Week Three witnessed FSU’s 2017 opponents avoid doing anything too stupid, for the most part. Is North Carolina the new state of college football? My column:
Alabama (3-0) - Won 41-23 vs. Colorado State. This one really wasn’t as close as the final indicates, but it is fun to see some ‘Bama fans anxious. Jalen Hurts and the Tide offense was very good, but its defense looked a little leaky against the Rams’s quick passing attack. J.K. Scott punted the crap out of the ball again and even kicked a 52-yard field goal, although he missed it. The Tide go to Vandy next Saturday.
Miami (1-0) - Did not play. State of the U discusses getting Chris Herndon IV more involved in Miami’s offense.
NC State (2-1) - Won 49-16 vs. Furman. The Wolfpack cruised past Furman’s Purple Paladins in Raleigh in their final tuneup for your Seminoles. Jaylen Samuels scored three touchdowns and Ryan Finley completed 22 of 27 passes. The Wolfpack defense held Furman, an option team, to 1.9 yards per carry. Much more on NC State to come this week, as you might expect.
Wake Forest (3-0) - Won 46-10 vs. Utah State. It was homecoming weekend in Winston-Salem, and the Demon Deacons thumped the visiting Aggies. This was an example of a bad uptempo offense making things worse for itself, as Utah State’s quick three-and-outs put a reeling defense back on the field much too quickly. John Walford had another nice day, and the Deacs certainly look to have an inside track to a bowl berth. In fact…
Your current S&P+ top 5 if there were no preseason projections:— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) September 17, 2017
1. Miss State
2. Penn State
3. Okla State
5. Wake Forest
Duke (3-0) - Won 34-20 vs. Baylor. DUKE KEEPS ROLLIN’. The Devils prevailed in what DBR concedes was not a pretty affair, but 3-0 with two power 5, out-of-conference victories is impressive. This game featured lots of long scoring plays and penalties. Shaun Wilson ran for 176 on 18 carries and Brittain Brown added 86 on the ground himself. Duke heads over to Chapel Hill next week.
Louisville (2-1) - Lost 47-21 vs. Clemson. We said we’d find out a lot on Saturday night regarding the Atlantic and the national title picture, and boy did we. Card Chronicle accuses the Cardinals of Clemsoning. I don’t quite agree with that dubious and inconsistently used term, but people process grief differently. The Tigers contained Lamar Jackson quite well and dominated UL on both lines of scrimmage. Louisville’s defense continued to look pedestrian, although it didn’t help matters that Clemson ran 50 plays in the first half. The Cards have Kent State and Murray State the next two weeks to regroup.
Boston College (1-2) - Lost 49-20 vs. Notre Dame. For a while, you thought it just might happen. The Eagles led in the second quarter, but Notre Dame’s physical advantages soon shone through as the Irish piled up plays. Notre Dame ran for 515(!) yards. Quarterback Brandon Wimbush had over 200 himself. This was not the way BC expected to lose this game, which has BC Interruption quite concerned. It doesn’t get any better next week when the Eagles travel to Death Valley.
Syracuse (2-1) - Won 41-17 vs. Central Michigan. This one was a little dicey for a while, but the Orange eventually pulled away. Syracuse’s defense and running game led the way, which has TNIAAM understandably confused. Eric Dungey ran for 105 yards and passed TNIAAM’s namesake on the school passing yards list. Steve Ishmael caught 8 passes for 139 yards. Syracuse goes to Baton Rouge for a night game, which will be, fun?
Clemson - Won 47-21 at Louisville. The champs showed they’re real contenders again this year. Clemson ran up over 600 yards of offense on those aforementioned numerous plays and Kelly Bryant spread the ball around to several playmakers. Clemson’s offensive line held up very well against the one concern Louisville’s D presented - its pass rushers. That’s somewhat upsetting as an FSU fan. The Clemson DL continued to beat up on opposing offensive lines, but I was also impressed with their linebacker play in keeping Jackson in check. Clemson has passed their early season schedule test and has a road contest at Virginia Tech on the horizon before things ease up a bit in early October.
Delaware State (0-3) - Lost 59-16 at West Virginia. The Hornets scored on their third play from scrimmage and only trailed 17-10 at one point in the first quarter, so that was good! Don’t worry about what happened after that. DSU had a season-high 301 total yards on the day. Wisdom Nzidee made another field goal. I am contractually obligated to mention him in each post. The Hornets return to somewhere in Delaware to play their home opener against Norfolk State next week.
Florida (1-1) - Won 26-20 vs. Tennessee. After what can only be described as an “assy” three quarters from both Florida and Tennessee, the fourth was, as the kids say, lit. Tennessee’s decision to play Tampa Two coverage with 9 seconds and 63 yards left was, um, interesting. As was the Tennessee safety’s decision to bite on the flat and let Cleveland behind him. But it was very entertaining, in multiple ways. As was Gary Danielson throwing shade at the Gators pretty much all afternoon. “From fun and gun to three and done” was my personal favorite. It has to haunt Gator fans who came up on exciting offensive football to know they can’t fire a coach who wins the division consistently even though they have to hate the product on the field. Shame, real shame.