This week's winners: The 919
Oct 8, 2012
I don't have a great research department, so I can't be exactly sure when, or if, there's ever been a better weekend of football performances by the Wolfpack, Tar Heels and Blue Devils.
When the season began, this was circled as a gauntlet Saturday. We all knew that Florida State would be great. Virginia Tech is Virginia Tech, they're on TV more than "The King of Queens." And, Virginia was coming off an eight-win season and a berth in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Even knowing what we knew prior to Saturday – that the Seminoles were outstanding, but somewhat flawed offensively, Tech was a mess on defense and without a running game and UVA was just a hot mess –it seemed more likely that the Triangle would lose all three rather than complete the sweep.
That's why they play the games.
Duke continued its march towards a holiday business trip with a dominating second-half performance over Virginia, in which we got a strong glimpse of the future in sophomore quarterback Anthony Boone. North Carolina showcased one of the best players in the country in future pro Giovani Bernard, who averaged more than 11 yards per carry against the Hokies. And then, in prime time for all of the nation to see, NC State hung in against the best team in the league and one that many thought would close out the season in the national championship game. But, Mike Glennon looked poised and composed and directed a tremendous comeback win over Florida State and probably stamped himself as a Day 2 draft pick next April. On top of that, if the Pack can keep their heads about them, this is a team that just might make things interesting into November.
Player of the week
This was a crowded week with several options for this – on both sides of the ball. But, Giovani Bernard carried the ball 23 times for 262 yards and a touchdown in the Tar Heels 48-34 thumping of Virginia Tech and with each passing game looks like the best player in the league by a sizable margin. Bernard busted open a 14-14 game on the first play of the second quarter, blowing through the line for a 62-yard touchdown sprint on a 4th-and-1 play that completely changed the tone of the game.
Team of the week
1994 was a long time ago in college football. It predates the Bowl Championship Series. It was so long ago that the entire Big East was in the east, the Big Twelve was the Big Eight and the Southwest Conference was still in operation. That was also the last time that Duke was in a bowl game. Since then, Duke hasn't even been within one win of bowl-eligibility until Saturday night. They dominated Virginia in the second half in a 42-17 win that ran the Devils' mark to 5-1 on the season and put the program on the precipice of bowl qualification heading to the final six games of the season. What makes this so impressive is that we all know that there are several games on their schedule in which Duke simply can not match their opponent athlete for athlete. Therefore, the Blue Devils must cash in when they have those opportunities. They are 5-0 in such situations this season.
Game of the week
NC State trailed the No. 3 team in the nation 16-0 at halftime. But, the same defense that allowed so many big plays to Tennessee and Miami didn't against the Seminoles and it gave Michael Glennon and the Wolfpack offense enough time to figure things out. Until the final, 16-second, desperate drive, the NC State defense held FSU to just 101 second-half yards and 5 first downs. Meanwhile, Glennon and the offense found enough time to get into rhythm and the final drive was about as dramatic as you'll see. Three times the Pack faced a fourth down situation and each time they converted, with the last coming in the end zone as Glennon connected with Bryan Underwood, who has now caught a touchdown pass in every game this season.
Pfffft of the week
That hissing sound was the Atlantic Coast Conference's national championship balloon belching out all of its remaining air. Sure, Florida State or Clemson – or Duke – could end the year 12-1, but it's unlikely, barring a strange set of circumstances, that an ACC would be in position to grab a spot in the top two of the BCS.
Fill-in of the week
Anthony Boone had never started a college game. He'd played plenty during his year and a half at Duke, but he'd never worked through the week of practice with the first team and trotted out with the starters on game day. But Boone looked the part of Duke's quarterbacking future with a 212-yard, 4-touchdown performance that produced a 42-17 win over Virginia.
Top to bottom of the week
- NC State (6-2) – to hear Tom O'Brien say it, the Pack beat themselves twice, so I added that to their win total.
- Florida State (5-1) – think bleach will take the stain out of that loss?
- Clemson (5-1) – Tigers still have a chance to get into BCS at-large territory.
- Duke (5-1) – Duke does it with defense.
- North Carolina (4-2)…Tar Heels are unbeaten with Giovani Bernard in the lineup.
- Miami (4-2) – Judging by the score, and Notre Dame's helmets, I'm sure Miami felt like they were playing two opponents.
- Virginia Tech (3-3) – Hokies looked completely helpless on defensive in Chapel Hill.
- Georgia Tech (2-4) – Jackets have given up 138 points in their last three games. Al Groh is just renting.
- Maryland (3-2) – Through 6 weeks, the only three unbeaten teams in ACC play are Miami, Duke and the Terrapins. Ugh.
- Wake Forest (3-3) – Hey, at least the Deacons beat Army.
- Virginia (2-4) – Remember, were it not for Sam Ficken's 4 missed field goals, the Wahoos would be 0-for FBS.
- Boston College (1-4) – Army just rushed for 516 yards against the Eagles.
Play of the week
With Duke having just regained the lead on Virginia in the 3rd quarter, the Wahoos faced a 4th and 1 near midfield. The Blue Devils could not stop Virginia on the ground in the first half, as Perry Jones and Kevin Parks took turns leading the Cavaliers to nearly 200 rushing yards before halftime. But, senior safety Walt Canty knifed in, stopped Parks a yard behind the line of scrimmage and the Devils carried that momentum to a 25-point thumping of UVA.
Looking ahead to ... of the week
3. A week off. Four of the 12 teams in the league are sitting out this week.
2. Duke at Virginia Tech intrigues me because it's the first time Duke will play with a bowl on the line, and the Hokies are so average on defense that I wouldn't be shocked at all if this is a four-quarter game.
1. North Carolina at Miami should be a ton of fun. Neither team plays a lot of defense, but every time Gio Bernard is on the field it's worth the time to watch.
Resurrection of the week
NC State's offensive line has been a M*A*S*H unit this year. Both starting tackles from the season-opener are hurt, and Tom O'Brien's team hasn't had the same group together, it seems, for even back-to-back halves at any point.
But Glennon was sacked just once, and they more than held their own against the best front line they've seen – and are likely to see – all year long. It wasn't unsung, because it's been widely recognized. But, it was very unexpected and could be what triggers a big second half run for the Pack, who are absolutely in the mix for the Atlantic Division.
Most Recent Comments
RE: This week's winners: The 919Nice job Gold. The State and FSU was a surprise, but a nice one too. I give credit to UNC with making big plays. Our defense hasn't played very well this year, and it's hard to figure this one. I do know that Foster never should have had all 11 in the box when UNC needed one foot for a 1st. When I saw the line-up, I said no, no, don't do this...63 yards and the rest is History. We needed 2-3 DB's backed off of the LOS 3-6 yards. If VT loses to Duke, some powerful givers will let it be known up in Hokie land. The AD will just be a messenger.
RE: This week's winners: The 919I can't argue that last Saturday was the BEST day of college ball I've seen in a long time. My rear didn't leave the couch till midnight Saturday after the thriller FSU and State put on. Sunday, unfortunately, brought me back down to earth watching the Panthers blow another very winnable game.
Great review of the games, AG
RE: This week's winners: The 919Adam you are sooo full of IT! Listening to you today talk about how one play vaulted the NCSU QB from 5th or 6th round pick to day 2 was laughable. Not that I am not saying he can't be a good QB in the NFL.
I'm sure you think Notre Dame is overrated as well still right?
RE: This week's winners: The 919I would like to think State could go for the Atlantic Div. But they have raod games at Clen and UNC. I figure they lose one of those. Bu then again, I did no think State had it in them for the game they played against FSU. The bye week seems to help State each season for some reason??
Good article about all the categories...
RE: This week's winners: The 919.My play of the week - no question - was Dontae Johnson's 4th quarter sack of EJ Manuel for a big 15 yd loss on 3rd & 2 at the NCSU 19.
The play pushed FSU back to the 34 and turned a very likely FG into a punt. If FSU gets even 3 points there the comeback likely falls short. So Johnson's sack of Manuel was huge and tremendously impactful.