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Thursday, September 5, 2013
While ACC teams were 4-0 last weekend against teams from the Football Championship Subdivision, previously Division I-AA, the rest of the conference would be well-advised not to get overconfident.
Eight Football Bowl Subdivision teams lost to FCS teams last weekend, topped by Eastern Washington’s 49-46 upset of No. 25 Oregon State and North Dakota State’s 24-21 victory over Kansas State, which was No. 2 in the country after winning its first 10 games last year.
There wasn’t as much drama in the ACC, where Georgia Tech unloaded on Elon 70-0 in a game that was played with a running clock in the fourth quarter.
Boston College, a 24-14 winner over Villanova, did not take the lead for good until 4:40 remained in the third quarter. However, that was not unexpected. The Wildcats were Colonial Athletic Association co-champs last year and have made 10 NCAA playoff appearances.
Another CAA team with a good chance to knock off an FCS opponent this week is James Madison, which goes to Akron. The Dukes rank 140th in the Sagarin Rankings published by USA Today, while the Zips are 155th after dropping their opener at Central Florida.
Less likely is a Richmond victory at North Carolina State, but the Spiders did beat ACC foe Duke in 2009 and 2011, the latter with interim coach Wayne Lineburg from Radford at the helm.
One of the most interesting inter-divisional match-ups will pit Old Dominion, which is in the process of making the move from FCS to FBS, against a Maryland team that struggled to get past William and Mary in the 2012 opener, 7-6.
Virginia Tech will be playing host to its only FCS opponent of the season, Western Carolina, with coach Frank Beamer likely to remind the Hokies of a 21-16 loss to James Madison in 2010.
Chuck Amato, the head coach at N.C. State from 2000-06, is the defensive coordinator under one-time Auburn coach Terry Bowden at Akron. The UCF head coach is former Georgia Tech coach George O’Leary, whose offensive coordinator is ex-UVa and Maryland assistant Charlie Taaffe.
The Akron staff includes Bowden’s younger brother, Jeff, a former Florida State offensive coordinator.
On second thought
To those who have questioned Brigham Young’s third-down call that resulted in a game-changing late interception at Virginia, first-year Cougars’ offensive coordinator Robert Anae was quick to take responsibility.
“It was my fault,” Anae said. “I should not have stressed out the offense at that juncture. ... It was a real-time decision. It was not how you draw it up. If it wasn’t there, you throw it in the dirt.”
Anthony Harris’ interception on a Taysom Hill pass that slipped through Jamaal Williams’ fingers was one of 11 straight incompletions for the Cougars before a 52-yard completion on a game-ending Hail Mary.
North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora thinks that South Carolina defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney got a bad rap during television coverage of the Gamecocks’ opener against the Tar Heels, when ESPN repeatedly showed camera shots of Clowney with his hands resting on his kneecaps in an apparent show of fatigue.
“All the talking heads are going, ‘He didn’t do this, he didn’t do that,’ ” Fedora said. “Well, that’s because everybody built him up to be Superman. He’s supposed to jump over every blocker no matter who you put on him.
“I mean, come on. You go back and look at the film, you watch him, that guy was all over the dang field and he was fighting and scratching and clawing.”
Clemson kicker Chandler Catanzaro, who had a streak of 20 consecutive field goals ended last year, has now converted 27 of his last 28 attempts after an early field goal in a 38-35 victory over Georgia. However, Boston College’s Nate Freese is the ACC’s most accurate active FG kicker at 82.3 percent (51 of 62).
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