4 Down Territory: Monster SEC & Key ACC Games, Hangover Alerts & The Ultimate PSU Season Continues
1st Down: ACC Match-ups: Virginia at #1 Clemson: UVA looked solid versus Duke with new QB Brennan Armstrong but a trip to Clemson is a whole other level. If UVA gets turnovers like they did against Duke (7 Total) they’ll have a chance….NC State at #24 Pitt: The same Louisville offense that shredded the Miami defense mustered just over 200 yards vs the Pitt defense. Pitt’s pass rush and secondary are playing at a high level with 17 sacks and 6 interceptions through three games. On offense Pitt still lacks some consistency, but late in the game Saturday the Pitt O-line found the ability to run the ball when needed. NC State is 1-1 after a 21-point loss at Virginia Tech. While NC State’s offense has moved the ball fairly well, turnovers (-2 through 2 games) and third down conversions (just under 38%) have been problems. That does not set up well against Pitt’s stout defense.
2nd Down: Hangover Warnings: TCU at #9 Texas: Texas Tech put up 56 points on the new Longhorn defensive scheme. This week the challenge will be to see if they can play faster on defense and play a complete game. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger was a miracle worker and his strength as a clutch passer and runner was the difference in the comeback. After that emotional win, the challenge will be to re-focus and avoid the hangover letdown. That could also be a problem for…..Arkansas at #16 Mississippi State: After passing for over 600 yards against LSU the Mississippi State attack looks like it is for real. But if they are to challenge the big dogs the rest of the way, they will have to eliminate turnovers. What has been overlooked was the game that the Mississippi State defense played. They had consistent and steady pass rush. LSU receivers had a hard time getting open. 17 of the 34 points the Mississippi State yielded came directly from Bulldog turnovers (including a pick-6). After a week in which everyone in Starkville will be tossing them praise, they’ll need to be sharp to