Wake Forest kicked off this week of North Carolina football with a tough test against Notre Dame. Wake Forest was coming off of a loss to Boston College, and Notre Dame was coming off lackluster performances against Ball State and Vanderbilt.
Wake Forest was able to hang with the Fighting Irish early, with a 7-3 score against Notre Dame at the end of the first quarter, but Notre Dame pulled away afterwards and won 56-27. Wake Forest now falls to 2-2 on the season, and will take on Rice University next week in what is a must-win matchup to keep their bowl hopes alive.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has had a disappointing season so far, but they are looking to get back on track against the struggling Pittsburgh Panthers. Both teams looked like they needed a boost going into conference play. This one was an offensive shootout, meaning if you like heavy offense with little defense, then this was the game of the week for you.
Quarterback Nathan Elliott for North Carolina threw for over 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while running-back Antonio Williams rushed for two more. In the end, UNC won 38-35, their first victory of the season. Next up for Chapel Hill will be a tough road test at Miami for a Thursday night game this week.
Duke University is building an impressive season, with wins over Northwestern and Baylor on the road, and a 20-point win over an Army team that took the fifth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners to overtime. With three wins under their belt already, they looked to add another against North Carolina Central University. This has become an annual matchup for the two cross-town rivals, with Duke typically taking home the goal.
Duke struggled out of the gate in this one, but had the game wrapped up at the end of the first quarter. They closed the second half by blocking NCCU from scoring a single point. The Blue Devils won 55-13 and moved to 4-0 on the season, just two wins away from bowl eligibility.
Duke quarterback Quentin Harris shone brightly in this game, throwing for 3 touchdowns and running for an additional one; however, he left the game early due to an injury. Duke hopes to have him back in time for their upcoming battle versus Virginia Tech.
Appalachian State took Penn State to the breaking point a couple of weeks ago. They almost won in Happy Valley, and still look like one of the most underrated teams in the country. Appalachian State looked to continue this momentum against Gardner-Webb. ASU gave up an early touchdown, but that would be it for Gardner-Webb’s scoring opportunities. App State ended up with two special teams touchdowns in this massacre.
The Mountaineers won 72-7 and move to 2-1; the season looks promising for them. Next week they will be huge favorites over South Alabama, as they look to continue a great stretch into the Sun Belt conference.
On Saturday, East Carolina tested a very good South Florida team and nearly pulled off the upset. South Florida needed a late 80-yard touchdown against the Pirates to secure the win. The final score in this one was 20-13, but ECU looks promising. They fall to 1-2, losing to USF and NC A&T, which is a bad loss for any FBS team.
With the next two games coming from Old Dominion and Temple, we will see if ECU can salvage the season. They will have a tough time, but only need to get to 5-6 this season to make a bowl because their game vs Virginia Tech game was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence.