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Bourbon Shots: College Football Week 4 Roundup Edition

Upset Saturday actually started on Thursday and carried into early Sunday morning in the Eastern and Central time zones. It was a crazy week, so let's go around the blogosphere and hear what people are saying about a great weekend of college football.

ACC Football

What we learned in the ACC: Week 4 (Annette)
"Maryland reinforced what we already knew, Virginia had the week off and Duke beat up on NC Central like it was expected to. Florida State? Well, even the Noles can’t figure out who they are yet. The other games, though, were a little more revealing, and some teams learned lessons the hard way:"

OTB’s ACC Power Poll: Week 4 (On The B.Rink)
"As we look at the ACC at the 1/3 mark, we still know nothing. Virginia Tech is back on top(again), the Atlantic is a mess(again), and Maryland blows(again). Let’s face it, the ACC has been really bad against every other conference(including the Colonial Athletic). Unless you really do indeed dislike yourself, continue to care about conference superiority(or inferiority), but I say root for a team and not a conference."

ACC Power Poll After Week 5 (ACC and SEC Blog)
"This gets harder and harder every week with such inconsistency in the conference. It looks like we are headed for another 6-2 or 5-3 conference champion."

ACC Football Power Rankings, Sept. 28 (ACC Sports Journal)
"The ACC needs a long-term health-care plan these days, having fallen to 10-11 against members of other FBS conferences in 2009. N.C. State’s comeback from a two-touchdown deficit saved the league from an 0-3 Saturday against visiting members of the Big East, the conference that was supposed to atrophy and die after The Great Reformation of 2004-05. The Big East has now won 19 of 33 head-to-head meetings with the ACC since the start of that 2005 campaign."

ACC power rankings: Week 5 (Annette)
"I thought some separation was starting to occur in September, but this past weekend’s results threw that off. Everyone is beating everyone again, and so far, only Virginia Tech has set itself apart. There wasn’t much movement in the bottom rankings, but everyone else got shuffled."

Georgia Tech 24, North Carolina 7

UNC Recap (From The Rumble Seat)
"Offensively, we executed. We didn't get massive plays of 75 or 80 yards but we didn't need 'em. We ran the ball for 4.59 yards per carry. Guess what? 4.59 times 3 equals 13.78 yards per three downs. Hence, why we were over 50% conversion rate on third downs. Nesbitt was a warrior yesterday and I feel like he made some creative plays similar to the first two or three games in '08 (like VT or BC) with his feet that he might not've had the chance to against Miami and Clemson. Playcalling was incredibly creative and kept the GREAT UNC defense guessing."

Georgia Tech 24, UNC 7 (Carolina March)
"Eleven minutes and fifty-one seconds. That was the length of time for Georgia Tech's two second half scoring drives, which took a combined 25 plays, all but one on the ground, and included six successful third down conversions and resulted in 14 points, enough to put the game out of reach. Not that the game was very much in reach with the offensive ineptitude on display, but those six third down conversions, all but one for five yards are more killed any comeback that the Heels were trying to put together. Against an exhausted quarterback in Josh Nesbitt the Carolina defense couldn't put the Tech offense away, and any hope of another UConn game was dashed by run after run after run. Tech had a monstrous 317 yards on the ground in this game, which goes a long way by itself in explaining the final score."

Georgia Tech 24, UNC 7 (Tar Heel Fan)
"The quick take on this one is you cannot reasonably expect to win a game when the offense was as putrid as it was in this one. The Heels got a paltry 17 yards on the ground, only 137 yards in the air and turned it over three times. UNC was 1-11 on 3rd down and just never anything material going until the game was out of reach. UNC had trouble putting points on the board and because the time of possession was so out of whack, the opportunities were lacking. Not to mention yet another missed FG from Casey Barth, this one from a very makeable 32 yards out. It was a day full of missed chances for the offense plain and simple."

Heels Stuck In The Mud (850 the Buzz)
"Much of the focus will be on North Carolina’s turrble offense, which regressed on several levels after showing signs of improvement against East Carolina. The defense also failed to do their part in this contest. Look no further than Georgia Tech’s 3rd down conversion rate as proof the Heels couldn’t make big stops. The first drive by the Jackets was indicative of the entire afternoon — 9 plays for 88 yards spanning over 4 minutes. The next drive lasted almost 5 minutes. Notice the pattern? North Carolina just couldn’t get Georgia Tech off the field."

Georgia Tech 24, UNC 7 (ACC Now)
"The Heels (3-1, 0-1 ACC) turned the ball over twice, missed an easy field goal, allowed 323 yards of offense and went the first 20 minutes without a first down but trailed by 10 points after three quarters. In short, they did the opposite of everything they did in starting the season 3-0."

Boston College 27, Wake Forest 24 (OT)

An OT Victory in Chestnut Hill (BC Interruption)
Brian and Jeff take time from watching Desperate Housewives on DVR: "Shinskie won the starting QB job on Saturday. There will be no more Shinskie OR Tuggle listed on the depth chart as we have seen the first four weeks of the season. We will see Tuggle in a few plays, not series, but individual plays just as they tried on Saturday. In a game where Shinskie is struggling, we might see Tuggle thrown in there, but for the more part Shinskie is the quarterback for Boston College. Now that someone stepped up and won the quarterback job rather than be handed it by default, it is a great boost for our offense."

Second viewing thougths and grade report: Wake Forest (Eagle in Atlanta)
"Dave Shinskie’s 180 was the biggest reason for the win. I’ve been in Tuggle’s corner, but Shinskie was pretty impressive. If we are on the upside of his learning curve, we are going to score often this year. When I log plays, I mark bad plays from the QBs to include bad throws and bad decisions. Shinskie only had five bad plays yesterday. That’s Ryan-esque. The pass to McMichael was beautiful -- a good play fake, it hit him in stride and was right between the zones."

5 Things from the Wake Forest Game (Eagle All Access)
"Tranquill called two wildcat sets, one of which on a crucial third down. Harris was able to convert and in his two attempts gained nine yards. It’s not a bad wrinkle to have in the offense. One set that Tranquill should immediately throw out is bringing in Tuggle for the designed run. I’m not sure he could make it any more obvious that the quarterback will be running the ball, not to mention he called this play on second and goal and lost five yards which ultimately forced BC to settle for a field goal. Possibly the worst play call we have seen this year."

Quick Thoughts: BC holds off Wake in OT (Towers on the Heights)
"Let me start my thoughts off by saying the crowd was awesome. It was parents weekend and Alumni was packed, there were a few seats in the upper corner of the upper deck in the Endzones but thats it. The place was full. Not only that but they made a lot of noise, especially in overtime when the defense needed it. It was the best crowd I have experienced in a while!"

South Florida 17, Florida State 7

Florida State Must Schedule Smarter: Wins Matter, Schedule Doesn't (Tomahawk Nation)
"Sure, FSU might get some acknowledgment from football experts, but the majority of pollsters simply focus on record alone. Get some Florida International, Arkansas State, and North Texas. Pay the money for the guaranteed wins. It cost a good bit but it is worth much, much more. The way to get ranked is to schedule yourself into the rankings. Let's take a look at the teams in the top 25, and their schedule strength's. I have to seriously question whether many of the teams in the top 25 are better than FSU, but they haven't had to play anywhere near the caliber of schedule as that of the Noles."

Religiously Random and Stoically Meaningless Thoughts (Scalp Em)
"he big pass play continues to plague the FSU defense. Perhaps a new scheme is in order? Maybe something like a 0-0-11 where every receiver is guaranteed to be covered or at least have a defender within five yards? Either that or an 11-0-0 alignment because we sure as heck aren’t covering the big pass play anyway. Call it The Stampeded?"

USF Bulls 17 – FSU Seminoles 7 (The Bull Gator)
"Introducing B.J. Daniels. There were good moments, bad moments, and great moments. The redshirt freshman quarterback put USF on his back and carried them to perhaps the biggest victory in program history. Yes, the Bulls have beaten opponents ranked higher. Yes, they have had wins where they themselves where up in the rankings. But beating one of the premier state programs is above all else at this point in USF’s development. After getting to 3-0 with wins over virtual nobodies, the Bulls got to 4-0 with an upset of FSU. Let the true arrival talk begin."

TCU 14, Clemson 10

TCU Postgame Analysis (Block-C)
"Anyway, Clemson lost a close game to a good team. There are worse outcomes, but at the same time I think that moral victories are for high schoolers. Napier needs to do some homework and/or our receivers need to step the hell up, and our team needs to grow some balls in the red zone."

TCU beats Clemson 14-10, a closer look (Clempson Football)
"8 of 12 plays were passes while we had the lead in the 2nd half, 6 fell incomplete. We threw the ball 37 times in the rain. I've pointed out the calls I thought were stupid, only 3 or 4. Parker throws behind his receivers far too often, takes longer to make decisions and has to rush throws."

TCU Pulls out Big Road win at Clemson (Mountain West Connection)
"This win may not have been impressive, and was a typical TCU win with an efficient passing game and rock solid defense. The only concern was that the TCU running game which has been their strength in past years and was so far has been good this year was. Also, ten penalties for over one hundred yards are not the norm for the Horned Frogs."

NC State 38, Pittsburgh 31

The Man Called Aerodynamics (Backing The Pack)
"If Tom O'Brien were sitting next to me right now, he'd say I had it right the first time. This team is not good. The defense got stops when it mattered--allowing the offense to climb out of the 31-17 hole, saving Ted Larsen's day--but the truth is they were exposed. Penalties were numerous, special teams were atrocious, and I have no idea what was going on with the clock management at the end of the first half."

Pack Score 21 Straight To Beat Pitt (850 the Buzz)
"Looking at the stat sheet alone, it was curious to see NC State trailing Pittsburgh 17-10 at halftime and 31-17 in the 3rd quarter. The Wolfpack were moving the ball, but penalties and special teams were stunting any positive momentum. If you listened hard enough, the scratchy voice of Chuck Amato saying "discipline!" was echoing through Carter-Finley. With the exception of one drive late in the game, Pitt began every series in Wolfpack territory. No team can expect to win when the opponent has such favorable field position for 60 minutes."

Rutgers 34, Maryland 13

Maryland-Rutgers Grades and Helmet Stickers (Testudo Times)
"This was the first really bad performance for Chris Turner this year. And god, was it bad. Three interceptions, only one of which was really forced, and a huge fumble in the end zone would usually be enough for this grade all by themselves. But combine that with a poor day throwing the ball even outside of those four plays, and I kind of want to give him a J. Maybe a J+, because he did throw a TD. Seriously, I was pining for Joel Statham today."

Offense stumbles as defense crumbles (Turtle Waxing)
"While listening to a national radio sports on Saturday morning I heard a host refer to the Maryland versus Rutgers game as one "we should pay you to watch." The sad part was that though it was a sarcastic throwaway comment it was fairly accurate. It now appears that the little respect given to Maryland before the season by sports writers was well deserved. The sober truth is that this team isn't very good. The inexperience of the offensive and defensive lines is one thing but when veterans like QB Chris Turner and RB Da'Rel Scott are the players who give the game away then you have far more serious problems than youth."

Duke 49, NC Central 14

49-14! (Dudespin)
"In Duke’s fourth possession, Thad got hit and Renfree came in. It was the first time I saw this young kid play, and I apologize for ever questioning Thad. The pick he threw that was returned for a touchdown was a horrible throw. He recovered, but there’s no question in my mind that the team moved the ball much better with Thad in the lineup."

Duke Owns the Bull City (850 the Buzz)
"In one of the most anticipated football games in Durham history, Duke defeated North Carolina Central 49-14 to win the inaugural Bull City Gridiron Classic. Rain couldn’t stop the more than 26,000 fans in attendance from coming out to see this historic game."

Duke defeats N.C. Central 49-14 (ACC Now)
"Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis orchestrated much of the Devils' success. He played closer to his usual standards as the offense demonstrated stretches of consistency its coach identified as a step toward the type of football he expects."

National College Football

Game Day Signs from Iowa at Penn State (College Game Balls)
"Someone out there in Happy Valley is adept at cunnilingus."


Welcome to a truly schizophrenic season (College Gridiron 365)
"The word of the day is: Schizophrenic. As in: the description of this college football season. The top 10 is a dangerous place to be this year. Just ask Ole Miss, Penn State, California and Miami, the latest top 10 teams to lose. So far, 10 teams ranked in the top 10 have lost. Two of those teams, Virginia Tech and Ohio State, lost to top 10 teams ranked higher than them. But six of those teams lost to unranked squads, the highest number through four full weeks of the season dating back to 2003. In 2005, nine top 10 teams lost through four weeks of the season, but only three of them were to teams that were unranked."

Tennessee 34, Ohio 23

Tennessee-Ohio post game awards (Rocky Top Talk)
"Worst not agains. Crompton had another two turnovers, a team-effort interception that was thrown into double coverage and a roll-out sack with a fumble that Ohio picked up and ran back for a touchdown. Replay showed that the Bobcat who picked up the fumble had a foot out of bounds when he did, so it was Tennessee's ball, but wow. And again wow."

Texas 64, UTEP 7

Texas Football By The Numbers: 64-7 Win Over UTEP (Burnt Orange Nation)
"Having just returned from a weekend trip that kept me from viewing the game, I can't comment much on the 'Horns 64-7 slaughteration of UTEP until I settle in to watch the tape. However, Saturday's outrageously lopsided game deserves an immediate By The Numbers post...After the jump: both Texas vs UTEP and the 2009 season, by the numbers."

Michigan 36, Indiana 33

The Soaring Majesty! (MGoBlog)
"Aw, hell. Indiana? No offense to a program the evidently warranted more respect than Vegas or this here blog offered in the run-up to the game, but passages of soaring majesty get ruined when a Hoosier is mentioned. Since Wangler-to-Carter, when Indiana was 8-4, moments of glory against Indiana only come in one form: oh thank God we didn't lose to Indiana. So, yeah: thank God we didn't lose to Indiana."

Alabama 35, Arkansas 7

Initial Impressions from the Arkansas Game (Roll 'Bama Roll)
"Defensively, you almost just have to stand in awe of what this unit accomplished today. At worst, outside of Tuscaloosa and Gainesville, Arkansas has the best offense in the SEC, and our defense turned it into a completely impotent attack today. Ryan Mallett was pressured and harassed all afternoon, our defensive backs covered well, and we did a good job of stopping the run. All told, Arkansas ended up with seven points and only about 250 total yards of offense. They averaged only about 3.7 yards per snap, Mallett barely completed 33% of his passes, and they were an anemic 2-14 on third down. And none of that is the result of shortcomings on the part of the Arkansas offense, our defense just played that well. Even without Dont'a Hightower, our defense was still effectively an immovable object even with one of the SEC's best attacks whaling away at it."

Nebraska 55, UL-Lafayette 0

Nebraska vs UL-Layafette Postgame Overreaction (Corn Nation)
"Zac Lee is a work in progress. He made some throws that were way off the mark. If this shocks you, it's kind of your fault for setting your expectations so high. He's a first-year starter, and everyone knew going in there would be some growing pains. Still, maybe I'm just picking nits, as he was 15 for 18 for 238 yards and a touchdown."

South Carolina 16, Ole Miss 10

Post-Apocolypse: South Carolina (Red Cup Rebellion)
""I'm glad it's gone," left tackle Bradley Sowell said of the high-intensity spotlight, "so we can just get back to basics and win ballgames." Get the fuck out of my University, you weak sack of shit. You lost the game. You did. I feel sick. Have fun watching the coaches scramble to replace your sorry ass in the starting lineup. Nice quote, you sad, sad loser. Seriously: if you feel relieved of the pressure because your miserable performance led to a loss... I don't know what to tell you. I'm no athlete, but when I fuck up and let other people down, I at least have the decency to feel bad about it. Ugh."

