Photo courtesy of N.C. State Athletics
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
BOSTON COLLEGE: Quarterback Chase Rettig had another solid outing throwing the football, but a one-dimensional offense couldn't find the end zone with regularity and was done in by Northwestern's kicking game, in a 22-13 loss to the Wildcats this past weekend. Rettig was 24-of-44 passing, for 291 yards and one TD, but BC's ground game struggled for a mere 25 yards on 21 carries, while NU's Jeff Budzien converted five field goals to down the Eagles. Northwestern meanwhile, dominated the Eagles on the ground for 293 yards and nearly five yards per carry and owned the time of possession by nearly 12 minutes. Boston College really struggled to sustain drives in the game, going a woeful 2-of-11 on third downs, compared to an impressive 12-of-19 for the Wildcats. The loss dropped Boston College to 1-2 on the young season. The Eagles will be idle this weekend as they prepare for a home date with the Clemson Tigers on Sept. 29.
CLEMSON: The Tigers once again made light work of the Furman Paladins, winning for the 30th straight time in the series with Saturday's 41-7 rout. Clemson is now 26-0 all-time against FCS (Div I-AA) since the division was formed in 1978. The Tigers (3-0), were led by quarterback Tahj Boyd, who threw for 310 yards and two TDs in the lopsided win. It didn't take long for All-American Sammy Watkins to make his presence felt in his return to the field. The explosive receiver was suspended for the first two games of the season, but scored to begin the second quarter against Furman, with a 58-yard TD run. Watkins finished the day with four catches, for 52 yards, and the one long TD run. Tailback Andre Ellington scored twice and led Clemson with 59 yards on the ground. Wideout DeAndre Hopkins led all receivers with seven receptions, for 95 yards. Clemson dives head first into the ACC waters this week, as the Tigers head to Tallahassee to take on top-10 foe Florida State in a key Atlantic Division tilt.
FLORIDA STATE: So much for it being the level of competition. After opening the season with a a 69-3 rout of Murray State, followed by a 55-0 shutout of Savannah State, the thought was that FSU was simply beating up on weaker competition. However, Jimbo Fisher's squad moved up to the FBS ranks this past weekend and the results were eerily similar, as the Seminoles blanked Wake Forest in the team's ACC-opener, 52-0. It was a remarkable day for FSU's ground attack, which churned out 385 yards, thanks to a career performance by tailback Chris Thompson, who finished with 197 yards and two long TD runs (74 and 80 yards) all in the first half. EJ Manuel managed the game well under center, completing 15-of-24 passes, for 176 yards and two TDs, while adding another TD rushing. FSU's efficiency in the red zone in the first three games is a perfect 22-for-22, including 19 touchdowns. The team was 5-for-5 in the red zone against Wake, with four TDs and one field goal. The defense is putting up eye-popping numbers as well, as the unit has allowed the opposition to convert just 5-of-44 third-down opportunities and is yielding a ridiculous 1.0 ppg. The Seminoles will take another step up in competition this week, as they prepare to host another ACC favorite in Clemson.
MARYLAND: Freshman wide receiver Stefon Diggs did a little bit of everything, racking up 223 all-purpose yards, but it wasn't enough, as Maryland dropped its first game of the season, a 24-21 setback to Connecticut this past weekend in College Park. Randy Edsall's new team fell behind early and was unable to complete the comeback against his old team that he left following the 2010 season. It was an ugly offensive performance by both clubs, as they managed to combine for just 428 yards, including a mere 205 by Maryland. However, it wasn't at all surprising, as UConn came into the game with the third ranked defense nationally and Maryland with the ninth ranked unit. Freshman tailback Wes Brown finished with 74 yards and one rushing TD, while yet another freshman, quarterback Perry Hills also scored on the ground. However, Hills struggled in the passing game, completing just 10-of-24 passes, for 109 yards, with one TD and one INT. The Terrapins will face their toughest challenge to date this weekend, as they travel to Morgantown to take on powerhouse West Virginia.
N.C. STATE: The Wolfpack opened up their home schedule with a 31-7 rout of South Alabama, as quarterback Mike Glennon was efficient, completing 24-of-34 passes, for 257 yards and three TDs in the win. While the offense amassed 384 total yards, the Wolfpack defense yielding just 314, including a mere 51 yards on the ground. The unit did not allow a single third-down conversion by South Alabama (0-for-11), marking the first time that has happened for NC State since 1992. Junior All-American David Amerson recorded his second interception of the season and is inching closer and closer to the school-record. Amerson now has 15 career INTs and is just one shy of tying the school mark. Winners of two straight since dropping the season-opener to Tennessee (35-21), the Wolfpack aim for a third consecutive victory when they play host to The Citadel this weekend.
