This week I would like to start off by saying this college football season in the Carolinas has gone mostly as expected. Clemson continues to dominate, and a few other teams are shaking things up in the ACC. The two most impactful teams in my opinion are NC State and North Carolina. NC State has had huge back to back wins over Florida State and Louisville. They are now atop the ACC Atlantic division, and looking forward to building their resume in some upcoming key matchups. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Tar Heels are fighting for air. They are plagued with injury on the defensive end which has left them with a 1-5 record, and currently in last place in both the Coastal and Atlantic divisions. In this blog I will focus on the major 6 teams in the Carolinas. You can also check out what the Talkin' 'bout Sports crew has to say and get their take on The Tar Heel's slide.
UNC Tar Heels' Head Coach Larry Fedora talks to reporters about recent issues with the offense.
Clemson obviously will open as my top team taking into consideration that in some expert’s opinion they are the top team in the nation. Clemson took on a Wake Forest team coming off a hard fought loss vs. Florida State. Clemson controlled the pace quite well, and looked poised for a blowout win in the first half. However, Kelly Bryant threw an early 3rd quarter interception and the Deacs played them even in the second half to result in a 28-14 final. The main take away from this game is that Kelly Bryant’s injured ankle could play a significant role for the rest of the season due to the fact ankle injuries are hard to shake off. However, he will start Friday night altering the line from one point in Syracuse’s favor, to twenty two in Clemson’s.
NC State is one of the biggest surprises in the country through 6 weeks. They had a very impressive win at home vs. Louisville. The offense is a three headed monster in Jaylen Samuels, Nyhiem Hines, and Ryan Finley. All of these players are currently executing at a high level, creating tough matchups for opposing defenses. They play a struggling Pittsburgh team and hope to keep moving forward to a highly anticipated matchup vs. Clemson on November 4th.
South Carolina is the only SEC team in the Carolinas, so they have a high reputation to live up to. This year has gone well for them, the Gamecocks are 4-2 and just blew out Arkansas. Jake Bentley threw for 4 touchdowns, and continues to impress. South Carolina has an upcoming matchup in Knoxville, and will have an opportunity to come away with a huge SEC win.
Wake Forest and Duke align very similarly through six weeks of the college football season. I am going to have to give the slight edge to Wake Forest though. The main reason is how tough they have played high level opponents this season. For example, Wake was far more competitive in their two losses than Duke. Wake has an experienced quarterback that has started all four years, and look to remain solid for a bid to a respectable bowl game.
Duke has been very successful in recent years. Their strengths have been great coaching, a stout defense, and experienced playmakers on offense. They possess all of those except for an experienced Quarterback, Daniel Jones has done a good job in his Duke career, but it just has not been great. They will most likely continue to get better, as Duke is typically a team that trends up throughout the year. Daniel Jones and company will have a chance to take a big step forward this weekend against Florida State at home.
North Carolina is officially the “Weak Show.’