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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  • Hokies94 Oct 10, 3:14 p.m.

    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, 6:07 a.m.

    It was a great weekend of football for the Triangle. I did pick State to beat FSU - just had a... View More

    — Posted by StunGunn

    NCSU did get a little help from the officials.

    — Posted by trueblue0100

    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, 5:19 p.m.

    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, 3:46 p.m.

    It was a great weekend of football for the Triangle. I did pick State to beat FSU - just had a... View More

    — Posted by StunGunn

    NCSU did get a little help from the officials.

    — Posted by trueblue0100

    The #3 team in the country, playing an unranked team, should not be in the position to have any... View More

    — Posted by kornfan2448

    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, 1:44 p.m.

    Congrats to all 3....nice job.

  • kornfan2448 Oct 8, 1:03 p.m.

    It was a great weekend of football for the Triangle. I did pick State to beat FSU - just had a... View More

    — Posted by StunGunn

    NCSU did get a little help from the officials.

    — Posted by trueblue0100

    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, 10:14 a.m.

    It was a great weekend of football for the Triangle. I did pick State to beat FSU - just had a... View More

    — Posted by StunGunn

    NCSU did get a little help from the officials.

  • trueblue0100 Oct 8, 10:11 a.m.

    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, 7:16 a.m.

    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: Clemson at NC State

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSBB: Broughton at Leesville Road

    Tonight at 7:00 on 620am

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: Duke at Notre Dame

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 620am

  • ACC: NC State vs. Clemson

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 55
DELST 54
 
Final
UNC 93
SYR 83
7:30pm Tonight
CAR
TAM
 
7:30pm Monday
BRK 0
POR 0
7:30pm Monday
NYK 0
SAC 0
Final
OKC 92
MIN 84
Final
MEM 103
ORL 94
Final
NOP 99
PHI 74
Final
UTA 90
BOS 99
Final
LAC 102
DEN 98
7:00pm Tonight
IND
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
MIL
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
MEM
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
CHI
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
WAS
 
Final
AMER 66
ARMY 68
 
Final
OU 59
CLST 56
 
Final
NCCU 55
DELST 54
 
Final
PBY 54
HIGH 63
 
Final
UNC 93
SYR 83
Final
DET 53
WRST 64
 
Final
NCAT 71
COPST 84
 
Final
SCST 65
HAMP 56
 
Final
COOK 42
HOW 45
 
Final
NWST 80
NICST 51
 
Final
NO 87
CARK 67
 
Final
CAMP 78
GWEBB 59
 
Final
FAM 65
MDES 72
 
Final
INCWORD 86
MCNST 84
 
Final
SAV 54
NORST 70
 
Final
ABCHRIST 63
SHSU 80
 
Final
LAM 65
STEPH 82
 
Final
SELA 61
TAMCC 70
 
Final
VALPO 73
UWMIL 48
 
Final
ALAAM 78
ALCOR 66
 
Final
ALAST 63
SOUTH 59
 
Final
ARKPB 105
PVU 68
 
Final
ISU 89
TEX 86
Final
MVSU 84
TXSOU 85
 
7:00pm Tonight
AKR
BST
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
CMICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
VCU
GWU
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
UMO
 
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MICH
NEB
 
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BGU
NILL
 
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EMICH
OHIO
 
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VT
PITT
 
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LAS
STJOE
 
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TULA
TULSA
 
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UGA
VANDY
 
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KYST
WVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
WMICH
 
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GEOR
XAV
 
8:00pm Tonight
EVAN
INDST
 
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ORU
TABOR
 
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OKST
BAY
 
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PROV 0
DEP 0
 
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ALA
UF
 
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RUTG 0
MSU 0
 
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ARK
TENN
 
9:00pm Tonight
AUB
TEXAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTST
WYO
 
9:05pm Tonight
SDST
FRES
 
10:00pm Tonight
CALST
SDCHR
 
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
UNLV
 
11:00pm Tonight
BSU
COLST
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
ARI
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
NYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
WAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
WIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
DET
 
7:30pm Tonight
CAR
TAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
COL
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
BUF
 
9:30pm Tonight
EDM
MIN
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
ANA