What happened and what mattered in the Week 4 of the ACC college football season?
5. The “other” games
Boston College ran into a desperate, winless Purdue team, and it picked the wrong time to come up with a clunker. The four interceptions from Anthony Brown were bad, the lack of a push from the offensive front was awful – AJ Dillon ran for just 59 yards – and the defense couldn’t slow down the precise Purdue passing attack. On the plus side, it wasn’t an ACC game. The Temple game next week can be used to tune things up for the trip to NC State.
NC State avoided being a part of the ACC’s disastrous day with a 37-20 win over Marshall. Ryan Finley went Ryan Finley on the Herd with a calm, cool 377-yard day with one touchdown and no picks. There was a little bit of a ground game, but it’s still not anything special. When Finley is getting time, everything is fine, but the ground game needs to average more than 3.5 yards per carry. There was a bit special teams gaffe in the second half, but D was great – especially against the run – sealing the win with a key pick six.
Miami let up late against FIU in the 31-17 win, but there wasn’t any real drama … except for the quarterback situation. N’Kosi Perry stepped in and made the O go. Malik Rosier was fine, but Perry got a series, and he didn’t get off the field until he finished with a 17-of-24 day for 224 yards and three scores with a pick. The ground game helped the cause with 248 yards, and the D allowed just 17 yards on 24 carries.
Well there we go, Florida State. The Seminoles scored 14 first quarter points to take the pressure off in the 37-19 win over Northern Illinois, and while it wasn’t a brilliant offensive day overall, it was good. Deondre Francois threw for 352 yards and two scores, and the D allowed just six yards of rushing yards. The O line was … the FSU O line. It wasn’t great, but for now, the Noles will take the points and not ask any questions.
Syracuse kept on rolling with a 51-21 win over a bad UConn team. The ground attack controlled the game, with 341 yards and three scores – all the touchdowns from Eric Dungey, who ran for 77 yards. Razor-sharp through the air, he hit 21-of-27 passes for 286 yards and two scores. The defense did its part, too, owning the UConn backfield led by Alton Robinson and his three sacks. It’s all working, but now comes the Clemson game.
It was a scrimmage Duke needed to get QB Quentin Harris more live reps. He threw for 202 yards and three scores in the 55-13 win over NC Central, and Brittain Brown added 118 yards and a touchdown. The D tightened up in the second half, allowing just 51 yards on the day. And now it’s on to Virginia Tech with a chance to make some real noise.
Wake Forest dealt with the Notre Dame Found An Offense game. The Demon Deacons didn’t get the game it needed out of Sam Hartman – he only completed half of his passes – but it was the defense that didn’t have any answers for Irish QB Ian Book. The normal tackles for loss and pressure into the backfield weren’t there, WR Greg Dortch was kept under wraps, and the strong day from the ground game wasn’t enough to overcome the other issues.