• One of the best parts of Larry Fedora’s coaching job last season was how motivated North Carolina remained throughout the season, despite being ineligible for a bowl or the ACC title game.
That’s what makes the past six quarters – a flat second half against Georgia Tech and Saturday’s debacle against East Carolina – problematic for Fedora.
The Tar Heels can’t win on talent alone anymore. They will need to have their head on a swivel for Virginia Tech on Saturday because there’s a good chance the Hokies remember the pasting the Heels put on them last year in Chapel Hill.
• If you can’t make heads or tails of Pittsburgh’s defense, you’re not alone. Pitt gave up 96 points in its first two ACC games (41 to Florida State, 55 to Duke) but on Saturday held Virginia to three.
The answer could be Virginia’s offense is bad, but the Panthers will need their defense to get through the next stretch on their schedule which includes three road games in four weeks and then a shot at redemption against Notre Dame on Nov. 9.
• Dave Doeren left Northern Illinois knowing quarterback Jordan Lynch and the Huskies were in for another big season. He was right. Northern Illinois improved to 4-0 with a 55-24 win Saturday at Purdue. The Huskies are 2-0 against the Big Ten this season and have the potential to move into contention for a second straight at-large Bowl Championship Series bowl bid.
Meanwhile, it looks like Fedora had perfect timing in his exit from Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles are 0-4 after a 60-7 loss Saturday to Boise State, and have lost 16 straight since Fedora led them to a 12-2 record in 2011.
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