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Derek Medlin

Extra Point: Defense optional in wild Week 5

Posted October 1, 2012

Extra Point is a sometimes serious, always sarcastic Monday morning recap of what you missed from ACC football action over the weekend.

NC State...still shooting itself in the foot

Although it's been nearly 48 hours since Phillip Dorsett hauled in Stephen Morris' 60-yard bomb to give Miami an absurd 44-37 win over NC State, the jury is still out on exactly what happened. The game, which included dozens of big plays, thousands of yards of offense, multiple turnovers and penalties galore, was essentially a picture-perfect example of how ridiculous the ACC can be at times.

For the Wolfpack, who moved to 3-2 on the season with the loss, Saturday's game was a comedy of errors sprinkled with momentary flashes of brilliance. The much-hyped secondary, facing its second elite passing offense of the season, got torched, giving up seven passing plays of more than 40 yards and an ACC record 566 passing yards to Morris.

The game was particularly rough for David Amerson, who was victimized on four of Miami's touchdown passes, including the game-winner. He topped it off with a key offsides penalty on a Miami field goal attempt in the third quarter. The 'Canes scored a play later to go up 30-21 in a game that was a complete toss up at that point.

Despite the defensive issues and the Wolfpack's six turnovers (four fumbles, two interceptions), NC State tied the game at 37 with 1:58 left on a 50-yard Niklas Sade field goal and had another chance to score about a minute later following a Miami punt. Mike Glennon's arm punt quickly ended any thoughts of a miraculous comeback while simultaneously setting the stage for Morris' heroics. Given how the first 59 minutes of the game went, it was a fitting end.

Five weeks in, it's still tough to know what NC State team is going to show up on any given Saturday. Like this weekend, for example, when the No. 3-ranked Florida State Seminoles come to town for an 8 p.m. kickoff. The Wolfpack should (and probably will) get dominated by the 'Noles, but wouldn't it be the most NC State thing ever for them to make a game of it?

Duke ends an incredible streak at Wake Forest

The march to bowl eligibility continues for the Blue Devils, who were efficient offensively and made just enough clutch plays Saturday to beat Wake Forest 34-27and end a dozen years of futility against the Demon Deacons. 

Because Duke's losing streak to Wake was so painful, it's worth recapping. Since 2002, six of Duke's losses to the Demon Deacons were by a combined 18 points. The Blue Devils lost by one point in 2006 and 2011, two in 2004, three in 2008, five in 2007 and six in 2010.  

Amazingly, Duke got the win Saturday despite injuries to several key defensive players and starting quarterback Sean Renfree. That fact alone highlights how far the program has come under Cutcliffe and proves that this iteration of the Blue Devils is his best team yet.

Despite the win, Sean Renfree's health has to be a concern moving forward after he left Saturday's game with an elbow injury in the third quarter. Cutcliffe called Renfree day-to-day Sunday afternoon, and an MRI following the game revealed "nothing conclusive." If he can't go, ground-oriented backups Anthony Boone and Brandon Connette will have a tall order against the Cavaliers.

With another win in the books, it's also time to reexamine Duke's bowl chances. As mentioned a week ago, this Saturday's home game against Virginia is a must-win. After that, the most likely W's on the schedule will be in home contests against North Carolina (Oct. 20) and Miami (Nov. 24). 

UNC gets second home shutout 

Maybe there really is something to playing at home in front of hundreds of people. What?! People can't make North Carolina crowd jokes anymore? 

Kidding aside, the Tar Heels are now 3-0 at home this season, racking up an absurd 155-6 edge on Elon, East Carolina and Idaho. Sure, the Phoenix, Pirates and Vandals had plenty to do with that, but shutouts can't go unnoticed, especially considering some of the silly offensive stats we saw in the ACC and nationally Saturday. 

North Carolina held Idaho to 189 offensive yards and just nine first downs, with the shutout pushing the defense's streak of touchdown-free quarters to 10, an impressive stat against any competition. The Tar Heels picked off Dominique Blackman four times and only allowed two plays more than 25 yards in the 66-0 win.

While the defense was dominating, Bryn Renner and Co. were easily rolling up 575 yards and 45 first-half points. North Carolina set records for points scored and margin of victory. It's hard to analyze what the Tar Heels offense did against Idaho because of how bad the 0-5 Vandals looked, but according to Larry Fedora post-game, the unit is finally playing at the speed he'd like. Why yes, that was a subtle Red Bull joke.

Expect the winning streak to continue Saturday when one of the ACC's most underwhelming teams, Virginia Tech, comes to Chapel Hill. Logan Thomas and the Hokies have been inconsistent at best, and that formula was on display again Saturday in a 27-24 loss to Munchie Legaux and Cincinnati. 

Who says you can't start making picks on Monday morning?

Defense is optional nationally, too

As someone who appreciates a good defensive battle, perusing Saturday's box scores -- both in the ACC and nationally -- was extremely painful. Seventy points here, 600+ yards of offense there. It was ugly. 

Looking at the five major leagues (sorry, Big East), 19 teams scored more than 35 points. Thirteen teams scored over 40, and seven tallied more than 50. In the ACC, North Carolina (66), Clemson (45) and Miami (44) led the scoring barrage. In the defensive-minded SEC, Georgia and Tennessee combined for 95 points and 1,038 yards in the Bulldogs' 51-44 victory over the Volunteers.

The one person not impressed by all those yardage and point totals Saturday was West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. The senior demolished school, conference and national records in WVU's 70-63 win over Baylor, throwing for 656 yards and 8 touchdowns on a 45-of-51 performance. The Heisman Trophy frontrunner now has 1,728 yards, 20 touchdowns and only 28 incompletions (!) through four games. For the number nerds out there, he's on pace for 5,184 yards (which would rank third all time in the 16-game NFL) and 60 touchdowns.  

Say what? Quotes of the weekend

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen analyzes Geno Smith's effort: "Can you please tell me how you can improve on that?"

Going to go out on a limb and say there isn't a way for Smith to improve on his record-setting day. Unless, of course, WVU can play Baylor's awful defense every week.

Tom O'Brien his team's comedy of errors Saturday against Miami: "I don't know, in 38 years I've never been involved with a team that made this many mistakes."

A lot of mistakes can happen in 38 years worth of games. Sheesh.

Urban Meyer on whether Ohio State sent doctored game film to Michigan State: "I don't know anything about that. I don't handle the video. What are they saying? There is no video issue here."

THIS IS NOT A VIDEO ISSUE, FOLKS. I REPEAT: NOT A VIDEO ISSUE. 

Miami head coach Al Golden on what he was thinking following Stephen Morris' game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds: "Holy ----."

Only response I can think of: welp.

4 Comments

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  • bourboNCarolina Oct 1, 2:07 p.m.

    I don't see what's so great about a score like the WVU game or even NCSU... Learn how to play... View More

    — Posted by OGE

    I agree, I really don't like Steve Logan on the morning shows, he's a way too showy. However, he... View More

    — Posted by ewcanes

    Tennessee at Georgia ... 1,038 Total Offense Combined. 95 Total Points. Happens in the SEC too.

  • ewcanes Oct 1, 12:09 p.m.

    I don't see what's so great about a score like the WVU game or even NCSU... Learn how to play... View More

    — Posted by OGE

    I agree, I really don't like Steve Logan on the morning shows, he's a way too showy. However, he made a good point this morning that it's entertaining, but it's not championship football. SEC schools want let you run and throw the ball all over the field like that.

  • OGE Oct 1, 11:01 a.m.

    I don't see what's so great about a score like the WVU game or even NCSU... Learn how to play some defense.

  • StunGunn Oct 1, 7:20 a.m.

    Of all the reactions by coaches, I think I like Al Golden's the best.

    The State/Miami game was very entertaining, with both teams making brilliant plays followed by bone-headed mistakes.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
Final
UNCW 66
ECU 54
Final
CAR 2
NYR 3
Final
CHA 104
UTA 86
Final
WVU 83
NCSU 69
1:00pm Today
CAR
CLE
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
 
Final
NYK 90
PHO 99
Final
NOP 88
POR 114
Final
CHA 104
UTA 86
Final
HOU 97
ATL 104
Final
DAL 99
SAN 93
Final
DEN 76
IND 73
Final
LAC 106
MIL 102
3:30pm Today
TOR
NYK
 
4:30pm Today
CLE
MEM
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
 
6:00pm Tonight
BRK
DET
 
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
 
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHI
 
6:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHO
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
 
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
 
Final
LALAF 16
NEV 3
Final
UTEP 6
UTST 21
Final
COLST 10
UTAH 45
Final
AFA 38
WMICH 24
Final
BGU 33
SALABAMA 28
Final
GEOR 81
CHAR 78
Final
WKENT 67
LOU 76
Final
MICH 51
SMU 62
Final
CIN 47
VCU 68
Final
BSU 77
ABCHRIST 33
 
Final
PROV 85
UMASS 65
Final
AMER 46
MNTER 45
 
Final
UNC 82
OSU 74
Final
IUPUI 71
SALA 65
 
Final
VILL 82
SYR 77
Final
VT 64
CITA 61
Final
DUQ 79
MLOWELL 63
 
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FAIR 61
BEL 73
 
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YALE 60
GTDNS 64
 
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FD 76
DEL 74
 
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PSU 73
DREX 68
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UNCG 64
ELON 71
 
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ILL 62
MIZZ 59
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CAMP 90
MONT 64
 
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LONG 106
PSUBEAVER 74
 
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HOU 63
SCST 71
 
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FSU 75
SFLA 62
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BING 51
BONA 69
 
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RUTG 68
RFLSH 73
 
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MCNST 69
TOL 83
 
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JVU 84
TRUETT 55
 
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GT 65
VANDY 60
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INDST 56
EILL 60
 
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BUT 73
IND 82
Final
STEPH 94
ARTCH 57
 
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OREG 83
DELST 70
 
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Terriers 61
FATL 56
 
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TXARL 89
HPYN 50
 
Final
KU 96
LAF 69
Final
ARKST 67
MARS 58
Final
MEM 78
ORU 63
Final
KNST 53
UMBC 66
 
