Bourbonstreet’s ACC Capsule: Week 3

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Bstreet’s ACC Rankings:

(conference, overall)
1. Florida State 1-0, 2-0
2. Boston College 1-0, 2-0
3. Maryland 0-0, 2-0
3a. Clemson 0-1, 1-1
5. Wake Forest 1-0, 2-0
6. N.C. State 0-0, 1-1

COASTAL (conference, overall)
1. Miami 0-1, 1-1
1a. Georgia Tech 0-0, 1-1
3. Virginia Tech 1-0, 2-0
4. Virginia 0-0, 1-1
5. North Carolina 0-1, 0-2
88. Duke 0-1, 0-2

Brigham Young+7 @ Boston College O/U=51
: (09/16, Saturday 12noon, ESPN2)

  • BYU strengths: Passing, Run Defense, Punt Returns.
  • BYU weaknesses: KO Returns and the Cougar Running-attack needs work.
  • B.C. strengths: Punting, KO Returns, playing in the other teams Offensive
  • B.C. weaknesses: Defense, in particular Pass Defense, Run-game, Punt

Game Outlook:

I expect B.C. will be down off of an exhausting double OT thriller vs.
Clemson last week. But which team has nearly a buck50 edge in Total Defense you
ask? Surprisingly, that would be BYU. When you read the B.C. weaknesses that
does not read like a good football team, much less a great football team; does
it? But Ryan is a winner. He proved as much last year in relief, ditto thus far
2 games into 2006. I don’t know why, but BYU plays very well on rugs. The Coug’s
catch the Flying Eagles on a down week after a sky-high effort, which does give
BYU a legit shot. IF BYU wins the TOP battle, they will win this game.
Probability of an upset=38%

Clemson+5 @ Florida State O/U=41.5
: (09/16, Saturday 7:45pm, ESPN)

  • CU strengths: Total Offense, outstanding Punt Returns, good overall
  • CU weaknesses: LB health, G health, overall health, Pass Defense.
  • FSU strengths: 1st best Run Defense! 11th best Defense, TFL, good Passing
  • FSU weaknesses: 24 yards/game on the ground! Special Teams/Field Position.

Game Outlook:

“Just when you think lil’ Bowden is out, an upset pulls him back in.”
This Klempson football program is the Godfather III revisited; lottsa
star-power, lottsa hype and likewise potential. But a miscast here, and a thin
plot there, and the Tigers let you down again. FSU on the other hand thought
their game was being played in Sleepy Hollow, and pulled an Icky Crane last
week. Barely waking-up in time to construct game tying, then game winning 4th
Quarter drives vs. major underdog Troy. Klempson can not afford another Atlantic
L, FSU can take control of the Atlantic with a win. I’ll be on Jenn’s team
at Home, as this one swings on the ‘Nole Run Defense out scraping the Tiger
Rushing Offense down in the snow-bird State.
Probability of upset=30%

Maryland+14 @ West Virginia O/U=45.5
(09/14, Thursday 7:30pm, ESPN)

  • MU strengths: Rushing Offense, Punting, Sacks, playing Possum?
  • MU weaknesses: Passing, Turnover Margin,
  • wvu strengths: White+Slaton=maybe the best D-1 Running attack? Punting,
    major Home-field edge.
  • wvu weaknesses: nearly no negative yardage plays by the wvu Defense,

Game Outlook:

RB Steve Slaton (ankle), QB Pat White (ribs), and back-up Dlineman are dinged
up. Starting DB Larry Williams is out (back), Damien Crissy OT (knee) is also
out. So wvu is not exactly full-tilt for the Terps. But they did manage to rest
their starters a ton vs. Eastern Washington, and back up QB Jarrett Brown looks
like the next “Turbo” speed-based wvu QB to me. The BIG-boy normally gives
wvu a very hard way to go, so one has to wonder if he has set wvu up playing
possum for his first 2 games. As Maryland has not shown me much thru 8 Quarters
of football thus far in 2006. But that could be by design; though only having 3
full days to prep for wvu’s oddball schemes is not. The above listed wvu
health concerns will keep this close for a while; but batteries do travel
further at nite. i.e. Maryland is roadkill; wvu wins!
Probability of upset=25%

N.C. State+2.5 @ Southern Miss. O/U=38.5
: (09/16,
Saturday 6pm, TBA)

  • NCS strengths: Defense, TFL, Sacks.
  • NCS weaknesses: Turnover Margin, Passing Offense, Health.
  • SM strengths: Rushing Offense, TFL, Sacks.
  • SM weaknesses: Turnover Margin, Punting, Passing Offense.

