Monday, September 24, 2007

About Last Saturday (and Thursday)...

The Hurricanes notched perhaps the biggest perception-altering victory of the weekend with their beatdown of the Aggies. Miami completely flipped the tables in this win...their much maligned offense confused and then sped right past the A&M defense, while the highly touted Aggie offense appeared as if they were moving in quicksand against the Cane defense. A much needed, feel-good, recruit-impressing evening all-around for The U.

Despite the 1-2 start for Butch Davis' crew in '07, there were some real positives to look at and even some semblance of hope for the remainder of the season. Gone. The Bulls are every bit a Top 20 club, but for the Heels to look like John Bunting was back in charge was highly disconcerting. TJ Yates finally looked like the true freshman that he is (11 for 27, 4 picks) and he received no help from his teammates on either side of the ball. The Heels are lucky USF went on cruise control in the 4th quarter or the score could've been really Bunting-esque.

"Oh come on! This is getting to be ri-g@ddamn-diculous!" - Frank Vitchard in Anchorman (and yes, there appears to be a theme going on here this week).

The ACC does this every freaking year. One (or more) potential contenders for the league title and/or Top 25 status will drop an enormous pile of excrement on the field in a non-conference game (see: Virginia vs. Wyoming), only to "find themselves" in time to knock off a few conference teams in a row (see: Virginia vs. Duke/UNC/Georgia Tech). Yet, they're still defined by the stinkstack they left in the non-conference game. Meanwhile, another ACC team makes a big splash into Top 25 status and conference championship talk (see: Georgia Tech in weeks 1 and 2), then lays an egg on national television (see: GT vs. BC) and the rest of the season subsequently caves in. Result: poor perception of the league and a dearth of ranked teams. The Hoo-Jacket game this year is just another chapter in this unaltering, tragic epic.

Virginia slices off Georgia Tech's season to spite the ACC's reputation

Now this was the game I had pegged as part of the ACC-destroying-itself-from-within saga, and happily for the league, I was wrong on a grand scale. The final score doesn't really do justice to the Tigers' domination (608 yards to 202 yards; 3 Pack turnovers to Clemson's 0; the Tigers knocking two State QBs out of the game). The Harper/Davis/Spiller trifecta of terror appears to have been fully unleashed, just in time to face the armless Yellow Jacket squad in Atlanta next Saturday. Oh, and despite the Wolfpack's embarassingly woeful showing against the Tigers, they have the perfect remedy for hapless football programs next week...Louisville!

Odd post-game scene in the N.C. State locker room when notified of their next opponent (I'm told that's Tom O'Brien in the cowboy hat)

NAVY 46 - DUKE 43
I'm stunned that Duke scored 43 points. FSU hasn't done it yet (and they played UAB). Miami hasn't done it yet (and they played Marshall and FIU). The last-second loss to the Middies obviously has to sting a bit, but with the losing-streak albatross gone, it's clear that the Blue Devils are a team with some seriously renewed vigor. They're ripe to knock off a dispirited Georgia Tech, UNC, or Notre Dame squad if any of those teams come into their meeting with Ted Roof's troops on auto-pilot. Hmmmmm, Duke over Notre Dame, in South Bend...allow an ACC guy to dream for a minute.

In a weekend when the Florida Tebows nearly cacked away their entire season at Ole Miss, it's fairly easy to forgive Boston College for a less than stellar first half against Army. The yardage the Eagles piled up by the end of the game was quite impressive (573 to be exact, 356 courtesy of the golden right arm of Matt Ryan), but the real chink out of this one has to be Ryan's 2 interceptions....that's 5 for the season and that has him currently buried at #42 nationally in passing efficiency. The TDs and yardage are very nice, but the picks have got to stop if Matty Ice is to make a downtown NYC appearance in December.

In a week when my prognostication prowess was sorely tested, I must thank the Hokies for allowing yours truly to look like a college football oracle for a brief and fleeting moment. As for the Hokies, all is not sunshine and lollipops, as they still couldn't get the running game out of first gear (133 yards, 3.5ypc) and they were penalized a ridiculous 11 times...against a mediocre 1-AA squad. The defense was OK but surrendered waaaay too many passing yards (243) to Tribe QB Jake Phillips.

It's funny how one play can not only change a game, but a season, and potentially entire careers. Just such a play occurred late in the third quarter of this dandy little matchup, as Maryland - in the midst of a methodical 24-3 domination of Wake Forest - tried to get a little too cute on the Deacon 1-yard line by throwing into the endzone. Instead of a touchdown grab that would put the Terps up by 4 TDs, the pass was picked off and returned 100 yards the other way for a Wake touchdown, igniting a Demon Deacon rally and possibly the ample seat on which Ralph Friedgen plants his keister. Wake is a team reborn, while the Terps are now just kind-of all hollow inside.

The secret of Wake's success? Jim Grobe's post-game fondue parties

No comments: