2007 Around the ACC: Week 3

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The ACC managed to win all but one of their out-of-conference games in Week 3,
but many of their teams looked ugly doing so. There was also a big conference
game down in Atlanta which established a team from the Northeast as the best
team in the ACC at this point in the season.

Current Standings

School Conference Overall
Boston College 3-0 3-0
Clemson 1-0 3-0
Maryland 0-0 2-1
Florida State 0-1 2-1
NC State 0-1 1-2
Wake Forest 0-1 1-2
School Conference Overall
Virginia 2-0 2-1
Miami 0-0 2-1
Virginia Tech 0-0 2-1
Georgia Tech 0-1 2-1
Duke 0-1 1-2
North Carolina 0-1 1-2

Boston College (3-0, 3-0)

The Boston College Eagles have established themselves as the top team in the
ACC. Matt Ryan had his second 400 yard performance of the season, as Boston
College whipped Georgia Tech 24-10 in Atlanta in a game that was not as close as
the final score indicated.

The Eagles’ defense is also playing extremely well. They held Georgia Tech’s
vaunted rushing offense to just 63 yards on the ground. All-ACC running back
Tashard Choice was held to just 31 yards before injuring his hamstring. Boston
College appears to be the real deal on defense, considering they were missing
three starters in Brian Toal, B.J. Raji and Nick Larkin.

However, the Eagles appear to be somewhat one dimensional on offense. They
have rushed for less than 100 yards as a team in two of their three games.

BC’s next four games are against Army, UMass, Bowling Green and Notre Dame.
They will very likely be undefeated when they come to Lane Stadium on October

  • Offensive MVP: Matt Ryan. 30-of-44, 435 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Jolonn Dunbar. 12 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss

Up Next: Army in Chestnut Hill

Clemson (3-0, 1-0)

Clemson improved to 3-0 on the season with a 38-10 win over 1-AA Furman on
Saturday. Quarterback Cullen Harper was very impressive for the Tigers, as Tommy
Bowden once again made good on his promise to work on the passing game against
the weaker opponents of the schedule.

Despite the win, there are negatives for the Tigers. Furman outgained them in
total yards 384 to 377. Cullen Harper was sacked five times, which pushed
Clemson’s rushing total down to just 60 yards and 1.8 yards per carry. C.J.
Spiller had nine carries for -1 yard. It is also disturbing that Clemson’s
defense did not record any sacks.

  • Offensive MVP: Cullen Harper. 16-of-19, 266 yards, 3 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Michael Hamlin. 4 tackles, 1 fumble forced, 1 fumble
    recovery, 2 passes defended

Up Next: NC State in Raleigh

Duke (1-2, 0-1)

The nation’s longest losing streak is over. Duke had lost 22 consecutive
games, but they managed to defeat Northwestern 20-14 on the road on Saturday
night despite being outgained 506 to 309 in total offense.

Quarterback Thad Lewis had a very good game for the Blue Devils, but their
defense is still not playing very well. This could be the only game Duke wins
all year unless they step it up defensively.

  • Offensive MVP: Thad Lewis. 19-of-23 for 246 yards, 3 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Patrick Bailey. 12 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, 1
    forced fumble, 1 QB hurry

Up Next: Navy in Annapolis

Florida State (2-1, 0-1)

Florida State got another ugly win on Saturday night, knocking off Colorado
on the road 16-6. Despite being outgained 279-221, the Seminoles were able to
come away with the victory, mostly because their defense held Colorado to -27
yards rushing and intercepted two passes.

Florida State’s offense was terrible, as usual. They averaged just 2.6 yards
per carry and threw for only 126 yards. This was a game that neither team
deserved to win, but FSU happened to have more points on the scoreboard when the
game ended, so they got credit for a victory. Colorado also missed two field
goals which could have made it a game at the end.

For an offense that is known for spreading the ball around, things didn’t
exactly happen that way on Saturday. Only four receivers caught passes for FSU.

  • Offensive MVP: Nobody, but I’ll give offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher
    credit for this quote: “The most ridiculous demonstration of football
    I’ve been around in my life.”
  • Defensive MVP: Tony Carter. 7 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 2 interceptions

Up Next: Bye week, then Alabama in Jacksonville

Georgia Tech (2-1, 0-1)

Georgia Tech looked great the first two weeks of the season, but Boston
College made them look like an average team on their own field Saturday night.
The Yellow Jackets lost to the Eagles 24-10 and dropped out of the Top 25.

The only bright spot for Georgia Tech in this one was the fact that they held
BC to just 92 yards rushing. GT’s pass defense was shredded for 435 yards by
Matt Ryan. It was a very ugly performance all the way around.

The Yellow Jackets can’t let BC beat them more than once. GT plays three of
their next four games on the road against UVA, Maryland and Miami, and their one
home game is against Clemson, a team that blew them out last season. They need
to shape up, or they’ll get put out of the ACC race quickly.

