Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Look At How Our Opponents Fared: Week 3

The remaining opponents on BC's 2009 schedule had a much better week on Saturday, posting a 7-2 mark in week 3. Big wins from Virginia Tech and Florida State, both over ranked opponents. Another embarrassing loss for Maryland, and the plane has officially crashed into the mountain in Charlottesville.

Here's a look at how our opponents fared in week 3.

Wake Forest 35, Elon 7. Senior quarterback Riley Skinner threw for a career-high 289 yards and 3 touchdowns in a little over 3 quarters of work to lead the Deacons (2-1) to a 35-7 rout of I-AA Elon. Skinner connected on long touchdown passes to Chris Givens (54 yards) and Marshall Williams (80 yards). Not that they needed it, but Wake Forest really didn’t get much offense going on the ground. Josh Adams rushed for 25 yards on 11 carries and a 1-yard touchdown. Senior Kevin Harris added another 23 yards on the ground on 10 carries. It was the first ever meeting between the two neighboring schools, separated by only 45 miles. Wake faces their first road test of the season when they travel to Chestnut Hill this Saturday.

Florida State 54, Brigham Young 28
. Any question about the Seminole's motivation were answered in a convincing 54-28 victory over BYU - a top 10 team - at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday. Christian Ponder led the 'Noles offense to touchdowns on their first four possessions, and FSU led 30-14 at half. Ponder finished the day nearly perfect, throwing for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns on 21-of-26 passing. The Seminoles also were 12 for 15 in converting 3rd down attempts and converted on all 8 trips to the red zone. The Cougar offense - led by Max Hall - was able to move the ball effectively, amassing nearly 500 yards of offense. However, turnovers were the difference in this one, as BYU ended the day +5 in turnover margin with two fumbles and three interceptions. Florida State was able to convert two first half turnovers into 10 points, and then the costliest of turnovers occurred early in the third quarter when Greg Reid intercepted Max Hall and took it to the house for a 64-yard return. The Seminoles (2-1) host USF next week, who were dealt a costly blow this past week. Senior QB Matt Grothe is now out for the season after suffering a torn ACL in the Bulls 59-0 win over Wofford. With Grothe out, the Seminoles are already early 13 point favorites against USF this weekend before traveling to Chestnut Hill in two weeks.

Virginia Tech 16, Nebraska 15. The Hokies needed some late game heroics from the most unlikely of late-game heroes - Tyrod Taylor - to put away the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Lane Stadium on Saturday. Down 5 points with 1:44 to go, Taylor hooked up with WR Danny Coale on an 81 yard pass completion to the Nebraska 3-yard line. On third and goal from the 11, Taylor scrambled and found Dyrell Roberts in the end zone for the go ahead score. Other than tailback Ryan Williams (107 yards on 21 carries, 1 TD), the Hokies weren't able to get much going on offense until the game-winning drive. The Hokies defense, however, was again stout, keeping the Cornhuskers out of the end zone on the day. Nebraska's kicker Alex Henery booted in five field goals from 40, 27, 19, 38 and 38. Virginia Tech hosts Miami (Fla.) this week in a game that may very well determine who represents the Coastal Division in Tampa.

NC State 45, Gardner-Webb 14. NC State quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 4 touchdowns and a career-high 345 yards on 26 of 36 passing in a 45-14 rout of Gardner-Webb. Wilson also broke the NCAA D-I record for most consecutive passes without an interception (329). Running back Toney Baker finished the day with 71 yards on 10 carries for 2 touchdowns. The snacking on I-AA opponents is over now for NC State, with the Big East's Pittsburgh (3-0) traveling to Carter-Finley on Saturday.

Notre Dame 33, Michigan State 30. The Irish were able to hold off a late rally by the Spartans to defeat MSU in South Bend 33-30. A late interception from safety Kyle McCarthy at the 4 yard line secured the win for the Irish and likely gave Weis and the coaching staff a stay-of-execution. Jimmy Clausen again had a solid performance, throwing for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns on 22 of 31 passing. The concern for Notre Dame has to be on the defensive side of the ball, where they allowed the Spartan offense to rack up 459 yards of total offense, including 354 through the air. The Irish defense allowed 29 more yards of total offense than the week before against Michigan. The biggest blow to the Irish offense is the loss of wide receiver Michael Floyd. Floyd broke his left collar bone in the win Saturday and will likely miss the rest of the regular season. Jimmy Clausen will also undergo an MRI on his right foot after being injured on a sack in the second quarter. Clausen may not be 100% when the Irish play at Purdue on Saturday.

Central Michigan 48, Alcorn State 0. The Chippewas took care of business for a second straight week, shutting out I-AA Alcorn State 48-0 on Saturday. Junior RB Carl Volny rushed for 101 yards and two touchdowns as CMU cruised to a second-straight victory. QB Dan LeFevour threw for 92 yards and a touchdown on 10-of-12 passing and rushed for 2 more touchdowns. The defense held the Alcorn State offense to 36 yards rushing on the day. Central Michigan starts MAC play with a home game against Akron this Saturday.

Southern Miss 37, Virginia 34
. The Cavaliers, on the heels of their first victory over an FBS college football team, let a 17-point second half lead slip away and fell in Hattiesburg 37-34 to fall to 0-3. Gone is the new-fangled Cavalier spread offense, as Groh and the Cavs have dumped the spread for a more traditional UVA offense. Results were fairly good in the first half. Virginia jumped out to a 13-0 first quarter lead, including a 69-yard strike from Sewell-to-Tim Smith. QB Sewell finished the game with 312 yards, 2 TDs and an INT on 24-of-46 passing. At least there are signs of life for the Cavaliers. UVA managed to score more points against Southern Miss (34) than they had managed against William & Mary and TCU combined (28). Through three weeks, however, the UVA offense ranks towards the very bottom of the FBS in rushing offense (107) and total offense (108).

North Carolina 31, East Carolina 17. The Heels returned the favor and avenged a 2007 loss to East Carolina by beating the Pirates in Chapel Hill 31-17. The Heels saw some much-needed receivers step up and saw improved play from their offensive line on Saturday. Freshman Erik Highsmith hauled in 6 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown, while Jheranie Boyd made an acrobatic catch on his way to a 59 yard touchdown in the first half. Yates threw for 223 yards and 2 touchdowns in the victory. Running back Ryan Houston added two touchdowns on the ground. The Heels offense set a season-high of 433 total yards (285 passing / 148 rushing) on the day.

Middle Tennessee State 32, Maryland 31
. More indignity for the Maryland Terps. For the second straight year, Maryland has been beaten by the Sun Belt's Blue Raiders. How's that hot seat working out for you, Friedgen? The natives are certainly getting restless in College Park. No rest for the weary though, as Maryland hosts Rutgers and Clemson at home, followed by a road trip to Wake Forest. Maryland could very well be staring a 1-5 start in the face after 6 weeks.

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