ACC Week 2 Review
We are back baby! The first full weekend of college football is in the books and we have games to review. We had 7 games over the weekend in the ACC, and this is the place to get analysis on all of them at once. We are going to highlight the top stories and show some important stats from each contest.
UAB Blazers 14 @ Miami Hurricanes 31 – 9/10
The Hurricanes kicked off the weekend on Thursday night against UAB. Everyone wanted to watch the debut of D’Eriq King after his transfer from Houston. He looked adequate throwing the ball, but he made more of a mark running the football and using his legs to extend plays. He made a first down throw while scrambling and later that drive scored a rushing TD on a designed pass. With Rousseau opting out this season, my eyes were on Quincy Roche, who ended the night with 3 tackles and 1 sack on a 3rd down rep where he demolished a guard 1 on 1. Hurricanes got the job done with minimal issues.
Syracuse Orange 6 @ UNC Tar Heels 31 – 9/12
The Tar Heels defense was the story of the game. They produced 7 sacks and only allowed 202 scrimmage yards. Chazz Surratt ended the game at 9 tackles with 2 sacks. Surratt showed some great closing speed in this game, especially when he was dialed up on blitzes. Love his patience and timing he exhibits on them. Sam Howell didn’t have the start to the season many had hoped from the promising sophomore, posting a 25/34 line for 295/1 with 2 interceptions. The yardage was there but it seemed rather pedestrian from him in comparison to the belief that he could be a dark horse for the Heisman trophy.
The Orange also made some plays on the defensive end. Ifeatu Melifonwu deflected a pass early in the game that led to an interception by Mikel Jones. Andre Cisco also bagged one this game, using his range to get under an underthrown post route for his 13th career interception. The Orange had a terrible day on the offensive end, only scrounging 68 rushing yards on the day on 35 carries.
Duke Blue Devils 13 @ Notre Dame 27 – 9/12
Welcome to the ACC Notre Dame! More specifically, welcome to the ACC Kyren Williams. Williams looked dynamic, showing good contact balance on his way to a 19/112/2 stat line, while adding 2 catches for 93 yards as well. The Irish had a dynamo on the defensive side of the ball as well in linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. He led the team in tackles and had a forced fumble on a rep where he was lined up against a slot receiver in man coverage.
Former Clemson QB Chase Brice had a middling first game as a Blue Devil. He finished 20/37 for 259 yards and a rushing touchdown. While neither of the top prospects in Chris Rumph II or Victor Dimukeje got home, the Devils defense did end up with 3 sacks on the day. Excited to get my hands on this film and watch and see how those two created opportunities for their teammates.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 16 @ Florida State
Seminoles 13 – 9/12
Ignore the score and stats for a second, GT Punter Jude Kelley is an absolute UNIT, but I digress. The upset of the week in college football lives in the ACC. GT pulled this off on the strength of their true freshman QB Jeff Sims, who tallied 277 passing yards while adding 64 rushing yards as well. The 2 interceptions aren’t promising, but we’ll get to those in a minute. LB Quez Jackson led the team on defense, being aligned in a multitude of spots. He lined up as an off ball LB in the box, off the edge as a pass rusher, and in the slot in coverage where he got an interception.
Asante Samuel Jr. with 2 picks on opening weekend? You love to see it. They both came in zone coverage reading the young QB’s eyes and making easy reads on the ball. Samuel might need to show a little more as a traditional shut down man cover corner, but going somewhere that likes to run some zone he could be a fantastic get at the next level.
Austin Peay Governors 0 @ Pittsburgh
Panthers 55 – 9/12
A quick and dirty rout here. Kenny Pickett came in and casually went 14/20 for 277 and 1 TD while adding another TD on the ground. 6 rushing TDs total, I will be looking forward to diving into that juicy OL film for some Bryce Hargrove and Jimmy Morrissey. Just a dominant performance as we should expect against Austin Peay.
Clemson Tigers 37 @ Wake Forest Demon
Deacons 13 – 9/12
Trevor Lawrence is the best QB in the nation, and he delivered an excellent performance on Saturday. 22/28 for 351 yards and 1 TD through the air, adding another 2 TDs with his legs on option plays near the goal line. Travis Etienne showed his explosiveness going for 149 scrimmage yards on 20 touches with a rushing touchdown. With no Justyn Ross this season, Amari Rodgers looks to show people what he can do as the top WR option for Clemson tallying 90 yards on 5 receptions.
WF knew it was going to be tough starting off against Clemson, even tougher without their top WR Sage Surratt. They have a new jump man on the perimeter and his name is Donavon Greene. Greene finished with only 3 catches for 76 yards, but won down the field his fair share of times. Cooked Nolan Turner on a double move and had a beautiful catch against Andrew Booth Jr. Very much so looking forward to watching more of him.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 21 @ Louisville
Cardinals 35 – 9/12
This offense is explosive. QB Malik Cunningham, RB Javian Hawkins, and WR Tutu Atwell, or the triplets as they’re called, are so much fun to watch. Cunningham ended with 343 passing yards, 3 passing TDs. This kid airs it out guys, and he’s mobile adding a 14 yard TD scamper as the cherry on top. WR Dez Fitzpatrick and TE Braden Smith both had 4/110 while Fitz had a TD as well. Excited to watch this offense work against some better defenses this season