Welcome to the ACC Roundtable of the ACC Correspondents! As is and will be the plan for the remainder of the football season, the Confidential correspondents will discuss the Week that was (week 3) and the Week that will be (Week 4) for the ACC and their respective schools. Tell us what you think below.
1. What was most notable about your school’s performance in Week 3?
- HHuntley (NC State): NC State is notorious for playing down to the level of their competition. This week we saw them play much better than a lesser Old Dominion team. That’s really encouraging to see moving forward.
- Lenville (Louisville): This team has tenacity. The Cardinals are young & started the season with 2 ranked teams which proved to be to tough for their lack of experience. With 10 players drafted last season & another 16 graduated preseason expectations has proven to be to high. The Cards are off to an 0-3 start for the first time since 1984 but you have to give them credit for not filling the early schedule with cupcakes like most of the ACC has.
- Commander/ACaffrey (Syracuse): The easy answer would be how good Eric Dungey was and how good the offense looked in the first half. The most notable thing about the performance was the sheer level of coaching collapse in the second half. Tim Lester called a great first half–24 points, including a TD drive with 4th and 5th string quarterbacks Austin Wilson and Zack Mahoney under center. Then, in the second half, Lester did not get a first down with that same duo. The play calling was odd, to say the least, but was saved by a nice 25-yard drive in overtime. Meanwhile, Chuck Bullough’s defense was a sieve in the second half–allowing Central Michigan to move up and down the field. Bullough was saved by his defense forcing two turnovers and making a great stop in overtime. Meanwhile, Scott Shafer continues to show abysmal courage and clock management. No need to continue debating, but you simply cannot call a timeout while the clock is running (15 seconds), your opponent has no timeouts, and they are 20+ yards from the end zone. And, if you do, you better not let the one guy that has burned you all day score a relatively easy touchdown. Egad. The coaching staff as a whole was saved by its players. For that, Syracuse deserves its 3-0 record.
- Kevin (Louisville): Most notable was U of L holding Clemson to only 20 points despite having no running game and keeping their defense on the field all night
- UNC Tarheel Fan (UNC): With a comparison to last year I think the most notable line was the defensive line. On the first drive of the game the Fighting Illini had them reeling, quickly moving down the field, but the defense stood up and denied them getting into the end zone.
- HHuntley (NC State): I’m really just looking for more of the same. It’s a very similar situation as the Wolfpack travel to South Alabama. There’s a tendency for this to be a trap game with the weeknight game @ VT coming up.
- Lenville (Louisville): Their first W. The Cards finally get a break with Samford. They need to use this game to gain confidence, find some team chemistry & jump start their offense. Finding a starting QB would be nice as well.
- Commander (Syracuse): Look, as a homer, I truly think that Syracuse can beat L.S.U. I would not bet money earmarked for necessities (or any money, for that matter) on it happening. But I am excited to see this coaching staff rebound with a good game plan. Our run defense will either be surprisingly good or surprisingly bad. If the former, it might be a game. Granted, with a 5th string, walk-on QB, it will be a long shot. But that is why they play the games. Cannot wait!
- Kevin (Louisville): Looking to see the new changes on the OL as it has been rumored that 2/3 new guys will get a chance to play.
- UNC Tarheel Fan (UNC): What I really want to see is the unit as a whole do what they did against Illinois, control the lime of scrimmage, make smart plays, and be the better team they’re supposed to be on paper for the entire game. Even last year we struggled with putting away an FCS opponent early. That will also allow our depth chart to get some reps as we prepare for Georgia Tech.
3. Who impressed you the most in the ACC in Week 3?
- HHuntley (NC State): Miami’s win over Nebraska sort of symbolizes their return. They’ve been struggling in games like that for years, so it’s nice to see them play that well. I hope they remain a contender this year.
- Lenville (Louisville): Notre Dame was impressive over GT, I was picking GT as the ACC champ. ND controlled the game despite all of their injuries. Miami was impressive as well for the first 3 quarters. Miami is off to a 3-0 start & Kaaya looks to be one of the best QB’s in the ACC.
- Commander (Syracuse): Boston College. Once again, a Steve Addazio team went toe-to-toe with a blue blood and did not flinch. Even with a QB injury, BC was still in it until the end–a defensive touchdown really making the difference. Just look at what Addazio has done in big games
2013. FSU went 14-0, outscoring opponents 723-170. Of that 170, Boston College scored 34–the most of all teams–in a 48-34 loss. Auburn (31) was the only other team to exceed 17 points against the Seminoles. Clemson was 11-2 that year, beating Boston College 24-14. It was the fewest points that Clemson scored in a win all year and the second narrowest margin of victory (Georgia, 3).
2014. Boston College lost by 3 and 4 to Florida State and Clemson (while also beating a 9-4 Southern Cal, splitting the 2-year series).
2015. Florida State narrowly wins, 14-0.
In five games against FSU and Clemson over the past three years, the average margin of loss was a mere 45 points–9 points per game–(7 PPG against Clemson and 10.3 PPG against FSU). By comparison, FSU has beaten Clemson by an average of 21.5 points in 2 games over that span. FSU has beaten NC State (23.5 points per game) and Syracuse (37 points per game) with far greater ease. Clemson has beaten NC State (27.5 ppg) and Syracuse (22.5 ppg) much more handily than it has beaten B.C. And let’s just ignore Wake Forest. In any event, Steve Addazio is doing good things up at B.C. and is worthy of being considered for a job at an elite school.
- Kevin (Louisville): Most impressed by Clemson – hard to beat a hungry UofL team on the road on a Thursday night.
- UNC Tarheel Fan (UNC): Notre Dame (since we’re including them here). I really thought with the loss of their starting QB that Georgia Tech would be able to upend them but that was not the case. Actually, with that triple option offense I thought they could have done it with or without ND’s starter.
- HHuntley (NC State): 1. Ohio State 2. Ole Miss 3. Baylor 4. Clemson.Last year showed us how much the committee values conference champions. So I’m betting on the winners of the B1G, SEC, Big 12, and ACC. I think the Pac-12 is too competitive to put a team in the playoff this year. It looks like their champion might end up with 2 or 3 losses.
- Lenville (Louisville): There are a lot of worthy candidates after 3 weeks but no one has looked dominant so far. As of today I would put Ohio St, ND, Ole Miss & TCU in but if I had to project to the end of the season I would put Ohio St, ND, Georgia & Oklahoma in. Should Clemson beat ND then I would swop them out. Watson should get stronger and the Tigers will finally win the ACC championship.
- Commander (Syracuse): Right now? 1. Michigan State; 2. Ole Miss; 3. Ohio State, and 4. Notre Dame. MSU and Ole Miss have two very good wins. Ohio State was greatly helped by injury against Va Tech, but any undefeated reigning champion has to be in the top 4. Has to. And No. 4 is the toughest. Does anyone else have an impressive win? For now, we can put Notre Dame in there… they beat Texas and Georgia Tech. No idea where this goes at season’s end. Could it be the year that the S.E.C. gets left out? If Clemson and one of TCU/Baylor run the table, perhaps. The Pac-12 is vulnerable here too.
- Kevin (Louisville): Ohio State, Michigan State, Ole Miss & Notre Dame.
- UNC Tarheel Fan (UNC): Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and (gasp) Clemson. May be more of a wish list and really it is difficult to choose having so many undefeated teams with soft schedules and big upsets. I think you’re going to have quite a battle for two of those with FSU, Clemson, Oklahoma, LSU, Mississippi State, Georgia, TCU, and Baylor controlling their own fates. I think the Spartans take the Buckeyes out if someone doesn’t do it before then.
What do you think? How would you answer these questions?