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Low Blow (10-3-22)

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham
The Truth Network Radio
October 3, 2022 6:20 pm

Low Blow (10-3-22)

The Drive with Josh Graham / Josh Graham

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October 3, 2022 6:20 pm

On a Monday Drive, Josh reacts to what he saw from the Carolina Panthers, yesterday, discusses why he thinks the real NC State came out in their loss at Clemson, gives new spots to Duke, Syracuse, and others in "Critically ACClaimed", WD discusses getting drilled in the nuts by NC State quarterback, Devin Leary, and Carolina Panthers beat writer, Ellis Williams, joins the show to give his thoughts on what we've seen from Baker Mayfield, so far.

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He's amused Cam Newton. He's been insulted by Charles Barkley. When some idiot in the press asked him, if you know what you know now, would you schedule this game?

He's interviewed Matthew McConaughey. And he's taken on Big Blue Nation. He's just completely taken the wind out of my sandwich. It's time for The Drive with Josh Graham. You are on a Monday Drive WSJS News Talk Sports for the Triad, where it's hard to overstate just how bad that was at Bank of America Stadium yesterday. Of course, I was there. And with it being a four o'clock kick, I had more of an opportunity to soak in the atmosphere. And before the game, believe it or not, the vibe was really good. The feeling around the stadium was that this was going to be one of the best days in a long time to be a Carolina Panther. Certainly to be a Carolina Panthers fan. Things had not gone great under Matt Ruhl if you haven't been paying attention the last few years. But Sam Mills became the first Panther inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the summer. This was the keep pounding game. You had the throwback end zones.

You had the throwback Panthers logo at the 50 yard line. Sam's family was in the house. Mick and Don Mixon hanging out and helping commemorate the great Sam Mills. Steve Smith was emotional.

Go on YouTube and listen to what he had to say. Dan Morgan, Luke Keakley, Jake Deloam. And you're playing the Arizona Cardinals, who are an absolute mess. It was supposed to be a terrific day. And what we saw instead was the worst loss of the Matt Ruhl era. That's what this game was. If you feel I'm overstating it, if you're a Panther fan and you think of something worse, correct me. I defy you.

336-777-1600 on Twitter at WSJS radio. W.D., you're emotionally attached to the team. You tell me if something's worse because for me, what made this one particularly egregious, other than the fact that it's year three at this point for Matt, this happened at home. The Giants debacle.

Let me correct that. The first Giants debacle happened in the Meadowlands. That was last year. The blown lead against the Vikings. That was in Minnesota when Teddy Bridgewater's throwing Joe Brady under the bus after the game. And it seemed the coaching staff and the players were firing off.

Not a lot of blown leads in the Matt Ruhl era because not a lot of leads to blow at the end of games in the fourth quarter. This one happened at Bank of America Stadium on what should have been an awesome day when you're honoring perhaps the greatest player in your franchise's history. A hurricane hit or a tropical storm, I guess, hit the state of North Carolina. But I didn't feel a drop of rain in Charlotte yesterday.

The weather conditions, you couldn't ask for more. And you lost to the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals, I can't overemphasize this, are a complete mess. And yesterday was no exception to that.

This is not an example of, well, you just caught their best shot. That's not what it was from Arizona. Every time they got into the red zone, Arizona's false starting and moving backwards. Play calling was bad, terrible penalties. They had their starting left tackle get thrown out for contacting an official right after Frankie Louvou had a bad emotional penalty that it canceled out. Bad coaching. You had Kyler Murray and Cliff Kingsbury yelling at each other like they're a married couple. That's what it looked like.

And the reason they were yelling at each other, Kyler was right. Two different occasions in the second half, Cliff Kingsbury is having to call a time out because he decided to substitute late and Matt just did the easy thing. Well, if you substitute, we could time the substitute and there wasn't enough time left in the play clock.

They had to burn time out. That's coaching 101. Cliff Kingsbury is not a good coach. Arizona's not a good football team.

Terrible defensively, terrible on offense other than Kyler when he's freewheeling it. And you lose to this team. And it wasn't even dramatic at the end. It wasn't really a close game. At least when the fire Matt rule chance happened last year, it was in December. It was after a loss to Tom Brady. Were you getting blown out? This is the Arizona Cardinals.

This is October the second. Matt rule spoke earlier today after he had a chance to watch the tape, of course. You hear that, W.D.? You got to make sure to watch the tape before you say anything. And this is what Matt rule had to say about the booing fans and the Matt rule chance.

I grew up in New York and Philly. I think when fans pay their money to come here, man, they deserve to see good football and they deserve to see better football than we played last night. I respect it. I have no problem with that. My son's on the field with me.

I tell him, I say, you got to take the good with the bad, buddy. If we play like that, that's going to happen. And then they're going to boo me and I get it.

I think we played good defense, but I know that people want to see offense and they want to be excited and entertained and it's not happening. And I get it, completely get it. What I don't want to do, I keep trying to get the team to do is just don't press like it's 10 10. Don't panic.

It's 13 10. Don't panic. Don't start doing crazy stuff.

That's very assuring. We just got to keep our composure. Don't panic.

Like Will Ferrell down to his tighty whities in old school. Just got to keep our composure. Don't panic, guys.

Don't panic as you're slamming a fold out chair against the locker walls. But the defense part, that's the part that stings the most. The offense didn't need to do much. The defense was outstanding. They just couldn't be out on the field that long. And we should, again, we should be talking about today how great Frankie Louvou was all over the field, was the best player for either team in this game. And we should be talking about the fact how that Frankie Louvou pick six looked a lot like Sam Mills has picked six and Carolina's first ever win against the Jets or looked a lot like the Luke Kuechly pick against Arizona and the NFC championship game and how Luke was in the building calling that on Carolina Panthers radio. But we can't call any of that. We can't really talk much about that today because Matt Ruhle and Carolina couldn't figure out enough offensively to beat a team that was begging you to win the game.

That was the worst loss of the Matt Ruhle era. On Twitter again at WSJS radio, if you wanted. Might need to calm down a bit before we move on to college football. Quick housekeeping note. Speaking of W.D. The Carolina Classic Fair in full force in Winston-Salem this week, go out and meet the Triad's favorite producer, Will Dalton.

The W.D. tonight after the show, you're going to be out there. You're hoping to be out there by seven o'clock. Yeah, that's the game plan.

Okay. And then we will be out there. I will be out there broadcasting live doing this show from our set up at the fairgrounds Wednesday and Friday of this week. So it's live action.

Yes. So plan to be out there. Come and see us Wednesday and Friday.

I will be out there getting to college after Saturday's game. There's no way to justify believing NC State's a better football team than Wake Forest. I've been saying this for months. Remember, if you don't, I said explain to me like I'm five. Why Devin Leary is a better pick for player of the year than Sam Hartman and why NC State's getting more votes than Wake Forest is. I just couldn't understand it. And state fans particularly haven't appreciated that opinion this weekend. But amid the hundreds of responses that I got from them in the last 48 hours, none of them I got called a lot of names, but none of them made a case for why state's better than Wake because there isn't one.

Somebody tell the AP voters that though, because yesterday the new top 25 dropped and I was stunned to see that state was 14 and Wake Forest 15. I just want someone know anyone to explain to me how this makes sense. Make it make sense. We go into their resumes.

This should be pretty elementary. They both have a common loss. They lost to Clemson. Wake Forest pushed them though. Wake Forest could have won that game. You could argue they should have won that game. Went to double overtime. Sam Hartman threw six touchdown passes, no picks in the game. They didn't turn it over at all. NC State good first half other than the final two minutes, but they needed a garbage touchdown in the final minute just to make it a 10 point deficit. A double figures loss.

Oh, but Josh, the game was in Death Valley. Okay. How many points is that worth? Is it the difference between getting beat comfortably versus it being a double overtime game? Because I don't buy that.

Okay. But if you were to believe that college football playoff committee has always told us, it's not about how bad your losses are. How good are your wins?

What have you demonstrated on the field to show how great you are, why you should be 14th or 15th in the country. NC State's best win is against Texas Tech in Raleigh. Is that a better win than the one Wake Forest had this weekend against a team that was ranked this past weekend? Winning at FSU? Who was unbeaten at that point?

The answer is pretty clearly no. Both teams had close calls against Group of Fives. Liberty had a chance at the end against Wake Forest. ECU, the Pirates in Greenville, America. If they make a 41 yard kick, they beat NC State.

That seems to be a wash to me. State, they scheduled two cupcakes, Charleston Southern and UConn. Wake Forest scheduled VMI and they went on the road to Vanderbilt, an SEC school that had won its first few games, an improved Vanderbilt team. I want to go as far to say good, but I want to go as far to say it's a cupcake to schedule them on the road in Nashville. And they blew them out.

