Tennessee 35, NC State 21: Assessing the Damage to the Wolfpack Hype

NC State and CB David Amerson DId Not Start Off the 2012 Season On the Right Foot Last Night, Losing Badly to Tennessee

For anyone who either watched the game live, or watched the highlights on SportsCenter afterward, you know what happened down in Atlanta last night. The NC State Wolfpack, looking to deliver a big win for the program and the ACC, were manhandled by the SEC‘s Tennessee Volunteers in primetime. And despite a final score that may tell you otherwise, this one was never even close. And that’s a problem.

You see, for all the hype that the Wolfpack had received, it was all based on two constants: QB Mike Glennon would play at a similar (if not better) level than he had during last year’s stretch run, and star corner David Amerson would blanket any receiver that came near him. Neither of these things came true last night, and in fact, they were patently false.

After one quarter last night, you’d think that Glennon was the QB looking to finally deliver on his talents, while Tennessee passer Tyler Bray was receiving dark horse Heisman nods.  Locked in from the first snap, the Vols’ quarterback executed well and simply looked better. For all the fanfare about former UT receiver Da’Rick Rogers‘ dismissal, it didn’t much matter for Bray, who still ended up with 333 yards passing. Most shocking, however, was the way in which he victimized Amerson. For a defender who likes to take risks to go for a big pick, it would make sense for the junior to be exposed by a veteran QB like Bray. But, for a guy that usually plays pretty tight coverage and knows how to put himself in position to make a play without allowing for the deep ball, Friday night’s performance appeared embarrassing. You could see the frustration on Amerson’s face, and the shock on everyone else’s. This defense, and it’s leader, have been shown to be vulnerable here in the first game, and the Tennessee blueprint will surely be employed by many of the Pack’s opponents going forward.

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ACC Football 2012 Previews & Predictions: Week 1 (Part One)

Can Logan Thomas and Virginia Tech Avoid an Early Upset Against Georgia Tech?

It’s here! After nearly eight excruciating months of realignment nonsense, smatterings of recruiting updates, spring practice injuries and arrests, the 2012 college football season is finally here! As per usual around these parts, I’ll be offering up my previews and predictions for each week’s ACC games in a format very much resembling the post you see below. Agree with my choices? Tell me all about it. Or are you wondering with disgust how I could possibly pick against your favorite squad and their mediocre collection of former three-star recruits? Feel free to voice your dissenting opinion in the comments section below as well.

At least for this week: Good luck this season, everyone! And hope you all have a fantastic Labor Day/College Football Kickoff weekend!

Game of the Week

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Virginia Tech Hokies: This Labor Day matchup has a ton of implications for the first week of the season, giving the winner a nice inside track to take home the Coastal division title. With a full offseason to prepare, though, will the VPI defense (one of the nation’s best) be too prepared for the Wreck’s triple-option to succeed? Or will the Georgia Tech defensive line catch an inexperienced Hokies O-line sleeping in their first game? I’m tempted to believe that Logan Thomas is the real deal, regardless of who’s blocking for him. Plus, if Tevin Washington still hasn’t figured out how to throw the ball, it could be far too predictable a gameplan for the league’s second-best rushing D to sniff out. Prediction: Virginia Tech 24, Georgia Tech 20

The Rest of the Slate (in order of start time):

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