Hello my fellow Junkies, and welcome to this week’s installment of The Junkie Awards. Each week we will try to recognize and praise some of the past weekends best performances, while also looking back and mocking some of not so great ones.
So, lets not ramble, here’s our list of honorees for week three!
Best Team Performance
Sorry to any other team that may also be deserving but anytime the Citadel goes on the road and knocks off one of the big boys it deserves to be recognized. The fact that Georgia Tech is just three games into a total rebuild that also includes a complete overhaul of the roster is irrelevant. The Yellow Jackets weren’t expected to win many this season but this was one they absolutely were supposed to win.
The Bulldogs kicked a FG in the first overtime period to win 27-24, giving them their first ever road win over an ACC foe, and their first win over a P5 team since knocking off UofSC in Billy Brice back in 2015. It’s a huge win for Brent Thompson, whose now in his third year leading the program. Kudos… you all earned it. And did it with an offense Tech fans were so desperate to abandon. How’s that for irony?
The casual football fan might look at the top ranked Tigers 41-6 win over unranked Syracuse as nothing more than the average blowout over a mismatched opponent. However, if you’re a fan that’s paid attention to the games these two teams have played the last two seasons, you know that’s not the case.
The Orange upset the #2 Tigers in 2017, the last time the teams played in The Dome and then last season came into Death Valley and gave Clemson all it wanted and then some. The Tigers needed a late Travis Etienne TD run to win it, as well as a little late 4th down magic from backup QB Chase Brice.
In each of the last two games, and three times in the last six, the Orange had managed to knock out the Tigers starting QB. No such luck this time. Trevor Lawrence only exited after his team was up 34-6, and he had set a new career high for passing yards in a game with 395. The Tigers jumped up on the Orange early, with TDs on two of their first three possessions, and controlled the game throughout. The offense still isn’t clicking on all cylinders, yet still put 41 points on the board, amassing almost 600 yards of offense.
However, it wasn’t the offense that made the statement, it was Brent Venables and that defense. The Clemson D sacked Tommy DeVito eight times and had 15 TFL, the most of the Dabo Swinney era. Truth be told, they could have had more had there been better “wrapping up” on a few plays. They also held Cuse to less than a yard per carry on the ground and just over 150 yards total.
After three games, the rest of the nation has been put on notice. This defense is as good as it’s ever been. They might be doing it in a different way, but they are still flat out getting it done.
Weeks Biggest Fraud
After starting the season 2-0, and looking fairly decent in doing so despite the competition, Dave Doeren and his Mighty Laptops headed up to Morgantown to take on a West Virginia team still trying to find themselves. The Pack were favored by more than a touchdown, yet got blasted by the Mountaineers 44-27.
West Virginia, whose running backs had carried the ball 43 times for a whopping 56 yards in their first two games, were able to average over 6 YPC against a Wolfpack D that had looked better than expected early on. It was one of those kinds of performances that have become synonymous with Doeren’s NCST teams and why the Pack will never be more than a middle of the pack ACC team.
Best Bounceback Performance
Where did that come from? One week after dropping a game to Coastal Carolina, Les Miles Jayhawks traveled up to Chestnut Hill and absolutely stunned BC. It was the first time Kansas has beaten a P5 team on the road since the 2008 season, a streak that spanned 48 games. The Jayhawks rushed for more than 300 yards, a week after only gaining 280 yards total against a G5 team. Kansas is now 2-1 and is looking to win more than 3 games for the first time since the 2009 season.
Wal Marters of the Week
This week we have ourselves a tie! It was just to close to call, as blunders from both head coaches cost each of their teams a shot at a win. Instead, they both went on to lose.
Trailing by 3 with 10 seconds left to FCS school Citadel, Georgia Tech QB Tobias Oliver scored what looked like a game winning TD on a 17 yard keeper. Things aren’t always as they seem however, as during the celebration Tech players quickly realized the score would not stand. Why? Because their head coach decided to call timeout just as the ball was snapped, nullifying the would be game winning score. The Yellow Jackets had to settle on a game tying FG, only to lose in overtime.
Not to be outdone, Pat Narduzzi did his best to one up the Georgia Tech head coach in the Panthers game against Penn State. Trailing 17-10, with under 5 minutes to go, the Panthers were faced with a 4th & Goal from the Penn St 1 yard line. After they had already converted one 4th and short inside their own territory earlier in the drive, Narduzzi inexplicably sent out his FG team. The kick banged off the left upright, and Pitt was done.
Asked about the decision after the game, Narduzzi offered up this gem,
“Because you need two scores to win the football game.”
He then went onto say he had no reservations about that decision “at all.” Hey coach, ever heard of the 2 point conversion? College football….. rarely a dull moment.
That is all we have this week. Have any “awards” you would like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments, and check back next week as we do it all over again.