WAKE FOREST: Coming off a huge win in its ACC opener against rival North Carolina (28-27), Wake Forest struggled in every aspect of the game at Florida State this past weekend, getting crushed by the Seminoles, 52-0 for the Demon Deacons' first loss of the season. It marked the first time that Wake has been shutout since 2010 and was the worst defeat under Jim Grobe (2001). Wake has now been held without a touchdown in its last three trips to Doak Campbell Stadium. Quarterback Tanner Price had a day to forget, completing a meager 8- of-22 passes, for just 82 yards, the lowest total since the junior was a freshman. The rest of the stats were just as ugly for the Demon Deacons, who managed a mere seven first downs in the game, just 126 yards of total offense, while allowing Florida State to roll up 612 yards. In addition, the Demon Deacons were a mere 1-of-16 on third downs. Wake Forest will attempt to put some distance between itself and the humbling loss when it plays host to Army this weekend in Winston-Salem.
DUKE: Sean Renfree threw for 274 yards and three TDs, as Duke made light work of NC Central in a 54-17 victory in the Bull City Gridiron Classic in Durham this past weekend. Duke amassed over 40 points for the ninth time under David Cutcliffe and the 54 points were the second most under Cutcliffe. Renfree was 24-of-34 passing, as Jamison Crowder finished with 84 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. Josh Snead added two TDs, one on the ground and one through the air for Duke, which moved to 2-1 on the young season. The Blue Devils racked up 21 first downs compared to just 13 for the opposition and received scoring from the offense, defense (32-yard interception return) and special teams (65- yard punt return) in the game, the first time that has happened for Duke since 2004. The Blue Devils will look for win no. 3 this weekend, as they play host to the Memphis Tigers.
GEORGIA TECH: Paul Johnson's spread offense was simply too much for the Virginia Cavaliers, as Georgia Tech routed Virginia, 56-20 in Atlanta. Quarterback Tevin Washington led the charge, scoring three TDs on the ground and getting things started with a 70-yard TD pass to Zach Laskey on the team's first offensive play of the game. The Yellow Jackets abused the Cavaliers for just under 600 yards of total offense, including 461 on the ground. Tailback Orwin Smith led the way with 137 yards and one TD, a 77-yard scoring scamper. Washington added 93 yards and his three scores, while Vad Lee chipped in with 59 yards and two scores. In all, Tech registered seven rushing TDs, tying for the most under Johnson. The Yellow Jackets will continue a four-game homestand this weekend when they welcome the Miami Hurricanes to Atlanta.
MIAMI: It was the Duke Johnson show this past weekend at Miami, as the freshman amassed 246 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns, leading the Hurricanes to a 38-10 win over Bethune-Cookman. Johnson got his four scores three different ways, a 95-yard kick return, a 50-yard TD reception and two rushing TDs of one and 28 yards. With Johnson dominating, quarterback Stephen Morris didn't have to do much. He completed 20-of-35 passes, for 211 yards, with one TD and one INT. Despite the lopsided win, Miami was vulnerable to the run, as Bethune-Cookman amassed 233 yards on the ground. At 2-1 on the season, Miami will get back to ACC work this weekend as the team travels to Atlanta to take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
NORTH CAROLINA: Bryn Renner threw for 363 yards and a school-record five TDs, but it wasn't enough as North Carolina came up short in a 39-34 loss to nationally-ranked Louisville this past weekend. The Tar Heels found themselves in a deep first half hole, but outscored the hometown Cardinals 27-3 in the second half to make the Louisville faithful sweat it out. Without All-American Giovani Bernard in the backfield again, UNC was forced to air it out. Romar Morris certainly made the most of the extra attention downfield, hauling in five balls, for 149 yards and two TDs. Erik Highsmith (six catches, 62 yards, one TD) and Eric Ebron (five catches, 38 yards, two TDs) were heard from as well. While the offense made a game of it, the UNC defense was gashed by Louisville for 462 total yards. With two straight losses, North Carolina will attempt to get back to .500 on the season when the team plays host to the East Carolina Pirates this weekend.
VIRGINIA: A young defense was not up to the challenge in Atlanta this past weekend, as Virginia allowed the explosive Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to roll up just under 600 yards of offense, including 461 yards rushing and seven TDs on the ground in a 56-20 loss. While the Yellow Jackets were moving the chains at will, Virginia struggled big time, finishing the game with just 297 yards of total offense. Quarterback Michael Rocco was just 15-of-25 passing, for 143 yards with one TD and two INTs. The 56 points allowed by Virginia was the most since the 1999 Micronpc.com Bowl (63 points to Illinois). Tech's 276 first half yards were more than any opponent had in a game against Virginia all of last year. It won't get any easier this weekend as the Cavaliers remain on the road to take on nationally-ranked TCU in Fort Worth.
VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies buried themselves in a deep hole with four first- half turnovers and were unable to recover in a shocking 35-17 loss at Pittsburgh. The setback was the first of the year for Frank Beamer's squad, which came into the game with an impressive 13-game road win streak in tow. Virginia Tech was down 21-0 early in the second quarter and trailed 21-3 at the intermission. The usually stingy Hokies allowed a generous 254 yards on the ground to the Panthers, who earned their first win of the season. Tech quarterback Logan Thomas provided most of the offense for the Hokies, completing 14-of-31 passes, for 265 yards and one TD, although he did throw an unforgiving three INTs. Thomas' main target was wideout Marcus Davis, who finished with four catches, for 149 yards, including an 85-yard TD reception in the third quarter. The Hokies return to Lane Stadium this weekend, as the team welcomes Bowling Green to Blacksburg.