Saturday, September 3, 2011
ACC in the afternoon
By Heather Dinich
The 3:30 p.m. games have officially wrapped up. Here's a quick analysis of each:
NORTH CAROLINA 42, JAMES MADISON 10
The Tar Heels couldn't have asked for much more in the debut of interim head coach Everett Withers and first-year starting quarterback Bryn Renner. Renner had a record-setting performance, and the Heels controlled the game from start to finish. They took care of business, won the game up front, and looked good in all four phases of the game. Renner completed 22 of 23 passes for 277 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for a touchdown and tied the school record with 14 straight completions. Receiver Dwight Jones had an outstanding day with nine catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns, and defensive end Quinton Coples was a beast. This is a talented team that got off to a great start, even if it was against FCS competition. Tar Heels should be confident heading into Rutgers game next week.
CLEMSON 43, TROY 19
The second half was an entirely different game, and Dabo Swinney can exhale because of it. Clemson was trailing at the half, 16-13, and was booed as it left the field, but the Tigers came out on a mission and were much better at executing on third downs. It's not going to be all fun and games watching the film, as there was plenty to learn from, but at the end of the day, Clemson avoided an embarrassing loss and pulled it together. True freshman Sammy Watkins was one of the more impressive athletes on the field, and Tajh Boyd, after a shaky start, completed a respectable 20 of 30 passes for 264 yard, three touchdowns and one interception. Whatever went wrong today, though, must be corrected quickly because there is only one more tune-up game -- next weekend against Wofford -- before the competition gets tough.
FLORIDA STATE 34, LOUISIANA-MONROE 0
Somehow I don't think we saw the same FSU team we'll see against Oklahoma in Week 3. This was a chance for Jimbo Fisher to get quarterback EJ Manuel some practice throws, and an opportunity to get some younger players meaningful snaps. FSU fans have been asking all season which true freshmen we'll see, and today was a good sneak preview of the talent overflowing on that roster. We saw Karlos Williams, Devonta Freeman, Nick O'Leary. The defense couldn't have been much better, holding ULM to 191 yards and 12 first downs. It wasn't a flawless game, and the Noles got off to a slow start, but overall, it was a solid performance to build on heading into next week's game against Charleston Southern.