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

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • 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.

  • hokies94vt@gmail.com 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

  • StunGunn 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.

  • hokies94vt@gmail.com 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!

More...

 

 

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big 10: Michigan at Michigan State

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
Final
ORL 100
MIL 115
Final
IND 103
NYK 82
Final
MEM 99
DEN 69
Final
LAL 123
CHI 118
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
SAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
LAC
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
CHI
 
Final
PROV 83
DEP 72
Final
RUTG 51
MSU 71
Final
ARMY 71
BU 67
 
Final
RFLSH 75
BRY 68
 
Final
MERC 75
CHAT 72
 
Final
LIU 67
CCST 55
 
Final
TOWS 74
COC 70
 
Final
UMASS 66
DAY 64
Final
FUR 59
ETST 55
 
Final
ODU 71
FIU 56
Final
RMU 87
FD 65
 
Final
CHAR 86
FATL 61
Final
LIB 53
HIGH 72
 
Final
UNF 86
KNST 67
 
Final
FLGC 78
LIP 62
 
Final
OSU 80
MD 56
Final
Terriers 73
MNTER 67
 
Final
STET 85
NKENTUCKY 75
 
Final
WAGN 75
SHU 64
 
Final
GMAS 68
STLU 60
Final
JVU 65
USCU 78
 
Final
VMI 70
WCU 85
 
Final
LATU 69
WKENT 56
Final
UNCG 42
WOFF 58
 
Final
DET 93
YOUNG 87
 
Final
GSOUT 83
APP 46
 
Final
TENNM 81
EILL 51
 
Final
GHND 64
HC 54
 
Final
CIN 70
UCONN 58
Final
NDST 61
DEN 54
 
Final
SD 55
MAST 66
 
Final
UWMIL 71
ILLCH 65
 
Final
BEL 103
JVST 82
 
Final
SMISS 54
MARS 69
Final
TXSA 69
MTST 58
Final
PETE 49
RIDE 58
 
Final
SEMIZ 61
SIUE 75
 
Final
TENST 64
TENT 56
 
Final
NDAK 60
WEBER 67
 
Final
SALA 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
ARKST 65
ARKLR 75
 
Final
TROY 55
LAMON 58
 
Final
TXARL 74
UGST 88
 
Final
MURST 85
EKENT 78
 
Final
NCOL 79
IDST 76
 
Final
MIZZ 53
KENT 69
Final
GONZ 64
PORT 46
Final
UTEP 71
UAB 69
Final
GRCN 78
UMKC 57
 
Final
WLVRN 78
CHIST 62
 
Final
USC 94
COL 98
Final
UCI 67
CPSL 57
 
Final
CSNO 73
HAW 84
 
Final
PAC 43
PEPP 50
 
Final
SDU 69
SCU 64
 
Final
UCD 70
UCSB 64
 
Final
UCLA 69
UTAH 59
Final
PORST 54
MONT 73
 
Final
SACST 75
MNTST 59
 
Final
CSFU 85
LBSU 91
 
Final
GAELS 68
LMU 54
 
Final
WASU 67
CAL 76
Final
BYU 78
USF 74
 
6:00pm Tonight
PRIN
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
BRO
 
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
DART
 
7:00pm Tonight
NIAG
MAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
QUIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAN
SIENA
 
8:00pm Tonight
WILL
IUPUI
 
8:00pm Tonight
FAIR
MON
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARST
OREG
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLMB
YALE
 
10:00pm Tonight
BUF
KSU
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
ORST
 
Final
NYI 2
BOS 5
Final
NYR 0
MON 1
Final
PHI 5
WIN 2
Final
TOR 1
ARI 3
Final
FLA 3
CLB 2
Final
TAM 5
DET 1
Final
STL 5
NAS 4
Final
CAL 0
MIN 1
Final
EDM 3
BUF 2
Final
SJS 6
ANA 3
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
PIT
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
NAS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI