Sept. 6, 2011

ACC Wrap Up Week 1


Allowing a 15-point lead to slip away, visiting Wake Forest fell to Syracuse in overtime, 36-29, in a heart breaker Thursday night. Not only was the loss a bitter pill to swallow but starting QB Tanner Price got knocked out of the game in the 4th quarter. He was impressive with three TD passes and 289 yards on 18 of 31. The Demon Deacons went to the locker room up 20-7 at the half but the defense broke down late and 10 penalties didn’t help either. Getting the ball one last time, the Orange defense stepped-up forcing a 4th down incompletion from back-up QB Ted Stachitas ending their chances. The Deacs take on NC State.


It was an aerial extravaganza as Georgia Tech “tossed” aside Western Carolina, 63-21 Thursday night in Atlanta. Scoring four first quarter TD’s, the Yellow Jackets threw more than ran – this from the nation’s leading rushing offense in 2010. In their most productive game since 2000, the Stingers amassed 662 yards of total offense. All was not flawless though as there were six fumbles (2 lost) and a 2nd quarter punt was blocked resulting in a Catamount score. Tech had more yards passing in the first quarter (148) than it had in any game last season and added 260 yards on the ground when it was over. GT travels to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to face Middle Tennessee State.  


After leading the nation in sacks last year, it looks like #6 Florida State’s D will bring more of the same, recording four smothers Saturday in their opening shutout of University of Louisiana-Monroe, 34-0. The Seminoles stopped the overmatched Warhawks cold, allowing just 99 rushing yards, 191 total yards and 12 first downs in a flawless outing. This tune-up and next weekend’s game versus Charleston Southern should give new QB starter, E.J. Manuel, lots of reps and looks before hosting top-ranked Oklahoma in Week Three. The rookie pilot finished 22 of 34 for 252 yards, 2 TD’s and an INT before giving way to back-up Clint Trickett with the score 27-0.  One weakness was the running game gaining just 92 yards.


Boston College played hard but couldn’t quite do enough, losing to visiting Northwestern, 27-17 on Saturday afternoon. RB Andre Williams filled in admirably for injured starter, Montel Harris, garnering 114 yards on 22 carries and 2 TD’s. Star LB Luke Kuechly was stellar, as usual, with 19 tackles, two for a loss and an INT. Penalties, missed opportunities and poor clock management ended the game. BC gets UCF next in Orlando.


It was a game of two halfs as Clemson finally found traction, pulling away from a gritty Troy squad, 43-19, Saturday in Death Valley.  QB Tajh Boyd went 20 for 30 and 264 yards and three scores in his debut as the Tigers’ starter but his first-half stewardship earned him boos. Clemson was down 16-13 at half. To his credit and the entire offense, Boyd and company had two 3rd quarter touchdown drives going 11 of 13 for 142 yards outscoring Troy 30-3 after intermission. At one point in the second half, Boyd completed 13 passes in a row. RB Andre Ellington added 89 yards on 18 carries. Wofford visits Clemson.


The Duke Blue Devils lost their season opener to FCS program, Richmond, 23-21 Saturday night in Durham. Turnovers, a missed chip shot FG and poor clock management explain a lot about the outcome handing the Spiders their 3rd win in six tries over the Devils. Will Snyderwine, one of the nation’s best FG kickers, missed a 28-yarder with 1:43 left. In fact, the Dukes came up empty on half of their trips inside the red zone and managed only 35 total yards on their first four possessions. #5 Stanford heads to Duke.


Another impressive defensive opener was turned in by UVA as the Cavaliers powered over inter-state opponent, William & Mary, 40-3, Saturday night. The Hoos D allowed just 48 yards rushing, 2 of 14 conversions on 3rd down and a paltry 11 of 34 from Tribe QB’s. Two turnovers resulted in 10 points, as well. New hurler Michael Rocco impressed, completing 21 of 29 for 174 yards and new starter RB Kevin Parks was terrific going 114 yards on 16 touches with 3 TD’s. Robert Randolph added four field goals. Virginia visits Indiana.


Having dropped their last three season openers, #13 Virginia Tech stopped the trend demolishing FCS powerhouse Appalachian State, 66-13, Saturday afternoon in Blacksburg. The running game ran wild with David Wilson ripping off 172 yards on 16 carries (average 10.1 yds/carry) and three scores. Equally as impressive as the ground attack was the Hokie defense which stifled a here-to-for explosive App State group. The Mountaineers were shut down gaining only 61 yards by the break. VaTech travels to East Carolina.


With two rookies running the show, host UNC dominated James Madison, 42-10, Saturday afternoon. The Tar Heels opened with a new interim head coach, Everett Withers, and a first-year starting QB, Bryn Renner, but you’d never have known that. The Heels controlled the game from start to finish taking care of business efficiently. Renner completed 22 of 23 for 277 yards, two TD’s and one INT. He also ran for a score and tied the school record with 14 straight completions. Additionally he set an ACC record for highest single-game completion percentage (95.7) finishing just shy of the NCAA mark (95.8). Next up- at home against Rutgers.   


NC State bested Liberty, 43-21 Saturday in Raleigh. QB Mike Glennon collecting himself as the game progressed, finishing 18 or 31 for 156 yards and one TD. But, he also was sacked four times and was hit so hard he fumbled allowing Liberty to score. The Wolfpack defense carried the day creating seven turnovers – 4 INT’s and three lost fumbles. RB’s Curtis Underwood (114 yards, 1 TD) and James Washington (67 yards, 2 TD’s) had decent outings. State travels to conference foe, Wake Forest.