It was a relatively boring Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Don’t get used to that, however, as conference play begins to heat up in the coming weeks.
There were a handful of laughers, as some of the conference’s top teams played teams that really don’t belong on the same field. These games aren’t worth more than a sentence or two, so here are the final scores: Georgia Tech 59, Presbyterian 3; No. 12 Clemson 52, Ball State 27; Boston College 34, Maine 3; No. 15 Virginia Tech 42, Austin Peay 7.
And then there was this one: No. 7 Florida State routed Savannah State, 55-0. The game was suspended midway through the third quarter and FSU was awarded the win. At one point, the coaches agreed to a running clock. The Seminoles scored 35 points in the first quarter, with E.J. Manuel going 11/ 13 for 161 yards and three touchdowns. They held Savannah State to 28 total yards.
It seems patently ridiculous that the ACC’s top teams would even think of playing the likes of Presbyterian, Austin Peay and Savannah State. But they did. And they won. These games weren’t just cupcakes, they were full Crumbs bake shops.
The ACC also had a pair of teams show up on the losing end of lopsided games. Miami fell to No. 21 Kansas State, 52-13. The Hurricanes trailed 14-0 early and 24-6 at the half. They turned the ball over three times and allowed 288 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground.
Duke also lost to a ranked opponent, falling 50-13 to No. 25 Stanford. The Blue Devils’ only touchdown came in the third quarter, a four-yard rushing score by Brandon Connette. Duke had four turnovers and at one point trailed 43-6.
Despite these games, there were some intriguing matchups.
North Carolina State won on the road at Connecticut, 10-7. Mike Glennon was 15/30 for 204 yards and a touchdown, a 46-yard pass to Bryan Underwood in the third quarter. UConn’s four turnovers helped NC State win.
Virginia overcame four giveaways and took advantage of Penn State’s miscues in a 17-16 win at home. The Cavaliers fumbled three times and Michael Rocco was picked once, but the Nittany Lions missed four field goals. Rocco orchestrated a game-winning touchdown drive in the fourth, capping it with a six-yard pass to Jake McGee. The ensuing extra-point gave the Cavs a one-point win and improved their record to 2-0 this season.
Maryland is also 2-0 after holding on to defeat Temple on the road, 36-27. One week after the Terrapins needed a fourth-quarter touchdown to win at home over William and Mary, they took a 26-3 lead into halftime en route to the win. Quarterback Perry Hills threw for two scores and ran for another in the win.
Another team at 2-0 is Wake Forest, which defeated North Carolina, 28-27, in the ACC’s only conference game in Week 2. Wake quarterback Tanner Price was 27/38 for 327 yards and ran for two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 2:09 remaining in regulation. UNC outgained Wake Forest 428-426, including a 157-64 advantage on the ground, but lost to fall to 1-1.
Week 3 features a pair of conference matchups, with Georgia Tech hosting Virginia in the Cavs’ ACC opener. Florida State, which has moved up to No. 5 in the rankings entering this week, opens its conference schedule at home against Wake Forest.
13th-ranked Virginia Tech heads on the road for the first time this season to play at Pittsburgh.
After this coming Saturday, the conference will essentially be at the quarter-pole of the season. Then all eyes turn to a Sept. 22 showdown in Tallahassee between Florida State and Clemson. That game could go a long way toward determining the conference’s best national title contender.
What did you think of the ACC this weekend? Who is the second best team behind Florida State? Let us know in the comments!