Sept. 6 at North Carolina 31, San Diego State 27
And You Care Because … In a terrific game, North Carolina came up with an interception from Tim Scott in the end zone to finally secure the win and stop a final San Diego State rally. Brian Walker started off the scoring the Tar Heels with the first of his two interceptions, taking his first 100 yards for a touchdown, but San Diego State rallied back with 21 straight points on two Donnel Pumphrey touchdown runs and a 56-yard score from Eric Judge. The two traded scores, but down ten, the Tar Heels outscored the Aztecs 17-3 with Mack Hollins scoring on a 91-yard pass play and Elijah Hood giving UNC the lead for good on a two-yard run. A Nick Weller 23-yard field goal put the Tar Heels up by four, forcing SDSU to go for the end zone in the final moments.
What Else? North Carolina QB Marquise Williams completed 20-of-29 passes for 255 yards and two scores, and led the team with 63 rushing yards on 12 carries.
– SDSU RB Donnel Pumphrey ran 17 times for 100 yards and two scores.
– SDSU QB Quinn Kaehler completed 23-of-39 passes for 341 yards and a score with three picks.
– The Aztecs owned the time of possession, keeping the ball for 37:26 to 22:34.
Game Rating: A
Sept. 6 at NC State 46, Old Dominion 34
And You Care Because … Jacoby Brissett threw two touchdown passes and Shadrach Thornton ran for three touchdowns including a 23-yarder to put the game away late in the fourth as NC State had to fight to get by. It was a nip and tuck game with each team having an answer for the other until the Wolfpack took control with a Stephen Louis 16-yard touchdown catch late in the third and a ten-yard scoring dash from Matt Dayes early in the fourth, but ODU wouldn’t go away with Taylor Heinicke throwing his second touchdown pass of the day, finding Antonio Vaughan for a nine-yard score with just under six minutes to go. NC State answered going 37 yards in five plays with Thornton finally putting the nail in the coffin.
What Else? NC State QB Jacoby Brissett completed 21-of-29 passes for 253 yards and two scores, and ran seven times for 45 yards.
– ODU QB Taylor Heinicke completed 35-of-49 passes for 274 yards and two scores with a pick, and Ray Lawry ran 14 times for 71 yards and three scores.
– NC State RB Shadrach Thornton ran 14 times for 86 yards and three touchdowns, and Matt Dayes added 13 carries for 79 yards and a score.
– Old Dominion gained 504 yards, NC State 495.
Game Rating: A-
Sept. 6 Virginia Tech 35, at Ohio State 21
And You Care Because … Virginia Tech came out with a suffocating defense and effective offense getting touchdown runs from two yards out by Michael Brewer and 14 yards away from Marshawn Williams in the first quarter, and a ten-yard Sam Rogers scoring grab in the second for a stunning 21-7 lead. Ohio State came back with Michael Thomas taking a J.T. Barrett pass 53 yards for a touchdown, and with a 15-yard Ezekiel Elliott scoring run to tie it up in the fourth. The Hokies answered. Bucky Hodges caught a ten-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth, and then it was up to the defense, attacking Barrett and forcing a late interception to Donovan Riley, who put the game away with a pick six.
What Else? Virginia Tech came up with seven sacks with two from Dadi Nicholas and Derek Di Nardo. Kyoshen Jarrett came up with two picks along with four tackles, and Chuck Clark led all defenders with ten tackles and a tackle for loss.
– Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett completed just 9-of-23 passes for 219 yards and a score, but he threw three picks. He led the team with 70 yards and a score on 24 carries.
– The kicking game was a huge problem for the Buckeyes. Sean Nuernberger missed from 40 and 27 yards out.
– Each team turned it over three times. Virginia Tech was flagged ten times for 107 yards and Ohio State seven times for 62.
Game Rating: B
Sept. 5 Pitt 30, at BC 20
And You Care Because … James Conner ran for 214 yards and a score, with his nine yard touchdown run giving Pitt a 27-7 lead late in the third. Boston College was up 7-3 in the first on a one-yard Tyler Rouse run, but the Panthers scored 24 straight points helped by two Chad Voytik to Tyler Boyd passes from 15 and five yards out in the third. BC rallied late with a two-yard Tyler Murphy touchdown run to pull within ten, but the two-point conversion attempt failed and the final drive – after getting the onside kick – ended with a pick.