They did exactly what you should do. It just seems to be that the resumes are clear here and that Wake Forest is the better team and the details point to them. That's the frustrating part that I've been talking about since the summer because this piece hasn't changed. Wake's the defending Atlantic champs, not NC State. Wake Forest has beaten NC State four of the last five meetings. They have the better quarterback statistically. They have the better coach. They have the better weapons, no doubt about it, after all the NC State loss last year.

And that was a big key in the game against Clemson. They're better than they were last year, upgrading, adding a defensive coordinator. I don't think NC State's as good as they were a year ago. I don't see any justification for why NC State should be ranked ahead of Wake Forest, but that is the flaw of the AP poll. You have all these voters from across the country who are just looking at what their poll was last week and thinking, okay, well, you know, how far are we going to bump them back after a loss and how much are we going to move this team up after a win?

And you might lose sight of the details like, hey, these teams have lost to the same team, but one almost beat the top five team and the other didn't really come close. That's what happens. If you're an NC State fan, you might feel like Saturday's game was a blow to the groin area. Well, thanks to Devin Leary, our guy WD learned what that feeling is like quite literally on the sidelines in Tigerland. We'll get into that next on The Drive. Let's get the show going.

It's The Drive with Josh Graham. WD, random question asking for no reason. How are you feeling today? I'm feeling good today. Saturday night. I just wanted to check in on my guy because it could be difficult getting in and out of Clemson. What time did you get back on Saturday night, Sunday morning? Four thirty in the morning. Sounds about right.

Yep. With it being a night game. Great atmosphere. Great place to watch a game. Maybe the loudest football stadium I've been to. And that's saying something I've been to a lot of SEC and pro stadiums across the country.

So we respect Death Valley. But I texted Will Saturday night just making sure he got in OK. And he responded to me with a video of him on the sidelines. Watching Devin Leary get some throws in and Devin Leary caught Will down low.

He was filming himself get hit in the man region. I don't know if this is going to come across on the radio as well as it will if you watch the video on our social media. But I think it's going to work. This is how it sounded. Will filming himself getting hit by a football in the nether regions by Devin Leary before Saturday night's game. I was rooting for that.

I was rooting for that. If you can listen. Let's hear that again. Real faintly. You can hear.

Will. Think that his life is going to be over for a half second. That's the sound I want isolated. I don't need the rest of that. I don't need the booming music.

I just need the grunt noise of somebody. Who knows he's feeling pain and there's a lot of people around him who might have noticed it happened. And I maybe did you a disservice by posting this. You you got up immediately after and started filming. Yeah. Was that a mechanism of you didn't want anybody to notice what happened.

What's going through your head. It's partially I didn't want anybody to notice. And it's partially I was getting some good footage.

I want to keep getting it. And but mainly I just didn't want anybody to notice. Did anybody notice? I don't think so. That's good now. Did Devin Leary notice?

No, they're definitely was locked in now. We'll say this and I don't have footage of this one, but I did wear one in the eye from DJ or young girl. How did that happen? So I was like near the goalpost Clemson side and I was getting because I've been on sidelines for years and I've never once been hit by a player's football. It came out of nowhere. So the coaches were kind of tossing some balls to some of the receivers and I was getting kind of like a low shot and like just out of nowhere. I hear heads up.

Clocks me right below the eye and anybody notice that. Oh, yeah. The DJ.

No, he was kind of like far out and he was a longer pass medium pass. I just I wore two balls from both quarterbacks. When you said people notice how many people notice you get hit in the head with a football from DJ. I'm surrounded by staff for Clemson. Uh-huh. You know, doing different things before the game and I'm literally right there in front of me because you got to remember like this is like maybe 20 minutes before kickoff.

So it's getting a little noisy and little. What was the highlight of your experience? Because we've now discussed the low lights. Even it turned out to be a highlight though. Don't don't get it wrong though. No, I don't think getting hit in the face and getting hit in the nuts. Those are not highlights but we got good footage out of it though.

Hashtag content. What was the highlight for you though? So I stayed down on the field for like two hours like just getting different shots. You know, I was right there watching DJ who we young delay warm-up and Devon Leary and just trying to get as close as I could. And so I stayed down like because most of the media by the time Dabo and Clemson ran down the hill.

They were already back up in the box. Well, I stayed down there and hung out. Actually. I met a minor leaguer for the Yankees. That's cool. It was secure doing security guard work, but no, I stayed down there for that and it was just it was so loud and it kind of had a feel of Cameron but in a football sense if that makes sense because like most of the press boxes we go to their cut your inside like kind of like the coordinators are we're on the same floor as the coordinators and stuff. So the sound you don't get a good portion of the sound but we're like outside so we get all of it and it just it felt a lot like Cameron because like I had like students heads like Louis right behind my yeah, you're very close which is ironic because I hung out with Chris Lee a WRAL and Raleigh for pretty much the whole game. I sat next to him at the Panthers game right and and he literally made that same point like this is a lot like Cameron not like I could so let me hear the sound of you and very primal pain one more time.

That's good stuff. Is it better sound though than my dad deciding to film a field goal without nets us sitting in the end zone and getting drilled in the chest by a made field goal. You be the judge. Okay, that's enough. You can hear me.

Where is it? I didn't know he had his phone up rather than trying to live his life and catch a football. Gotta get the phone out.

Yeah, so people on Facebook can enjoy it. That's right. And you get drilled in the chest with a ball and have some guys come on, man. You got a hole in your chest. You gotta get the footage WD.

You got a hole in your pants. The Panthers next opponent is in action tonight. Monday Night Football right here on WSJS San Francisco, LA. It's a rematch of the NFC Championship game. Seems like Sean McVay has the better team, but Kyle Shanahan seven and four and head to heads with McVay turned into a really good rivalry. Here's the question I have. Are they going to cut in with Aaron Judge at bats?

Still looking for 62. I doubt it. ESPN.

They'll never infringe on the NFL, but they'll tell you how little they feel about college football and their prime games on Saturday. Oh, yeah, here's Aaron Judge flying out the center and striking out. If you weren't a baseball fan and this is the only experience you have a judge, you probably think he's a bad player because we're too. Oh, great. We get to watch this guy strike out or fly out again.

Super cool. Speaking of baseball, Braves. Braves sweeping the Mets up two games with a week to go in the NLEs. Miami is facing Atlanta tonight. The Mets facing Washington.

Going to be following that really closely. I caught up with Christian McCaffrey in the locker room after the Panthers lost. You'll hear what he had to say about the offensive struggles and we'll react to what he had to say next. The offense was the story from Bank of America Stadium yesterday. So how about we hear from one of the key figures in the Panthers offense had a chance to catch up with Christian McCaffrey after the game. Clearly, he wasn't in the best of moods. It also took an hour and 15 minutes for him to come out. He was dealing with treatment. We were told.

Keep that in mind. If something should pop up on Wednesday or Thursday, a quad, a hamstring. Matt Rule said earlier today that Laviska Chenault didn't aggravate the hamstring from last week, but instead pulled the other hamstring. Don't know if he's going to be available this week. Matt Rule made it sound like that Jeremy Chen's hamstring injury could be more than a one week injury.

We'll see if that comes into fruition, but getting back to Christian. It started with. Talking about.

The fans booing at Bank of America Stadium in a game just a couple of days into the month of October. It's part of the deal. Gotta win games. You know.

We're one in three with a lot of football left and all of our goals still ahead of us. You're going to have people turn on you. It is what it is. We got to play better. You know, I don't focus on anything like that because it.

Doesn't matter, you know, doesn't matter. It's just up to us to put one foot in front of the other. Take a good long look at ourselves in the mirror, fix the mistakes and and move on. What's something that you see behind the scenes that makes you optimistic that you can get the problems fixed? Our guys work really hard.

It's not a lack of hard work. And that's, you know, something that's encouraging and frustrating. It's it's a lack of execution on Sunday on this Sunday. You know, I'm not going to speak for every Sunday. Like I said, this is a week to week league.

You know, I've seen teams just last year one in seven win eight straight. You know, so you're never out of the fight, and we're definitely not out of the fight now. There's a lot of problems. You know, we just. We got to fix them. Every problem is fixable. You know, I think that's the frustrating part. But you know, we're on to the next week. You know, we got to flush it. We got to fix it, though, and get better. Which of those problems bother you the most?

All problems bother me. Complimentary football, the term that's thrown around quite a bit. Does it give you confidence about the future knowing that the defense seemed to hold their end of the bargain? Yeah, the defense did great.

We just have to do better as an offense. How confident were you that you were going to play going into the day? I was confident. How did you feel? Felt good.

Great appearance from Joe Person at the end. How'd you feel? Felt good.

Put it up on the ESPN scroll. Christian McCaffrey downgrading how he feels. Felt great on Friday. Felt good after the game. Something to think about. Yeah. Big J work here that we're doing. Graham's grades in about 10 minutes. Want to get back to the game at Death Valley. And if you have thoughts on the football this weekend, haven't had much time for calls at this point, but let's start the week off right.