Final
NW 67
WMICH 61
Final
MIZST 65
EMICH 77
 
Final
CHIST 76
STJOE 54
 
Final
KENT 83
UCLA 44
Final
COC 68
DAVID 80
Final
RIU 69
DET 55
Final
UCR 78
HOUB 67
 
Final
MURST 89
ILLST 77
 
Final
NWST 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
WAGN 66
MON 74
 
Final
MVSU 60
NCCU 94
 
Final
PITT 81
OU 77
Final
TENNM 77
PBY 60
 
Final
WYO 57
SOUTH 39
 
Final
AFA 75
UCD 81
Final
MSST 51
USCU 53
 
Final
JMU 71
HIGH 80
 
Final
TXST 90
HTILL 56
 
Final
DRAK 54
ISU 83
Final
SHU 73
UNH 60
 
Final
SCU 72
NE 78
 
Final
MSU 64
TXSOU 71
Final
UF 63
WAKE 50
Final
ND 94
PURD 63
Final
SHSU 61
PVU 44
 
Final
AUB 89
XAV 88
Final
AKR 92
BLUFFTON 53
 
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DAY 78
BU 62
 
Final
UNCW 66
ECU 54
Final
CLMB 82
HOF 77
 
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GMAS 86
IONA 81
Final
TOWS 53
LAS 67
Final
MAN 73
MRGST 69
 
Final
CCST 76
YALE 84
 
Final
PEPP 63
RICH 65
Final
MAR 58
STJOE 75
Final
KYST 71
TEXAM 64
Final
MAST 72
VALPO 75
 
Final
UMKC 104
INCWORD 110
 
Final
IDST 50
CALST 59
 
Final
NIOWA 56
IOWA 44
Final
SIUE 61
UWMIL 56
 
Final
TEX 78
LBSU 68
Final
TCU 88
TXSA 57
Final
ARK 84
SEMIZ 67
Final
NCOL 69
JVST 60
 
Final
ARST 81
LEH 84
 
Final
NMST 67
NMU 69
 
Final
WASH 69
OKLA 67
Final
GRCN 81
STED 55
 
Final
WEBER 73
WLVRN 61
 
Final
WVU 83
NCSU 69
Final
SDST 70
BST 57
Final
GONZ 63
CPSL 50
Final
PAC 71
FRES 68
Final
PORT 87
MNTST 60
 
Final
CSNO 68
TAMCC 75
 
Final
UTST 65
SDKST 68
 
Final
BYU 79
STAN 77
Final
UNLV 46
UTAH 59
12:00pm Today
UVA
HARV
 
1:00pm Today
BGU
FERST
 
1:00pm Today
ARMY
MAINE
 
1:00pm Today
QUIN
ORST
 
1:00pm Today
CLST
USF
 
1:30pm Today
CARK
CCAR
 
2:00pm Today
UWGB
ARKLR
 
2:00pm Today
RAD
CORN
 
2:00pm Today
UNT
CREI
 
2:00pm Today
CAN
HC
 
2:00pm Today
USB
GHND
 
2:00pm Today
OKST
MD
 
2:00pm Today
WINT
REIN
 
2:00pm Today
UGST
SMISS
 
2:00pm Today
NEOM
TXPA
 
2:00pm Today
STLU
VERM
 
2:00pm Today
UNCA
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2:05pm Today
EVAN
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2:30pm Today
HART
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2:35pm Today
VALPO
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3:00pm Today
LIP
PEAY
 
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DEN
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3:00pm Today
MONT
SD
 
3:00pm Today
MTST
TENST
 
3:00pm Today
SAMF
LAMON
 
3:30pm Today
SCAR
COKR
 
4:00pm Today
HAMP
NARZ
 
4:00pm Today
SDU
SDCHR
 
4:00pm Today
BC
USC
 
4:30pm Today
NICST
TROY
 
4:30pm Today
BRAD
UCI
 
6:00pm Tonight
UGA
SHU
 
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
Final
LOS 4
ARI 2
Final
CLB 3
CHI 2
Final
BUF 1
COL 5
Final
PIT 3
FLA 1
Final
CAR 2
NYR 3
Final
MON 4
OTT 1
Final
TOR 4
PHI 7
Final
NYI 3
TAM 1
Final
NJD 0
WAS 4
Final
MIN 5
NAS 6
Final
VAN 3
CAL 2
Final
SJS 3
STL 2
6:00pm Tonight
DET
COL
 
6:00pm Tonight
EDM
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
 
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
 
Final
WAS 27
PHI 24
Final
SFX 35
SDC 38
1:00pm Today
NOS
ATL
1:00pm Today
HOU
BAL
1:00pm Today
CAR
CLE
1:00pm Today
CHI
DET
1:00pm Today
TAM
GBP
1:00pm Today
PIT
KAN
1:00pm Today
MIA
MIN
1:00pm Today
NYJ
NEP
4:05pm Today
STL
NYG
4:25pm Today
OAK
BUF
4:25pm Today
DAL
IND
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA