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ACC Report Cards: Week 3

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Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee and the Yellow Jackets haven't abandoned their run-heavy approach, but Lee still managed to throw four touchdown passes. Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images.
Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee and the Yellow Jackets haven't abandoned their run-heavy approach, but Lee still managed to throw four touchdown passes. Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images.

Atlantic Division

Florida State

Result: Win, 62-7 vs. Nevada

Superhero Jameis Winston came back down to earth in his second career start, only (sarcasm) completing 15 of 18 throws for 214 yards and two touchdowns. Winston has been incredible in his first two starts and might be a darkhorse Heisman candidate should the Seminoles avoid their annual mid-season random upset. Florida State destroyed the Wolf Pack on the ground, averaging 9.2 yards per carry and totaling 377 yards.

Grade: A+

Maryland

Result: Win, 32-21 at UConn

Randy Edsall got the best of his former team. Maryland is 3-0 for the first time in 12 seasons. The Terps’ offense remains excellent, but they could have done a better job of closing out the game late. C.J. Brown did more damage on the ground than in the air, but Stephon Diggs managed to eclipse the 100-yard mark for the second straight game. Maryland must clean up the missed field goals and turnovers if it wants to win against serious competition.

Grade: C+

Wake Forest

Result: Loss, 21-19 vs. Louisiana Monroe

The Warhawks have a good team and a highly underrated quarterback, but this was a game Wake had to have at home. The Demon Deacons had a chance late to tie the game, but Tanner Price’s throw on a two-point conversion attempt with four seconds left fell incomplete. Michael Campanaro had a ridiculous 16 catch, 177 yards performance in the loss. The most startling statistics from this game: ULM had five drives of more than 10 plays and converted 15 of 28 third downs. Yikes.

Grade: D

Boston College

Result: Loss, 35-7 at USC

The Trojans were on the ropes after their embarrassing loss to Washington State last week, but the Eagles left their offense in Chestnut Hill and couldn’t capitalize. BC got shoved off the field on both sides of the ball and was lucky the margin of defeat wasn’t even greater. USC’s defense had been solid in its first two games, but to allow Cody Kessler to control the game is a big indictment on what seemed like a solid Eagles front seven.

Grade: F

Syracuse

Result: Win, 54-0 vs. Wagner

Syracuse outgained its FCS opponent, 595-87. Terrell Hunt got the bulk of the playing time after Drew Allen struggled in the first half and looked decent with every player wide open. He should be in line for a start against Tulane and could take the job long-term if he performs well. Hunt has far more potential as a playmaker and did throw a nice long ball in the win. The victory was the first for new head coach Scott Shafer.

Grade: A+

Coastal Division

Georgia Tech

Result: Win, 38-14 at Duke

It was a solid performance by the Yellow Jackets, who stunningly connected for four passing touchdowns and just one rushing score. Vad Lee looked competent throwing the ball, and would have had a better passing line had his receivers held onto the football. Georgia Tech rushed the ball 60 times and held the ball for 38 minutes. The defense remains a work in progress.

Grade A-

Virginia Tech

Result: Win, 15-10 vs. East Carolina

Different week, same story: struggles under center. The Hokies barely got by an inferior opponent as the result of another enigmatic performance by Logan Thomas and company. The running game was clearly at fault Saturday, and Thomas was left to take the complete burden. The Hokies cannot win the ACC with Thomas as their quarterback; his sample size is large enough to come to this conclusion. The defense will keep Virginia Tech in every game, but something has to change under center for the Hokies to reach Charlotte.

Grade: C-

Duke

Result: Loss, 38-14 vs. Georgia Tech

Brandon Connette did the best he could in his first career start, but the offense was limited without injured quarterback Anthony Boone. The Blue Devils actually succeeded running the ball — Jela Duncan averaged 5.6 yards per carry — but the score was 24-7 at the half and Duke was forced to throw a lot more than it would have liked.  

Grade: B-

Pittsburgh

Result: Win, 49-27 vs. New Mexico

Any victory is a positive one for the Panthers, who dominated the first half against one of the worst FBS teams in the nation. It was a breakout game for freshman Tyler Boyd, who caught two touchdown passes form Tom Savage and was dynamic in the open field.

Grade: B+