3-3-6, 7-7-7, 1-600. What did you think about the Panthers losing to the Arizona Cardinals? I felt it was the worst loss of the Matt Ruhl era. You're a Panther fan. Is this an overreaction?

Is this kind of being caught in the moment? No, I mean, when I think about his worst losses, I think about Giants last year, Patriots last year. That was a bad one. That was a bad one. And this one, because remember, it's Ruhl's last stand. He needs these games.

You can't be having performances like yesterday. Yeah, I forgot about the Patriots one. That's a really good one to throw in there. Regardless of how the game in Death Valley shook out, we were going to learn something about the Wolf Pack. It's very easy to be misled in 2022. Have you noticed that? You see, if you watch the news, not everybody gets their information from cable news anymore. But if you do, you could see how much different people look at the same thing.

How much different the perspectives are looking at the same thing, whether you're watching MSNBC or Fox or CNN, social media, the dark corners of the internet. But in college football, this is something too where you have, especially this time of year before conference, play really gets fired up. You look up the best offenses in college football. You look up who has the best numbers and it's about, well, who did you play? And if you lose, how big of a deal is that?

How did you compete? It's really easy to spin things and to being really good or being really bad. And I try to push against that as much as I can. With that said, though, I think the team we saw for much of that game Saturday night was the real NC State. I don't think it was misleading. I don't think it was a bad measurement.

I don't think it was fake. The real Wolf Pack revealed themselves, but it didn't happen until the final two minutes of the first half. It was, this was the key point of the game. NC State scored a touchdown to go up 10 to 6. There's about two minutes to go in the half and NC State's getting the ball coming out of the second half. So you can't help but think, yeah, Clemson couldn't stop them on that drive and State's going to get the ball back up 10-6.

They could deliver a knockout punch. And this game did feel like a prize fight for the first quarter. Each team only had the ball once, long drives, the defense standing at the goal line, bending not breaking. It felt like a heavyweight prize fight.

So I don't think that analogy is a bad one. But rather than going into half down 10-6, Clemson turned the game on its head. Will Shipley, who we knew was going to be a key player in this game, he finally showed up. Clemson's D line, out of the second half, ravaged Devin Leary. Three and out, Clemson gets the ball, they score. And when you think about it, Clemson at that point had scored on four of its first five drives of the game. NC State's skill guys, turns out still a problem. They just don't have playmakers there. I was talking with Denise Shroff, voice of the Panthers about this, who also had two NC State games this year.

And his thing was, none of these guys are as good as a Mezzie was. Devin Carter is who he is at this point. Same thing for Thayer Thomas, really good slot receiver, not an outside guy. The running backs are fine, but not fine enough to run on this Clemson front. Top two, top three run defense in college football. And this is why the trends that we talked about on Friday really matter as they relate to State. Dave Doran is not the coach who wins these types of games.

What do I mean by these types of games? Playing a top 10 team on the road, that's not who he is. Just like Matt Ruhle wasn't that coach when he was in college either. Doesn't mean he's a bad coach.

It's just, you have to be among the elite of the elite to win these types of games. And Dave Doran's not that. Really good coach, not the type that's going to beat Dabo in his house in a top 10 matchup. Dave Doran is now 10 and 36 as an underdog.

I didn't realize this until Reese Davis set it on game day. That is the worst record in college football since 2013 in terms of being an underdog. NC State has the worst record as an underdog in college football since 2013. Oh, but Josh, those are past NC State teams. Those are past NC State teams we're talking about. Huh?

What do you think we do around here? We look at the past to help us figure out what the future is going to look like and projecting what these games are going to be. And everything we saw from NC State and Dave Doran's career was exactly what we saw on Saturday night. And the same thing on the other side, the trends with Dabo hasn't lost a revenge game since 2014 with Jamis Winston and Florida State beating them back to back years. 36, now 37 consecutive home wins. Longest win streak in the country. Dabo has made a career out of winning those types of games.

Dave Doran has done a nice job at State, but he has not demonstrated at all that he's the coach you can trust to win that game on the road. And that's fine. I value good information.

I value good point data points. And that's what Saturday was. It was a good data point where we learned a lot about Clemson and we learned, I think even more about what NC State isn't rather than who they are.

Frankie's Frankie. Let me update you on something. Quick story time. A lot of negative from yesterday. Terrible loss by the Panthers that we'll get back into shortly. But there was some good. Sam Mills was recognized. Mick Mixon called it the most important half time in the history of the Carolina Panthers.

Our friend, former voice of the team. That was good. Frankie Louvou had a pick six. He looked good. He was the best player on the field. I felt no both sides. I thought he was great. Well, there is some doubt Carolina didn't win the game. Hard to say you're the best player on the field when your team didn't win the game.

Hollywood Brown had some big plays for Arizona and Kyler Murray when he's off schedule. Don't need to rehash some of the negative things for the Carolina Panthers. But this was pretty cool. Last week, I asked Frankie how he was going to celebrate win number one on the season for Carolina. And he said that he was going to drink some tequila.

Just kidding. Well, hypothetically, if you were going to drink tequila, what would you drink? And he brought up the rocks brand really quick to answer.

So much so that it made it pretty obvious. My man was going to drink some tequila. And what you just heard from him there was that he heard that exchange the rock himself sent him some bottles of tequila. After Frankie walked away, a television reporter in Charlotte looked at me and said, that's messed up.

What do you mean? How does he not hook you up with a bottle of tequila? Yeah, you're you're welcome, Frankie for that. And I'm fine that I didn't get a bottle of tequila because tequila isn't my thing.

I like it. I'm not a tequila guy. When I drink tequila, it's a 50 50 shot whether or not I'm going to puke.

That's big. I remember one time I was at a dinner party. Took threw back a shot of tequila because everybody wanted to do tequila shots. And I did the move where I acted like I had a phone call, stepped out, puked in the person's bushes. So if we're ever together and you offer me a tequila shot and after I take the tequila shot, I say I have a phone call.

I'm lying. I know what you're doing. Now let's get to critically acclaim where we rank the top 10 of the ACC each week. And we spare you the time talking about the really, really bad teams of the ACC.

But this list, I don't think excludes all the bad because you have to pick one of the five worst teams to include at number number 10. And the team that I've chosen to represent the misfit toys, Georgia Tech, you've got to reward a team who got a big road win. They went into Pittsburgh, they won the game. BC shout out to you. We took you and Graham's gambling last week.

I just needed you to cover 15. They won the game outright, but you did that at home. Louisville's not a good team.

They're a part of that group, a part of that bottom five. Both the Virginia schools are a part of that too. Georgia Tech, after your coach was fired, you deserved a good thing to happen to you. And here's another good thing, your top 10 in critically acclaim. Number nine, Miami.

They haven't proven anything yet. What's Miami's best win? Honestly, you look at it. Is it Southern Miss? And if it's Southern Miss, then do you actually have a somewhat decent win?

That's what it is. They're two and two. They beat an HBCU, they beat Southern Miss, then lost to A&M and lost at home by two touchdowns to Middle Tennessee. Yes, pretty bad. They don't have great skill talent on the perimeter. Mario Cristobal doesn't have the players to play the style that he wants to play yet. That goes for former Demon Deacon and one of the best assistants in college football, Josh Gaddis, the OC. It's just going to take some time to get this thing humming.

It will get humming. It ain't there yet though. Number eight, the Pitt Panthers. Gross loss, but Miami's loss, I think the middle was a lot grosser than losing a conference game to Georgia Tech. And unlike Miami, they at least demonstrated they could hang with Tennessee as a top 10 team. Probably could have won that game. Went to overtime. Slovis went down in the game.

If Slovis didn't go down, what happens? They also beat West Virginia in one of those cross P5 games. They went on the road to Kalamazoo and beat the breaks off Western Michigan who beat them last year. Pittsburgh firmly in at number eight.

Number seven, the Duke Blue Devils. You've got to get them their due. They're four and one. A lot of winter dinners. I wonder if they're regretting that. Hey, here's free crabs after wins on Sunday night. We didn't expect you to win this many games. Maybe we're just going to do crab cakes this week. Maybe we're just doing crawfish this week. We're running out of crabs. Alaskan crabs.

Are you kidding? They're four and one on the season. They won by three touchdowns against the team. They lost to 49 to nothing last year in Virginia.

I know because I was there for every single snap of it. They've got Georgia Tech this weekend right before they face North Carolina. It was announced that's going to be an eight o'clock kick by the way on the ACC network.

Not this Saturday, but next. Couple interesting games. Very winnable. I can't ride off Duke for the coastal division. We were wondering if there was going to be a dark horse team in that division. It's Duke. So I said all year long, three teams can win the coastal Carolina, Miami, or Pittsburgh. Got to add Duke to that mix. They're the dark horse team that I can't ride off at the moment.

Number six, Florida State. A lot of people might've gotten ahead of themselves when talking about the Knolls. Maybe it's their fan base, which is an interesting one.

When they're good, they're an interesting fan base. A lot of Knolls fans firing shots at Dave Clawson. Oh, this guy's scared of us.

Doesn't want to play this game. Didn't look very scared on Saturday. They're a good team. They're headed in the right direction, but they're not a contender in the Atlantic just yet. They're not remotely close to where they were once before, but a good team. Deserving of top 25 votes right now. And because the ACC I think is having a pretty good year, better year than the national pundits are spelling it out to be, they're number six.

They're not even a top five team in critically acclaimed. And again, I think they're a good football team. Number five, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Virginia Tech's horrid.

Let's start there. But it is a pretty positive step that after allowing 24 to FAMU, after allowing 28 to Georgia State, 61 to a group of five in App State, holding a power five team to 10 points. That's a positive step on defense. And Drake May, five more touchdowns. He's got 22 touchdowns in five games.

Pretty, pretty, pretty impressive. Carolina, I think is in the driver's seat to win the coastal division. Number four, the Syracuse Orange unbeaten. How many other ACC teams can say that? I think the list is Syracuse and Clemson, right? Those are the two unbeaten teams in the conference. They beat Wagner.

Okay, it's Wagner. But they're off this week. And the next game they have is at home against NC State.

Another game that I have circled not once, but twice, getting the Wolf Pack off of eye. Give credit to Dino. I love his personality. I love how he fought through a dead man walking perception of last year to be a competitive team that ran the ball and played good defense. And this year they're putting it all together in a way that's pretty fun to watch. Number three, NC State.

Good team, not a great team. It looked like a prize fight in the first half against Clemson, but then it got away, which you would expect. I think the last two weeks have made clear what the hierarchy in the ACC is. I do think there's some separation between the top three in that next group. These three teams aren't separated by a heck of a lot, but this is the order pretty clearly that they belong in.

And that's what we've learned the last couple of weeks. So State is in that top three grouping of the ACC. And I don't see that changing unless, again, Syracuse wins that game a week from Saturday.

But they are pretty clearly, as far as I can see, outside of the top two. Number two, Wake Forest. That was maybe the most impressed I've been with Dave Klassen after a game. You hear he's a great coach because he is a great coach. And what he's done at Wake Forest is truly incredible. That with the hurricane distraction, with the physical toll of playing Clemson in double overtime, with the emotional hurdle of putting that game in the past two, with allowing a touchdown on the first drive of the game, two minutes in, to put all that behind you and then just lay wood, going up 21-7 and being in control much of the way through the game, much of the game. I don't think I've been more impressed with Wake. And after the game, how great was it that Dave Klassen, I asked him something, I forgot what I asked him, but he responded, there are some folks out there to the folks who thought that we didn't want to play this game.

We wanted to play this game. And I think we proved that we were really happy that we were able to play this game in Tallahassee. It was a high level win for Wake Forest.

Middle Tennessee. Clemson. The Atlantic's, this is the sad reality. The Atlantic is locked up two months away from the ACC Championship game.

I also found it funny that the ACC announced today. Tickets are on sale for the ACC Championship game. I read that as Clemson fans, if you already want to buy your tickets, just look at their schedule. Where's two losses at?

Where are they? Because in order for State or Wake to win the ACC, they need to run the table and they need Clemson to lose twice because Clemson has the tiebreaker against both of them. And that isn't going to happen. It just isn't. Too much has to go wrong in order for Clemson to lose games.

That's the sad reality of it. Divisionless football did not come soon enough. With two months to go in perhaps the best division in college football. I don't know if I believe that, but you can make a case for it.

The ACC Atlantic, it's already game set match with two months remaining. And I don't think that's a good thing. That's critically acclaimed for this week. Really strange answer from Baker Bayfield after the game. So is Baker saying that fans should continue to boo? So that'll help the offense score. I'm imagining a well-meaning Panther fan going to next Sunday's game against San Francisco and booing. Hey everybody, let's start booing. We need to get the offense going. Just like I saw some guys in the stands last night going section by section, trying to get the Matt Ruhl chance going.

Ellis Williams joins us now. Panthers beat writer Matt Ruhl spoke with the media for about 20 minutes today as he does after games on Monday. Gives you the full wrap up after, of course, he watches the tape. What piece of Ruhl's comments today or after the game yesterday stood out to you the most, Ellis?

