ACC Football: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly for Week 3

By M. Shannon Smallwood
Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

This just in…

The Florida State Seminoles have just scored another touchdown against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons!

Could the ‘Noles have been any more impressive on Saturday?

Probably not…

But the rest of the ACC has some work to do…

Week 3 in ACC Football action was hard to describe. Kind of like a date with a bi-polar, narcoleptic woman who looks like Megan Fox.

At times, it was amazing…

At other times, it was disturbing and tragic…

And for some teams, it was both at the same time…

So here is The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for Week 3 of ACC Football Action


The Good

1. Let’s just go ahead and call this great! There was a lot of questions in reference to just how good Florida State was entering the game with Atlantic Division rival Wake Forest. Well, 14-0 at the end of the first, 38-0 at half and a dominating final of 52-0 probably answered anyone’s questions. FSU racked up 612 yards of total offense while holding Wake to just 126. The ‘Noles held Wake to 1-fo-16 on third downs. Completely; utterly; dominating.

2. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Head Coach Paul Johnson doesn’t forget much. Johnson eluded multiple times last week that,”the Jackets were physically beat up,” in a loss at the Virginia Cavaliers last year. He obviously had his entire team’s attention as the Jackets flat rolled the Cavaliers, 56-20. Georgia Tech ended with 461 yards rushing and held Virginia to only 98 on the ground. Overall, the Yellow Jackets went for 594 total yards in the game against it’s ACC foe. Johnson clearly delivered on his payback of a beat down against Virginia.

3. Yes, the Duke Blue Devils did roll the North Carolina Central Eagles, 54-17, but that was not the big story. Everything good from this contest centered around the return of Duke WR Blair Holliday. Holliday was critically injured on July 4 in a jet ski accident and, for a long time, doctors did not know if he would survive his severe head trauma. No one knew to what extent he would recover from his injuries; or even if he ever would. Well, Holliday led his team off the bus Saturday and wore his  No. 8 jersey during the team warm ups. Football aside, the best story and the greatest of “The Good” from the ACC this past weekend was seeing Holliday smiling with his teammates in Durham, North Carolina.


The Bad

1. For whatever reason, the North Carolina Tar Heels took the first 45 minutes of its game with the 19th ranked Louisville Cardinals off on Saturday.  Carolina was down 36-7 at the half and 36-14 heading into the fourth quarter. Completely dead in the water and giving the country another bade taste of ACC Football in its mouth. The only reason this game is not on “The Ugly” list is what happened in the fourth as the Heels found itself on the Louisville 4-yard line poised to steal this game after a 20-point rally in the final frame. But it was too little, too late. The other “Bad” moment of this game goes to Louisville Head Coach Charlie Strong who did not take a knee to end the game. Carolina did not have any timeouts and Louisville almost turned the ball over to give the Tar Heels another shot at winning. Fun game to watch in the fourth, but simply a bad game all around for UNC.

2. The Maryland Terrapins and Head Coach Randy Edsall just couldn’t get anything going in its most important game to date against Edsall’s old team in the Connecticut Huskies. The Terps could only manage 205 yards of total offense and missed a pair of field goals in the 24-21 loss to the Huskies. Oh, this game was in College Park, Maryland, as well. Simply a bad loss for Maryland, Edsall and the ACC to its Big East foe.

3. The Boston College Eagles just could not catch a break, nor could they stop the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday in a tough, 22-13 loss. The Eagles gave up 560 yards of total offense to Northwestern including 293 on the ground. BC could only muster a robust 25 yards total rushing on the day. Just simply bad.


The Ugly

1. The Virginia Tech Hokies simply got ambushed by the Pittsburgh Panthers, 35-17. The No. 13 Hokies were down 21-3 before they knew what hit them and never recovered. When you think about Hokie Football under Head Coach Frank Beamer, you think defense and special teams more than anything really. Pitt had been bombed by FCS Youngstown State Penguins, 31-17, and Big East rival the Cincinnati Bearcats, 34-10, in its opening two games. To say the Panthers looked awful on both sides of the ball would be almost a nice complement. But, leave it to the most consistent team it the ACC over the past eight seasons to let Pitt rack up 537 yards of total offense on 87 plays and controlled the ball for over 38 minutes. The Hokeis could only muster 59 yards rushing against a Pitt defense that gave up an average of 231 per game on the ground in the first two losses. Just as ugly as ugly can get for the now un-ranked Hokies.

2. It has already been discussed just how bad of a beat down Georgia Tech handed Virginia. But here is one tell-tell stat that paints just how ugly Virginia was on Saturday… Virginia had 61 offensive plays to Georgia Tech’s 62. One less play and you have to score 14 late in the fourth against the Tech band to make it 56-20. That’s just plain ole ugly.

3. The Big East simply dominated the ACC this past weekend going 3-0. The announcement of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish making the move to the ACC probably spurred some of the emotion in the Louisville v. Carolina contest. The other two just had bad karma written all over them both. Pittsburgh wanted to prove it was ready to compete in the ACC and drilled a 13th-ranked Virginia Tech and Connecticut had the emotional edge to beat its programs founder in Edsall. Either way, the conference can never go 0-3 ever again to the Big East. Add the BC loss to the Big 10 and Northwestern and its a terrible 0-4 day for the ACC.


Kudos go out as well to the Miami Hurricanes for deciding to show up in the second half and the Clemson Tigers for handling its FCS foe.

I’m leaving the North Carolina State Wolfpack out of this discussion simply because they chose not to cover.


M. Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years experience in sports broadcasting, journalism and college athletics and currently covers ACC Football for Rant Sports.

Follow him @woodysmalls

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