Game Outlook:

“This place is a shambles. We need to…deshamblize.” Lt.Col.
Henry Blake said it best, and the Wolfpac is in real disarray right now. If they
do not beat the Golden Eagles, they are looking a 1-4 start, right in the face.
So any State Bowl aspirations are the line here. So.Miss on the other hand is
off to their expected 1-1 start, and pounded S.E. Louisiana last week as
expected. Lot of overlap on strengths’ and weaknesses’ listed above; the one
thing that does not overlap is the insalubrious nature of the Wolfpac. So.Miss
does have home field here, State’s incoming mentality is shaky at best, and
this is their only game on the turf this year.
Probability of upset=45%

Wake Forest+3 @ UConn O/U=41
: (09/16, Saturday 12noon, ESPN360)

  • WF strengths: Running game, Punting, improved Defense.
  • WF weaknesses: Intensity/expectations? Passing Defense, QB protection.
  • UConn strengths: 2 weeks prep time, solid Head Coach, Caulley nearly
  • UConn weaknesses: Health, right side DLine, 4 underclassmen OLine.

Game Outlook:

If Rhode Island can nearly run up 2 bills worth of Rushing Yardage on
Connecticut, how much will the tricky Wake Forrest counter-rushing-attack get???
Hokie faithful will recall the gutting foot injury UConn RB Terry Caulley
suffered on the Lane turf a couple of years back. T.Caulley looks to be just
about returned to his mighty-mite ways, and UConn is lucky they still have Coach
Edsall on the job up in Storrs. With such a young OLine, UConn is a year maybe
two away from making any real D-1 noise again. Wake sure looked very shaky vs.
lowly Duke last weekend, so there is a legit chance here that the Huskies knock
off the Demon-Deacs. Though be aware that UConn has only won twice in 23 tries
vs. the ACC.
Probability of upset=45%

Troy+17.5 @ Georgia Tech O/U=37.5
: (09/16, Saturday 1:30pm, TBA)

  • Troy strengths: Confidence from last week, Rushing Defense, Punt Returns.
  • Troy weaknesses: Passing-attack, Turnover Margin, Kickoff Returns.
  • GT strengths: QB Protection, Blitz krazy Defense, strong Special Teams
  • GT weaknesses: Ball’s Passing, not as many TFL or Sacks as expected.

Game Outlook:

This looks to be a better Troy football team than I anticipated. But playing
FSU, now Gah.Tech then Nebraska, all on the Road is just brutal! Either in this
game, or up in Nebraska, this Troy football team will jus’ plain ole wear-down
then wear-out. Though I must note that this Troy Offense is much more dynamic
than recent versions have been. Gah.Tech will be looking ahead to playing both
ACC Commonwealth teams, so there is some chance for an upset here, providing GT
QB Reggie Ball completes throws to several wide open Troy defenders.
Probability of an upset=25%

Miami+6.5 @ Louisville O/U=51
: (09/16, Saturday 3:30pm, ABC)

  • MiaFla strengths: major Defensive speed! Turnover Margin.
  • MiaFla weaknesses: QB protection, surprising lack of QB pressure? Health.
  • LU strengths: Brohm/Passing attack, TFL, Sacks, averaging over 60/game.
  • LU weaknesses: Health, Punting, Pass Defense, Special Teams play.

Game Outlook:

At some point in 2006, Louisville is gonna miss their Larry Csonka styled RB
Reggie Bush more than a little bit. I suspect this happens twice in 2006, the
first time being this game, then vs. wvu. Denny Crum’s school does chalk up
nearly 17 more points/game in Papa John’s Stadium, and should have beaten
Miami Away 2 years ago. The ‘Canes did not show any effects of a FSU veisalgia
(aka a hang-over) last week, and are now back at full strength post suspensions.
This one is gonna be close, but sans any Bush, I gotta give the ‘Cane Defense
the mild edge here.
Probability of an upset=42%

Furman @ North Carolina
: (09/16, Saturday 7pm, ESPNU)

  • FC strengths: Rushing Offense, overall Defensive play, Return teams, nice
  • FC weaknesses: Passing Offense, D-1AA football team.
  • UNC strengths: Return teams, Pass Defense, protecting the QB.
  • UNC weaknesses: Turnover Margin, QB’s, Punting.