I think there was a lot. He was pretty blunt about where the offense is at and his belief in the defense saying things like we just needed our offense to kind of kick it up a little bit and make some plays and that didn't happen last night. He said that when the defense can play in spurts the way it did against a player as electric as Kyler Murray and contain him the way they did in the first half and for stretches of the third quarter and really just not until late in the fourth when they are able to do that and the offense is so stagnant. It's a recipe for disaster and that's what happened on Sunday. What felt like a low point in Baker Mayfield's career. I think it's important to point out that the team is in a spot where these defenses coming up are not getting any easier. In fact, they're going to be some of the most challenging of coming from the 49ers the Rams and then the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So I'm not sure what the path to rectifying the offense is but that's all Matt Ruhl kept saying today was that they need to figure out their down and it needs to happen this week.

He's on Twitter at Book of Ellis. You do a great job of breaking down things as I told you in the past making things really consumable in your writing but also talking a lot about formations and things that might just seem like minutia to football fans or a different language to those who just want to go to the game grab a brew and maybe eat a hot dog. So how about you best explain to me and to the audience what you view Krista McCaffrey after the game was saying there are a lot of problems and you want to identify one particular thing. What do you see is the number one problem with the offense? Honestly, it really starts and ends with Baker Mayfield right now.

His feet are all over the place. He's for whatever reason not tying his footwork to the scheme or the play call and thus balls are spraying erratically away from him quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers can get away with that when their footwork gets choppy for a plethora of reasons. Their arm talent can make up for it the way they can release the ball from different spots along their shoulder and waistline right Baker Mayfield can't do those things and that's fine.

A lot of quarterbacks can't I named the two Wizards in the league, right? So that so is a reflection of something missing in the coaching to Baker Mayfield Baker Mayfield executing the footwork that is taught to him and doing so specifically on the play that are called depending on the footwork that Mac is required for that play. This is deep inside football stuff. I hope that is simplistic enough for what we're doing here and it's both obviously educational in a sense because that's what football is.

Oh, no, you're breaking it down. Well, like and I think I think a thing that there's a lot you don't if anybody's taking it as he's not Patrick Mahomes or he's not one of those Wizards as you called them. I think that's I think you're right to say you don't need to be that in order to win in this league. I think about a guy for example who calls Panther games now like Jake the loam understood who he was and it was very controlled in the pocket not making a ton of mistakes and we've seen that this defense is so good that and I guess the NFC in turn is so bad and on the other on the flip side of this that Carolina will probably be a 500 football team.

Maybe even a 9 win football team if they simply do not turn over the ball and our controlled team offensively like they were against the New Orleans Saints. There was nothing flashy about it. They just moved the sticks enough and they didn't turn over the football and it was enough to win a game in this league yesterday. They didn't accomplish that. Is that a good way to sum up kind of what you're getting at?

Yeah, that's exactly it. They have to be precise and the fine details specifically Baker Mayfield since we're talking about the passing game in order to win considering how well their defense is playing and that didn't happen and their special teams didn't come in clutch for them or outplay the average like they did in New Orleans Ellis Williams is with us here. Okay. I forget the movies that I threw at you every week.

We throw every week. We throw movies at WD and he watched the town last week this week. He's got he got Joe Person selected Scarface for him.

So he's watching Scarface. Oh, hey, man. We talked about Rambo. Oh, yeah, you and I talked about Rambo in the press box on Sunday. You watch Boogie Nights for the first time last week. Yep. Oh, man.

This is great. So we're on a roll now. Now you need to knock out in some order all the president's men den of thieves and when Harry Met Sally, which of those three excites you the most? All the president's men because I'm halfway through it. I started it last Saturday was tired through because of the week and didn't want to sleep through important parts and I wanted to give the movies the time it deserves. So I need to get through that and then it's when Harry Met Sally right? That's what's next. I thought I'm not Netflix on the ticker and I'm in we're all in need of a comedy right now, right?

We yeah, we need romantic comedies in our life. There's no doubt about it. Also, I'm going to overlook the slight in the press box yesterday when I sit down at halftime. We're eating a hot dog. Somebody walks up you say, hey, your tweets have been fire. Oh, and hi, Josh. I come on. I come on your radio show and keep it real and I'm going to have to keep it real in the press box of Charlotte's Sports Live tweets around fire in the first half and there can only be one person who gets the most fire tweets each half awards by Ellis Williams.

So, you know, we got next week though, right? That's it. You know, we are I watch the film, watch the tape and we are at the end of the day on to San Francisco and we'll see next week how fire the tweets are. If you want to read the fire work of one Ellis Williams, you could do so. Charlotte observer.com. We're on Twitter at Book of Ellis Ellis. Enjoy the time between now and Sunday. You too, man. It's always a blast coming on. We'll talk soon.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-27 21:15:00 / 2022-12-27 21:33:48 / 19

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