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Around the ACC: Week 1 Recap

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With few exceptions, the ACC’s member schools struggled against a less-than-strong week one gauntlet.

Alabama v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

College football is back, which means we only have three short months to achieve peack #GoACC status! The good news is that we came awfully close in week one, with a blowout or two and plenty of close calls against inferior competition. Let’s run down the list and see who really blew it this time around, in chronological order. No, I didn’t leave out Tech on accident. Nice try, commenters.

Wake Forest 23, Tulane 17 (OT)

Wake Forest narrowly avoided a crisis in the Big Easy, claiming an overtime victory over Tulane on Saturday afternoon. They were bailed out by an overtime personal foul by Tulane which would eventually set the Green Wave up for a 4th-and-25 turnover on downs to give Wake the victory, but don’t be fooled: Wake Forest football is back, baby.

Syracuse 55, Western Michigan 42

They call him Dino because his team’s defense sends college football back to the stone age. Western Michigan is no laughing matter, but allowing 621 yards of offense isn’t a good look for any team. Most impressive of all is the fact that Syracuse allowed those 621 yards while somehow holding the Broncos to 2-10 on third down, so... good work? Special shoutout to WMU receiver D’Wayne Eskridge, who piled up 240 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 8 catches.

Army 14, Duke 34

Wait, Army is an option team... and Duke killed them... and we are.... also an option team? The Blue Devils held Jeff Monken’s Army squad to just 168 yards rushing on the game, hardly an encouraging sign for our late-season matchup with David Cutcliffe’s team. Let it be known that I think Duke will be a contender in the Coastal this season, in case I didn’t make that clear earlier on.

James Madison 13, NC State 24

Remember Marcus Marshall, the former Tech B-Back who left after losing the starting job to Dedrick Mills, who was then promptly kicked off the team? Me neither. Anyway, JMU nearly upset perennial darkhorse NC State (this is the year, guys) on the back of Marshall and Pitt transfer quarterback Ben DiNucci. Ryan Finley deserves better.

Furman 7, Clemson 48

Surprise! The two best teams in South Carolina tangled and Clemson came out on top. Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence both looked excellent and Clemson’s absolutely absurd defensive line was... absolutely absurd. Furman actually out-sacked the Tigers, though, so they’ve got that to build on for next time.

UMass 21, Boston College 55

What, 55 points from Boston College? Steve Addazio’s finally done it! It was against one of the worst teams in FBS football, but still! The Eagles have given up 50 points plenty of times, but this is the first time since 2015 when they beat Howard 76-0 that they’ve hit the threshold themselves. You have to feel good about your odds against noted powerhouse Holy Cross next week if you’re a BC fan.

Albany 7, Pittsburgh 33

Quarterbacked by the son of former Heisman winner Vinnie Testaverde, Albany got blown out by Pitt and world-renowned whiny loser Pat Narduzzi over the weekend. Pitt actually gave up 323 yards of total offense to Albany, but don’t let that distract you from the fact that Georgia Tech’s blocking scheme should be classified as capital murder in a court of law.

North Carolina 17, Cal 24

North Carolina quarterback Nathan Elliot took us all on an emotional voyage, completing just 15 of 35 passes for 137 yards, 1 touchdown, and 4 interceptions against the Golden Bears. This is especially impressive given that roughly 90% of Cal’s starters skipped the game so they could protest the Internet for running brick-and-mortar artisan paperclip shops out of business with the rest of the student body.

Richmond 13, Virginia 42

Bronco Mendenhall said that UVA only has 27 ACC-quality players on the roster, so this outcome really doesn’t reflect well on Richmond. This is what happens when you get your scouting report from Mike London, Richmond. He got fired by UVA for a reason.

Louisville 14, Alabama 51

Lamar Jackson ain’t walking through that door.

My sources tell me that Nick Saban wasn’t going to run up the score until Bobby Petrino emailed him the night before the game asking which quarterback he was going to start. Saban deferred comment to his Coke can and took out any remaining frustrations the following afternoon.

Miami 17, LSU 33 ———> #GoACC Moment of the Week!

What happens when you mix a highly-anticipated primetime game between No. 8 Miami and No. 25 LSU with lofty expectations for the Canes? My #GoACC moment of the week! Two things are true here.

  1. Everyone who has ever watched Miami football knows they aren’t a top-10, top-15, or even top-25 team in the country.
  2. The national media has never watched Miami football.

On the bright side for Miami, the game was a much bigger blowout than it seems given that it was 33-3 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Great work by everyone.

Virginia Tech 24, Florida State 3

Yikes. Not sure what else to say about that one. Virginia Tech is a legitimately good team, but that’s not a great start to the Willie Taggart era. Hopefully his former school is as bad as his current one...