Mark Thomas

Film Study: Devils, Heels and Pack Week 6

Posted October 7, 2012
Updated October 8, 2012

The three teams in the triangle were 3-0 this weekend – that’s pretty impressive. What’s even more impressive is that Virginia, Virginia Tech and Florida State were the teams going home with losses. I had a chance to watch each of their game films, and this is what I saw.

North Carolina 48,  Virginia Tech 34

First, we look at the obvious. Giovani Bernard’s knee is fine (262 yards, 1 TD). And apparently now bionic. He took low hits on each knee, and it just seemed to make him faster as the game progressed. Bernard is scary in the open field. The offense is continuing to blossom in the Larry Fedora fast-break offense.

The main reason for this: Bryn Renner.

Statistically, it was his worst game of the year. So you can’t look at the stat sheet to understand the difference. At the beginning of the year, even in some big wins, the offense looked a little disjointed at the start of plays. Renner would get the team to the line and try to get the play running as fast as he could. Yes, that’s a part of the offense, but your quarterback needs to be in control of the chaos. Renner is now getting his team to the line, waiting for receivers to get set, and then he knows where he wants to go with the ball.

Regardless of the popular opinion of the Virginia Tech secondary, they have athletes who can make plays. There weren’t a lot of open windows to hit receivers. The movement of the offense, even on running plays, starts with Renner orchestrating it.

Finally, Carolina has to clean up the silly penalties. You will lose games you shouldn’t when you give back 126 yards.

2. Duke 42, Virginia 17

Duke went in at halftime and made adjustments to what Virginia was doing on offense in the first half. Cavalier quarterback Phillip Sims was making his first start, and it appeared the coaching staff was giving him a limited playbook.

Some of the plays that worked, they continued to run, but Duke was having nothing of it after the half. But the most glaring thing I saw was Duke quarterback Anthony Boone staying poised in the pocket and throwing the ball down the field.

Congratulations to wide receiver Conner Vernon for breaking the ACC pass reception record. Vernon caught a touchdown pass in the second half to give Duke the 35-17 lead that essentially iced the game. It was one of the most impressive plays I’ve seen this year. Vernon runs a skinny post with speed to get past the corner who was trailing close with a safety rolling over to help. Boone throws a pass right in between perfect coverage and Vernon halls it in for the TD. The safety and the corner did everything right. I’m sure their coach was watching film with them and said, “Well, there’s NOTHING you could do.

Duke’s defense manhandled Virginia’s O-line in the second half, plus, zero turnovers for Duke. It was the best game I’ve seen this team play this year.

3. NC State 17, Florida State 16

Jimbo Fisher was outcoached by Tom O’Brien.

NC State was having to reshuffle their offensive line again with the loss of guard Zach Allen (the fourth different starting O-line in six games). And with defensive ends Cornellius Carradine and Bjoern Werner coming to town, O’Brien and Dana Bible had to devise a plan to slow down the best pass rush in the country.

Let’s be honest, regardless of what was to happen against Florida State, the last thing the coaching staff needed was quarterback Mike Glennon to take a beating. So, the gameplan involved a heavy dose of runs in the first half with Tony Creecy and Shadrach Thornton. The thought was to wear down a defensive line that has all four starters slated to play in the NFL.

It was a physical first half of football that saw the Seminoles get out to a 16-0 lead. It wasn’t ideal, but Glennon had only been sacked one time and the patchwork offensive line was able to be the aggressor.

The second half was to be a completely different story. NC State only rushed the ball 11 times in the second half. They began running a no-huddle offense, at times, and attacked the middle of the field with linebackers having to defend slot receivers and running backs on pass routes. Glennon didn’t get touched.

On the defensive side of the ball, two players stood out.  Defensive tackles T.Y. McGuill and Thomas Teal were more than a handful for FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel and running back Chris Thompson.

Linebackers were able to make plays because of the pressure applied by the physical Tackles. The running game of the Seminoles went from unstoppable in the first half to nonexistent in the second.

Oh, and the quarterback getting hit was Manuel (sacked 4 times and hit 4 more).

9 Comments

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  • VT1994Hokie Oct 10, 2012

    State beating FSU was pretty darn special. The Hokies missed enough passes in the 1st half for two scores. Another killer was the Gio romp for 63 yards. I'll bet Foster will have 2-3 DB's backed off of the LOS in the situation next time. We need 4 strong quarters this weekend.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Oct 9, 2012

    View quoted thread



    I saw two missed holding calls. One on FSU and one on State.

    You don't know what you're talking about.

  • davidgnews Oct 8, 2012

    A big congrats to UNC and Duke, from a State fan !!!

    These wins are great for the Triangle, and great for the ACC.

  • StunGunn Oct 8, 2012

    View quoted thread



    I agree. The first half was all FSU, the second half was all State. FSU let State hang around all game, and they paid the price. State made the adjustments necessary to win the game. Fair and Square.

