Late Hits: The ACC’s fortunes are looking up, but not Mack Brown’s

jgiglio@newsobserver.comSeptember 8, 2013 

Up

ACC: Two great wins over the SEC? Check.

No dumb losses? (Hang on, let’s double-check that N.C. State-Richmond score) Check.

Whoa, what a start for the ACC. Could this mean the end of the Curse of Mike Tranghese?

Down

Texas: What in Sam Hill is going on with the Longhorns? Mack Brown’s boys gave up 550 rushing yards, the most in school history, in a 40-21 loss at Brigham Young. This is the same BYU team that ran for 187 yards in a 19-16 loss at Virginia last week.

And that was only half of Brown’s problems last week. After Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston tore up Pittsburgh on national TV, his camp told CBS Sports that Winston wanted the “Eyes of Texas” upon him on the recruiting trail but the Horns had no interest.

You get the feeling this is not going to end well for Brown.

Southern California: Can anyone explain why Lane Kiffin still has a job? After starting last year ranked No. 1 in the country, the Trojans ended up 7-6 with a bowl loss to Georgia Tech.

So Kiffin scapegoated his dad, Monte, the defensive coordinator as an offseason sacrifice.

So 2013 starts and Kiffin suffers a 10-7 home loss to Washington State.

Moral of this story: Don’t ever fire your own dad.

Quarterback injuries: N.C. State loses Brandon Mitchell in Week 1 and Duke loses Ace Boone in Week 2. Somebody get the bubblewrap ready for UNC’s Bryn Renner.

The Wolfpack’s offense labored without Mitchell, who’s on the shelf for at least another five weeks with a foot injury, in a 23-21 win over Richmond.

Duke turned the offense over to Brandon Connette, its usual jack-of-all trades, and he did enough to lead the Blue Devils to their first 2-0 start since 1998.

The margin of error for Triangle teams is never very big, it’s even less so after two significant injuries.

Upon further review

• It has been two days and I still can’t figure out why a smart coach like Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe didn’t take the points at the end of the half with the Deacons trailing Boston College 17-7.

Grobe went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 1 instead of an easy field goal, which would have made it a one-score game.

Boston College’s defense made the stop and Wake never really got back in the game. Wake fans are already restless after four straight losing seasons, and Friday’s 24-10 loss didn’t help.

• N.C. State didn’t make a bowl game with Saturday’s comeback against Richmond but the Wolfpack wasn’t going to make the postseason without it.

It will be interesting to see how coach Dave Doeren is able to get his team to regroup and get ready for No. 3 Clemson after an open date on Saturday.

• North Carolina mangled the coin toss, of all things, in Saturday’s 40-20 win over Middle Tennessee. The Tar Heels ended up kicking off to start both halves after Middle Tennessee won the toss and deferred. At least UNC coach Larry Fedora had a good sense of humor about it.

“We wanted to see if we could get more time with the defense on the field,” Fedora joked after the game.

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