Well, I would say it was quite the entertaining first week of College Football! From Tennessee proving that it really just means more to seeing Duke run the flexbone, this was far from the normal boring Week One we normally get. Let’s take a look, specifically though, at this week’s ACC action.
Miami - 20 | Florida - 24 (Week 0)
The Hurricanes dropped their first game of the season in the ACC’s lone Week Zero game, losing to the Top-10 Florida Gators. Miami’s freshman quarterback Jarren Williams looked pretty solid, completing 19 of 30 for 214 yards and a touchdown, but had issues staying on his feet (he was sacked 10 times). Miami offensive coordinator Dan Enos disagrees with my assessment, here, though (#goacc). Florida tried their absolute hardest to let Miami win this game, but the fighting Tathans just wouldn’t let Florida leave this game without the W.
Really, though, it’s the fans who watched the airing of the game on the ACC Network that got the win here. They had their first All-ACC Watch Party, which featured Jon Beason and Mark Richt. Richt in particular brought some entertaining #content by talking about cheese balls and dancing around the studio and some great one-liners, including my favorite: “Well I’m pissed now.” (#goacc)
Who’s next: Miami plays Saturday against North Carolina.
Georgia Tech - 14 | Clemson - 52
Man, haven’t I talked enough about this game? On the Clemson side of things, Travis Etienne got his Hesiman campaign off to an incredible start, rushing for over 200 yards and three touchdowns in the opener. Trevor Lawrence also threw half as many interceptions in this game as he threw all of last year, so I’ll call that a win for Georgia Tech.
Who’s next: Georgia Tech plays Saturday against South Florida. Clemson plays Saturday against Texas A&M.
Utah State - 35 | Wake Forest - 38
The Demon Deacons and the Aggies traded scores most of the game, but it was Wake Forest who scored last, on a fade from Jamie Newman to Kendall Hinton. Newman threw touchdown passes to three different players in an impressive 400-yard performance. Sophomroe Sage Surratt was the leading receiver with seven catches for 158 yards and what would have been two touchdowns if his knee didn’t hit at the one-yard line. Senior runningback Cade Carney had a memorable performance as well, running for just over 100 yards on 25 carries. On defense, the Deacs struggled with giving up some pretty explosive plays, like Jaylen Warren’s 59-yard touchdown run.
Who’s next: Wake Forest plays Friday night at Rice.
ECU - 6 | NC State - 34
NC State looked really good in its opener against the ECU Pirates. Things got going pretty quick as ECU worked its way down the field on its first drive. Before they could get to the endzone, though, the NC State defense was able to force and recover a fumble at the goal line. That’s about how the whole game went for ECU, as they struggle in nearly every facet of the game on offense. NC State’s offense took advantage of what its defense was giving them. Sophomore quarterback Matthew McKay put on a show, throwing for over 300 yards and a touchdown while also adding another 35 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Who’s next: NC State plays Saturday against Western Carolina.
Boise State - 36 | Florida State - 31
Florida State started off this game pretty well, being up 31-19 at the half. Now, if you look back up at the final score, you’ll see that Florida State scored all of their points in the first half. Yeah, that wasn’t ideal. But let’s start with the good! Cam Akers had a mostly solid game (we’ll get to that later), finishing with 116 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback James Blackman added another three touchdowns through the air. And now, let’s look at the bad. Florida State gave up 17 unanswered points in the second half, allowing Boise State to rally and take the victory behind the 400-yard performance of freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier. And now, I’m just going to leave this tweet and gif here. (#goacc)
What if I told you Boise State would recover this fumble..... pic.twitter.com/0G19ehbMQH— Brad Hiers (@LaZ_BoySports) August 31, 2019
Who’s next: Florida State plays Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe.
South Carolina - 20 | North Carolina - 24
Unlike Florida State, UNC didn’t start this game off very well at all, scoring only nine points in the first three quarters. True freshman quarterback Sam Howell stepped up in a big way for the Tar Heels in the fourth quarter though, leading two touchdown drives to take the lead. He struggled from a few freshman miscues, but overall had a solid game. I’m sure new UNC defensive coordinator Jay Bateman is happy with how his defense ended the game. In South Carolina’s final two drives, both ended with interceptions by the UNC defense. Also, Mack Brown got really happy after the game. (#goacc)
Who’s next: North Carolina plays Saturday against Miami.
Alabama - 42 | Duke - 3
Unsurprisingly, Alabama covered. Surprisingly, Duke used the Flexbone formation.
Who’s next: Duke plays Saturday against North Carolina A&T.
Virginia Tech - 28 | Boston College - 35
This game probably shouldn’t have been as close as it was. Boston College’s defense forced FIVE turnovers while also setting up a wall in front of the Hokies’ running game (nobody had more than 33 yards). Quarterback Ryan Willis managed to keep the Hokies in this, though, with a 344-yard, four-touchdown performance. Boston College didn’t do anything special on offense, but really just enough with a balanced attack. Freshman Zay Flowers had a big day with his two catches for 91 yards and a touchdown for the Eagles.
Who’s next: Virginia Tech plays Saturday against Old Dominion. Boston College plays Saturday against Richmond.
Syracuse - 24 | Liberty - 0
I feel like I can’t talk about this game without mentioning that Hugh Freeze coached this game from a hospital bed in the coaching booth.
Anyway, that didn’t help him too much. Syracuse’s defense played really well in this one, keeping Liberty from scoring, sacking their quarterback eight times, and forcing four turnovers. The Orange trotted out three main running backs, all of which had decent games and scored a touchdown on the ground.
Who’s next: Syracuse plays Saturday at Maryland.
Virginia - 30 | Pitt - 14
In the final ACC match-up of Week 1, Bronco Mendenhall’s Cavaliers were able to outlast the Pitt Panthers behind a strong performance by the UVA D, which held Pitt to just 241 yards and forced two turnovers. They did a good job of staying in Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett’s head, bringing a pretty consistent blitz in the second half. Pickett felt the heat, finishing 21-of-41 for 185 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. UVA quarterback Bryce Perkins had a solid game, finishing 20-of-34 with 181 yards and two touchdowns, while also adding another 44 yards on the ground.
Who’s next: Virginia plays Friday night against William & Mary. Pitt plays Saturday against Ohio.
Notre Dame - 35 | Louisville - 17
This game actually ended up being a bit closer than most thought, with the game being tied at 14 after the first quarter. The Fighting Irish were able to break away, though, scoring a touchdown in each of the remaining quarters. Louisville’s biggest problem in the game was holding onto the football. The Cardinals fumbled the ball five times, and Notre Dame recovered three of those. Jawon Pass struggled through the air, but had a decent game on the ground, scoring both of the Cardinals’ touchdowns.
Who’s next: Louisville plays Saturday against Eastern Kentucky.
#goacc Moment of the Week
Man, this would be an easy pick if Tennessee were in the ACC. Instead, we’ll just bestow upon them the prestigious honor of the #ItJustMeansMore Award. Be sure to vote for your favorite #goacc Moment of the Week! This poll will stay open until Friday at midnight, so I’ll have the official winner in next week’s Around the ACC Recap.
What is the #goacc Moment of the Week?
This poll is closed
A. Dan Enos throwing Jarren Williams under the bus
B. Mark Richt’s performance on the All-ACC Watch Party
C. Florida State’s fumble recovery debacle
D. Mack Brown’s postgame celebration dance