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ACC Football Roundup

Week one mostly done.

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Clemson v Auburn
AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 03: Deshaun Watson #4 of the Clemson Tigers looks to pass the ball during the second half against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium on September 3, 2016 in Auburn, Alabama.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

#2 Clemson defeated Auburn 19-13, in Auburn. It’s probably closer than Clemson wanted, but a win is a win, and it only helps the conference’s perception as a quality football conference. Auburn used three quarterbacks, which was interesting. They should probably get that situation locked down.

Louisville’s QB Lamar Jackson accounted for 8 total touchdowns in the first half of a 70-14 blowout of Charlotte, firmly entrenching the Cardinals in that 3rd place in the Atlantic power rankings.

NC State defeated William & Mary, 48-14. Recording over 500 yards of offense and settling the QB battle (they settled on Finley, who managed the game well but did not go vertical much) were two good steps, another was displaying good defense against an excellent FCS offense. State needs all the confidence and momentum they earned, as they travel to East Carolina next week. The Pirates LOVE playing teams in their state (see – two upsets of UNC).

Wake Forest survived Tulane 7-3 in Winston-Salem, which does not bode well for their season. Tulane’s offense was horrible, but the fact that the Deacs almost matched them in awfulness was disappointing. We’re sure Duke is looking forward to playing them next week.

Syracuse defeated Colgate 33-7 on Friday. QB Eric Dungey finished with 355 yards on 34/40 for two touchdowns, as Dino Babers successfully utilized a fast-paced offense to jump out to an early 17-7 lead. After that point, the defense locked in.

Georgia Tech edged Boston College in Dublin, 17-14. The Eagles could have walked (flown, really) out of Ireland with a solid win, but gave up a touchdown in the final minute. Regardless, the defense looked as good as it did last year. Tech also showed some ineptitude on offense, which may have been the result of the rain. They did pull it together to convert a 4th-and-19 on the game winning drive.

Virginia Tech tripled Liberty, 36-13. They amassed 458 total yards and shut out Liberty in the second half, despite giving away five fumbles in the game. Jerod Evans, the new Tech quarterback, threw four touchdowns, and the defense forced a safety. The Hokies have Tennessee next, which looks appealing after the Vols’ lackluster performance against App State.

Pitt defeated Villanova 28-7, as cancer-beater James Conner scored two touchdowns. The Pitt defense really earned a shutout, as the only Villanova touchdown came on a scoop-n-score in the third quarter. QB Nate Peterman looked good (19/32, 175), which is exactly what Pitt needs this year.

Miami crushed the Florida A&M Rattlers, 70-3. Cupcake game, not much to observe. Kaaya had 4 TD passes.

Duke defeats NCCU, 49-6, with all Blue Devil scoring coming in a dominant first half. Jones showed the accuracy and poise that earned him the starting spot, throwing 10-15 (and a couple of those incompletions were drops), and hitting his receivers in the hands on every throw. Parker Boehme also played well, including a pinball-like run down the sideline that broke about four tackles and set up a touchdown. Jones threw for 2 TDs and ran for another, while Boehme threw one and ran one. Jela Duncan ran for the other two touchdowns.

The ACC suffered two losses. Virginia gave up 500 yards to FCS Richmond (if we remember correctly, Duke lost to Richmond in 2011) while not being effective on offense until late in the fourth. Coach Mendenhall has a rough job ahead of him.

#18 UNC lost to #22 Georgia 33-24, unable to score in the fourth quarter. Perhaps their rigorous academic efforts affected their fatigue? Jokes (or not) aside, it’s not a good look for the conference, if it wants to put a team in the CFP, and so it’s up to #4 Florida State to build perception of the league on Monday against #11 Ole Miss.

Around the Country:

An interception sealed Wisconsin’s upset of #5 LSU. More upsettingly, after the play was whistled dead due to D’Cota Dixon diving for the catch, an offensive lineman from the Tigers viciously tackled him as he came back up celebrating. Dixon was down for some time after the hit. It was a classless, dangerous, truly disgusting play, and although the offending party will face mandatory suspension due to the ejection, one hopes the NCAA or the conference will hand down a multi-game ban. There’s no place in any sport for that nonsense.

#13 TCU found itself only four points ahead of South Dakota State in the fourth quarter, but pulled away to win 59-41.

Quite a few SEC teams looked rather shaky against weaker competition this week, with Mississippi State losing to South Alabama, #9 Tennessee barely surviving App State in OT, and Arkansas edging LA Tech by a point, in addition to the upset mentioned above. #25 Florida won 24-7, but was only up 10-7 at the half on UMass.

#15 Houston upset #3 Oklahoma, 33-23 in Houston, inserting themselves into the way-too-early playoff talk.

#1 Alabama embarrassed q#20 USC, 52-6. There’s not much to say about that.

Ohio State wins High Point of the Week after hanging 77 on Bowling Green. They were pressured by Louisville’s 70, Miami’s 70, rival #7 Michigan’s 63, Texas Tech’s 68, Oklahoma State’s 61, UNLV’s 63, and Eastern Michigan’s 61.

In the state of North Carolina, East Carolina defeated Western Carolina 52-7, Duke defeated NCCU, NC State defeated William & Mary, Louisville defeated Charlotte, UNC lost to Georgia, and Wake edged Tulane.

#10 Notre Dame takes on Texas Sunday Night.