The Deacs suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday, but now they get the bye week to try and fix some glaring issues in the offense. Let’s see how their opponents faired this week.
Old Dominion 10—Texas A&M Commerce 9
It probably does not bode well for the Deacs that the Sun Belt team that almost beat them last weekend barely beat a winless FCS team and only scored 10 points. Starting QB Grant Wilson was benched after throwing 3 interceptions, and Jack Shields stepped in to finish the game. The Lions scored a touchdown with 28 seconds left in the game and decided to go for the win instead of kicking the extra point, but they were unable to convert the 2-point conversion. The Monarchs were honestly lucky to survive against a team that had been blown out by 2 other FCS teams in their first 2 games this season.
Vanderbilt 28—Kentucky 45
AJ Swann left the game due to injury after completing just 40% of his passes and throwing 3 interceptions. Shockingly, this game was never really close, as the Wildcats led 31-13 heading into the 4th quarter. Probably most, if not all, of Vandy’s conference games will look very similar to this.
Clemson 24—#4 FSU 31 (OT)
This was a great game between two of the most talented rosters in the ACC. In the end, it really came down to Dabo getting conservative and playing for the field goal in the waning minutes of the 4th quarter, which unsurprisingly led to a college kicker missing a game winner. FSU scored first in the OT period on an incredible catch by Keon Coleman for a touchdown. Clemson was unable to answer after failing to pick up 1 yard on two tries because they refused to run the ball. The Tigers fall to 0-2 in the conference, while FSU continues to win close games.
Virginia Tech 17—Marshall 24
Grant Wells was out with an injury, so backup Kyron Drones started for the Hokies. Drones only threw for 159 yards, but he ran for both of VT’s touchdowns. The Hokie defense had no answer for junior Rasheen Ali, who ran for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns to hand Tech their 3rd loss of the season.
Pittsburgh 24—North Carolina 41
The Pitt fans seemed to want a change at QB after 2 atrocious games from Jurkovec, and they got their wish after Jukovec went down with an injury. Unfortunately, backup Christian Veilleux was not much of an improvement, finishing the game 7-18 for 85 yards and 2 interceptions. Once again, the Pitt defense did a fantastic job keeping the game somewhat respectable, holding the Tar Heels to just 373 yards.
Duke 41—UConn 7
Duke is very good; UConn is very bad. I’m not really sure what else to say about this one. The Blue Devils haven’t really been tested since the season opener against Clemson, but they’ll get their chance this week when Notre Dame—and College Game Day—go to Durham.
NC State 24—Virginia 21
Armstrong continues to struggle throwing the ball, completing just 50% of his passes for 180 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Virginia played probably the best they had all season in this game but just couldn’t get out of their own way—the Cavs picked up three costly penalties in the final minute of the game that ultimately cost them a chance at a win. The first was a taunting penalty that moved the game tying 2-point conversion back 15 yards; the second was QB Anthony Colandrea removing his helmet after miraculously converting that 2-point conversion, pushing the kickoff back 15 yards; the third was leaping over the long snapper on the game-winning field goal, negating a block and moving the kick up to the 15-yard line. The Wolfpack were kind of handed this one on a silver platter.
#9 Notre Dame 14—#6 Ohio State 17
I can’t think of a more brutal way to lose a game. The Buckeyes ran the ball into the endzone for the go ahead score with 1 second remaining on the clock, which was drastically easier than it should have been because Notre Dame only had 10 defenders on the field. I don’t think this officially eliminates the Irish from playoff contention, but they probably can’t afford to lose another game this season.
Syracuse 29—Army 16
Army throws the ball way too much now—the Black Knights went to the air 21 times, only completing 9 of those attempts for 145 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. Army actually went into the half with a 10-3 lead, but the Orange responded with 26 unanswered points (before a garbage time Army TD) to get to 4-0. Garrett Shrader had another efficient day, completing 80% of his passes and scoring 2 total touchdowns to lead the comeback effort. I still can’t figure out if Syracuse is good or if they are currently benefitting from a backloaded schedule.