Football season is underway, and that means that we can finally talk about results instead of expectations. Because there are so many games in a week, and most of us are really only focused on the Deacs, I will be keeping track of how the teams on Wake’s schedule are faring this season so that we can sort of gauge the relative strength of opponents.
Vanderbilt 35—Hawaii 28 (Week 0)
Vanderbilt did not look very good in this game and almost blew 35-14 lead in the final 10 minutes. Hawaii scored 14 unanswered points and was driving the field in the final minutes before De’Rickey Wright’s 2nd interception of the game sealed the deal for Vandy. The Commodores offensive line looks like it needs a lot of work—AJ Swann was sacked 3 times, and the Dores ran the ball 20 times for just 70 yards (3.5 ypc) against a defense that gave up over 200 rushing yards per game last season.
#13 Notre Dame 42—Navy 3 (Week 0)
Well, Notre Dame looks as good as advertised, though I’m not sure Navy is going to be very good this season. Sam Hartman effortlessly tossed 4 touchdown passes and finished 19-23 for 251 yards passing. This one was never close.
Vanderbilt 47—Alabama A&M 13
Vandy had a much better rushing attack with 215 yards on the ground against an FCS school, but QB AJ Swann seemed to struggle in the passing game. Swann completed a little over 50% of his passes for 194 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception against a team that went 4-7 in the SWAC last year. The Commodores only led by 9 points for much of the 3rd quarter before scoring 28 unanswered points to secure the blow out win.
Georgia Tech 34—Louisville 39
I am much more worried about the GT game after watching the Yellow Jackets in this one. They may have lost, but Haynes King looked way better than I thought he would, and the GT offense put up almost 500 yards. Maybe it was a fluke since they scored 28 of their 34 points in the 2nd quarter and just 6 points the rest of the game, but the Jackets might be a tougher opponent than I originally thought.
#9 Clemson 7—Duke 28
I did not expect Duke to blow out a top 10 Clemson team in Week 1, but here we are. The new Clemson offense under Garrett Riley had pretty similar results to the old Clemson offense, which means we might owe DJ Uiagalelei an apology. Despite outgaining the Blue Devils by 50 yards and almost doubling Duke’s first downs, the Tigers scored just 7 points due to 2 blocked field goals and 2 redzone fumbles. Riley Leonard continues to look like one of the best QBs in the ACC and the Duke defense looks incredible.
Virginia Tech 36—Old Dominion 17
The Deacs have both of these teams this year, so let’s start with the first up on the schedule. Fordham transfer Grant Wilson was not great in his first start for the Monarchs, completing just 13 of his 25 pass attempts for 94 yards, though he did throw 2 touchdown passes. He was far more effective as a runner, leading the team with 19 carries for 81 yards. ODU finished the game with just 295 total yards and 3 turnovers, but it’s too early to determine if that’s their offense being bad or Virginia Tech’s defense being good. For the Hokies, Grant Wells threw for 251 yards and 3 touchdowns, but the ground game left a lot to be desired. Viriginia Tech ran the ball 43 times and managed to come away with just 109 yards (2.5 ypc) and 1 touchdown. Again, with it being the 1st game of the season, it’s hard to say if that’s on VT’s Oline or ODU’s Dline.
Pittsburgh 45—Wofford 7
Not much to take away from this game. Jurkovec seemed like his old self with 214 passing yards, 41 rushing yards, and 2 total touchdowns, but it was against Wofford so that doesn’t really prove anything.
#8 Florida State 45—#5 LSU 24
I guess there’s a chance LSU is super overrated, but the FSU hype appears to be for real. It wasn’t just that Florida State beat LSU, it was how they beat them—the Noles completely dominated the Tigers in the second half and just imposed their will in every aspect of the game. Jordan Travis threw for 342 yards and scored 5 total touchdowns as the Florida State offense carved up the Tiger defense, outscoring LSU 31-7 in the 2nd half. Keon Coleman is looking like he might be one of the biggest pickups of the offseason as the Michigan State transfer caught 9 passes for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns in his FSU debut. We’ll see how LSU turns out this season, but based on that 1 game, it looks like FSU is going to be a playoff contender this season.
NC State 24—UConn 14
UConn is not the complete joke that they have been in the past (6-7 last year), but I certainly expected the Pack to win this game by more points. Brennan Armstrong had a pretty mediocre day throwing the ball (17-26, 155 yards), but he led the Wolfpack in rushing with 96 yards and 2 touchdowns on 19 carries. I feel like he’s going to be banged up all season if he has to run the ball 20 times a game.
#13 Notre Dame 56—Tennessee State 3
Not much to take away from this one, obviously.
Syracuse 65—Colgate 0
Another FCS blowout. The Syracuse offense racked up 677 total yards and this one was never close. Cuse probably ran up the score to avenge the beat down the Colgate basketball team gave them last season.