Monday, September 19, 2011
Weekend rewind: ACC
By Heather Dinich
Here’s your look back at Week 3 and a sneak peek of what’s coming up this week in ACC football:
The good: Upsets of Ohio State and Auburn. Miami defeated the Buckeyes, and Clemson rallied to beat the defending national champs. The Tigers are now 3-0 heading into Saturday’s home game against Florida State, and the Hurricanes have some hope that the rough start to the season could be overcome.
The bad: Maryland’s miscues. Three turnovers and seven penalties added up in a 37-31 loss to West Virginia on Saturday. Quarterback Danny O’Brien threw an interception with 1:13 remaining and the Terps lost their first game of the season.
The ugly: BC’s missed field goal. With 43 seconds remaining against Duke and a chance to win the game, Nate Freese's 23-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright and bounced back. Freese already had missed an extra point by hitting the right upright.
The heart-stopping: Oklahoma’s helmets-to-helmet hit on Florida State receiver Kenny Shaw. The replay still makes me shudder. Glad to hear he’s doing OK.
The groundbreaking: Oh, and P.S.: After the ACC hosted four ranked teams for the first time in conference history, the league expanded to 14 teams with the pending addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Other than that, it was a quiet weekend.
Top 3 games of Week 4:
Florida State (2-1, 0-0) at Clemson (3-0, 0-0): The Seminoles haven’t won in Death Valley since 2001, a drought that could end this weekend if Florida State’s defense stays stingy and the offense shows improvement under a healthy EJ Manuel. The Tigers are soaring after their upset win of Auburn, and quarterback Tajh Boyd has grown up quickly.
North Carolina (3-0, 1-0) at Georgia Tech (3-0, 0-0): This game will come down to UNC’s defense against Georgia Tech’s high-flying offense. It’s the first real test of the season for the Yellow Jackets, who are 3-0 after three nonconference wins, but Georgia Tech’s offensive output has been jaw-dropping, regardless of the competition it has come against. This one will be critical for the Coastal Division race.
NC State (2-1, 0-1) at Cincinnati (2-1): This is the kind of should-win game that could cause the Wolfpack problems. Cincinnati and NC State are both 2-1 and haven’t beaten anybody of consequence. The Bearcats are fourth in the country with 51 points per game, though, and NC State’s depleted defense has been struggling with injuries.