Saturday, September 1, 2012
Checking in on the early games
By Heather Dinich
Here's a quick look back on the first half of the day in the ACC:
North Carolina 62, Elon 0: Larry Fedora's spread offense works -- against one of the worst college football teams in the country. Elon made running back Giovani Bernard look like a Heisman Trophy candidate in the first quarter. Bernard had a 59-yard touchdown run, a 6-yard touchdown reception and a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown -- all by the 12-minute mark of the second quarter. He finished with 93 yards rushing and 203 all-purpose yards. We'll find out more about UNC next week when the Tar Heels take on Wake Forest, but UNC did what it was supposed to do in Week 1 and ushered in the Fedora era with a breeze.
William & Mary 6, Maryland 0 (halftime): Just when you thought it couldn't get any more miserable in College Park. It did. Perry Hills threw two interceptions and the Terps missed a 25-yard field goal. The good news? The defense held the Tribe to two field goals and Joe Vellano has looked as good as advertised in the new scheme. Most of us expected Hills, a true freshman, to experience some growing pains, but Randy Edsall's seat will get much hotter if the Terps lose at home to an FCS team. They need Hills to grow up quickly in the second half.
Virginia 22, Richmond 6 (heading into the half): The Hoos' defense has clamped down on third downs, and stifled the running game. Meanwhile, Perry Jones is playing like the veteran he is, and quarterback Michael Rocco led the Hoos to an efficient, fast start. With UVa controlling this game early, it was hard not to notice Penn State's loss to Ohio and think ahead to next week, as the Nits will travel to Charlottesville trying to avoid an 0-2 start.
Boston College 17, Miami 14 (midway through second quarter): A new era in the BC offense has begun, and first-year offensive coordinator Doug Martin has been mixing it up nicely. The Canes came out flat, and the Eagles looked like a surprisingly good team -- much better than the pile of offseason injuries indicated they might be. The defense made plays without star linebacker Luke Kuechly, but Miami woke up and scored twice in the final minute of the first quarter to make it the interesting game I thought it would be.