For the first time in what feels like forever, this great state of ours finally appears to cooling down from the heat. The same could be said about our state on the gridiron, as Week 7 of the season was a mixed bag of some good and some bad. One of the main things holding back the entertainment this week was that the two best teams in the state were in rest mode as both App State and Wake Forest enjoyed bye weeks.
Wake Forest moved up to 19th in the polls and remain perfect at 5-0 on the season and appear to be the only team with a shot at dethroning Clemson in the Atlantic division of the ACC. They’ll be back in action next Saturday, October 12, for their second conference game of the season as they will face former App State coach Scott Satterfield and Louisville. The game will be played at 7:30 p.m.on the ACC Network.
Speaking of App State, they too made forward progress during their week off as they received sixty-one votes in the poll, moving to only three spots outside of the rankings. If things keep going well for the Mountaineers, a BCS bowl appearance could be in their future if they manage to finish the season as the highest ranked Group of 5 team. They will face off against Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday night at 8:00.
Back to the games, Duke was unable to carry forward the momentum from last week’s huge win over Virginia Tech as they fell to conference rival Pitt 33-30. The Blue Devils were seemingly left for dead as they trailed 26-3 late in the 3rd Quarter, but Duke went on a roaring comeback scoring 27 unanswered to take a 4 point lead with 1:29 left on the clock. Unfortunately, the defense folded and allowed a Pitt touchdown, dropping the Blue Devils to 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in ACC play. They play conference foe Georgia Tech next Saturday at 12:30 on ACCNx.
Moving on to more doom and gloom, Elon continues to struggle following the departure of coach Curt Cignetti, as the Phoenix dropped their third consecutive game falling to New Hampshire 26-10. The loss drops Elon to 2-4 on the season and 1-2 in conference play as they now seem unlikely to make it back to the FCS Playoffs for the third consecutive season. The going only gets tougher next Saturday as the Phoenix have a date with CAA rival Delaware who is ranked nineteenth in the FCS. The game will be played at 2:00.
Misfortune also struck in Greenville as East Carolina fell to AAC rival Temple 27-17. At 3-3, ECU still hopes to win 3 more games and qualify for a bowl. However, the loss now drops the Pirates to 0-3 in conference play, something they must quickly improve if they wish to remain above .500.
Finally, Raleigh is the final stop on the “L Train,” as NC State suffered a crushing defeat to Atlantic division foe Florida State. The Wolfpack were hoping to earn a win over the Seminoles who came into the game reeling, but NCSU came out flat in an uninspiring 31-13 defeat. NC State will face Syracuse in an ACC tilt on Thursday night at 8 pm on ESPN. This game is now a must win for the Wolfpack as a loss will drop them to last place in the Atlantic division.
At last, the time has finally come to rejoice, as there is good news on the home front. NC A&T obliterated MEAC rival Norfolk St. 58-19 on their home turf. At 4-1, the Aggies are ranked 15th in the FCS poll and seem like they are back on track to competing for a black national championship.
Lastly, the good times will roll into Chapel Hill as UNC finally put an end to the nation’s most satisfying three-game losing streak. After playing comeback all season, the Tar Heels left no doubt in this one as they bested Georgia Tech 38-22. Mack Brown once again had a reason to dance as Carolina moved into second place in the Coastal Division as they remain a threat to crash the ACC Championship game.