BLACKSBURG, VA. (AP) - On a Saturday filled with marquee matchups, the Atlantic Coast Conference’s best got beat up all over. It looked more like the Atlantic Toast Conference.
“It’s early in the season,” a clearly stunned Beamer said after his mistake-prone team’s second loss in a week. “We haven’t played in an ACC game and you work to get better.”
Turns out, Frank, it might not take all that much to rule the ACC this year. Every ranked team in the conference lost Saturday.
At the Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio, No. 2 Ohio State intercepted Miami’s Jacory Harris four times and turned their highly anticipated game into a walk for the Buckeyes, 36-24 over 12th-ranked Miami.
Florida State had an even harder time with No. 10 Oklahoma. The No. 17 Seminoles allowed touchdowns the first four times the Sooners had the ball in what became a 47-17 blowout.
And the No. 15 Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech traveled to Kansas, a team coming off a loss to North Dakota State, and the Jayhawks put their bad loss behind them, winning 28-25.
Virginia had a chance to take some of the sting out of the day for the ACC, but the Cavaliers fell short against No. 16 USC, 17-14.
But the big one came at Lane Stadium, where the Hokies had won 32 home games in a row against non-league competition, and had not lost to a lower-tier team since Richmond in 1985.
Granted, the Hokies had played just Monday night, a 33-30 loss to No. 3 Boise State in Landover, Md., and a game the Hokies led until a Broncos touchdown with 1:09 remaining. This latest setback was still stunning, though.
Virginia’s Tech line had trouble making holes for its tailbacks to get through, and it was stopped by the Dukes on two possessions after James Madison went ahead. One stop came when Tyrod Taylor’s fourth down pass was batted away, the other when Darren Evans fumbled.
Nearly 5 1/2 minutes remained after the turnover, but James Madison ran out the clock.
“I’m ready to get back to practice because I hate this feeling,” said linebacker Bruce Taylor, who had a costly personal foul and missed a critical tackle. “I hate this feeling.”
Surely, the mood is the same at Miami, Florida State and Georgia Tech.
“We just need to go back to the drawing boards,” Miami coach Randy Shannon said.