Two thrilling finishes to low-scoring games highlighted Week 3 in college football. Three ACC teams had convincing victories and two more reached rock-bottom (they hope). Let's go around the calllage foot-bawl world and take a look at Week 3.
Virginia Tech 16, Nebraska 15
Miracle on Spring Road (The A-Line)
"The very tough loss and exhilarating win left Loonhuskers whining about the home cooking served Tech by what they perceived to be the obviously-biased Big XII officials while the Hokie loons fumed that all Tech had done was win the game. When loons from both sides are griping, you know you had an interesting game, if not an artistic one. When the statue in honor of Hoo prez Dr. Casteen is erected outside of Lane, perhaps a second should be place alongside to commemorate the guy who decided that football games should last sixty minutes instead of 58:16."
Tyrod Taylor, I Can’t Quit You (College Game Balls)
"Eruption. I’m drowning in a sea of human flesh. A sweaty arm is draped around my scorched neck while I’m wrapped in the grasp of a bear-hug. Four other bodies are piled on top and we’re all leaping, screaming like a lucky bastard who hits "Red 7″ on the roulette wheel. What a victory. What plays by Tyrod. What catches. And what a feeling that the previous words inadequately describe."
Tyrod did it, Mikey! Tyrod did it! (The Football Girl)
"And now, on to it. First off, I have to give congrats to Tyrod Taylor. He is much more poised under pressure than I ever would have given him credit for. In the post game interview, he mentioned that he is given permission to run his own plays in the two minute offense. Hmmm. Maybe we should just let him run them the entire game, cause it was the only sustained drive we had all day."
Fantastic finish among the Hokies' best (Bill Roth)
"Virginia Tech’s game with Nebraska, which turned into "Saturday Night at the Improv," may go down as one of the great wins in school history. It will certainly be regarded as perhaps the most dramatic and unlikely finish. With all respect to quarterback David Lamie and receiver Ron Zollicoffer, whose desperation heave-and-catch gave the Hokies a 22-19 win on the final play against William & Mary in 1978, Saturday’s ending was even more unlikely."
Voldemort Was Wrong: Hokies Win! (Fight for Old DC)
"Voldemort had to be sick to his stomach during that one red zone posession. You know the one I'm talking about. Where the cameras were shaking beause the stadium was so damn loud. As much as he didn't want to show weakness to his team, he set off a bomb by calling out the Hokie faithful. It's probably not fair to say that those 10 yards were the difference in the game, they had an impact. I'm proud of you guys that were there. Voldy's a good coach, but he kicked his own ass two years in a row against VT."
What we learned in the ACC: Week 3 (Annette)
"The Coastal Division is still up for grabs. Miami exposed weaknesses in Georgia Tech and will win the tiebreaker over the Jackets if it comes to it, but don’t forget about Virginia Tech and North Carolina. The Tar Heels found a freshman phenom -- at least for one game -- in Erik Highsmith who led UNC to a 31-17 win over ECU. The offense came together, despite missing a few key injured players. Yes, Virginia Tech played almost a full game with barely anything to show for it offensively, but this is what the Hokies do -- they find ways to win and leave you wondering how they pulled it off. The Hokies have Miami at home on Saturday, and it’s anybody’s game."
ACC Power Poll After Week 3 (ACC & SEC Blog)
"Miami vaults to the top this week after dominating Georgia Tech on Thursday night. FSU gains some respect for the conference with a big win at BYU and Va Tech comes from behind to defeat Big 12 North favorite Nebraska. On the down side Virginia remains win less and Maryland loses (again) to Middle Tennessee State. Week 4 has some big games with UNC traveling to Ga Tech and Miami traveling to face the Hokies."
Expansion Haters Suddenly Quiet (Joe Ovies)
"I find it interesting that none of the pundits gleefully poking fun of John Swofford and the ACC ever present a solution to the conference’s problems. It’s also worth pointing out the loudest critics of ACC football typically originates from the older media contingent. In essence, those who made their bones covering ACC basketball. And no matter how hard they close their eyes and wish their romanticized ACC of yesteryear would return, it’s never coming back."
Miami 33, Georgia Tech 17
Miami 33, Georgia Tech 17 (AllCanes)
"Bigger question - what's up Miami nation? All you big-mouthed Shannon haters, where you at now? You've run your mouth for the past few years, some going as far to wish for that 0-4 start so your beloved Tommy Tuberville could swoop in and take over with a full cupboard. Don't bet on it. Shannon's way is working. As I've said time and time again, he's following the blueprint. Anyone that's spent the better part of two decades around this program knows the formula for success. Aside from recruiting, developing and hiring quality assistants, it starts with razing."