  • BattlingBishop 5 Oct 8, 2012

    Congrats to all 3....nice job.

  • kornfan2448 Oct 8, 2012

    View quoted thread

    The #3 team in the country, playing an unranked team, should not be in the position to have any "help from the officials" determine the game. I give State all the credit. They hung in, put themselves in a position to win and beat FSU...period.

  • trueblue0100 Oct 8, 2012

    View quoted thread



    NCSU did get a little help from the officials.

  • trueblue0100 Oct 8, 2012

    Just in case Mark Thomas doesn't realize it, North Carolina Central University is also in the Triangle Area and they also won getting a victory over South Carolina State University by a score of 40-10. They set a school recoed by scoring 30 points in one quarter.

  • StunGunn Oct 8, 2012

    It was a great weekend of football for the Triangle. I did pick State to beat FSU - just had a gut feeling they would, but watching the first half of the game, I had my doubts. Congrats to all teams, I wish Wake could have made it 4-0 for the Big Four. Grobe chose ethics and scruples by suspending six players who violated team rules; gotta respect a coach who puts doing the right thing over a win.

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
Final
DET 4
ATL 6
 
Final
TAM 2
BAL 3
 
Final
PIT 1
NYY 2
 
Final
HOU 6
PHI 3
 
Final
MIA 1
STL 4
 
Final
SFG 8
CHC 6
 
Final
CIN 3
CLE 9
 
Final
CWS 1
LOS 6
 
Final
ANA 3
MIL 2
 
Final
CHC 2
OAK 2
 
Final
SEA 9
SDP 4
 
Final
KAN 5
TEX 4
 
Final
ARI 4
COL 3
 
Final
WAS 5
NYM 4
 
Final
MIN 9
BOS 8
 
Final
BAL 5
TOR 0
 
Final
CHI 108
OKC 105
 
1st
POR 13
DAL 12
 
Final
MDES 89
MRGST 76
 
Final
SIENA 71
NIAG 54
Final
LEH 62
AMER 68
 
Final
SCAR 74
ARK 78
Final
LAF 89
BU 64
 
Final
PETE 63
FAIR 33
Final
BUCK 90
HC 83
 
Final
UNF 71
LIP 57
 
Final
TENNM 65
MORE 76
Final
COL 72
NAVY 62
 
Final
ECU 56
TEMPL 70
Final
FATL 62
UAB 59
 
Final
FLGC 62
USCU 63
 
Final
CHAR 84
WKENT 88
 
Final
MINN 63
WISC 76
Final
MIZST 48
SILL 55
Final
COPST 92
DELST 104
 
Final
FIU 59
MTST 54
Final
HAMP 69
NORST 80
 
Final
NCCU 69
NCAT 58
 
Final
COOK 72
SCST 62
 
Final
APP 67
TXST 64
 
Final
GSOUT 76
TXARL 64
 
Final
LAMON 50
UGST 58
 
Final
ODU 67
MARS 50
Final
TXSA 74
RICE 76
 
Final
FAM 64
SAV 57
 
Final
LATU 72
SMISS 61
 
Final
JST 72
ALAAM 54
 
Final
GRAM 46
ALAST 70
 
Final
TXSOU 94
ALCOR 73
 
Final
NICST 77
CARK 70
 
Final
TAMCC 85
HOUB 72
 
Final
NARZ 58
PORST 51
 
2nd
LAM 56
SHSU 60
 
Final
ARKST 76
SALA 81
 
2nd
PVU 63
SOUTH 65
 
Final
LALAF 75
ARKLR 69
 
2nd
NO 79
SELA 75
 
2nd
INCWORD 58
ABCHRIST 46
 
9:00pm Tonight
MVSU 0
ARKPB 0
 
2nd
ARZ 83
CAL 45
 
Final
WASH 47
COL 64
 
2nd
WEBER 72
IDAHO 61
 
2nd
UCONN 51
MEM 52
 
Final
UTEP 83
UNT 60
 
2nd
STEPH 92
NWST 63
 
Final
SUTAH 69
SACST 65
 
2nd
DAVID 69
VCU 46
 
2nd
IDST 79
EWASH 80
 
2nd
QUIN 58
MAR 61
 
2nd
BEL 84
EILL 55
 
2nd
DRAK 26
BRAD 31
 
Half
LBSU 30
CSNO 25
 
Half
UCI 25
CSFU 22
 
Half
UCD 25
UCR 30
 
11:00pm Tonight
ARST
STAN
11:00pm Tonight
WASU
UTAH
Final
BOS 3
CAL 4
Final
WAS 1
MIN 2
Final
PHI 3
STL 1
Final
FLA 3
DAL 4
Final
TAM 4
TOR 2
Final
NAS 3
NYI 4
 
2nd Intermission
ARI 1
VAN 0
 
1st
LOS 2
MON 0