ACC Football: Week 1 Takeaways
One week down, fifteen to go. The college football season started with a boom on Labor Day weekend. Here’s a smattering of what we learned about ACC football in Week 1.
1. N.C. isn’t ready for prime time. Prime time players step up in big games. Although it was only Week 1, this game had that feel in the Georgia Dome. Unfortunately for the Wolfpack, QB Mike Glennon (four picks) and CB David Amerson (burned for two touchdowns) didn’t have their best day against Tennessee.
2. Larry Fedora’s speed ball offense is the talk of the ACC. Regardless of the opponent, the Tar Heels’ tempo and speed is now on tape for opponents to see. Can they stop it?
3. Maryland’s victory felt like a loss to anyone in attendance. William & Mary won the turnover battle, ground game, time of possession war and was better on third down conversions. If not for an extra point, the Terps would be the most embarrassed team in the league.
4. Michael Rocco looks like a keeper in Virginia (25-37, 311) — for now. Alabama transfer Phillip Simms relieved Rocco in the fourth quarter and led an easy scoring drive.
5. Miami was younger and better than BC. While the Eagles jumped out a quick start, the Hurricanes’ talented youth, Duke Johnson, stormed back to take the game. Miami may be better than some assumed. Meanwhile, it’s going to be a long year in Chestnut Hill.
6. Florida State won 69-0, yet it didn’t look like they played a perfect game. Murray State is a sorry excuse for a football program, but FSU is as strong as advertised.
7. Slipping by Liberty, 20-17, isn’t the way Jim Grobe planned the start of this Demon Deacons season. Held to 42 total yards through the midpoint of the second quarter, the Wake Forest offensive line, sporting four new starters, looked inexperienced and lost. Defensive coordinators around the ACC are going to exploit this weakness.
8. Clemson’s offense is much more than just Sammy Watkins. The embattled star wide receiver watched this game the same way you did–away from the field–after being suspended by coach Dabo Swinney. The fallout? A victory over a legitimate SEC foe. QB Tajh Boyd was sensational (his lone INT wasn’t even his fault) and WR DeAndre Hopkins set a school record with 13 receptions.
9. Duke will score points behind the duo of head coach David Ratcliffe and quarterback Sean Renfree. Leading 44-14 in Week 1 over anyone is something to talk about at Duke, but can their defense stop real offenses? 513 total yards for FIU isn’t encouraging.
10. Virginia Tech started off slowly again. Frank Beamer teams have a habit of playing below their potential early in the year. It’s led to embarrassing losses, sometimes taking VT out of the National Title hunt before October hits. Last night looked like one of those nights until OT. An interception and clutch field goal helped the Hokies escape a pesky GT team. They’ll only get better from here on out.