Game Outlook:

Well…should UNC not win this, they are in deep, deep trouble. Furman went
11-3 last year, and that’s not bad. But it will likely take a little UNC help
for Furman to win. I’d like to make the romantic pick and pick the Paladins to
win, that would please King Charlemagne. If UNC is down, and the Tar-Heel QBs
assist Furman, there is a chance for an upset here. Furman won the last time
these two played back in 1999. But UNC is the better/deeper football team.
Probability of an upset=34%

Western Michigan+9.5 @ Virginia O/U=49
: (09/16, Saturday 3:30pm,

  • WMU strengths: (relative) Run-game edge, Sacks, Kickoff Returns.
  • WMU weaknesses: QB Ryan Cubit’s bad hand, Punting-game, Offense.
  • UVA strengths: Punt-game, playing up-field on Defense.
  • UVA weaknesses: 3rd from last in Rushing Offense in all of D-1! Pass

Game Outlook:

This is yet another .500 or so Western Michigan kinda football team, and this
game showcases the 99th team in Total Offense (france) vs. the 97th team in
Total Offense (WMU). If it looks like I’m asleep while I’m supposed to be
watching this one for TSL, that’s because I prolly am. Not a lot of
entertainment value here folks. Which leads me to wonder out loud if france is
really only a mid-tier MAC football team this year? Il est ce qui est il. (It is
what it is). Alvin DeGroh now officially has some real work ahead of him jus’
to break even on 2006.
Probability of an upset=”Yawn.” Excuse me, I mean 40%

Duke+35 @ Virginia Tech O/U=43.5
: (09/16, Saturday 12noon, Raycom)

  • DU strengths: Med. School, Hoops homecourt edge, decent Passing Offense.
  • DU weaknesses: Defense, football in general. Running-game in particular.
  • VT strengths: Defensive speed, Ore when he gets past the LOS, VT’s ST’s
    play is the best I’m seeing in all of D-1, powerful Secondary.
  • VT weaknesses: OLine, OT’s not named Brown, DTs, very short Passing

Game Outlook:

For some reason Duke is really bad prior to a bye week (1-8)? But they did
mess around with and almost upset a strong rushing Wake Forest football team
last week. I saw a lot of complaining on the football message board about us not
running the football more last week. I now (sadly) view this as being born of
necessity. This is a twofold necessary statement; first regarding the
desperation that describes the need to keep Ore and his rebuilt shoulder
healthily. And secondly; an implicit statement of just how underdeveloped
Glennon was/is coming into the first 4 football games of 2006 (i.e. SG needs
reps to prep for GT). This trend will continue for the next 8 Quarters of play,
as Frank tries to get Glennon up to snuff as major D-1 football program QBs go,
while keeping Ore right as rain. So we will remain on pace to have the lowest
ranked VT Rushing Offense since the 1988 days of Ralph Brown and a lame Vaughn
Hebron. That typed, as RB’s go, Ore is a precious metal indeed. He does have
at least CFL next level talent, and the quickest feet I’ve seen attached to
any VT RB in a very long time.

Also consider the following; after having played lowly NorthLeastern and UNC;
our Rushing Defense is now 45th; when it finished 8th on the year last season.
In other words; our DT’s are not getting the push that Lewis got upfield last
year; as they (in particular the back-ups) are too high firing off the ball. You
can see this in the fact that we have only 2 DT’s currently in our Top-19
tacklers for 2006. This after playing a very suspect NorthLeastern OLine; and
the 11th ranked OLine in the ACC. In fact it is our Secondary that is playing
lights-out ball-hawking Run support for us. Via outstanding open-field tackling,
and cheating-up towards the LOS. Praise be to VT Secondary Coach Tor’ Grey!

So we have a lot to work on, but we do have 8 Quarters of winnable football
to improve. The dicey tradeoff is that both Glennon and our OLine need reps, but
both must remain healthy, while recovering the services of Frye ASAP (the
starting OLine only has 8 Quarters left to gel for the rest of 2006). Looks like
back to the VT Defense and Special-Teams future to me. So I went back and fished
out the 1984 VT vs. Duke football score. Which was 27-0, favor of VT. Tack on a
few points and you get a 32-0 VT win.

Probability of an upset=(3.14)^2; or about 6%

Official VT fb prediction poll Results:
week#1 winner: VT73!
week#2 winners: Melbourne Hokie! Nat-Lite Hokie!

& God Bless America on the 5th anniversary of 9/11.

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