ACC Football 2013 Week 3 Lessons: Is This the Best Virginia Tech Defense Frank Beamer’s Ever Had?

Thanks to Detrick Bonner and Others, Virginia Tech's Defense is Reaching New Heights

Thanks to Detrick Bonner and Others, Virginia Tech’s Defense is Reaching New Heights

Each Monday morning (or sometimes Tuesday), we compile our top five takeaways from the weekend’s action. Here’s what we got out of Week 3 of the ACC football season:

1. Is this Virginia Tech‘s best defense yet?: Through three games, it just might be. The Hokies have not allowed more than 206 yards in any contest so far, and have already forced seven turnovers on defense (tied for 11th-best in the country). Obviously, the offense has presented its fair share of troubles for this team, but thus far, it’s had a minimal effect. Their stellar secondary stops passes in their tracks, while the Hokies’ sack rate is already way up. The two go hand in hand of course, and as long as that type of pressure continues, so should the turnovers, keeping them in every game for the rest of the year.

2. Florida State continues to roll: In a much different way than the first game, obviously, but FSU still looked absolutely dominant in a 62-7 victory over Nevada on Saturday. Jameis Winston was extremely accurate once again, though he didn’t need to carry the offense at all and only put up 214 yards through the air. He was supported heavily be the ‘Noles run game this time around, with a whopping 377 yards and six scores on the ground in total (including one by Winston himself). The redshirt freshman is still on fire though, with eight total scores versus just five incomplete passes, and shows no signs of slowing down.

3. Syracuse now has a full blown quarterback controversy: There were calls for Drew Allen to be replaced after struggling for the first two games, and when he came out the gate sputtering once again against Wagner, it seemed like the final straw. After being replaced by backup Terrel Hunt, the Orange proceeded to rack up points in droves, piling 54 on the Seahawks while Hunt completed 17 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns. Of course, it’s a weak opponent, but Hunt has shown more in very limited action this season than Allen has in over two full games. No comment on who’s starting next weekend, but this is now a full-blown controversy at SU.

4. Wake Forest‘s offense is in some very serious trouble: We knew the Deacs had some scoring issues after last season’s awful 18.5 points per game output. The hope was that those problems would be addressed by a senior-heavy lineup and some spread-option elements. Instead, things are the same, if not worse. In two games against FBS teams this year, Wake has scored just 29 points and the rushing attack has never looked worse. The defense is playing well, but that won’t matter much if this team can’t figure out a way to put enough points on the board.

5. Vad Lee‘s passing makes a huge impact for Georgia Tech: The triple-option offense is most effective when there’s at least a threat of the pass. And that’s where Lee’s arm has come in handy so far this season. His six passing touchdowns and 314 passing yards have helped set up the run extremely well and suddenly made this Tech offense extremely dangerous. He’s dangerous on the ground too — 125 yards and two scores — but this team’s progress (and possibly Paul Johnson’s job) will be decided by his ability to throw the ball this season.

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