September 17, 2012

Monday Morning QB: Week 3

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Virginia Tech- Pitt Thoughts

- The game couldn't have started worse. On the opening drive senior running back Ray Graham took it to the house from 12 yards out. Credit to the Panthers for the play calls throughout. Then, an interception by Logan Thomas after a fantastic defensive play on the first drive. First lead of season for Pitt, first turnover as well.

- Pittsburgh quarterback Tino Sunseri, who tossed three touchdowns, looked like Dan Marino as well as he played and as tough a time as the Virginia Tech defense had.

- Thomas is no longer a Heisman dark horse. The first interception wasn't his fault. The second? Goodness. Third? Where was he throwing it?

- Detrick Bonner was burned twice in the first quarter, both on big plays. There's not much depth behind him..

- Thomas would like to have a few throws back like missing wide receiver Marcus Davis down the middle in third quarter. It looked like a sure touchdown and 21-17 would have looked a lot better than staying at 21-10.

- Fourth and 1 in the third quarter after Thomas fails to get a yard on the keeper. That was a great example of rushing on the day for the Hokies.

- Graham's receiving touchdown in the third quarter to make it 28-10 ended it. The only positive here is that it wasn't a conference game for Beamer's squad.

- It all comes down to the run game, with 254 yards for the home side, 59 for the visitors. Add that to the four turnovers and there goes any chance of winning for the Hokies.

- Heck of a running back combination that Pitt has. After LeSean McCoy and Dion Lewis in recent years, Graham and Rushel Shell are the new stars. They had 47 carries for 251 yards.

- No doubt that Virginia Tech will bounce back, but this one hurts big time. The next ACC game isn't for a few weeks, so there is time to bounce back, but all of a sudden, that game against Cincinnati in Washington D.C. is looking like a tough one. Remember, the Bearcats downed Pittsburgh two Thursday's ago 34-10.

ACC Rewind

- Florida State looked awfully good against Wake Forest, winning 52-0. That sets up a big battle with Clemson on Saturday night. The winner will be in the driver's seat for the conference crown.

- The Randy Edsall bowl goes to Connecticut, which edged Maryland 24-21. The Big East swept the ACC 3-0 on Saturday as Louisville beat North Carolina 39-34, in addition to Huskies and Panthers earning victories.

- The top conference battle for many this weekend was Georgia Tech versus Virginia in Atlanta. With a conference loss already, the Yellow Jackets couldn't afford to go 0-2 in conference play. A 70-yard touchdown return started it for coach Paul Johnson's crew, who destroyed the Cavaliers 56-20.

- Against non-conference foes, the ACC went 4-4. The wins came against South Alabama, Furman, North Carolina Central and Bethune-Cookman...


ACC Power Poll

1. Florida State - First major test next week after steamrolling through three weeks.
2. Clemson - Not as explosive as last season yet, but still very, very good.
3. Georgia Tech - Back in the Coastal Division race with rout of Virginia.
4. Virginia Tech - Expect this team to bounce back. It usually does, but plenty to fix.
5. Virginia - Escaped Penn State but got exploited in Atlanta.

Conference Awards Section

Player of the Week - FSU running back Chris Thompson - The senior had touchdown runs of 74 and 80 yards in the second quarter, rushing for 197 yards on nine carries.

Five National Thoughts

1. The Seminoles have played three fairly weak teams, but wins of 69-3, 55-0 and 52-0 see Jimbo Fisher's guys making serious statements early. They'll have a chance to prove their worth next week.

2. Alabama, again, is the team to beat this season after tearing apart Arkansas 52-0. That dynasty is far from over.

3. Horrible day for the Commonwealth. Virginia Tech gets handled, Virginia gets blown out, James Madison falls to West Virginia, William & Mary and Liberty both lose.

4. West Virginia's Geno Smith has been more than amazing this year. In two games, he has nine touchdowns. He also has nine incomplete passes from 75 pass attempts and looks like the Heisman front-runner.

5. Feel good for Bill O'Brien. Not many coaches have the passion he does, and entering a tough situation in State College, hard not to pull for him. Getting his first win on Saturday against Navy eases a bit of pain.

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