W 33-17 vs. Georgia Tech (Anton Azucar)
"One negative, if we’re nitpicking? 45,329 in attendance. Green tarps in the upper deck covering all the empty seats. Pathetic, but what’s new with Miami football? Atlanta fans aren’t coming down to Miami Gardens for a Thursday nighter, and we all know Canes fans don’t show up unless it’s Florida State. But what happened to the Thursday night sold out rule? Even Texas A&M a couple years back filled up the old OB. Good thing Miami doesn’t need a home crowd to play well."
Miami Game Recap (From The Rumble Seat)
"Miami beat us on the LOS all night. They had simple plays that were predictable based on the personnel presented to our defense yet we couldn't stop 'em. There was no pressure from the d line and our o line could not stop Miami's explosive d line. I think we'll see comparable defenses to Miami's in UNC, VT, and Georgie. However, these defenses will have much less time to prepare for us. UNC plays a tough ECU team this weekend limiting their prep time against our O. VT will face-off with a possible Atlantic contender in BC the week proceeding our game. Georgie will face Kentucky the Pushover while we get a week off before Thanksgiving."
North Carolina 31, East Carolina 17
UNC 31, East Carolina 17 (Carolina March)
"Let's get one thing out of the way – the offensive line is still undermanned, outmatched and beaten up, and that doesn't look to change any time soon. Faced with that limitation against a tough East Carolina front four, John Stoop came through designing an offensive that relied on the quick thinking and talents of T.J. Yates, Shaun Draughn, and Erik Highsmith to put together 426 yards of offense en route to a comfortable victory."
International Lose Like A Pirate Day (Joe Ovies)
"North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin, pumped up after the Heels beat East Carolina 33-17, pointed up to the student section as he made his way to the entrance tunnel. Austin boasted, "E C Who!?". Hard to argue with that statement after the UNC defense effectively stopped the Pirates all afternoon. And do yourself a favor and listen to the end of Austin’s audio clip, where he gives a classic response to my follow-up about his smack talk."
UNC 31 ECU 17 (Tar Heel Fan)
"Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston continue to form a nice one-two punch out of the backfield. Draughn does the lion’s share of the work churning out yards while Houston does the short yardage work when needed. Houston is a beast on short downs and if you play in ACC fantasy football, Houston would bring serious points. The total body of work for Draughn and Houston(or maybe we should just call them Houston Draughn when we refer to the UNC running backs) was 145 yards and two TDs."
Clemson 25, Boston College 7
It Couldn't Happen to a More Deserving Fan Base (Block-C)
"Secondly, our defense is one of the best in the ACC. It has to be after this outing(Cue the Kevin Steele/Steele Curtain terrible Tigernet jokes and references). DeAndre McDaniel is well worth the drama. He is absolutely a beast and was born to play football. Check that, he had to have been engineered in a genome lab somewhere to specifically be good at hang cleans, eating red meat, and football. That would translate as a decent excuse for his off field, cro-magnon-esque off the field behavior. Consider yourself lucky to get to watch him up close because I think we’re all witnesses to something special here."
Clemson downs BC 25-7 (Clempson Football)
"Playcalling in the red zone needs to be more north-south and less east-west, but understand that zone defenses bunch up in the red zone and there arent as many open spaces. Still, scoring against such a defense comes down to the running game and we should've done better. Otherwise I feel like the calls were fine: we were conservative and it was wet, but thats no excuse for 6 FGs and a pattern of inability to score in the red zone this year. As far as I know, its been only once from within the red zone (D. Allen's catch last week)."
Offense Tamed by the Tigers (BC Interruption)
"There's not much to like about anything relating to the QBs on Saturday but I absolutely think that Spaz did the correct thing by giving Shinskie two consecutive series and then going back to Tuggle for the rest of the game. I would like to see both QBs play again next week despite Shinskie's poor effort Saturday. In his defense, he had had watched his team from the sideline fail to gain a single first down aside from via penalties. Then, in his first game ever on the road or in front of a lrage crowd, the first play on both drives was a rushing attempt that lost yardage. So Shinskie started on 2nd down and more than ten yards twice. He deserves to get another shot against Wake Forest this coming Saturday. How would you have handled it if you were Spaziani?"
