What mattered and what’s important from Week 1 of the ACC college football season?
Two key things to take away from this. 1) Trevor Lawrence, don’t run the ball. There’s no need – he took off a few times for 34 yards and a touchdown. 2) While it worked out and the D held on the goal line, never make a tackle. So what if the defense scored off the pick? That’s not worth a potential injury to the franchise guy. Also, blow off the 13-of-23, 168-yard, one score, two pick stats. 52-14 … move on.
The running game is special – duh. The O line killed the Georgia Tech defensive front, especially in the interior. Run Travis Etienne inside, and kaboom – he was unstoppable with 205 yards and three scores on just 12 carries. Georgia Tech’s defense will be fine, but ir gave up 411 rushing yards.
The adjustment to the new offense under head coach Geoff Collins will go a whole lot better when it doesn’t have to go against the Clemson defensive front. The game got out of hand so fast that the running game was irrelevant. The problem? Georgia Tech isn’t build to start bombing away. Turning the ball over four times didn’t help. Going against USF next week will be the better test.
This was a fantastic win. Getting to six victories will be tough this season for the Demon Deacons, and pulling this one out in the thriller against a dangerous Utah State team was big. The Aggies kept pressing, Jordan Love threw for 416 yards, and the Demon Deacons still won. Picking off three passes helped.
Love was outstanding, but Jamie Newman did his part with 401 yards and three touchdowns … and no interceptions. He ran for a touchdown, too, and he kept up the pace every time the Demon Deacons were pressed.
There wasn’t the pressure like there needed to be or usually is from Wake Forest, and the D allowed almost 600 yards of total offense, but again, the three picks were a big deal. Wake Forest was +2 in turnover margin and committed just one penalty. As it turned out, the little things meant a lot. Holding on to the ball for almost 13 minutes more than Utah State helped, too.