What Else? Tyler Murphy led BC with 104 yards and a score on 15 carries, but he only completed 10-of-28 throws for 134 yards with a score and two picks.
– The rest of the running game stumbled for the Eagles. No other BC player ran for more than 14 yards – when Murphy wasn’t taking off, the Eagles weren’t moving.
– Pitt’s James Conner was fantastic, running 36 times for 214 yards and a score.
– Neither team threw particularly well, but Pitt was able to control the game with Conner. Chad Voytik only hit ten of his 20 pass attempts.
Game Rating: C+
Sept. 6 Georgia Tech 38, at Tulane 21
And You Care Because … Down 21-14 in the second quarter, Georgia Tech scored 24 unanswered points with Tony Zenon running for two scores and Tim Byerly adding another. Mistakes killed Tulane with three turnovers – with a pick six – and ten penalties, but the offense was successful early with two Tanner Lee touchdown passes including a 61-yarder to Xavier Rush. The Yellow Jackets ran for 344 yards and converted 10-of-12 third down plays.
Game Rating: C+
Sept. 6 at Virginia 45, Richmond 13
And You Care Because … Matt Johns threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Canaan Severin and Kevin Parks and Taquan Mizzell each ran for short scores as Virginia got up 21-3 and coasted the rest of the way. The defense gave up 422 yards, but seven takeaways led to the rout with seven different players coming up with the big play. Three Cavalier quarterbacks got work with Greyson Lambert completing 13-of-15 passes for 102 yards and a score, and Johns hitting 4-of-7 throws for 65 yards with a score and a pick.
Game Rating: C-
Sept. 6 at Wake Forest 23, Gardner-Webb 7
And You Care Because … Wake Forest made up for a miserable opener with an easy win, even with some problems turning drives into touchdowns, scoring the first 23 points of the game on three Mike Weaver field goals in the first half and two E.J. Scott touchdown catches from ten and 14 yards out. John Wolford completed 30-of-38 passes for 291 yards and two scores, but the true freshman threw three picks and the ground game was miserable – the Demon Deacons ran 36 times for 96 yards.
Game Rating: D+
Sept. 6 at Florida State 37, Citadel 12
And You Care Because … Florida State scored the first 34 points of the game with James Winston throwing touchdown passes to Jesus Wilson and Nick O’Leary, and Roberto Aguayo came up with three field goals in the rout. Winston completed 22-of-27 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns with ten different receivers catching passes. Not everything went right for the Noles with three defensive linemen – Eddie Goldman, Justin Shankes and Nile Lawrence-Stample – all suffering leg injuries. The Citadel ran for 250 yards and came up with two late touchdowns.
Game Rating: D
Sept. 6 at Louisville 66, Murray State 21
And You Care Because … Coming off a short week and a big win over Miami, Louisville made quick work of the Racers, cranking up 603 yards and getting up 45-7 at halftime with Will Gardner throwing two touchdown passes and Reggie Bonnafon running for an eight-yard score and throwing a 27-yard scoring pass to Michaelee Harris. Gardner completed 13-of-22 passes for 133 yards and two scores, and Bonnafon hit 8-of-11 throws for 112 yards and a touchdown. L.J. Scott ran 11 times for 126 yards and two scores, and Brandon Radcliff ran 15 times for 97 yards and two scores.
Game Rating: D-
Sept. 6 at Miami 41, Florida A&M 7
And You Care Because … Miami scored the first 28 points of the game with Phillip Dorsett catching touchdown passes from four and 32 yards out, and Duke Johnson and Gus Edwards running for scores. Florida A&M tried to make it interesting with a fumble return for a score late in the first half, but it was all Hurricanes in the second half on two Matt Goudis field goals and a ten-yard Trayone Gray run. Brady Kaaya completed 12-of-22 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns with two picks, and Jake Heaps stepped in to complete 5-of-8 passes for 41 yards.
What Else? D-
Sept. 6 at Clemson 73, South Carolina State 7
And You Care Because … Clemson scored the most points in a game in 33 yards as Cole Stoudt threw for 302 yards and a score and Deshaun Watson completed 8-of-9 passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns in the rout. The defense did its part allowing just 44 yards of total offense with four sacks and 14 tackles for loss. The Tigers got up 34-0 in the first half and were never threatened. South Carolina State scored on a 35-yard fumble return for a score late in the fourth.
Game Rating: F
Sept. 6 at North Carolina 31, San Diego State 27