Second viewing thougths and grade report: Clemson (Eagle in Atlanta)
"I’ve already spent too much time documenting the problems of the offensive line. Let me say this, there are plenty of teams that use traps and zone. Michigan with RichRod is one of them. I don’t believe you have to be exclusive to one in order to be successful. That said, our guys are confused. Their spacing and assignments are all over the place. That is on the coaches. I am not privy to the behind the scenes rumors, so I don’t know who is doing what. All we do know is that they need major adjustments."
Ugly (Eagle All Access)
"Pitiful is an understatement when describing BC's offense on Saturday. I'm not gonna jump on Gary Tranquill or the quarterbacks because the offensive line struggled mightily preventing BC from getting anything going offensively. The line was supposed to be our strong suite this year with 4 returning starters, but they were consistently beat off the line. The run and pass blocking was the worst we have seen in some time."
Southern Miss 37, Virginia 34
The clock strikes midnight (From Old Virginia)
"We have two weeks to wallow in officially being the worst BCS team before we get another crack at anyone, and we can spend every minute of it debating whether it's a good idea to let go of the coach before the season ends or after and if before, should there be an interim coach and who should it be and what would recruits and coaching prospects think of that and blah blah blah. I think it honestly doesn't matter. When you're cruising for a 3-9, 2-10 type season - or worse - exactly when you fired the coach is the least of anyone's worries. The only opinion I have on that is that if the decision is made midseason, Groh deserves the opportunity to choose whether to continue as a lame duck or not. The other only opinion I have is that an interim coach would serve no purpose. It's not like we're 4-2 when we should have been 6-0. Barring a miracle, the season is lost, and interim coaches do not qualify as miracles."
Middle Tennessee 32, Maryland 31
A Sad Day for MD Football (Testudo Times)
"Fridge can pull the all too familiar "we're young" excuse. He can tell us that he just doesn't know how to get through to his guys. He can say whatever he wants. The bottom line is that we have been a subpar football program in the ACC for the last five or six years. And at the moment, we're one of the worst, if not the worst, in the ACC."
NC State 45, Gardner-Webb 14
NC State Breezes By Gardner-Webb (Backing The Pack)
"Dana Bible seemed intent from the start to give Russell Wilson the opportunity to break the NCAA INT-less streak against the Bulldogs, calling seven pass plays on the Pack's opening 10-play touchdown drive. By the end of the third quarter, Wilson had the record on a completion to freshman James Washington. Wilson finished the night 26-36 (72.2%) for 345 yards (9.6 yds/att)--it's his most prolific outing to date. The streak stands at 329 and counting. Let's go for 500, yes?"
Wake Forest 35, Elon 7
Deacs take care of business (Blogger So Dear)
"Riding the arm of Riley Skinner and an unforgiving defense, Wake Forest finally got off to a fast start and put things beyond all doubt early on in the 35-7 victory over Elon. After a strong running attack last week, the Deacs did most of their work through the air on Saturday. Skinner threw for 289 yards and 3 scores, including two big passing touchdowns to Chris Givens and Marshall Williams for 54 and 80 yards, respectively."
Florida State 54, BYU 28
Florida State Crushes BYU 54-28 (Tomahawk Nation)
"It was a great win for a Florida State program that had been ripped in the press for two weeks after losing a very tight game to the Miami Hurricanes and then sleepwalking through a close win against Jacksonville State. The Noles were physically dominant and won the game on more than just speed, though Ponder did appear to be faster than even the fastest of BYU's defensive backs. The nation now knows that the ACC's top teams are to be reckoned with, and that the close loss to Miami isn't anything to be ashamed of."
Monday Morning FSU Review (Scalp Em)
"Normally, it takes me a while to digest an FSU game. The last few years that’s been because of FSU’s lackluster and poor play. So today, for the first time in a long time, I get to write about the Noles after they cruised to a victory at BYU. As I said on Friday, I had a hunch that the Noles would win this game in Provo. I was off on the score prediction, but the outcome was right and the Seminoles are now 2-1 on the season, with things looking up."
BYU disintegrates in 54-28 loss to Florida State (Vanquish The Foe)
"Where do we as fans lay the blame for this result? The defense was obviously as atrocious in this game as they were phenomenal against the Sooners. What gives? Linebackers Matt Bauman, Shawn Doman and Grant Nelson combined for just three tackles. Jan Jorgensen and Brett Denney each had just one. Incredibly, the starting corners led the team: Brandon Bradley with nine and Brian Logan with 8. That's incredible because the Seminoles rushed the ball 49 times."
