Here are some observations from the games in the ACC on Saturday:
1. Big day for FSU's passing attack
On a day in which Florida State's defense was surprisingly lax, the Seminoles' offense had no problem picking up the slack at Boston College thanks to QB Jameis Winston and WR Rashad Greene. Winston threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns, and also led FSU with 67 rushing yards in a 48-34 victory. Greene had four receptions for 90 yards and two touchdowns as FSU rallied from a 17-3 second-quarter deficit. Winston finished 17 of 27, the most incompletions he's had in a game in his young career. But after a slow start, he began picking apart BC's secondary. Greene is underrated in the ACC, much less nationally, but provided some big first-half support. Greene has 19 receptions and five TDs this season; 18 of his 114 career receptions have gone for TDs (16 percent).
2. UNC's offense is fine. The defense? Uh, no
North Carolina senior QB Bryn Renner threw for 366 yards and three TDs, and six Tar Heels receivers caught passes that covered at least 20 yards against East Carolina. So the UNC offense is back on track, right? It appears that way. One problem, though: The Tar Heels' defense didn't show up and ECU romped, 55-31.
ECU junior QB Shane Carden sliced and diced UNC's overrated secondary to the tune of 376 yards and three touchdowns, and the Pirates also rushed for 227 yards. UNC TE Eric Ebron had four receptions for 63 yards, and WR Quinshad Davis had his best game of the season with five receptions for 111 yards and a TD; he also threw a touchdown pass on an end-around.
But while the Heels' best offensive players did their jobs, the same can't be said for anybody on the other side of the ball. FS Tre Boston, DE Kareem Martin, DT Tim Jackson -- no one made a play. And UNC is in trouble as a result.
3. Savage does enough to lift Pitt to win
Pitt senior QB Tom Savage was under siege and was sacked seven times by an aggressive Virginia defense. As is his wont when pressured, Savage threw a lot of bad passes. But he connected with freshman Tyler Boyd and senior Devin Street often enough to lift the Panthers past the Cavaliers 14-3. Savage was 13-of-31 for 191 yards and threw two picks. But Boyd had seven receptions for 111 yards, and Street had four catches for 58 yards and a TD, and that was enough, thanks to a sterling defensive effort by Pitt, which had been shredded in two of its first three games. Savage deserves credit for standing in and taking a beating. He was removed late in the fourth quarter, and reports are that he was suffering concussion-like symptoms. Boyd has three consecutive 100-yard games and is making a strong case that he is the best true freshman receiver in the nation.
Pitt is off next week, then plays Virginia Tech on Oct. 12 in what should feature an entertaining game-within-a-game between the Hokies' excellent secondary and the Panthers' excellent receivers.
4. UM's Green gets first career sack
Miami senior DE Shayon Green (6-foot-3, 264 pounds) has battled injuries throughout his career and is starting for the second season this fall. Saturday, in a rout of USF led by QB Stephen Morris, Green had the first sack of his career and also forced a fumble. Green led Miami in tackles last season and is excellent against the run. But his pass-rush skills are sketchy. Still, you have to appreciate his perseverance. He twice has torn the ACL in his right knee and also suffered a dislocated wrist, injuries that forced him to miss most or all of the 2009, '10 and '11 seasons. In all, Miami had five sacks and 10 tackles for loss against USF; that gives UM 16 and 21, respectively, in those two categories. Last season, Miami finished with 13 sacks and 53 tackles for loss.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.