Week 11 ACC Football Musings

Saturday was my bachelor party and I spent the day with a group of dudes watching college football and making questionable food and beverage choices.

Wings and myriad beers were the order of the day and while I won’t get into the finer details, it was generally ideal. I have to imagine the patrons of The Distillery in Victor, NY are still puzzled about the group of men who were yelling about Virginia Tech-Wake Forest, a random TCU game, and were for a time oddly invested in a tractor pull on TV.

It’s worth noting that our waitress genuinely liked us because despite the rowdiness we were very polite and patient. She was actually a bartender and like a backup fullback who once played QB in high school, she had been thrust into emergency action on a big gameday.

We gave her props and a large tip. At least I think we did, I wasn’t allowed to handle money for myriad reasons.

LSU-Alabama was fun to watch, but the 3:30 time slot also featured some ACC upset action.

The Hokies put on a vintage performance as they honored their fiery defensive coordinator for decades of meritorious service.

Bud really is the best. The program has posted a 228-92 since he took over as defensive coordinator. He’s had chances to leave and didn’t which itself is unique. He’s as defining to the Hokie program as Frank Beamer or Enter Sandman. We’re witnessing the end of something we won’t see again.

Soak it up.

The defense created loads of trouble for Wake Saturday, but perhaps more important was the offensive gameplan. The Hokies played ball control offense and ground the clock holding onto the ball for just a shade over 36 minutes. That kept the ball away from a potent Wake attack and let the defense rest. It was Beamerball with some modern flavor.

Jamie Newman tossed two interceptions for just the second time this season (a loss to Louisville) and completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes for the first time all year. Sage Surratt was also lost for the season to a shoulder injury. It was a tough day all around for Dave Clawson and the boys.

Virginia Tech has a clear path to win the Coastal Division ending with rival Virginia. The Wahoos continue to make a habit of playing close games regardless of the opponent so the battle for the Commonwealth Cup is looking pretty intriguing right now.

 Odds & Ends

  • Wake Forest drops down to the Medium Place this week because that loss seemed like a reality check. The Demon Deacons are a good team, but the Hokies showed what a good defense that creates pressure can do to Jamie Newman. Tech moves up but the dreaded look ahead factor is in play with Georgia Tech up next before a big game with Pitt.
  • Odell Haggins is a seriously good coach. That was already evident considering the sheer number of great defensive lineman he’s developed in his time at Florida State. But after his win Saturday he’s now 3-0 as an interim coach for the ‘Noles. Keeping a program together when a coach is fired or abandons the place for another is a unique challenge. It’s tougher still at a place that isn’t used to that kind of stuff happening. Haggins has got the knack for handling the raw emotions in the locker room and he’s going to take his second FSU team to a bowl game which is far more than we can say for Willie Taggart.
  • Two of our bachelor party attendees are Notre Dame graduates so we made efforts to watch the pasting they put on Duke. The Blue Devils have really lost traction since blowing out the Hokies. Everyone knew one of those teams was on the rise while the other was plummeting, and we all got the teams backwards.
  • We may be sleeping on AJ Dillon if that’s possible to do. The Boston College junior is second in the nation with 1,451 yards rushing this season. Watching him run is truly a pleasure and yet, no one will be sad to see him go (unless you’re an Eagles backer).
  • There’s not a lot of other movement this week in my manufactured rankings. FSU can reach the Medium Place with a win next week. Most teams are what they are at this point, but hope remains for a number of teams on the cusp of a bowl berth.


The Good Place




The Medium Place



The Bad Place


Follow me on Twitter @BestCates and follow @InsideTheACC for more Atlantic Coast Conference coverage.

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