Wake Forest (1-2)
Lost to Louisiana-Monroe 21-19
What worked: When all seemed lost, the Deacons had a chance to tie the score during the final seconds after driving 97 yards to trim the Warhawks’ lead to two points. Receiver Michael Campanaro tied his ACC record with 16 receptions.
What didn’t work: The Deacons failed on their chance to tie it when Campanaro dropped a Tanner Price pass in the end zone on the two-point conversion attempt. Wake Forest’s offense otherwise was desultory, gaining just 15 yards on the ground.
What’s next: Wake Forest will travel to Army for a noon game at Michie Stadium. The Black Knights (1-2) lost to Stanford 34-20 Saturday. David Scott
Lost to N.C. Central 40-13
What worked: The 49ers moved the ball up and down the field on the Eagles, rolling up 533 yards and picking up 31 first downs to N.C. Central’s 15. Charlotte’s spread offense kept N.C. Central on its heels, with 10 players catching passes and backup running back Kalif Phillips rushing for 85 yards.
What didn’t work: Charlotte couldn’t hang on to the ball, turning it over seven times. Matt Johnson, who threw for 335 yards, tossed five interceptions. Those were the chief reasons Charlotte capitalized just two times among six trips to the red zone. Special teams also were a problem: The Eagles returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown, returned another kick 52 yards and blocked a 49ers field-goal attempt.
What’s next: The 49ers will travel to Harrisonburg, Va., to face No.17 James Madison (2-1). The Dukes beat St. Francis 24-20 Saturday. D.S.
Lost to Georgia Tech 38-14
What worked: The final numbers are slightly deceiving. Duke’s defense played well enough, at least initially, to keep the Blue Devils in the game. Duke held the Yellow Jackets to a field goal on their first possession, which started at the 50-yard line, thanks to a shanked punt. The defense also forced a three-and-out at the end of the first quarter, and Georgia Tech didn’t come away with points on two second-quarter drives, thanks to a Ross Cockrell interception and a missed field goal.
What needs work: The Blue Devils must be sharper on offense. Cutcliffe said Duke left too many yards on the field through hesitant decision making and missed reads. The wide receivers need to play better – improve their spacing, splits and ball catching – to help out quarterback Brandon Connette. And Connette needs to relax and play to his strengths, leaving the pocket and running more.
What’s next: Pittsburgh (1-1) will make its inaugural ACC road trip and come to Durham for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday. Laura Keeley
East Carolina (2-1)
Lost to Virginia Tech 15-10
What worked: The defense, especially against Virginia Tech’s ground game. East Carolina allowed the Hokies to run for only 53 yards. Given the 36 attempts by their offense, that works out to 1.6 yards per attempt. Consider Virginia Tech ran for 153 yards against Alabama earlier this season, that’s a great effort by the Pirates’ oft-maligned defense.
What needs work: While the Hokies couldn’t run, neither could the Pirates. ECU finished with 46 rushing yards on 23 attempts (2.0 per carry). Running back Vintavious Cooper finished with eight carries for 28 yards. Cooper also had five catches for 52 yards. The Pirates need to find more ways to get Cooper the ball, and more frequently, than 13 touches in a tightly-contested game.
What’s next: ECU gets an open date before a trip to Kenan Stadium on Sept. 28 to face North Carolina. The Pirates have lost 11 of the past 12 matchups to ACC teams, including last year’s 27-6 defeat at UNC. Joe Giglio
South Carolina (2-1)
Beat Vanderbilt 35-25
What worked:The offense ran up 579 yards on the Commodores. The defense improved from the loss at Georgia, holding Vanderbilt to 268 yards and 2-of-12 in third-down conversions.
What needs work:Second-half turnovers – two giveaways on special teams – gave Vanderbilt short fields that allowed the Commodores to shrink a 28-point deficit to 10. Coach Steve Spurrier used the word “careless’’ to describe those mistakes.
What’s next:The Gamecocks are off until a Sept. 28 road game at Central Florida (which surprised Penn State 34-31 on the road). Rick Bonnell
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