beat Presbyterian 45-21
What worked: The 49ers had a balanced attack passing for 269 yards and rushing for 236. They also continued to force turnovers, intercepting two Presbyterian passes. What the 49ers did best, however, was take control and not let up. They scored 38 unanswered points after falling behind 14-7 in the first quarter. Charlotte scored on all five of its red-zone chances.
What needs work: The 49ers didnt come out with defensive intensity to start the game, allowing the Blue Hose to score the first two times it had the ball. Presbyterian rolled up 120 yards in total offense in those first two possessions.
Whats next: Charlotte is host to 25th-ranked Gardner-Webb (4-1), which defeated Point (Ga.) 55-7 on Saturday. David Scott
beat Wake Forest 56-7
What worked: Offensively, quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. The Tigers were 3 for 4 in converting fourth downs and 6 for 6 in red-zone scoring chances. Defensively, the Tigers held Wake Forest to 1.9 yards per rushing attempt (31 runs).
What needs work: A running-into-the-kicker penalty on a Wake Forest punt negated a defensive stop, although the defense went back out to hold the Deacons to a three-and-out. Boyd was sacked twice, which has become the norm this season.
Whats next: Clemson travels to Syracuse Saturday for what will be the Orangemens debut in ACC football. Rick Bonnell
Duke (3-2, 0-2 in the ACC)
beat Troy 38-31
What worked: For the third consecutive game, quarterback Brandon Connette showed significant improvement and comfort in his role as the starter. After accounting for six touchdowns last week, he added another five Saturday, three through the air and two on the ground. He finished 20 of 28 (71.4 percent) for a career-high 324 passing yards and added 55 rushing yards on 17 carries.
And after yet another disappointing half, Dukes defense settled down in the second half against Troy as the defensive line generated enough pressure on the quarterback to slow the Trojans offense. After yielding a touchdown on the opening drive of the final half, the defense limited Troy to 146 yards and three points.
What needs work: Kicker Ross Martin is struggling, and hes made just 2 of 4 field goal attempts on the year as he missed from 39 yards before hitting a 34-yard attempt. His kickoffs have been short as well. Punter Will Monday is also struggling to match his efforts from last year none of his five punts pinned the Trojans any deeper in their territory than the 29-yard line.
Whats next: Duke has an open date, which is coming at a fortunate time for injured Blue Devils such as linebacker Kelby Brown, running back Jela Duncan, cornerback Ross Cockrell (who has played through his injuries) and quarterbacks Anthony Boone and Thomas Sirk. The Blue Devils next opponent is Navy, on Oct. 12. Laura Keeley
East Carolina (3-1)
beat North Carolina, 55-31
What worked: The Pirates picked up their first win in Chapel Hill since 1975 thanks to a relentless offensive attack that churned out 603 yards and went a perfect 8-for-8 in the red zone, with six touchdowns.
The offensive line that gave up seven sacks a game ago to Virginia Tech kept quarterback Shane Carden (six total touchdowns) clean and paved the way for running back Vintavious Cooper to rush for 186 yards.
What needs work: It may seem like a bit of nitpicking considering the significance of East Carolinas victory on Saturday, but the Pirates pass defense showed some vulnerability, allowing North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner to pick up 366 passing yards and three scores on 28 completions.
Whats next: The Pirates (3-1, 1-0 CUSA) resume conference play on the road Saturday at Middle Tennessee State. The Blue Raiders (3-2, 1-0) are coming off of a 37-10 loss to BYU. Brian Haines
N.C. State (3-1, 0-1 ACC)
beat Central Michigan, 48-14
What worked: The Wolfpack ran for a season-best 239 yards against the Chippewas. Sophomore running back Shadrach Thornton had a season-high 71 yards on 13 carries, including a 29-yard touchdown run. Freshman running back Matt Dayes had a 42-yard touchdown run, his team-high fifth touchdown of the season.
The defense produced its first three interceptions of the season, including one linebacker D.J. Green returned 37 yards for a touchdown.
What needs work: The penalties were down from the previous two games just six compared to nine against Clemson and 10 against Richmond but most of them were avoidable, like the unsportsmanlike call against freshman Johnathan Alston on the opening kickoff.
Whats next: N.C. State travels to Wake Forest (2-3, 0-2 ACC) for its first road game of the season. The Deacons are coming off of a 56-7 loss at Clemson but have not lost at home to N.C. State since Philip Rivers sophomore season in 2001. Joe Giglio
North Carolina (1-3)
lost to ECU 55-31
What worked: Not much of anything. Bryn Renner threw for a career-high 366 yards but after falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter the Tar Heels were in catch-up mode and, as a result, spent a lot of time throwing. Still, the second-half success of the passing game was probably the biggest highlight for UNC. Renner completed 17 of his 23 attempts for 213 yards and three touchdowns in the second half. But even with those numbers, ECU still outscored UNC 27-21 in the second half. There simply wasnt much of anything positive for the Tar Heels on Saturday.
What needs work: Everything. The Tar Heels were dreadful defensively, and allowed 603 yards nearly twice what ECU had averaged during its first three games. The Pirates 603 yards were the seventh-most in school history. UNC couldnt stop the running game or the passing game and, offensively, the Tar Heels labored through the first half. UNCs running game, again, was nearly nonexistent. The Tar Heels ran for 67 yards and gained an average of 2.1 yards per carry. That wont get it done. Neither will the Tar Heels reckless play. They committed nine penalties for 94 yards. One penalty kept alive an ECU drive that the Pirates ended with a touchdown. Another UNC penalty wiped away a touchdown. The defense appeared to make strides in a solid performance at Georgia Tech, but the Tar Heels couldnt have been much worse defensively than they were on Saturday. Missed tackles were a problem, again, but more troubling was an apparent lack of energy especially early on.
Up next: The Tar Heels dont have much time to mourn the worst loss of Larry Fedoras tenure in Chapel Hill. UNC travels this week to play Virginia Tech. A victory in Blacksburg, where UNC has won just once since Virginia Tech joined the ACC, would go a long way toward saving a season that appears in danger of unraveling. Andrew Carter
South Carolina (3-1)
beat Central Florida 28-25
What worked: The Gamecocks overcame adversity on the road against a quality opponent. South Carolina trailed 10-0 early and lost quarterback Connor Shaw to a sprained throwing shoulder. Shaw is expected to miss the next two to three weeks. The Gamecocks recovered with a steady diet of running back Mike Davis (150 of his 167 yards in the second half).
What needs work: Four turnovers is reason enough for Steve Spurrier to throw a visor or two. This isnt the first time Dylan Thompson has stepped in for Shaw at quarterback, but losing Shaw is a hit for the Gamecocks, particularly with Shaws toughness and running acumen.
Whats next: The Gamecocks host Kentucky Saturday at 7:30 p.m. R.B.
Wake Forest (2-3)
lost to Clemson 56-7
What worked: Very little, although senior Mike Campanaro (seven catches for 75 yards) continues to be one of the ACCs surest-handed wide receivers. Defensively, nose guard Nikita Whitlock applies a lot of pressure up the middle, but he doesnt get much help.
What needs work: The Deacons are going nowhere averaging 1.9 yards per rushing attempt, as they did against Clemson. Senior quarterback Tanner Price was benched for the second half Saturday. Coach Jim Grobe says Price will be the starter Saturday, but sitting Price sure looked like a warning after he generated just 125 passing yards off 22 throws.
Whats next: Wake Forest plays a home game against N.C. State that Grobe told his players is a must win to keep the Deacons flickering bowl hopes alive. R.B.
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