Week 7 Scoreboard
|#20 NC State (6-1, 4-0)
|Pittsburg (2-5, 0-3)
Nyheim Hines, what can we say? This guy is having a tremendous season. That continued Saturday as NC State took down the Panthers in Pittsburgh. On State’s third drive of the game, just after allowing Pittsburgh to score, Hines busted a colossal 83-yard touchdown scamper to even the game at seven. Six plays later, Hines was back in the end zone. This time, the Junior RB took a punt return 92 yards to the house. In total, Hines ended with 249 all-purpose yards on the afternoon.
Ryan Finley and Jalen Samuels, per usual, played well and were solid contributors to the Wolfpack offense. Finley passed for 198 yards on 14 completions and a TD. Samuels, who has become a viable threat in the run-game, stole a pair of touchdowns from Hines. On six carries, Samuels gained 62-yard to go with four receptions for 28 yards. Kelvin Harmon enjoyed the biggest day of the NCSU receiving corp. The sophomore hauled in only three passes but amassed 113 yards.
Though Pitt had the ball for almost ten more minutes than the Wolfpack, NC State outgained the Panthers 446-326 and defense forced two turnovers while Finley & Co. committed none. Bradley Chubb and the defensive front pressured the Pitt O-Line all day long, recording eight QB hurries, seven tackles for loss, and one sack.
|Florida State (2-3, 2-2)
|Duke (4-3, 1-3)
Duke had their shot to knock off a vulnerable Florida State team but came up just a bit short in Wallace Wade Stadium. With two minutes and some change left in the third quarter, Brittain Brown tied the game on a 9-yard touchdown run. Four plays later, FSU freshman QB James Blackmon was picked off by Jeremy McDuffie and was returned near midfield; however, Duke was unable to capitalize and went three-and-out on the following drive.
After the three-and-out, the freshman duo of Blackman and RB Cam Akers went to work. It took ten plays, but on the last run Akers saw the end zone and refused to stop until he crossed the plane. On the afternoon, the Duke defense allowed 228 total rushing yards; 115 on 15 carries for Akers and 98 yards on 18 carries for Junior Jacques Patrick. Though Blackman threw two interceptions, he had his most efficient game as FSU’s de facto starter going 18 for 21 and 197 yards and a passer rating of 161.2.
The Blue Devils have now lost three straight games. Though the past two losses have been one-possession games to quality opposition, it may be time to start getting nervous in Durham. Three of Duke’s last five games are on the road including trips to Blacksburg to face the nationally-ranked Hokies, West Point to meet a good Army team, and finally, BB&T Stadium to clash with the Deacons. The Devils need to take care of business at home against Pitt and Georgia Tech if they want to keep their bowl dreams alive.
|Virginia (5-1, 2-0)
|North Carolina (1-6, 0-4)
The Tar Heel Implosion Tour rolls on. This time at the hands of the upstart Virginia Cavaliers. It’s hard to dis a team that’s been so decimated by injuries. It’s the same story every week: Carolina simply doesn’t have the volume of able bodies nor requisite talent left to compete in the ACC this season. This weekend Brandon Harris was afforded another opportunity to throw more interceptions and play as inefficient as possible. If the Tar Heels were healthy, QB play would be a major controversy in Chapel Hill, but with all the injuries it looks as if everyone in the program is getting a free pass this year, as of now.
Michael Carter and freshman DE Tomon Fox were the lone two bright spots for the Tar Heel against Virginia. Fox recorded his second and third sacks on the season. Carter had two touchdowns on 13 carries for 157 yards and was the only sign of life the Tar Heel offense showed all afternoon. On the day, UVA’s offense outgained Carolina 405-257 and controlled the ball for almost 20 more minutes than the Heels (39:58- 20:02).
Though I’ve dogged Carolina so far, Carter did give the Heels a 14-10 lead midway through the third quarter and a chance to pull out their first ACC victory of the season. Then the defense allowed an 81-yard touchdown on a one-play drive. Two plays later, Harris threw his third pick of the day to ruin the Tar Heel threat.
|UNC-Charlotte (0-7, 0-3)
|Western Kentucky (4-2, 2-1)
Western Kentucky is a good Conference USA team, UNCC not so much. That was the tale of the tape Saturday when the two conference adversaries met up. Charlotte was only able to muster nine first downs the entire game compared to 34 for WKU. The Hilltoppers doubled up the 49ers in total yardage (627-309) as UNCC’s defense didn’t stand much of a chance.
