Week Three: Five Things We Learned

After a wild week three in the ACC and across all of college football, there are questions being answered from all angles. From Louisville’s quarterback situation to Notre Dame’s defensive performance against Georgia Tech, here are five things you need to know as we quickly approach the end of college football’s first month.

5. Louisville will have trouble making a bowl game


Yes, I know this sounds like an overreaction, but the Cardinals are three weeks into the season with no answer as to who the quarterback is going to be going forward. In the opener against Auburn, we saw veteran quarterback Reggie Bonnafon, as well as freshman Lamar Jackson. In the second game against Houston, we saw Jackson, Bonnafon, and sophomore Kyle Bolin. Finally, in Thursday night’s loss to Clemson, Bobby Petrino stuck almost exclusively with Bolin, who went 19 of 24 for 238 yards and two interceptions. The Louisville defense has been touch and go, and with no answer week-to-week who will be playing quarterback and how well that player will perform, it is tough to see them winning six of their remaining nine games against the likes of Florida State (Yeah, their defense is legit), Boston College (You can’t run so good luck throwing), NC State (Impressive offense), Pittsburgh (They can run the football, not sure Louisville can stop it), and Kentucky (SEC rival school on the road). I could very well be wrong, but unless the Cardinals win two out of those five games, I don’t think they will make a bowl.

4. Al Golden is still on the hot seat

Smooth sailing against Nebraska early in the second half turned murky for the Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon, as they surrendered an unfathomable 23 points in the last nine minutes, which ended up sending the game to overtime. Give the Hurricanes credit for prevailing, but the way the defense choked late in the contest makes you wonder how apt this team is moving forward, and how safe Golden’s seat really is, especially if they start losing some close games like the one we saw on Saturday. One thing is for certain though, Joseph Yearby can play at running back, and bigger doses of him could go a long way to saving Golden’s job. Yearby had another fantastic outing on Saturday, rushing for 125 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.

3. Georgia Tech can be stopped, the Notre Dame defense is for real


Yes, they scrapped together a couple of garbage time touchdowns late to try to make it interesting on the Fighting Irish in South Bend, but Notre Dame’s defense proved on Saturday afternoon that if you sell out to stop the run, the Yellow Jackets will have a hard time beating you. The Jackets were held to just 216 yards rushing, which was well below their average of nearly 460 yards per game entering the contest. Justin Thomas had a couple of late touchdown passes, but was an inefficient 8 of 24 passing for a mere 121 yards, displaying exactly why the Georgia Tech offense will struggle when falling behind against tough opponents. The Irish defense answered all questions following a rough outing against Virginia last week, and has now proved week after week to be one of the most resilient teams in the country throughout the first month of the season.

2. Brenden Motley is a better passer than we all thought

There’s a saying that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. When Brenden Motley took over at quarterback in the second half against Ohio State following an injury to then-starter Michael Brewer, it was Motley’s chance to not only prove that he belongs, but also help manufacture an upset of the defending national champions. While that effort fell flat on its face relatively quickly in the third quarter on Labor Day night, Motley has proved over the ensuing two weeks that he can be extremely effective when giving time to throw. After tearing up an over-matched Furman squad last Saturday to the tune of 16 of 24 for 233 yards and three total touchdowns, one of which was rushing, Motley took his turn at an efficient outing on the road against Purdue from the Big Ten. He finished the game with similar numbers from a week ago, going 15 of 24 for 220 yards and two touchdowns, while adding another score on the ground. If he can continue to play in this manner and not turn the football over, Virginia Tech could still fulfill their ACC Championship aspirations.

1. If Boston College finds a quarterback, they are a potential Top 25 team down the line

Boston College has proved in the first two years and change of the Steve Addazio era, that they are capable of playing a championship level on the defensive side of the football. They turned in another effective outing against Florida State on Friday night, only allowing one offensive touchdown in the 14-0 loss to a very good offensive team. With quarterback Darius Wade breaking his ankle in the second half, subsequently knocking him out for the season, the Eagles will need to find a signal-caller that is capable of stretching the field, as this would complement an already above-average rushing attack. Whether it be Troy Flutie or Jeff Smith, the Eagles could ride a game-managing quarterback, improved running game, and stout defense to a very good season in Chesnut Hill.


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