This Week in the ACC 11/6-11/10
Worst loss of the week: Boston College losing their 1st game of the season
I’m sure that the national media who questioned BC’s #2 ranking are all gloating right now with a sense of “I told you so”. Who can blame them though? Some aspects of BC’s game didn’t even make them look like the 2nd best team in New England, nevermind the country.
The easy blame would be to say that Matt Ryan’s interceptions killed BC’s chances of winning this game, and that might be true. However, I think that the biggest blame has to go towards what the Eagles have been poor at all year--- special teams. Next to Johnny Ayers, nobody’s performed well on special teams consistently all season, and that caught up with the Eagles on Saturday night.
In no particular order the biggest mistakes on special teams were:
1) K Steve Aponavicius missing a 32-Yard FG. The score would’ve been tied on BC’s last drive when they got the ball with a little over a minute remaining. Does Ryan make the same decision when the game is tied as opposed to BC needing a score?
2) The following locations are where FSU got the ball after kickoffs when BC scored: FSU own 40, FSU own 39, FSU own 36. Yikes! When you give your opposition the ball with good field position after every kickoff it sets them up to either score or pin your offense deep.
3) Was it just me or did DeJuan Tribble look like he’s never fielded a punt before? Normally, Tribble is pretty reliable as a PR, but on Saturday he made a few bad decisions in not catching the punt in the air. Each time Tribble decided to not field the punt he got burned as the punt bounced past him an extra 10+ yards.
Runner-Up: Wake Forest falling to Virginia 17-16
I’m sure Virginia fans hate me because I’ve said the following a few different times this year--- I’m not quite sure how Virginia escaped with a win last Saturday.
The latest Houdini act by the Cavaliers involved them scoring a late TD that included a converted 4th down attempt, followed by a WF drive that involved some questionable play calling and a missed FG.
After going down 17-16, the Demon Deacons converted two 4th down conversions of their own, and were down to the Virginia 34-yard line. For some reason, it seemed that Jim Grobe was comfortable with Saw Swank attempting a very long FG, as WF ran two straight running plays that gained them only 3 yards. It setup a long FG attempt for Swank who missed.
I don’t claim to be smarter than Grobe, but if I had the 2nd most reliable QB in the conference playing for me, I’d attempt to move the ball an extra 10 yards or so for my kicker. This game cost WF a chance at defending their ACC title, and was a game they should’ve won.
Best win of the week: FSU
“stomping” on BC
I give FSU all the credit in the world for knocking off BC. They outplayed them in all aspects of the game, and BC was lucky to even have a chance to tie the game late in the 4th quarter.
With all that being said, what’s up with FSU stomping on BC’s logo at midfield after the game? I don’t even have a problem when teams do that… except in this case. Guys you’re supposed to be a contender for the ACC Championship EVERY YEAR and the National Championship every other year or so. Having a .500 record in the ACC is nothing to taunt over!
Runner-Up: UNC holding off Maryland 16-13
This was UNC’s best win of the year by far, and sets the Tar Heels up with an outside shot of going to a bowl game if they win out. Butch Davis seems to have instilled in his team how to close out a game.
ACC Power Rankings
1. Boston College
2. Virginia Tech
4. Florida State
6. Wake Forest
7. North Carolina
9. Georgia Tech
11. NC State
ACC Player of the Year Rankings
- Matt Ryan- BC
- Chris Long- Virginia
- Kenneth Moore- WF
- James Davis- Clemson
Game of the Week: Wake Forest @ Clemson
With BC’s loss to FSU, Clemson now controls their own destiny in the race for the ACC title. If the Tigers win out, they’re going to Jacksonville, simple as that.
On paper, Clemson looks like they should have a fairly easy time with WF, but in the past this is the kind of game that the Tigers seem to lose.
Runner-Up: Florida State @ Virginia Tech
After defeating BC, FSU is out to prove that they’re back as one of the “big boys” in the ACC. VT might be a perfect match up for the ‘Noles to get another upset win. With VT’s offense still struggling, the FSU defense should be able to hold the Hokies to 14 points or less. FSU has enough weapons on offense to score over 14 points against the Hokies and come up with another upset win.