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October 22, 2012

Monday Morning QB: Week 8

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Virginia Tech - Clemson Thoughts

- Another tough loss, another ugly performance for Virginia Tech. It looks like the Hokies won't make a bowl. If this continues, they certainly will not. The 38-17 loss to Clemson summed up the entire season. It's going to be interesting to see what coaches are on the staff next season.

- The play-calling had a questions. Fourth and short and you give it off tackle to redshirt freshman running back Michael Holmes? Not senior running back Martin Scales? There's been a lack of creativity.

- It was a perfect start to the game, grabbing two sacks. Then, junior quarterback Logan Thomas looked good connecting with senior wide receiver Corey Fuller on a 29-yard touchdown. After that, it wasn't as pretty.

- A lot of credit has to go to the defense. It just got warn down over time, but allowing only 10 points in the first half gave Tech a chance. Unfortunately, the interception return pretty much sealed it.

- It hasn't been a pretty season, but what an interception by redshirt freshman safety Michael Cole. How he caught that, I'll never know. He recorded his second interception of the year and probably should have had another one on a long throw to Clemson sophomore wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

- The Tigers weren't spectacular offensively but did just enough. They converted when they needed to and the visitors simply did not.

- This run game has to just get more creative. Freshman running back J.C. Coleman got 19 yards on 12 carries in this one, as nothing seems to work offensively. It just shows the importance on Tech landing big-time recruits to play along the offensive line. Would like to see more option plays with Thomas and Coleman.

- Again, the turnovers were vital. You are never going to win that way, giving the ball away four times, while taking it away only once. The only real positive, aside from the team being off next week, was seeing Thomas gain almost 100 yards on the ground. More designed runs are needed for the big man, not just simple sneaks up the middle that are getting stuffed.

ACC Rewind

- I'm not so sure Virginia coach Mike London is back next year. I mean, it's safe to assume he will considered with the solid recruiting class he has, but just like former Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh, there isn't enough production. Saturday's 16-10 loss to Wake Forest was the Cavaliers' six loss in a row. With NC State, Miami, North Carolina and Tech left, it's hard to see them winning another. Can London really survive a 2-10 season?

- Florida State's win against Miami gives Virginia Tech new hope. The next game against the Canes, on a Thursday night, may be the division decided. Maybe...

- Duke is in the driver's seat right now after becoming bowl eligible. What a job coach David Cutcliffe has done this season, running away with Coach of the Year honors.

- Tough loss for Maryland. A field goal make away from being 5-2. It's been a wacky year in the ACC.


ACC Power Poll

1. Florida State (7-1) - The Seminoles will make the ACC title game if they win out in conference, and it looks like they will be heading there after getting by Miami.

2. Clemson (6-1) - Big win against Virginia Tech keeps the Tigers in the Atlantic race. They need FSU to slip up in Blacksburg in November.

3. Duke (6-2) - The Blue Devils are bowl eligible. It has been an amazing season in Durham as they sit atop the Coastal Division and are third in this week's power poll. Safe to say Cutcliffe will likely have a bigger job next year.

4. N.C. State (5-2) - You can really pick who you want to go in these final two slots, as many teams could go here. But, the Wolfpack got a nice win at Maryland last week and are close to becoming bowl eligible.

5. Miami (4-4) - A tough loss to their rivals, the Canes still have their eyes on the conference crown. Big test coming up against Virginia Tech on Nov. 1.

Conference Player of the Week Clemson safety Jonathan Meeks - Two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, Meeks was the star of the week. He made the most of his opportunities to take down Logan Thomas, boosting his team in the huge victory on Saturday to keep pace with Florida State.

Five National Thoughts

1. Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein is a star. He tore up West Virginia, tossing three touchdowns and rushing for four more. He is now the leader of the Heisman race and has the Wildcats in the running for a spot in the BCS Championship. Watch out for Kansas State.

2. Florida continues to get it done, hammering South Carolina. Now the Gators face Georgia in what should be a fantastic game. Can UF keep it going? Quarterback Jeff Driskel, who was recruited by Virginia Tech, has thrown eight touchdowns and only one interception.

3. Texas Tech's three-overtime win over TCU was quite the contest. The Red Raiders have beaten West Virginia and the Horned Frogs and look to keep on trucking with two games coming up against ranked opponents. Texas Tech travels to Kansas State next week before hosting Texas.

4. Two undefeated teams are flying under the radar still in Mississippi State and Oregon State. The Beavers have to travel to Washington next week in a good test, but the Bulldogs will be under the spotlight, travelling to No. 1 Alabama. Let's see what you've got, Mississippi State.

5. Game of the week next Saturday is clearly Notre Dame at Oklahoma. The Irish's national championship aspirations rest on this game. Win here, and they should cruise until the season finale against USC. Is Notre Dame for real? The team has been fortunate the last two weeks. Can the luck continue?

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