  • Offensive MVP: Taylor Bennett. 20-of-39, 204 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Gary Guyton. 9 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1
    forced fumble

Up Next: Virginia in Charlottesville

Maryland (2-1, 0-0)

Maryland got whipped at home by West Virginia 31-14 last Thursday night. The
Terps hung in there, but in the end the Mountaineers had too much offensive
firepower. Maryland also showed that they have major offensive problems of their

WVU rushed for 353 yards against Maryland, while the Terps could net just 89
yards on the ground. Quarterback Jordan Steffy was efficient for the most part,
but once again couldn’t generate many big plays in the passing game. Maryland
managed just 269 yards of total offense against a questionable West Virginia

  • Offensive MVP: Keon Lattimore. 21 carries, 80 yards, 1 touchdown, 4
    catches for 17 yards.
  • Defensive MVP: Erin Henderson. 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss

Up Next: at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem

Miami (2-1, 0-0)

Miami came away with another unimpressive win, this time knocking off Florida
International 23-9 at home. There was no brawl this time, but the Canes still
struggled to put points on the board against a team that hasn’t won a game since

The Canes have a very good combination of running backs in Graig Cooper and
Javarris James, who combined for 140 yards on the ground against FIU. This week
they hit some big plays in the passing game as Kyle Wright threw for 224 yards.
However that includes plays of 80 and 35 yards. Wright couldn’t consistently
drive the Canes down the field with his arm. He was 10-of-19 with one touchdown
and two interceptions. Same ‘ole problems for Miami.

The Canes’ rush defense also has some problems. They surrendered 159 yards on
the ground to FIU, and 4.3 yards per carry.

  • Offensive MVP: Darnell Jenkins. 5 catches for 108 yards.
  • Defensive MVP: Kenny Phillips. 7 tackles, 1 interception, 1 pass defended

Up Next: Texas A&M in Coral Gables on Thursday night

North Carolina (1-2, 0-1)

UNC lost a tough game to Virginia 22-20 at home on Saturday. The Tar Heels
missed a two point conversion that would have tied the game, and later committed
a dumb personal foul that allowed UVA to keep the ball and run out the clock.
UNC has lost two games by a total of five points.

R-freshman T.J. Yates continues to impress for the Tar Heels at quarterback,
but they aren’t getting much production out of their running game, averaging
just over 79 yards per game on the ground. That’s 104th nationally.

Things don’t get any easier for UNC. Their next two games are on the road at
South Florida and Virginia Tech.

  • Offensive MVP: T.J. Yates. 25-of-38 for 339 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1
  • Defensive MVP: Hilee Taylor. 7 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1
    forced fumble

Up Next: South Florida in Tampa

NC State (1-2, 0-1)

NC State finally got a win on Saturday, downing 1-AA Wofford 38-17 in
Raleigh. It was Tom O’Brien’s first win at NC State. It snapped a nine game
losing streak for NC State. Despite the win, it was a less than impressive
performance by the Wolfpack.

Wofford outgained NC State 353 to 330 in total offense. The Wolfpack allowed
211 rushing yards for the game, and that has been their weakness so far this
season. They rank dead last in the ACC in rush defense, allowing 216 yards per
game. It looks like it’s going to be a long year in Raleigh.

  • Offensive MVP: Andre Brown. 21 carries, 133 yards, 3 touchdowns.
  • Defensive MVP: Miguel Scott, 10 carries, 2 passes defended

Up Next: Clemson in Raleigh

Virginia (2-1, 2-0)

Virginia improved to 2-0 in ACC play with their 22-20 victory over UNC in
Chapel Hill on Saturday. The Cavaliers are using two quarterbacks with success
thus far, and the running game has improved dramatically since the season
opening debacle at Wyoming.

UVA was outgained 399 to 350, but managed to hang on for the win when they
stopped a Tar Heel two point conversion attempt with 1:57 remaining in the game.
The Hoos held a 16-0 lead at one point, but nearly succumbed to the UNC
comeback. Instead, they find themselves in first place in the Coastal Division
with a reeling Georgia Tech team coming to Charlottesville on Saturday.

  • Offensive MVP: Cedric Peerman. 30 carries, 186 yards, 1 touchdown. 3
    catches for 37 yards.
  • Defensive MVP: Chris Long. 4 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, 1
    interception, 1 pass defended.

Up Next: Georgia Tech in Charlottesville

Virginia Tech (2-1, 0-0)

Frank Beamer picked up his 200th career win as the Hokies defeated Ohio 28-7
in the first full game of the Tyrod Taylor era. Although Tech didn’t put Ohio
away until late in the third quarter for various reasons, they dominated the
stats column and generally looked improved on both sides of the ball.

The most impressive stat of the day came from the defense. They allowed just
114 yards, and Ohio did not pick up a single first down in the second half.
Tech’s offense had 473 yards of total offense.

The unsung hero for the Hokies so far is punter Brent Bowden. Thanks to his
play, Virginia Tech ranks ninth nationally in net punting.

  • Offensive MVP: Tyrod Taylor. 18-of-31 for 287 yards. 10 carries, 8 yards,
    1 touchdown.
  • Defensive MVP: Vince Hall. 14 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 pass

Up Next: William & Mary in Blacksburg

Wake Forest (1-2, 0-1)

Wake Forest didn’t play particularly well, but they knocked off Army 21-10 in
Winston-Salem on Saturday. The Demon Deacons need starting quarterback Riley
Skinner in the worst way. Brent Hodges was 9-of-12, but threw for just 49 yards.
One of Wake’s touchdowns was an 84 yard interception return by linebacker Aaron

The good news is that the Demon Deacons probably found their top running back
for the remainder of the season. R-freshman Josh Adams is the best fit in Wake’s
offense. He had nine carries for 64 yards and a touchdown on Saturday. If Riley
Skinner returns soon, Wake should be okay.

  • Offensive MVP: Josh Adams. 9 carries, 64 yards, 1 touchdown.
  • Defensive MVP: Jeremy Thompson. 5 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 sacks.

Up Next: Maryland in Winston-Salem

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