After this weekend of college football we’re seriously considering sending out staff to do health checks. It appears that some of the insanity in the college ranks also bled over into the NFL this weekend. You okay? We’re okay.
Coaches will wave off the craziness and get back to work dissecting their teams in addition to their competitors. Needless to say, there will be a lot of people sitting in dark rooms going over video this week. Time to play ‘whack-a-mole’ and fix the problems that popped up everywhere you looked.
Was week four the annual ‘cursed week’ that often besets the ACC or was it something more? After you review the video highlights you may not be convinced this was an outlier for a number of teams. At the same time, as a fan you’ll hope it was just that.
At this point in the season we’re going to start being a bit more discerning in our observations regarding strengths and weaknesses. What were once considered kinks to be worked out have become one of two things. Personnel issues or coaching problems. You’ll see that at least one of these categories has been addressed.
Let’s take a look at this week’s video highlights and do our ‘Monday Morning Quarterbacking’.
College Football Rewind
The newly inaugurated AP Top 25 Boston College Eagles travelled to Purdue and came away empty handed. Steve Addazio has always prided himself on a stout defense and they looked good, at least up front. However, the Boilermakers picked away at Addazio’s secondary with an effective passing game until they bled. The Eagles offense looked good for about a quarter and then went flat. To the dark room go coaches and players to figure out what went wrong.
Henceforth, prior to travelling to North Carolina the coaching staff will pass out four leaf clovers and a rabbit’s foot to every player. Does Larry Fedora have Pat Narduzzi’s number? A sloppy ball game (for once having nothing to do with weather) for both teams made this painful to watch. Could North Carolina be getting their program in order as the suspensions wane? Should Pat Narduzzi be included in the college football coaches hot seat list?
Woe has beset Louisville football fans. A program that thrilled with Lamar Jackson’s athletic prowess witnessed a hurdling quarterback from Virginia pick their team apart. The Cardinals have always suffered a chink in the armor in one or two places before but this appears to be a complete shutdown. Virginia continues to feel their oats and are working out their issues each week. Bronco Mendenhall has taken his team to new heights while Bobby Petrino has taken his to new lows.
In so many ways the Wake Forest-Notre Dame game played out in the first half like many imagined. One glaring weakness was exploited in the second half by the Irish and led to a blowout. It also led to a defensive coordinator looking for a new job as Dave Clawson relieved Jay Sawvel of his duties. After watching the highlights and reading the story you can see what led to the move.
College Football Rewind
Going into the matchup between Clemson and Georgia Tech there was only one thing to watch. Do the Tigers have an offense? The answer didn’t arrive until Trevor Lawrence took over. Message to Dabo Swinney – This isn’t a two quarterback team. If you want to win the whole ball of wax in college football, stick with Lawrence. Georgia Tech had some very serious issues on offense – sloppy play – and were who we imagined (and knew them to be) on defense.
Duke vaulted into the AP Top 25 this week following a strong performance against NC Central. There are questions that should be asked regarding some of the carelessness that led to turnovers and points for their opponent. The Blue Devils have a gem in Quentin Harris at quarterback. Kudos to David Cutcliffe for finding time for his back up quarterback Chris Katrenick who notched his first collegiate TD.
This week Miami looked like a team deserving of being in the AP Top 25. When it comes to quarterbacks, Mark Richt can read our message to Dabo Swinney. With N’Kosi Perry running the offense Miami looks like a completely different and re-energized team. Tighten up the defense just a bit more and the Canes should be pushing the top 10.
One of the most glaring weaknesses you’ll see with Florida State is the inability of the offensive line to keep Deondre Francois protected. Fortunately, with a good wide receiving corps and a seasoned quarterback the ball is coming out quickly. On the other side of the ball Northern Illinois’ quarterback had a nice pocket and plenty of time.
College Football Rewind
Syracuse has a relentless offense with more playmakers than they’ve had in years. We haven’t seen their ability to score truly challenged but that’s about to change this weekend. Can Dino Babers scheme around Clemson’s menacing defense? Their weakness is on defense. How will they shut down Trevor Lawrence’s laser ball?
The Hokies offense was hitting on all cylinders and then quarterback Josh Jackson went out with an ankle injury. Meanwhile, Bud Foster’s vaunted ‘pail’ defense was asleep. You say we forgot something? That’s because Virginia Tech was out to lunch against Old Dominion’s offense. To throw more fuel onto the fire Justin Fuente released DL Trevon Hill from the team hours after the loss.
NC State’s offense behind Ryan Finley has the potential to pick a secondary apart in a heartbeat. Throw in additional running plays that can grind down an opponent and you have a winner. On the defensive side they are like almost every conference team in that their secondary can be easily hosed. If Marshall had the likes of Finley under center this game would have turned out differently.