Late Hits: No reason for North Carolina to panic, same can’t be said for Duke

jgiglio@newsobserver.comSeptember 22, 2013 

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    ACC: Just when you think the ACC can’t possibly feed into N.C. State’s persecution complex any more, another officiating situation goes haywire.

    Did Bryan Underwood step out of bounds? Not even the ACC knows the answer after an exhaustive review of the controversial third-quarter call from the Wolfpack’s 26-14 loss to Clemson on Thursday.

    The biggest problem with the call was line judge Richard Misner was 15 yards behind the play and had his view obstructed by two players when blew his whistle. There was another official, 10 yards in front of the play, who had a clear view and ruled it a touchdown.

    The solace for Misner? He can check with Karl Hess, Rick Hartzell or Jim Knight for advice on how to deal with irate N.C. State fans.

    Clemson: If the Tigers are serious about being national contenders, they are going to have to be better on the road than they were in Thursday’s 26-14 win at N.C. State.

    Quarterback Tajh Boyd was sloppy with too many missed throws. The offensive line was a mess, too, which doesn’t bode well for either marquee game (Florida State and South Carolina) left on Clemson’s schedule.

    Cupcakes: Here we are, college football power brokers, entertain us. How many more conference realignments do we need before we get some remotely interesting games?

    Ohio State, Louisville, Miami and Baylor all broke the 70-point barrier in lopsided snoozers by Top 25 teams.

    The schedule was so bad, ESPN sent its “GameDay“ crew to North Dakota State.

    Hopefully, when the playoff format arrives next season, the value of strength of schedule will be more than just a promise. Otherwise, the gaps in the schedule will continue to bore us.

THUMBS DOWN

ACC: Just when you think the ACC can’t possibly feed into N.C. State’s persecution complex any more, another officiating situation goes haywire.

Did Bryan Underwood step out of bounds? Not even the ACC knows the answer after an exhaustive review of the controversial third-quarter call from the Wolfpack’s 26-14 loss to Clemson on Thursday.

The biggest problem with the call was line judge Richard Misner was 15 yards behind the play, and had his view obstructed by two players when he blew his whistle. There was another official, 10 yards in front of the play, who had a clear view and ruled it a touchdown.

The solace for Misner? He can check with Karl Hess, Rick Hartzell or Jim Knight for advice on how to deal with irate N.C. State fans.

Clemson: If the Tigers are serious about being national contenders, they are going to have to be better on the road than they were in Thursday’s 26-14 win at N.C. State.

Quarterback Tajh Boyd was sloppy with too many missed throws. The offensive line was a mess, too, which doesn’t bode well for either marquee game (Florida State and South Carolina) left on Clemson’s schedule.

Cupcakes: Here we are, college football power brokers, entertain us. How many more conference realignments do we need before we get some remotely interesting games?

Ohio State, Louisville, Miami and Baylor all broke the 70-point barrier in lopsided snoozers by top Top 25 teams.

The schedule was so bad, ESPN sent its “GameDay” crew to North Dakota State.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW

•  There’s no need for North Carolina to panic after a 1-2 start. Road losses to South Carolina and Georgia Tech were expected, and neither game was a disaster. The good news is the defense showed some fight Saturday against Georgia Tech.

The next three games – East Carolina, at Virginia Tech, Miami – will determine which way the Tar Heels’ season will go.

•  On the other hand, after a 58-55 free-for-all with Pitt, it’s time for Duke to panic. The defense hasn’t gotten any better, and the loss of quarterback Anthony Boone is a double-whammy for the offense because it takes Brandon Connette out of his best role.

The next two home games, against Troy and Navy, are must-wins, but neither is a gimme. Looking at the next eight games on Duke’s schedule, it’s hard to find two more wins, let alone the four necessary to get back to a bowl game.

•  N.C. State’s defense showed enough promise against the ACC’s best offense on Thursday to think that the Wolfpack might be able to win nine games in Dave Doeren’s first season.

You can’t put the cart before the horse, but the next three games are imminently winnable, as are November road trips to Duke and Boston College.

Doeren said last week the hope was to get injured quarterback Brandon Mitchell back for the Syracuse game on Oct. 12. The sooner Mitchell comes back, the better off State will be.

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