While week 4 of the 2013 NCAA football season was marked by some incredible blowouts, there were also a few closer games worth noting.
The number 3 Clemson Tigers held off an always dangerous pack of wolves from North Carolina State.
In one of the more entertaining games of the week, Boise State dropped its second game of this early season and in essence dropped out of contention for a national crown.
Perhaps the worst played game on Saturday saw Florida get back on track after their loss 2 weeks ago to Miami with a win
over Tennessee, albeit while losing starting QB Jeff Driscoll for the season.
GAMES OF THE “WEAK”
Iowa 59, Western Michigan 3
The Hawkeyes are not even considered an upper echelon team in the Big 10, but that did not stop them from trouncing the not so bucking Broncos of Western Michigan (0-3).
Iowa’s defense was solid and 2 punt returns on consecutive kicks by Kevonte Martin-Manley (jersey no.11) sealed the deal.
Louisville 72, Florida International 0
Did anyone check to see if Rick Pitino was on the sidelines for the Cardinals? Perhaps his hoopsters snuck onto the
field in shoulder pads to tally the 72 points.
Maybe FIU should rethink its “playing the big boys” philosophy after this one where they mustered all of 30 yards on
offense to Louisville’s 464.
Ohio State 76, Florida Atlantic 0
Another “little engine that could” found out they can’t in the day’s worst blowout of all. The next two weeks should
present more of a challenge to the Buckeyes when they open the Big 10 campaign against the Wisconsin Badgers and NorthwesternWildcats.
Clemson 26, North Carolina State 14
It was another good week for the ACC, but no one enjoyed the success more than the Clemson Tigers on the ESPN national
televised affair Thursday night.
Two years ago NC State dashed the Tigers high expectations by bringing them down to earth in a come from behind Wolfpack victory by the score of 37-13. Last year they dashed the national title bid of Florida State by beating them as well.
Clemson QB Tajh Boyd (#10) was having none of that in this one, throwing for 244 yards and 3 TD’s.
Fresno State 41, Boise State 40
The Bulldogs entered the national conversation while the Broncos left the building with a 41-40 comeback victory
by Fresno State over Boise State.
Little brother Derek Carr may have come into his own in this one and gave “big bro” David of the NY Giants a big hug
after the game winning drive with just 2:14 remaining on the clock.
Derek (#4) was 39 of 60 for 460 yards which included 4 touchdown tosses.
Florida 31, Tennessee 17
Two SEC teams faced off on Saturday with one of them badly in need of a win. The Florida Gators won the game, but lost the services of starting QB Jeff Driscoll for the season with a broken leg.
Now Florida's fate rests on the arm (and legs) of jersey number 3, backup QB Tyler Murphy who ran for 84 yards after replacing the injured Driscoll. His biggest test waits on Oct. 12 when Florida visits LSU.
It is the general sentiment in NCAA football circles that the SEC is the premier conference when it comes to gridiron activities. This is certainly a solid premise based on the likes of two time defending national champion, Alabama, along with Florida, Georgia and even Johnny Football (Manziel) at Texas A&M being members of the Southeast.
However, this year’s Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) has raised some eyebrows just 2 weeks into the 2013 campaign. (8)Clemson’s upset of (5) Georgia in week 1 began the interest and then “The U” of Miami shocked the NCAA pigskin world with their 21-16 victory vs. (12) Florida.
You now have 8 of 14 ACC teams undefeated, albeit very early in the process and another 4 at an even 1-1.
Fans of Syracuse must be the most disappointed, with the Orange being the only 0-2 ACC entry. They were at least
competitive against the Penn State Nittany Lions losing 23-17 on 8/31. The same cannot be said for the 2nd week matchup with Northwestern. They dropped that one 48-27 with QB Drew Allen being benched after throwing 4 picks. The Orange
defense allowed the Wildcats to live up to their name and “go wild” with 581 yards of total offense. The schedule makers did Syracuse no favors when they slated them to play 2 Big Ten teams to start the year.
One of the new arrivals to the ACC this year, Pittsburgh (0-1) lost as expected to a very good Florida State team and
then had a chance to regroup with an early bye in week 2. Fortunately for the Panthers they will not meet a foe as good as the Seminoles the rest of the season.
