ACC Week 8 Review
The theme of week 8 across the ACC was quarterback play. There seems to be a case of the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ with the litany of QB injuries and subsequent poor play from backups. Nonetheless, week 8, 7 games across the conference, let’s get into it.
Syracuse (1-5) 21 – #1 Clemson (6-0) 47
Syracuse played a good game this week despite relying on their backup QB. It is unfortunate that it was against Clemson, however. CB Ifeatu Melifonwu had a day, recording 3 pass breakups while only allowing 48 yards in coverage on 9 targets. A good day against Trevor Lawrence and this passing offense.
Clemson didn’t play their best however, as the offense played sloppy and had more turnovers than we expect from this well coached program. The dangerous thing about this is that they had a bad game, and still won by 4 possessions. This is good, they needed to face some sort of adversity, even if it is as trivial as this one is in the grand scheme of things.
Florida State (2-4) 16 – Louisville (2-4) 48
The two most disappointing teams in the ACC squared off this week. In specific the two most disappointing units, FSU’s defense vs Louisville’s offense. FSU’s defense lost that battle. They simply could not keep up with the speed of this offense. The rushing offense was fine, led by La’Damian Webb who continues to impress me. It’s just that they were forced to be one dimensional because they got in a big hole so early. They did produce the best moment I saw this weekend. Jordan Travis dribbled a football and then scored a touchdown. QB1 I don’t care.
The triplets came alive today, which is what we’ve been waiting for for the last 7 weeks. The explosiveness of this offense was sorely missed. Multiple big plays from Atwell, Hawkins, and Cunningham led the offense to scoring drives on all of their 1st six drives. The defense played well also, in particular the secondary. They were smothering all game long making life hard for the receivers and QBs for FSU. A promising game for Louisville as they look to salvage their season.
#23 NC State (4-2) 21 – #14 North Carolina (4-1) 48
NC State’s QB woes continue. After losing Devin Leary to a broken fibula last week, they benched Bailey Hockman for Ben Finley. Finley played well, although the stat sheet didn’t show it. He had 2 INTs both off of batted balls, one that was a wide open TD that his receiver practically threw to the other team. They went back to Hockman later in the game as they don’t know what they want to do at that position. The offense got a jolt when Finley entered the game, I’m interested in his development. Emeka Emezie made some plays today, showing off his ball skills, hands and yac ability.
Javonte Williams is damn good. He just posted his 3rd straight 100 yard game, and he’s running hard. This offense is so much fun. Sam Howell, Williams, Dyami Brown, Dazz Newsome, Carter, Jackson. Them losing last week to FSU due to those drops was a travesty.
#3 Notre Dame (5-0) 45 – Pittsburgh (3-4) 3
Notre Dame routed Pitt from the jump in this one. They had 3 INT on the day, and held Pitt’s Kenny Pickett-less attack at bay all day. True freshman TE Michael Mayer had his breakout game one week too early, logging 5 catches for 73 yards and 1 TD. He flashed the ability to make contested catches, as well as get yards after the catch. I will be looking forward to seeing his progression over the years even after ND is no longer in the ACC.Owusu-Koramoah was again fantastic as we have now come to expect from the star linebacker. He had a beauty of an interception running with a WR down the seam, turning and finding the ball, and high pointing it for the interception. Freaky stuff from the senior as he continues his dominant campaign.
No Kenny Pickett, yes problem. This offense looked pathetic at times, not being able to move on the ground or through the air. 61 rushing yards, 118 passing yards, their best offensive player in WR Jordan Addison only managed 40 yards in the contest. This defensive line was the highlight for Pitt again. They did a great job of stuffing the explosive sophomore Kyren Williams. They are known for their pass rushing prowess, but they contained a great back today and it was good to see.
#19 Virginia Tech (3-2) 16 – Wake Forest (3-2) 23
There was a lot of meat left on the bone for VT in this one. A bad luck interception cost them a scoring opportunity at the end of the 1st half. A missed field goal that they needed in the 4th quarter. 2 other poor interceptions from Hendon Hooker. Penalties extending drives for the Demon Deacons late in the game. Again Herbert and Hooker combined for over 200 scrimmage yards, as this is one of the best rushing attacks in the conference.
This offense continues to make strides. Hartman had a pedestrian day passing the ball, 12/17 for 110 yards with no scores or picks. The rushing offense put up a smooth 226 yards on 5.5 yards per attempt. As good as Boogie Basham was in both run defense and at rushing Hooker, this wasn’t his day. Walk-on freshman safety Nick Andersen led the team in defensive snaps, tackles, and I almost forgot, came down with 3 interceptions. Have a day, Nick!
Georgia Tech (2-4) 27 – Boston College (3-2) 48
This weekly Jeff Sims post is brought to you by volatility. This man fumbled a snap in the 1st quarter on a high shotgun snap into a botched option handoff. He responded in the early 2nd with an absolute DIME that traveled about 48 air yards for a 332 yard TD. He also led the team in rushing and accounted for more than half of their rushing yards. His other TD pass was a beautifully led corner route over the outside shoulder on a flick of the wrist type of throw. I love the kid, he just needs to cut down on turning the ball over because good lord does he have a propensity for it. This defense still can’t tackle worth a lick.
This is usually the Zay Flowers and Hunter Long show, but CJ Lewis came to play today. 4 catches for 58 yards and 2 touchdowns. He led the team in targets, receptions, TDs, and yards after the catch. Remember when I said Ga Tech couldn’t tackle worth a lick, I was referring to their attempts on HB David Bailey. He was credited with 7 avoided tackles alone! The team as a whole created 14 missed tackles on the day. All that with fumbles on the day. That’s that strong physical football that I love to watch.
Virginia (1-4) 14 – #11 Miami (5-1) 19
Brennan Armstrong and company came up slightly short in the rain. He had a hell of a day finishing 16/31 for 178 yards and 2 TD, while leading the team in rushing with over 100 yards. I still don’t know what to do with Charles Snowden. His frame is so slim at 6’7 240 lbs, but he makes plays in the run game. I don’t know if that continues at the next level if he doesn’t add a little weight. I want to see him dominate a game, until then everything is going to always be physical ‘upside’ with him instead of traits.
Miami came out firing. King hit two deep passes almost immediately to go up by a TD on the first drive in less than 30 seconds. King had a great day passing in the rain as well, going 21/31 for 322 yards and a score. He also rushed for 53 yards, which led MIami on the day. Mike Harley had a day, with 10 catches for 170 yards and a TD. He did this lining up predominantly from the slot, winning at all three levels of the field before and after catching the ball. A relatively quiet day for Miami’s stud pass rush duo as neither Roche or Phillips got home for sacks. They both still got in the backfield a few times each, while Phillips tied for the team lead in tackles.