Around the Nation
Washington 16, USC 13
Washington Stuns USC 16-13 on a last second field goal (Conquest Chronicles)
"Lets be honest...Aaron Corp is not the guy to lead this team. I do not care that it is his first start Barkley went through the same thing last week, he came through. It is clear that Corp has the talent but he has had three years in the system and he did not instill confidence in the offense the way Barkley did last week. Barkley is not perfect either but he at least got us the win and that is ll that matters..."
Washington upsets USC! (UW Dawg Pound)
"This win will reverberate up and down the entire West coast. this victory guarantee's a top ten recruiting class. If you are Josh Shirley and were at the game today where else would you want to spend the next four years? This win was the early cement this staff needs to rebuild the talent pool. this win was one of the biggest in Washington history! You want to rebuild the stadium? This win was the cornerstone!"
Texas 34, Texas Tech 24
Postgame React: Tune In To Tonight's Podcast (Burnt Orange Nation)
"Oh cruel computer, how thou torture me so. A monstrous Postgame React post, disappeared into the netherworld. The Cliff's Notes version: the win was a relief, McCoy's gotta settle into a groove, Newton & Buckner are keys to that happening, and the only players better than Texas' star sophomore defenders (AW, Thomas, E-Acho, and Keenan) were the seniors (Muck, Kindle, Houston, and Eddie Jones (edit: Jones is a fourth-year junior, duh)."
Florida 23, Tennessee 13
Tennessee-Florida post game awards (Rocky Top Talk)
"Best particle accelerator. That Eric Berry/Tim Tebow collision. Sure, Berry went backwards, but Tebow had the advantage of a bigger head of steam, and both ended up on the ground. An usher later discovered the Higgs Boson in Section B, Row 13."
Central Florida 23, Buffalo 17
Turnovers Cripple Bulls Again (The Goose's Roost)
""Points off turnovers" sounds like a stat more suited for basketball, but it’s proven to be the Achilles’ heel of the UB Bulls’ 2009 season so far. Saturday night’s 23-17 loss to Central Florida can be traced directly back to costly Buffalo turnovers."
California 35, Minnesota 21
California 35 Minnesota 21 (California Golden Blogs)
"I was surprised with how much Cal ran the ball up the middle. Jahvid Best is not a down and distance guy and they kept on putting him into the hole. And Minnesota was stacking the box; the O-line didn't have the ability to seal them off late like they did in the second half. I see the Bears having lots of trouble with Pac-10 defenses who can seal the edge and the middle (Oregon State, UCLA, and of course USC come to mind)."
Georgia 52, Arkansas 41
Why don't we try not to break our hearts and make it so hard for ourselves? (Hey Jenny Slater)
"Look: In spite of the hysteria that a 52-41 final is bound to inspire amongst the denizens of Bulldog Nation -- and I'm not saying I completely blame you if you're one of them -- we now have two games' worth of concrete evidence that our team is good at quite a lot of things. Joe Cox is a fucking assassin; I wouldn't bet on him to have another five-TD game anytime soon, but I think we can reasonably write off his Oklahoma State game as an unfortunate (and most likely illness-addled) outlier. He is blessed with a terrific stable of young receivers, with some of the burden on the damn-near-uncoverable A.J. Green being increasingly relieved by the presence of Michael Moore in the slot, as well as Tavarres King and a couple of very dangerous tight ends."
Iowa 27, Arizona 17
The Takeaway: Arizona (Black Heart Gold Pants)
"And yet, Iowa's still already 3-0, and the defense is rounding into mid-season form already. Granted, this could still all end in a 40-point victory for the Nittany Lions, but we'll see how much good news Iowa gets in the lead-up to the game. Plus, if there's anything Ferentz has proven himself to be up for, it's BEATING PENN SCHTAAAATE."
Syracuse 37, Northwestern 34
Syracuse Defeats Northwestern: Postmortem (Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician)
"Northwestern QB Mike Kafka completed 35-of-42 passes for 390 yards with three touchdowns against Syracuse. That SU was able to win the game in spite of that performance is impressive enough as it is. Of course, a big reason for that was Max Suter, who intercepted Kafka's pass with less than a minute left to set up the game-winning field goal. And who knows if that interception would have even been possible had Northwestern's kicker not missed a gimme extra-point just minutes earlier."