I have no idea if I'm going to do this every week - in fact, y'know what, I probably won't. But hey, there was no Maryland football this week, so I figured I should at least go over what their future opponents did, and share some observations. There's one big, overarching observation, though: Maryland's opponents, and particularly their Atlantic Division competition, didn't look very good. (With the obvious exception of Florida State, which again steamrolled The Cupcake of the Week.)
Especially you, Boston College.
But we'll get to that later. Let's start elsewhere.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 34, N.C. State Wolfpack 27. Well, I think we can officially decide two things here: Wake is better than anyone gave them credit for, and we were right in thinking that everyone was grossly overrating N.C. State heading into the season. The Wuffies had some struggles against Wofford in Week 1, and then needed a furious second-half comeback to even make this a game. I'm not terribly worried about them providing much competition for the title of "second-best in the Atlantic."
But let's not sell Wake short here. They nearly beat a pretty good Syracuse team in the Carrier Dome last week, and this time outplayed State at home. Tanner Price was impressive at QB, Josh Harris looked dangerous at RB, and the Deacs are officially going to be a tough game this season. [recap]
West Virginia Mountaineers 55, Norfolk St. Spartans 12. At half-time, I was legitimately afraid that Norfolk would pull the upset, thus making any potential win for Maryland much less impressive next weekend. WVU was losing 12-10 at the break and had looked entirely lifeless. Then the 'eers showcased that shiny, new, Dana Holgorsen-led offense, dropping an incredible 45 points in the second half and shutting out the Spartans in the process.
WVU put up 533 yards and Geno Smith threw for 4 scores in that second stanza. If you ever doubted their ability to put up points, they answered you. But I was more interested in that ugly first half, and I bet Randy Edsall will be, too. They didn't get a first down until the second quarter. They could hardly run the ball. They had six shots at fourth-and-goal from the one and couldn't score. They can put up points when they're clicking, but a big win over an FCS team isn't convincing me that they're an unbeatable team - or even a team Maryland should lose to, really. [recap]
Clemson Tigers 35, Wofford Terriers 27. Clemson is 2-0, but in both of their wins they struggled against teams they should've handled easily. Last week, they were losing at halftime to Troy; this time, they were tied at the half and only beat FCS team Wofford by one score, sweating out a few late drives by the Terriers. The defense struggled with Wofford's triple-option attack and the offensive line couldn't protect Tajh Boyd, who was sacked four times. They played a little better than the score, but the Tigers have been unimpressive for two straight games now when they should've won easily. [recap]
Virginia Cavaliers 34, Indiana Hoosiers 31. A great game out in Bloomington, with the Hoosiers scoring 28 straight to make up a big Virginia lead. But the Cavs scored 10 points in the final 90 seconds or so, thanks in large part to an impressive strip by Cam Johnson. Virginia's 2-0, including a road win against a BCS opponent, but remember that Indiana lost to Ball State last weekend. UVA has played well on the year despite nearly dropping this one, and have plenty of young talent, but next week's game at UNC will be a huge challenge. [recap]
UCF Knights 30, Boston College Eagles 3. I've officially rethought and withdrawn my "BC is a darkhorse" pick. I know Montel Harris is still injured, and I know this was a road game, and I know UCF isn't a bad team. But, uh, this was a veritable rout. Total yardage: 422-141. They gave up 235 on the ground. Chase Rettig passed 70 yards and was pulled late in the fourth quarter. Gah. Things will get better, particularly once Harris gets back in the side. They're facing tough tests early - at least, tougher than Wofford and William & Mary - and that will serve them well. But losing to UCF by 27 is not the usual precursor to making major noise in the conference. [recap]
Other scores of note: Florida State 62, Charleston Southern 10. FSU has had two dominating wins against two crap teams. Yawn (although holding CSU to 82 yards is impressive). We'll know more next week, after they play Oklahoma. Towson 31, Villanova 10. Says more about Nova than the Tigers, but still a surprising result. Temple 41, Akron 3. Maryland's week 4 opponent threw down on the Zips in Akron. Second blowout in two weeks for the Owls, though neither opponent was very good. UNC 24, Rutgers 22. Tar Heels turned the ball over five times, but Byrn Renner was 20-26 for 273 yards. Sold on Renner, not so much on everyone else...yet. Virginia Tech 17, ECU 10. The Pirates always give Tech a fight, and nearly got this one. Logan Thomas is not Tyrod Taylor. Stanford 44, Duke 14. Hey, this was a 10-7 game in the second quarter. That's pretty impressive, right? Georgia Tech 49, Middle Tennessee State 21. Maryland doesn't play the Jackets this year, but they look pretty solid this season.