Gauging What It Means (Garnet And Black Attack)
"This is all to say that the pollsters overraned Ole Miss at fourth in the country. Their line play will have to improve significantly if they're going to come anywhere near challenging for the Western Division crown. For that reason, I think it's valid to wonder whether or not we should be ready to say that this Gamecocks team is ready to make a run at a division crown and a major bowl bid. We need to beat a team that's better than Ole Miss to prove that's the case."

Iowa 21, Penn State 10

The Takeaway: Penn State (Black Heart Gold Pants)
"Good merciful heavens, the defensive line: There isn't a single starter on the line that didn't affect the game in a big way. Broderick Binns? 2.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, and consecutive ownings of DeOn'tae Pannell that led to an Iowa safety (this sealed Pannell's fate; he was benched shortly thereafter). Christian Ballard? Probably the most consistent resident of the PSU backfield, and he tipped the last INT to A.J. Edds, effectively ending Penn State's hopes. Karl Klug? Multiple big plays, not the least of which was recovering a Penn State fumble in Iowa territory in the fourth quarter... a good 30-40 yards or so from his spot on the field at the snap. And Adrian Clayborn? Oh, only two tackles and O HAI GAME WINNING TOUCHDOWN K THANX. Between the four, they badgered their linemen, the PSU backs, and Daryll Clark into enough miscues that when it came time to reclaim the lead, the Penn State offense really had no chance down the stretch."

Temple 37, Buffalo 13

Bulls Falter at Temple (The Goose's Roost)
"In today’s 37-13 loss to conference foe Temple, Maynard committed five turnovers, throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble. Three of those picks were in the red zone and one was returned for a touchdown. It was an ugly day all around for the Bulls. The offense couldn’t get anything going, the defense struggled against the run (like they have the past two seasons) and the special teams were especially terrible (the Owls even scored on a kick return)."

Kansas 35, Southern Miss 28

Southern Mississippi the Morning After (Rock Chalk Talk)
"On defense it looked ominous and as Kansas fans we're almost trained at this point to blame the defense anytime things aren't going well. When it mattered in the end though the Jayhawk defense stopped 3 consecutive drives to secure the win. What does that mean? Well, it means the offense had 2 chances to put the game away but failed to do so. It means our defense was the difference today. No, this isn't a great defense and they'll give up their share of yards, but I feel comfortable saying it's an improvement over last years group through four games."

Oregon 42, Cal 3

Mr. Masoli, or How We Learned to Stop Sucking and Demolish the Golden Bears (Addicted To Quack)
"Look , we're not going to look this good every game, and Cal basically gave up halfway through the second quarter. But our defense has been outstanding all season, and just keeps getting better. The offensive line is gelling. We've found our running back. And now Masoi has learned how to throw the ball again. We're not a perfect team, but all the Pac-10 contenders are flawed, and we already find ourselves with a one game lead on both. This could shape up to be a special year yet."

The Autzen Massacre (California Golden Blogs)
"That's 30 clear blocking errors on the first 41 offensive plays, almost all of them drive killers (to be fair, some blockers committed their mistakes on the same play, so the average percentage of bad blocking plays was around 55-60%, it wasn't one blocking error per play. Still pretty bad). If you expect to win games making that many mistakes at the line of scrimmage, I have beachfront property on Mars I'd like to sell you."

Georgia 20, Arizona State 17

You've got so many problems and a split personality (Hey Jenny Slater)
"I know, I know: I'm getting way too worked up over a game that we did manage to actually win. And it's not like the rest of the conference -- our next opponent included -- isn't dealing with some major consistency issues themselves. Part of me wants to moan, "Why can't we just have an easy win for a change?", but I know that's a bitch move; we're playing one of the toughest schedules in the country, with only a single non-BCS-conference opponent (which is still more than a month away) on the dance card, so if it's easy wins I want then I probably need to become a Boise State fan. But I don't think it's too much to ask that our wins become easier."

USC 27, Washington State 6

USC gets back on the winning track (Conquest Chronicles)
"I am actually more ticked off over the continued lack of discipline and sloppy ball control. There were some stupid penalties out there last night but I also know that once again USC is being singled out more than their opponents on some of those personal foul penalties.That has a lot to do with how the offense is run. When you are looking at first-and-long or second-and-long deep in your own end it does change the complexion of the scheme you run...especially if you don't have faith in your punting unit. Harfman actually had a solid night as the punter with 40+ yards per kick. But lets see that sort of production on the road..."

