Week Six: Five Things We Learned

Another week is officially in the books in the ACC and across college football. We were able to sort out some contenders, some pretenders, and also some potential Heisman candidates along the way. With that being said, let’s dive in and see the five things that we learned from week six across the conference.

1. Dalvin Cook Thrust Himself Into Heisman Consideration

As if we didn’t realize the Florida State star running back was one of the elite backs in college football to begin with, Dalvin Cook reminded us all just how great he can play on a big stage. Cook, who battled a sore hamstring all week which he injured against Wake last Saturday, showed no ill-effects from that injury other than a mild cramp in the second quarter against Miami in primetime on Saturday night. Cook carried the ball 22 times for 222 yards and two touchdowns, and also caught three passes for 47 yards and another touchdown, which is a solid night for any player, let alone one with a supposed “sore hammy.” With LSU running back Leonard Fournette dominating Heisman talk with his performances week in and week out for the Tigers, Dalvin Cook made a statement on Saturday, showing all of college football that he should be in the conversation, too.

2. NC State is a Pretender

Well, now we know. NC State came rolling out of the gate to a 4-0 start, but I suppose you should be undefeated when facing the likes of Troy, Eastern Kentucky, Old Dominion, and South Alabama, to start your season. The ‘Pack outscored those four opponents by a combined score of 185-48, making us wonder if they were legit on both sides of the ball, or if it was due to the low-caliber of opponent that they were playing. Consider the question officially answered, as the Wolfpack have now lost two straight games to Louisville and Virginia Tech, dropping their record to 4-2 overall and 0-2 in the ACC, putting them second-to-last in the conference to only the Boston College Eagles and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, who are now both 0-3 in ACC play. It’s tough once you actually play real opponents, as the Wolfpack learned the hard way, getting gashed on defense and having play on the offensive side that has been stagnant at best. It will be interesting to see if they roll over from here, or if they take their first two conference losses in stride in order to learn and improve throughout the rest of their schedule.

3. Boston College Knows How to Lose a Game

Wow, that was an ugly way to lose against Wake Forest on Saturday. Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson’s reaction to his team’s 3-0 win over Boston College was reminiscent of Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer’s excitement when sending a scoreless game to overtime over the Demon Deacons just a season ago…


All kidding aside, Boston College displayed once again just how inept they are on offense. They have an elite defense, which makes their lack of even mediocre offensive play extremely troubling. This team could arguably be one of the top three teams in the conference if they could move the ball even a modest amount on offense. However, they are too busy fumbling inside the opponent’s ten-yard line with inside a minute left in the game, getting the ball back after Wake fumbles on a running play instead of taking a knee, proceeding to move the ball to the Wake Forest one-yard line, and then not even getting a play off before the end of regulation, and losing 3-0. It was a hilarious sequence in the last minute or so of the ballgame that my words can’t do justice, so here’s the highlight to see for yourself.


4. Georgia Tech is the Most Disappointing Team in the ACC

Georgia Tech was widely considered to be the favorite to win the ACC Coastal Division as we entered the 2015 season. Man, do those predictions look off base. The Yellow Jackets sit at 2-4 overall this season, and have laid a goose-egg in conference, as they have started with an 0-3 record, which is tied for last in the conference with Boston College. The offense has made some uncharacteristically bad mistakes, and the defense can’t seem to slow down anyone, as exemplified in the last four weeks, all losses, in which they have been outscored 145-97. The schedule does not get any easier for the Yellow Jackets, as they face a dominant Pitt defense next week, and a Florida State team that will likely be ranked in the top ten when they come to Atlanta in two weeks. Watch out, this could get ugly, fast.
5. Pat Narduzzi Has Pittsburgh in Position to Win the Coastal Division

We knew the Pittsburgh defense was going to be well-coached with first year coach Pat Narduzzi coming over from Michigan State, but what we didn’t know is that the offense was going to be this talented after losing star running back James Conner to torn knee ligaments earlier this season. Redshirt freshman Qadree Ollison has picked up the slack admirably in Conner’s absence, as he has rushed for 476 yards and four touchdowns during the team’s 4-1 start to the season. With the Panthers’ only loss coming on a late field goal against non-conference Iowa, a remaining schedule that does not feature Florida State or Clemson, and the fact that they will most likely be favored in every game remaining except for a non-conference match-up with Notre Dame, makes Pittsburgh not only a candidate to be the third Top 25 team in the ACC, but also a candidate to win the Coastal and head to the ACC Championship for the first time since joining the conference from the Big East in 2013.


Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @MikeMcDanielACC and check out InsideTheACC on Facebook and on twitter @InsideTheACC.

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