From today's offering in the N&O:
Reasons for low ACC expectations now apparent
, Staff Writer
Six things we learned during the first weekend of the ACC football season:
* Overall expectations for the league were low. Now we know why.
Other than Georgia Tech's surprisingly easy win at Notre Dame, very little went right. Maryland struggled for more than a half against Villanova, and Miami won against Marshall in coach Randy Shannon's first game -- but only after new quarterback Kirby Freeman did next to nothing in the passing game.
Virginia, N.C. State and Duke got handed embarrassing losses.
Very little went right? What the heck is that? Georgia Tech was the only bright spot over the whole weekend? Did Tudor not watch the UNC game Saturday night. Well obviously he did because had this to say:
North Carolina seemingly has found its quarterback in freshman T.J. Yates.
But based on the way that ECU defense played at Blacksburg, Yates will be in for a challenge in Greenville this week. Yates had time to look around and find receivers against James Madison. The Pirates were in Virginia Tech quarterback Sean Glennon's face on almost every pass he attempted.
Obviously the standard disclaimers apply with JMU being a I-AA and all that but UNC was unmistakably better than a season ago when they struggled to beat a Furman team, that according to the rankings, was not as good as the team UNC just beat. The team executed well and the program just has a better look and feel about. So it hard for me to describe what happened in Chapel Hill as something that did not "go right." ECU will be a huge test being the first road game for this young team in an extremely hostile environment against a team that is not only feeling their oats from playing VT tight but also plays with a chip on their collective shoulders for the usual reasons.
As for what went wrong in the ACC, only UVa and NC State had bad showings and I think the latter will get better (BTW, do we even discuss Duke anymore? I mean really for the love of the Old Well can it get any worse in Durham?) The Wake-BC game was a tremendous showcase of the conference and we only hope Bowden Bowl does the same tonight. Despite the lack of passing for Miami they did control that game, played good defense. There are too many factors involved with the Hokies in the first game we should wait and see how they respond this coming week. GT was great against Notre Dame although the Irish are in a state of flux. I think complaining about Maryland's performance is a little foolhardy since this is exactly how they played last season before ending up win nine wins and one victory away from the ACC Championship.
In the end I think you can extrapolate more optimism than Tudor is willing to show concerning the ACC following the first weekend of play. Let's see what happens in week #2.