Late Hits: Only the Wolfpack could do this

jgiglio@newsobserver.comOctober 8, 2012 

N.C. State: You do you, N.C. State. Don’t ever stop being you. Lose to a brutal Miami team with a matador defense? Of course. Follow it up with a shocker of Florida State? Only N.C. State.

North Carolina: Given the way Virginia Tech has absolutely owned the ACC, there’s an easy "the King is dead, long live the King" narrative in the post-mortem of UNC’s 48-34 destruction of the Hokies.

Now would be good time (again, as I did after the Louisville loss), to point out that UNC hired the right coach. It would also would be a good time to point out the hubris in the school’s decision not to sacrifice a meaningless bowl trip last season under an interim coach. Such arrogance likely cost the Heels a trip to the ACC title game.

Duke: Let’s be honest here, Virginia’s not a good football team and the four Division I-A teams Duke has beaten this season are a combined 7-16, but the Blue Devils deserve credit for taking care of business. Instead of folding, down at the half 17-14, Duke put it on Virginia in the second half for a 42-17 win.

We’re at the halfway mark of the season and Duke has the best record in the state. Try to wrap your brain around that.

Florida State: There’s still a chance the Seminoles are "back" – an ACC title would still be progress – but you’ve got to wonder about the cut of Jimbo’s jib.

Maybe John James Fisher is still going through the learning phase of his coaching career and one day we’ll all look back at Saturday’s loss at N.C. State and laugh. But, between his allergies to running back Chris Thompson in the second half and his lack of faith in kicker Dustin Hopkins, Fisher seriously mangled the N.C. State game.

One for the history books

N.C. State, North Carolina and Duke all won an ACC football game on Saturday. How rare is that? It hadn’t happened since 1994 and it has only happened four times since the ACC began playing football in 1953.

On Oct. 15, 1994, all three Triangle teams won at home, the only other time besides Saturday that has happened. The other two times the three teams won? You have to go back to Sept. 21, 1963 (which was the season opener for all three teams. You imagine the season starting that late now?) and Sept. 28, 1957.

Two-minute drill

• Are we headed towards the BCS Armageddon? We can only hope. Given the way both South Carolina and Florida looked on Saturday, maybe – just maybe, (fingers crossed) – the SEC East champ can beat Alabama in the SEC title game.

Then what happens if the season ends with five or six one-loss teams? I don’t know but I’m rooting for it.

• For the second time in three games, Brigham Young scored six points. This time, the Cougars won, 6-3 over Utah State. They lost to Boise State, 7-6, on Sept. 20.

BYU also beat Washington State, 30-6. Six-six-six? That’s not a good sign.

• Speaking of bad signs: Army lost to Stony Brook last week, scoring only three points, but somehow beat Boston College, 34-31 on Saturday. Do you think BC’s next AD, which reportedly could be Duke’s Boo Corrigan, is going to keep coach Frank Spaziani around after that?

Spaziani’s likable and knowledgeable but at 1-4, the end is near for the Eagles’ coach.

• Quick, rank the best defenses in the ACC. 1. Florida State, 2. … um… uh … um … uh … does Notre Dame count yet? Even two-thirds of Notre Dame is better than the collection of trash the ACC’s fielding on defense this season, particularly in the Coastal Division.

The real surprise is Virginia Tech, which was supposed to be "Alabama" good this season. Instead the Hokies are "Harvey Updyke" bad, with the 48-point disaster in Chapel Hill as the latest exhibit.

Take out Duke’s defense, which gave up 17 points to Virginia, and the other five Coastal Division teams gave up an average of 42.4 points on Saturday.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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