Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Look At How Our Opponents Fared: Week 2

On the surface, it's easy to say the ACC rebounded from the week 1 debacle by notching a 8-1 record in week 2. Upon closer inspection, however, not every one of our 2009 opponents' stock rose in week 2. Here’s a look at the how our 2009 opponents fared in week 2.


Stock Rising

Central Michigan 29, Michigan State 27. With this win, hopefully the Chippewas got their one BCS team upset of the year out of their system. Michigan State played just enough undisciplined football to give Dan LeFevour and the Chippewas enough of a window of opportunity to win this game. Chippewa kicker Andrew Aguila had the game of his life. After Central Michigan scored what would have been the game-tying touchdown with 32 seconds left, the Chippewas went for the 2 point conversion and the win. The LeFevour pass into the end zone was caught but was ruled out of bounds. On the ensuing kickoff, Aguila kicked a beautiful onside kick that was recovered by the Chippewas. LeFevour then drove CMU 27 yards on three passes to set up the game-winning field goal. The 47-yard attempt was pushed, but Michigan State gave Central Michigan a second chance with a costly, costly offside penalty. Aguila took the second chance from five yards closer and booted it through for the game-winner in East Lansing. LeFevour finished the game passing for 328 yards, 3 touchdowns and one interception on 33 of 46 passing. LeFevour passes Byron Leftwich for most yards of total offense in MAC history. Central Michigan has one more tune-up game next week before starting MAC play.

Virginia Tech 52, Marshall 10. The Hokies rebound from their week 1 loss to Alabama by crushing the Herd 52-10 in front of a sold-out Lane Stadium crowd. The Hokies offense - non-existent in week 1 - exploded for 605 yards of total offense, including two Hokie running backs rushing for over 160 yards each for the first time in school history. Freshman tailback Ryan Williams finished with 164 yards on 16 carries and chipped in 3 touchdowns, while fellow freshman David Wilson rushed for 165 yards on 12 carries and a TD. Tyrod Taylor started slow, but finished the game with 161 yards passing, 2 touchdowns and an interception. Virginia Tech could have definitely used the breather as they have a tough two game stretch ahead as they host #19 Nebraska this week and #20 Miami (Fla.) the following week.

Wake Forest 24, Stanford 17. The Deacons needed yet another fourth quarter comeback from quarterback Riley Skinner to put away the improved Stanford Cardinal 24-17 on Saturday. The Demon Deacons went into the fourth quarter trailing 17-10, and Skinner engineered two touchdown drives including a 91-yard fourth quarter drive. That drive ended with Skinner diving into the endzone with 2 seconds remaining to give the Deacons their first win on the season. Wake Forest scored all three of their touchdowns in the second half, and the Deacs have scored 35 of their 45 points this season in the second half. Skinner finished the day 18-of-26, 187 yards, and 1 touchdown passing and 1 rushing. The Deacons have what should be a warm-up game this Saturday against Elon before traveling to Chestnut Hill to face the Eagles.

Georgia Tech 30, Clemson 27. Yes, the Tigers lost this one but we'll throw this game into the "stock rising" category as Clemson was one disastrous quarter away from knocking off a ranked opponent on the road. The Tigers were embarrassed early and quickly found themselves in a 24-0 hole on three huge plays - an 82-yard option run, an 85-yard punt return and fake field goal touchdown pass. Clemson came out hungry in the second half, however, and rallied to score 27 unanswered points to take a 3 point lead in the fourth quarter. Redshirt freshman Kyle Parker threw for 261 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in the losing effort. Offensive playmakers C.J. Spiller (20 rushes, 87 yards) and Jacoby Ford (5 catches, 109 yards, TD) also dazzled for the Tigers. Ford caught a 77 yard TD pass from Parker, the longest catch of his career. Despite the loss, Dabo Swinney is convinced this team is improving. “We are a better team today than were last week.”

NC State 65, Murray State 7. The Wolfpack found some offense against an outmatched Murray State Racers squad, jumping out to a 21-0 first quarter lead en route to a 65-7 beatdown. Russell Wilson threw for 228 yards and 4 touchdowns, and running back Toney Baker accounted for 3 touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 receiving) and 74 yards on the ground. It was the most points ever scored by a Tom O'Brien-coached team, including his 10 years at Boston College. NC State will sleepwalk through one more week as they play Gardner-Webb at home before facing Pittsburgh (again, at home) to round out the non-conference schedule.


Stock Falling

Michigan 38, Notre Dame 34. The Irish had two things going against them in week 2. 1) I picked them in our Pick 5 challenge (I do what I can) and for the double whammy, 2) the Notre Dame blog Subway Domer put the Coulter-Kos blogpoll curse on the Irish for ranking the Irish higher than the poll at large in week 1. Note to BC bloggers: the Coulter-Kos is now 2-for-2 in claiming its victims.

Don't let this final score fool you though. While the Irish's BCS National Championship game hopes may have evaporated last week in Ann Arbor (due to some poor offensive playcalls by Weis?), this is still a very strong, very talented Irish team. Jimmy Clausen threw for 336 yards and 3 touchdowns on 25 of 42 passing. His final stat line was certainly helped by two very talented receivers in Michael Floyd (131 yards, 1 TD) and Golden Tate (115 yards, 2 TDs).

North Carolina 12, Connecticut 10. In what has to be the strangest final score of the early college football season, North Carolina knocked off UConn at Rentschler Field 12-10 on Saturday. The Tar Heels scored 12 unanswered second half points, including a bizarre safety with 1:32 to go when Connecticut LT Dan Ryan held UNC DE Robert Quinn in the end zone. If you can take anything away from this game, it's that the Tar Heels defense should be one of the better defenses in the conference this season. The offense, however, left something to be desired for much of Saturday's game. The running game was non-existent (35 yards on 38 rushes), and T.J. Yates threw 2 interceptions and was sacked 6 times in the first half. Yates finished with over 200 yards passing, but that number included two fourth quarter drives of approximately 75 yards. A concern for the Heels is a very thin offensive line, where two starters are currently out.

TCU 30, Virginia 14. The "Fire Al Groh" chants continue in Charlottesville. TCU started their season winning the first game of their two game set against ACC opponents, defeating UVA 30-14 on Saturday. There will certainly be growing pains when you change a program's offensive scheme, but the Cavaliers offense has seemed to find even more ways to suck. Sewell didn't manage a completion of over 8 yards until the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers offense managed only 177 yards and 7 ... 7 first downs all game. If there is any good news to come out of 'Hooville, it's that Groh and UVA have finally decided on a starting quarterback.

Florida State 19, Jacksonville State 9. The Seminoles weren't motivated to play in this game, and needed two touchdowns in the last 35 seconds to avoid arguably the worst loss in school history. Andrew Carter writes "The Seminoles appeared lost offensively, inept on special teams and were only in the game because their defense bent, but did not completely break." The lack of motivation, in my opinion, is the most egregious of Seminole offenses and reflects poorly on the coaching staff. The shame in it all is that this is a talented Seminoles team that could very easily start the season 1-3 if they don't get motivated, and motivated in a hurry.

Maryland 38, James Madison 35 (OT). Not going to waste many words on this one. Maryland needed overtime to take out I-AA James Madison. The Terps avoided becoming the third ACC team to lose to a CAA team from the Football Bowl Subdivision. To be fair, James Madison is more Richmond/William & Mary than they are Northeastern, but this Terps win was ugly. Maryland blew a 15 point second half lead and sealed the victory in overtime with a 26-yard field goal from true freshman Nick Ferrara. MTSU and Rutgers come to College Park over the next two weeks before Maryland starts ACC play at Clemson on October 3.

1 comment:

NoleCC said...

My only comment is that FSU is not as talented as you think, especially the upper classmen on the defensive side of the ball right now. Motivation was a problem, combined with lots of other factors, but the D at FSU is awful right now.