers 70
NORST 72
 
Final
PEAY 62
STEPH 83
Final
FSU 58
CSOU 47
 
Final
VALPO 66
DRAK 46
Final
CIN 69
MTST 51
Final
SDU 75
PRIN 65
Final
WASU 76
RICE 74
Final
CSFU 64
USCU 79
Final
GT 61
RIDE 54
 
Final
TXPA 79
ALAST 91
Final
NCSU 60
BSU 54
Final
TCU 57
BRAD 49
 
Final
WAKE 65
DELST 72
 
Final
HART 83
EMERSON 50
 
Final
STJ 66
GONZ 73
 
Final
CLEM 62
HIGH 59
 
Final
SYR 72
HC 48
 
Final
MD 61
MON 56
Final
JVST 74
SAV 71
 
Final
MIAMI 87
SALA 75
Final
RUTG 68
VANDY 65
 
Final
PETE 66
TENST 58
 
Final
MARS 59
CLST 68
 
Final
JST 56
HOF 86
 
Final
INDST 62
MEM 72
 
Final
UF 64
UNC 75
 
Final
LATU 77
SAMF 64
 
Final
TULA 71
SELA 61
 
Final
NEB 75
TENNM 64
 
Final
MISS 75
CREI 68
 
Final
PORT 64
MURST 61
 
2nd
MARQ 49
MSU 65
 
2nd
ARK 57
UNT 56
 
2nd
NCOL 67
STET 50
 
2nd
IND 68
UNCG 54
 
2nd
SJST 42
WMICH 61
 
2nd
MNTST 75
TXARL 55
 
Half
UVA 37
LAS 19
 
Half
STLU 27
MSST 37
 
Half
COLST 43
PAC 26
 
1st
UTAH 22
NDAK 12
 
10:30pm Tonight
ILL
BAY
10:30pm Tonight
UAB
UCLA
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
MERC
Final
PHI 0
NYR 3
Final
ANA 1
CHI 4
Final
WAS 5
NYI 2
Final
PIT 2
CAR 4
Final
NJD 4
DET 5
 
Final
BUF 2
MON 1
 
Final
CLB 0
VAN 5
 
Final
BOS 2
WIN 1
 
Final
FLA 3
OTT 2
 
3rd
STL 3
EDM 3
 
3rd
DAL 3
MIN 3