The biggest story of the game for the 49ers was freshman running back Aaron McAllister. McAllister totaled 157 rushing yards, including an 87-yarder, on 22 carries and scored UNCC’s only two touchdowns. Clearly, UNCC is already looking towards next year. This season is completely awash and now they need to focus on generating some momentum going into 2018. Going winless this season cannot be an option if the core coaching staff wants to remain.
|Appalachian State (4-2, 3-0)
|Idaho (2-4, 1-2)
Over 2,000 miles from home, Appalachian State was down 20-0 halfway through the third quarter. Taylor Lamb had just thrown an interception that the Vandals converted into a field goal, and ASU’s dream of an undefeated conference record was fading fast. For most teams, this would be the point to throw in the towel and get ready for a long flight back across country and week ahead. Not Scott Satterfield’s Mountaineers. Lamb shook off the INT and went to work. On the next App State possession, Lamb led a 7-play, 75-yard drive capped off with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Lamb to Ike Lewis.
It was at this moment, after giving up the field goal then watching their QB march downfield for points, that the Appalachian State defense put the clamps down. Every Idaho drive after either ended in a 3-and-out or a turnover including two fumble recoveries. Antonious Sims led the way for the Mountaineer defense recording 2.5 sacks on the day.
Taylor Lamb continued the comeback on ASU’s next possession, commanding the offense on a 7-minute, 14-play drive that resulted in a Collin Reed 6-yard TD grab; his only catch of the game. Down seven now, the Mountaineer defense forced another 3-and-out to give Lamb another crack at the Idaho defense. During the ensuing possession, Ike Lewis struck gold again, this time on a 45-yard TD reception; highlighting the 5-play, 62-yard drive to tie the game a 20.
On the very next play from scrimmage, Idaho fumbled on its own 28-yard line giving App State optimal field position with 10:04 on the game. Five plays and two and half minutes later Michael Rubino put a 31-yard go-ahead field goal attempt through the uprights to complete the Mountaineer comeback. The defense stood tall for three more Vandal drives to secure the victory.
|East Carolina (1-6, 1-3)
|#22 Central Florida (5-0, 3-0)
Much like we saw from their counterparts to the south, Central Florida remains undefeated after crushing ECU in Orlando. The Golden Knights air attack thrashed the Pirate secondary for 365 yards and cut through the ECU front-seven for 238 yards. Thomas Sirk and Gardner Minshew each got their opportunities and both sputtered out as we’ve come to expect.
Much like North Carolina, ECU’s QB play and defensive play have been absolutely horrendous. However, ECU’s defense isn’t a MASH unit like Carolina’s and are genuinely that bad. It doesn’t matter if they are playing top 25 teams or bottom-dwellers, any offense can move the ball effectively against the Pirate defense and plays the team out of games way before Minshew and Sirk have a chance to mess things up.
NC FBS Power Rankings
- NC State (6-1, 4-0) [-]
- Appalachian State (4-2, 3-0) [+2]
- Wake Forest (4-2, 1-2) [-1]
- Duke (4-3, 1-3) [-1]
- North Carolina (1-6, 0-4) [-]
- East Carolina (1-6, 1-3) [-]
- UNC-Charlotte (0-7, 0-3) [-]
Week 8 Games and Predictions
Pittsburgh (2-5, 0-3) at Duke – Saturday, 12:20 PM
- Prediction: Duke takes care of business at home
Coastal Carolina (1-5, 0-3) at Appalachian St. – Saturday, 3:30 PM
- Prediction: App in a blowout
North Carolina at #14 Virginia Tech (5-1, 1-1) – Saturday, 3:30 PM
- Prediction: UNC plays surprisingly well or predictably bad, either way still lose
UAB (4-2, 2-1) at UNC-Charlotte – Saturday, 6:30 PM
- Prediction: UAB handles Charlotte with ease
BYU (1-6) at East Carolina – Saturday 7:00 PM
- Prediction: BYU is bad, ECU is probably worse. ECU squeaks one out with the help of home cooking
Wake Forest at Georgia Tech (3-2, 2-1) – Saturday, 7:30 PM
- Prediction: The Rambling Wreck gives Wake fits, but the Deacons prevail
*RONGY: 30-15 (W7: 6-0) through Week 7 Predictions*