The Top 5 ACC storylines for Week 3:
Chip and Chad
College football people have plenty of respect for Chip Kelly’s offense – he won 48 games in three seasons at Oregon. Now Kelly has the NFL abuzz after his Philadelphia Eagles ran 53 first-half plays Monday night in a 33-27 upset of the Redskins. Whether or not the Eagles can keep up the fast pace, defensive coordinators are at least afraid, and that might boost the already hot stock of Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris as both a college and NFL coaching prospect.
The Hurricanes forced five turnovers in a 21-16 upset of Florida to mask a dismal performance on offense: 1.8 yards per carry, 12 of 25 passing for quarterback Stephen Morris. The entire defense received a game ball, and credit head coach Al Golden and defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio with getting a core group of players to improve after an awful year on defense in 2012.
“Our defense (heard) it all this offseason and we really started hating people for it,” defensive end Anthony Chickillo told radio station WQAM after the game. “We played with a chip on our shoulder all day.”
N.C. State’s two-headed QB
Starting quarterback Brandon Mitchell suffered a foot injury in an opening day win over Louisiana Tech and is out four to six weeks, making N.C. State get creative. In a warm-up for Clemson (Thursday night), Colorado State transfer Pete Thomas and freshman Bryant Shirreffs split time at quarterback Saturday during a 23-21 victory over Richmond. Thomas, a 6-6 pocket passer, competed 24 of 31 passes for 237 yards but threw two interceptions (no touchdowns). Shirreffs was switched from quarterback to linebacker to fullback to tight end this summer, only to move back to quarterback two weeks ago. He ran Wildcat plays against Louisiana Tech, but went 3-for-3 passing for 19 yards against Richmond with 36 yard rushing and a TD run on four carries.
“I’m happy I got a couple of throws in,” Shirreffs told reporters after the game. “I don’t think the defense was ready for it.”
Duke adjusts on the fly
Junior Brandon Connette took over at quarterback for the Blue Devils after Anthony Thomas broke a collar bone in last week’s 28-14 win over Memphis. Connette, a junior from Corona, Calif., completed 14 of 21 passes for 198 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Duke is 2-0 for the first time since 1998. Next up: Georgia Tech in Durham
Logan Thomas watch
It’s one thing to go 5-for-26 passing against Alabama, but Virginia Tech’s on-again, off-again NFL prospect quarterback threw two interceptions last week in a 45-3 rout of Western Carolina (17 of 31, 200 yards, one touchdown). Next up: At East Carolina.
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff
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