Fourth and Long

Published 5:58 pm Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What a week in football.

Between the real start of the NFL season and what was hyped to be one of the best weekends (in regards to competitive matchups) in college football, I was looking forward to an exciting weekend. Little did I know there would be quite so much excitement.

The biggest story of the week in college football came from the ACC. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (you may know them as Virginia Tech) has been the cream of the ACC crop since joining the league in 2004.

In their season opener Saturday before last, the Hokies lost by three points to what many experts picked to be a BCS Title contending Boise State squad. The Broncos from Boise were ranked higher and the national consensus seemed to be that Virginia Tech wasn’t that bad, Boise State is just that good.

Any momentum that theory had was lost this past weekend when James Madison University traveled to Blacksburg. The Dukes (not a big fan of their nickname) shocked everyone by not only beating the Hokies, but apparently manhandling them for much of the second half.

Couple Virginia Tech’s loss with Maryland’s loss to Navy and Florida State’s thumping at the hands of Oklahoma and the ACC’s reputation has begun to take a beating in the press.

The few bright spots for the ACC was Miami’s ability to stay competitive with a superior Ohio State squad in Columbus and the unexpected offensive exhibit Duke (aka dook) and Wake Forest put on in their matchup in Winston-Salem.

If you didn’t catch the Dook & Deacons game then you missed one heck of a showdown. The two teams combined for 49 points in the second quarter and at one point scored 28 of them in less than three minutes. It was a great game so long as you don’t like defense.

The NFL talk here in North Carolina seems to revolve around the Panthers and their certain demise this season. It took only one game, a 31-18 loss to the Giants in week one, for the Panther fans I heard from to regard Matt Moore as the next Jake Delhomme.

I would advise such fans to not give up on Moore quite so fast. Moore has shown during his brief opportunities in Charlotte that when surrounded by a decent running game, offensive line play and a second wide receiver to compliment Steve Smith that he can be a highly effective quarterback and win games.

Some guys are smart and have rockets for arms but still don’t have “it.” Moore has proven that he has “it.” He currently gives the Panthers their best chance to win and maybe if they can manage more than a paltry 89 yards of rushing offense then he just might.

In the meantime if fans feel like pointing fingers, I can suggest a few places better than Matt Moore’s direction with which they may want to point them. John Fox better duck.

David Friedman is a long-time contributor to the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald. A Bertie High School graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at