Stephen Morris and Miami scored a big win against Florida, but are the Hurricanes "back?" Photo: USA Today Sports
There were two game sin particular I was following involving ACC teams on Saturday. Miami taking on Florida and Virginia hosting Oregon were assigned to me for coverage on College Football Talk, so I paid closer attention to these games in the afternoon slate on Saturday. I think it is pretty safe to say nobody really expected much from Virginia, who altered their schedule to host Oregon and receive more media coverage rather than play at Penn State in the back end of a home-and-home schedule agreement. I'll refrain from saying "careful what you wish for," because the truth is Virginia may have lost regardless of the opponent on Saturday. Virginia showed they simply cannot keep up with Oregon even on a slightly off day for the Ducks, but then again how many teams can (besides Stanford)?
The big win for the day was obviously turned in by Miami, defeating the Gators in Sun Life Stadium, but we all know that by now. I'm not saying Miami is back (and neither is Josh), but I do believe this is a big step forward for the program. But will the Hurricanes take another step forward next time on the field or will it be two steps back, which seems to have been the pattern for Miami since joining the ACC? Miami gets a week off before hosting FCS Savannah State, so what the mindset will be by the time they play at South Florida and open ACC play against Georgia Tech the following week is anybody's guess.
So, wat else did we learn in the ACC?
Boston College and Maryland are both 2-0. Everybody saw that coming, right? Maryland hasn't exactly played anyone yet (Florida International and Old Dominion) but the Terps have looked pretty good doing so. This weekend the Terps head to UConn in the much anticipated return of Randy Edsall — at least that's the narrative I'm following — and Maryland could very well be off to their first 3-0 start since 2001, when they went 10-2 and played in the Orange Bowl. I'm not calling for a run through the ACC of course, but Stefon Diggs is a fun player to watch and the Terps are looking to build something. It's a start.
As for the Eagles, Steve Addazio has seen his new program put up 24 points in each game, defeating Villanova and Wake Forest to jump to 1-0 in ACC play. It's nice to see Boston College have a pulse, and Addazio has already breathed new life in to this program. There is a challenging road ahead of Boston College with a road game at USC this weekend (or maybe not?) and Florida State at home in two weeks after a bye. Getting to six wins will likely still be a tall order for Boston College, but if the first two weeks are any indication this is not a team that will simply roll over and die at the first sign of adversity.
I don't know what to make of Virginia Tech. It seems like it wasn't all that long ago that people were hyping up Logan Thomas as a potential NFL Draft pick for a team looking for a franchise quarterback, but this season is off to a tough start. It's one thing to have a rough night against Alabama in the season opener, but Thomas was not inspiring at all in his performance against Western Carolina in the first non-sellout in Lane Stadium since 1998. Thomas passed for 200 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted twice. Against Western Carolina.
Duke is also off to a 2-0 and already thinking about a second postseason trip, now just four wins shy of bowl eligibility for the second straight season. Unfortunately the Blue Devils will be without quarterback Anthony Boone for a while with a broken collarbone. But let's take a look at what Duke has in front of them. Duke plays the next four games at home against Georgia Tech, Troy, Pittsburgh and Navy. None of those games are what I would consider automatic losses, especially at home, but we'll see if the offense can keep it together and if the defense can continue to build off what has been a solid start, even against weak competition.
North Carolina State had a real battle with FCS Richmond, which I admit I did not see coming. Perhaps I was still thinking about State's 40-14 week one victory against Louisiana Tech, but the Wolfpack turned in a sloppy performance against a solid Richmond program and escaped with a victory. It happens, but that simply cannot happen again if the Wolfpack are going to be anything worth noting in the ACC this season.