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October 1, 2012

Monday Morning QB: Week 5

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Virginia Tech - Cincinnati Thoughts

- The slow starts are tough to watch. You can't realistically expect to not execute early and win the game. I think most of us expect Tech to bounce back at some point, but I'm not so sure this team has it in it. Big game next week at North Carolina to get things on track before this season becomes more of a disaster.

- I'm not sure what is wrong with junior quarterback Logan Thomas. I suspect something is up. He seems healthy, but he is always throwing off his back foot. Sure, what is around him makes an impact, but I don't remember him throwing so many balls high last year. Now, it is not time for Mark Leal, but Thomas has to get some confidence back.

- Think back to the pick in the red zone that Thomas tossed, and there is your ball game.

- Redshirt freshman Michael Holmes emerged late and ran with an attitude. He recorded 60 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown, as one of the few bright spots on the day.

- Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux tore up the defensive backs for 376 yards, with several big plays. His completions averaged nine yards. The Bearcats running game put up 103 yards, 495 yards of total offense. And this is the elite defense that received pre-season raves?

- Good for defensive tackle Kris Harley to grab a pick. He has become the forgotten man on the defensive line.

- It's never a great sign when the top performer was the punter. A.J. Hughes averaged 45.9 yards on seven punts, including a long of 57.

- I know many of people on the message boards are claiming for Frank Beamer to go. We have seen this story before, like after the Boise State and James Madison losses a few years back. Everyone felt different after winning the ACC. But, can this team do the same? Next week on the road is going to be a tough, tough test, and so much has to be corrected. It could be a make-or-break game in Chapel Hill.

- I don't like the comparisons to the Broncos game. Tech is 0-3 at FedEx, but come on, this Cinci team is nowhere near the Broncos' caliber. And, this Tech team is nowhere near that one.

ACC Rewind

- Miami, the best team in the Coastal division? So far it looks like it. They were fortunate to beat N.C. State on Saturday, but they did just enough. At 3-0 in conference, if the Hokies slip up soon, they will be in the driver's seat.

- Really, Georgia Tech? Losing to Middle Tennessee State at home by 21? Four turnovers doomed coach Paul Johnson's crew. This team has fallen off the map. This was the game that was supposed to get the team back on the right path. Now, the Yellow Jackets have to go to Clemson. They are now, essentially, out of the running for the Coastal Division title.

- How about Duke? 4-1 overall, 1-0 in the ACC with a weak Virginia team coming to town? This could be the year they make a bowl game.

- Florida State got by South Florida 30-17. The Seminoles did not look like the No. 4 team in the county in that one but played smart, efficient football and got the road win. Clear-cut favorite in the ACC.

- Virginia fought back through backup Phillip Sims, who tossed two touchdowns to keep the game close in a 44-38 loss to red-hot to Louisiana Tech. This will likely mark the end of Michael Rocco, who is the college version of Rex Grossman. Sometimes, he is a solid star, the next time you look, he throws costly interceptions. Rocco was very good in the first half, aside from a couple of throws he wants, but it's now the time of the Alabama transfers. Mike London has yet to confirm it, so we will see, but it's obvious what the Hoos fans want.

ACC Power Poll

1. Florida State - The team went out of conference to take down South Florida and now travel to N.C. State Saturday night. They have a tough team and have looked very good, but they were not convincing this Saturday. Still, the only perfect team in conference, they remain at the top.

2. Miami - The defense hasn't looked amazing, but the offense has gotten the job done. Next up? A test in South Bend against Notre Dame, in a game that means nothing in terms conference standings. Win this one though, and the Canes receive a nice ranking and gain all of the momentum before stretch against UNC, FSU and VT.

3. Clemson - For the record, I think the Tigers would beat Miami, but they don't play this season. But based on momentum, the Hurricanes have the edge. Good win on the road at Boston College though by Clemson, but there are things to fix on defense.

4. Duke - Winners of three in a row, the Blue Devils hold the fourth spot this week after a 34-27 win over Wake Forest. The offense has put up at least 34 points in each win and the team is playing well. Take down the Cavaliers next week and it sets up a tasty battle with the Hokies.

5. Virginia Tech - Simply here by default. This time has little 'power' to merit a spot, but it is 1-0 in conference.

Conference Awards Section

Player of the Week - Miami quarterback Stephen Morris - The junior gunslinger threw for a school-record 566 yards, while adding five touchdowns and just one interception. He completed 26 of 49 throws including to Phillip Dorsett on a 62-yard pass with 19 seconds to go for the win. As of Sept. 21, Morris had never thrown for over 300 yards. His last two games? 436 yards at Georgia Tech, then the 566 on Saturday. 1,002 yards in the last two games? Unbelievable.

Five National Thoughts

1. How about No. 5 Georgia winning 51-44 over Tennessee, and No. 9 West Virginia beating No. 25 Baylor 70-63? That makes the 41-36 win by No. 12 Texas over Oklahoma State look boring. Tremendous games. No defense, lots of offense, fun football. Geno Smith's stats are simply unbelievable. 20 touchdowns, no interceptions. 28 incomplete passes.

2. No. 18 Oregon State kept it going with a 38-35 win over previously ranked Arizona on the road. Watch out for the Beavers. Pac 12 dark horse. Now 14th in the AP poll.

3. No. 3 LSU beats Towson 38-22. Is that a worthy ranking? A slow start has raised plenty of questions. Now they are ranked No. 4. Still a bit high.

4. Big win by No. 14 Ohio State at No. 20 Michigan State, winning 17-16. Urban Meyer has his guys ready to play. QB Braxton Miller has been fantastic. On Saturday, he threw for 179 and ran for 136. Kid can do it all.

5. Have you all seen next week's slate? With updated rankings as of yesterday morning, No. 4 LSU at No. 10 Florida, No. 5 Georgia at No. 6 South Carolina, No. 8 West Virginia at No. 11 Texas, Miami at No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 21 Nebraska at No. 12 Ohio State. Wow.


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