The Wake Forest Deacons seemingly switched spots in the ACC hierarchy with Boston College when the boys from Beantown beat the Demon Deacons 24-10 on September 6.
In any event, those 2 teams along with NC State, Duke and Maryland, as well as Virginia and Virginia Tech figure to make
up the middle of the ACC standings in 2013.
Now let’s proceed back to the top of the conference.
At this point you have to like the Clemson Tigers. The win against Georgia while somewhat surprising was no fluke and they
are currently ranked 3rd in the nation by the Associated Press. Their expected win against South Carolina State solidified their standing given the 52-13 final.
Florida State will face a decent, but very beatable team from Nevada on 9/14 when they meet the Wolf Pack in their own
lair. It will be interesting to see if QB Jameis Winston (jersey no.5) will be able to be near the 25 of 27 pace for 4 touchdowns he achieved against Pitt in week 1.
The Miami Hurricanes will have to improve on offense to maintain the momentum gained in the upset of Florida. If they do,
they should be present in the ACC top 5 all year.
Georgia Tech and North Carolina round out the ACC top 5 for now. The Yellow Jackets have one of the toughest early season schedules and the Tar Heels defense has been suspect thus far.
The second week of the 2013 NCAA football season began with a bang in South Beach where 2 teams from the Sunshine State met with an unlikely outcome. This marked the second upset in as many weeks by the ACC over the SEC.
Georgia was on the wrong end of the ledger in last week’s surprise outcome, but came back with a significant win over South
Saturday ended with the weekend’s most hyped game featuring 2 heavyweights from South Bend and Ann Arbor.
Miami 21, Florida 16
Who would have predicted that the Hurricanes would never trail in this game, let alone win it? Perhaps Miami fans,
but I believe even they were a bit surprised.
The unranked “Canes” got off to an early lead and never looked back while forcing 5 turnovers versus number 12 Florida.
Number 17 in the orange jersey, QB Stephen Jackson led the way for the “U” with a touchdown pass on the team’s first
offensive possession and added another shortly thereafter. While his overall stats were not over the top (12 of 25, 163 yards, 2 TD) he did just enough to keep Miami in the game until RB Duke Johnson (#8) scored on a rushing play with
3:39 left on the clock.
Georgia 41, South Carolina 30
Unlike Jackson in the Miami victory, Georgia’s QB Aaron Murray put up a stats line worthy of the ages. Maybe we
should start with his 4 TD throws in (11) Georgia’s 41-30 win over (6) South Carolina. His 309 total yards through the air was also quite impressive.
After the Bulldogs dropped the season’s opening contest to Clemson, the win enables them to rekindle their fans hopes of
an appearance in the national championship game.
The Gamecocks drop to 0-1 in the SEC East (1-1 overall), while Georgia claims win number 1 in the same division, while
also being 1-1 for the season. Ole Miss (1-0, 2-0) leads the SEC West.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Michigan 41, Notre Dame 30
In what may be the Fighting Irish’s last visit to Ann Arbor in some time, the Wolverine’s sent them off in a rude fashion
Saturday night with a victory before a record crowd of 115,109.
The score was the same 41-30 as the Georgia/SC matchup played a few hours earlier in Athens.
Michigan QB Devon Gardner also matched the 4 touchdown throws by the Bulldogs Aaron Murray while coming up just shy of equaling his overall passing yards, finishing with 294.
Gardner was decked out in a number 98 jersey to honor who many believe was the greatest Wolverine football player to
ever don the uniform, halfback, Tom Harmon.
(14) Notre Dame gave it the old “college try” before succumbing to (17) Michigan’s vaulted offensive attack. They pulled
within 4 points with 9:13 remaining on a 40 yard field goal. Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees (#11) was 29 of 51 for 314 yards, 2 TD’s and 2 INT’s.
Even though it is very early on in the process, this win may indicate that Michigan is in fact on course to meet Ohio
State in the Big 10 Championship game as has been widely expected.
Whatever team you follow, be sure to be ready for a tailgate party. Pack your team cooler and wear your college jersey.
I love college sports, especially football. You may not always agree with me, but you will see I'm passionate.