Stanford 34, Washington 14

Huskies stink up the joint (UW Dawg Pound)
"Jake Locker fell back to earth tonight. Only last week he was being touted as the top QB in the country and ready to be a top pick in the NFL draft. Tonight he was just another deer in the headlights who missed his wide open targets and made fatal mistakes all night. To make matters worse he was tenative on the run when he rolled out which took away any edge he had as a multiple threat. Jake was terrible tonight, but in his defense had little protection, and was used poorly by the coaching staff."

Houston 29, Texas Tech 28

Post Game Thoughts :: Houston Cougars Edition (Double-T Nation)
"First off, a really patient game by Houston and the Cougars deserve credit for taking what the defense gave them. One of my reasons why Texas Tech would lose this game was that if Houston was willing to be patient, and they didn't seem to get settled until the 4th quarter, then the bend but don't break defense was susceptible to giving up yards and points. Houston is a very good team. Their defense still needs work (pot, meet kettle) and is undersized, but Sumlin is a damn fine coach and I'd be proud to have him on my sideline."

Stuff Only I Care About

Tickets On Sale This Morning For Charlottesville (Jimmy Buffett World)
I refuse to go to C'ville. Ever. But for those more daring than I: "Tickets for the November 17th Jimmy Buffett show at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia go on sale this morning at 10 am. Tickets are $36 and $136 and can be purchased either online, in person at the box office, or by calling 1-888-JPJ-TIXS."

2009-10 Washington Capitals Season Preview (Japers' Rink)
"J.P.: I think the real challenge for this Caps team will be staying reasonably focused over the course of an 82-game regular season and not picking up some of the bad habits they developed in February and March of last year that carried into the playoffs. The talent is there in spades - if this team wants to win and is willing to do what it takes to win, there's no reason they can't, and no reason they won't. They'll win the East, and then anything can happen."

Training Camp Profile: Steve Montador (Die By The Blade)
"Besides being a physical player, Montador is also a solid defenseman who led the Ducks last season in plus/minus. Montador is not a player that is going to jump into the rush but will stay back and cover the back end of a play. A good defensive defenseman has been missing on this Sabres team for a while now. Having the option will help the Sabres who seemed to have trouble back checking last season. The all around play of Montador is ultimately going to help the Sabres and be a key piece on the blueline this season."

Lester says he is moving in right direction (Globe)
Amalie Bejamin, who I love and in a heartbeat would give up my hard-drinking, road-tripping bachelor ways for, says Jon Lester will be ready to go for Game 1 of the ALDS. "Lester is scheduled to pitch Thursday, which would give him five or six days’ rest before Game 1 of the American League Division Series. Although he’s planning on making his next start, "it’s up to them if they want to be cautious or conservative and make it a day later or two days later,’’ he said. It is not known whether Lester will throw a side session tomorrow; pitchers don’t always throw side sessions this time of year."

Throwing a football while staring down a blitz (Smart Football)
"Very good quarterbacking video from Dub Maddox of Jenks, OK, HS, and who helps run Darin Slack's quarterback camps."

Guns ‘n’ Diamonds, Only In Pauls Valley (The Lost Ogle)
"Yep, that’s right, if you buy a pair of diamond stud earings at O’Neal’s Jewelers in Pauls Valley, they give you a free bolt-action .3006 rifle! We’d like for them to be called Guns’n'Diamonds, but they’re not there yet. Now, there is some fine print at the bottom. The offer only applies to the pruchase of 1 carat total weight or larger studs, and no other discounts apply. Also, purchasers have to clear all required federal and state background checks to get the gun. The sale ends October 15."

Hop on, hop off (Joy in Mudville)
"I know I have been a huge proponent of the Core to Shore Park but this new street car system has some great potential. The citizens got this one right when they listed (better public transit) as a top priority. We will be able to see the track, see the route and if better signs and reliability come with it then living downtown will become more more desirable."