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ACC Football: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly from ACC Football Week 9

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly for Week 9 of ACC Football Action


So where does one begin to start the discussion on the action that wasACC Football for week 9?

With the lack of love and respect out there the most of the country would say start with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish

But technically, as it’s been stated before, they are not a part of the ACC

Despite the rumors ACC Commissioner Mike Swofford was seen wearing a Notre Dame Hoodie early this morning…

(he probably hasn't taken it off in the last 3 months)

Anyway, there was a lot of drama and action in the ACC for Week 9 that started on Thursday and reached the pinnacle around 4 p.m. on Saturday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The North Carolina State Wolfpack and the North Carolina Tar Heels played one for the ages capped off by a legendary defining play by Carolina’s Giovanni Bernard...

Seriously, when was the last time as a College Football fan you have seen a comeback and a game sealed on a punt return as basically the final play?

In the ACC, you probably have to go back to 1888 when some guy with the nickname “The Ghost” did it in a 6-2 final score in a game that looks a lot like the current Big 10...

(checks off the list for daily knocks on the pathetic football that is the Big 10)

But that was just one of many of events from this past weekend…

So let’s jump in and take a look at what was The Good, The Bad and The Ugly from the ACC in Week 9.

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The Good - ACC Football Week 9


It can be argued there was no bigger play in all of College Football this season than the punt return by the North Carolina Tar Heels’ Giovanni Bernard. Bernard ended the game with 139 yards rushing and two scores on 23 carries, 95 yard receiving on 8 catches and of course the 74-yard game winning touchdown on the punt return. Simply an incredible game by Bernard.

The 9th-ranked Florida State Seminoles and leaders in the Atlantic Division simply dismantled the Coastal Leading Duke Blue Devils. FSU rolled up 560 total yards and held Duke to only 232 in the 48-7 thrashing.

No one needs to forget about the 13th-ranked Clemson Tigers and its high powered offense. Tahj Boyd set a Clemson passing record for most yards in a game with 428 and Sammy Watkins broke the Tigers record for yards receiving in a game with 202. Clemson put up 524 total yards in the game and held the Wake Forest Demon Deacons to just 290 yards. The Tigers with just one loss get better and better each week on both sides of the ball.

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The Bad - ACC Football Week 9


The North Carolina State Wolfpack put up 534 total yards and 35 points on the road against its rival in the North Carolina Tar Heels and still found a way to lose another game it should have won. The Wolfpack were down 25-7 in the first quarter before rallying to take a 35-25 lead at the end of the third quarter. NC State couldn’t do anything offensively or defensively from that point on as it let Carolina score 18 unanswered including the 74-yard punt return touchdown to seal it. Another bad closing quarter by the Wolfpack to end their run for the Atlantic Division Title.

Even though the Boston College Eagles won the game, 20-17, they looked completely uninspired against a depleted Maryland Terrapins squad. The Eagles actually trailed heading into the fourth quarter and had to get a late touchdown with 52 seconds left to win the game at home. BC was outgained 337-295 by a team that had its fourth-string quarterback on the field who was not recruited by any other College Football Programs. Just simply bad.

Let’s give the Wake Forest Demon Deacons a little bit of grace, but not much. The Demon Deacons just flat laid an egg as the Thursday Night ESPN Game against the 13th-ranked Clemson Tigers . Now Clemson is clicking, but you know Wake Head Coach Jim Grobe was highly disappointed in his team’s lack of performance. Wake could only muster 51 rushing yards against a Tiger team that was giving up greater than 180 per game. So, So Bad.

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The Ugly - ACC Football Week 9


Let’s just face the facts that the Paul Johnson Era is officially over with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Tech had only 12 first downs in the game and was held to just 117 rushing yards and 40 (yes… 4-0) passing yards. You can do the math… that’s just 157 total yards. Add the revamped defense under Interim Defensive Coordinator Charles Kelly gave up 41 points on 411 total yards to a BYU Cougars who have struggled to find any offense all year long and you have an official opening pending in Atlanta, Georgia.

Not only did the Maryland Terrapins lose in the final minute on Saturday, they also announced on Sunday that starting QB Caleb Rowe will miss the rest of the season with a Torn ACL Rowe as the fourth-string QB pushed into action on Saturday because the previous three starting QBs also have torn up a knee this year. The third-string option, Devin BurnsShawn Petty as the starter for the rest of the season. Walk-on freshman TE Brian McMahon will convert and assume the back up role. Bizarre and ugly on so many levels.

Listen, it is the Duke Blue Devils on the road in Tallahassee, Florida, but as the Coastal Division Leaders a 48-7 loss is unacceptable for the ACC. There is no doubt the 9th-ranked Florida State Seminoles are superior, but if Duke wants to take that next step as a program, it need to learn how to put up a little better fight on the road. It’s OK to lose when you are 1-6 and at the bottom of the division. But as the leader, it’s just ugly.

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BCS Rankings - ACC Football Week 9


Let’s make one thing very clear…

The Florida State Seminoles and the Clemson Tigers are still much better than their BCS Rankings of 9th and 13th respectively.

Both FSU and Clemson can play and beat any team ahead of them in the BCS

And both are getting stronger each week on both sides of the ball…

But let’s leave another team in the mix for discussion as well…

The North Carolina Tar Heels are a young team that is putting the pieces to the Fedora puzzle together each week.

And with plays and players like Giovanni Bernard, Carolina will be ready for the next step once it is off of probation in 2013…

Maybe then the computers will try to like ACC Football better than they do in 2012.


M Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years of experience in broadcasting and journalism in professional baseball and college athletics and is the ACC Football Guru, SEC Voice of Reason and College Football Comedian for Rant Sports.

Follow him @woodysmalls.