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ACC Week 3 stats wrap: Louisville's offensive woes worsen

Here’s some breaking news: Louisville has major problems on offense.

Start with the quarterbacks. The Cardinals have now had three starters in three weeks to open the season. We wondered when the last time a team did that, and it turns out it was just last season. Vanderbilt shuffled through three starting QBs in its first three games -- eventually starting four over the course of the season and finishing with the sixth-worst passer rating in the nation. The Cardinals should be praying things don’t end that badly.

Perhaps the bigger issue, however, is the ground game. Louisville’s running backs are averaging a woeful 3.43 yards per rush so far (119th nationally), with 26 percent of their runs going for a loss or no gain. Against Auburn in Week 1, Louisville rushed for 238 yards, largely on the back of freshman quarterback Lamar Jackson. But that’s the only time in the Cardinals’ last five games (four of them losses) they’ve topped 100 yards on the ground.

In fact, since the start of the 2014 season, Louisville has seven games in which it failed to top 100 yards on the ground. The only ACC team with more is Wake Forest (13) and no other team has more than four.

Pitt’s run of futility

Death, taxes and Pitt’s fourth-quarter futility -- three things everyone can count on. The Panthers climbed back from a 24-17 deficit midway through the fourth quarter to tie Saturday's game against Iowa with less than a minute to play. But, of course, Iowa booted a 57-yard field goal to win it as time expired.

How surprising was this for Pitt fans? Probably not one bit.

This marks the 32nd straight time Pitt has lost a game in which it trailed at any point in the fourth quarter, easily the longest such streak in the nation. Its last come-from-behind win came in the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl, when it erased a one-point deficit with a field goal with 52 seconds to play against North Carolina. In that same span, Pitt has also lost 13 games in which it was tied or ahead in the fourth quarter, the second most of any Power 5 program.

Overall, Pitt has now lost 18 games decided by a touchdown or less since the start of 2010, tied with Iowa for the most by any FBS team.

BC’s run D

No, Florida State didn’t look great against Boston College on Friday night. But since the start of 2014, few offenses have.

BC held Florida State star tailback Dalvin Cook to just 54 yards, snapping a streak of five straight games with 100 yards or more, and held the Seminoles to just 217 yards overall, the second-lowest total since Jimbo Fisher took over as play-caller in 2007.

It’s worth remembering, however, that the Eagles’ D is perhaps the most underrated in the country. Since the start of 2014, BC has allowed the fewest yards per rush (2.79) and rush yards per game (83.8) in the country. The Eagles also have the second-best rate of runs going for a loss or no gain (33.8 percent) and fourth-lowest yards before contact per rush (1.09).

Concerns for Golson

While the running game was stuck in neutral, FSU’s passing game wasn’t much better. Everett Golson averaged just 5.0 yards per pass, the third-worst average by a Florida State quarterback since Fisher took over as head coach in 2010. A week earlier, Golson posted a 6.27 yards-per-attempt average against USF, which is the worst by a starting QB under Fisher against a non-Power 5 opponent. Last season’s starter, Jameis Winston, never had consecutive starts in which he averaged fewer than 7 yards per attempt.

Black and blue QBs

With Eric Dungey, John Wolford and Darius Wade all leaving games early due to injury in Week 3, the ACC’s list of wounded QBs is getting to be an epidemic. So far, 34 different quarterbacks have thrown a pass for ACC teams in three weeks of games. Only 40 did all of last season.

So far, the only QB responsible for 100 percent of his team’s pass attempts is Virginia’s Matt Johns.

Hinton adds a spark

Kendall Hinton came on in relief of Wolford against Army and led Wake Forest to a come-from-behind win while racking up 159 yards through the air and 101 yards on the ground. Hinton became the first Deacons player to top 100 yards rushing since 2012, and he’s the first quarterback to do it since Cory Randolph in 2004.

So far this season, Hinton is one of just three Power 5 quarterbacks to throw for 150, run for 100 and score twice in the same game. The other two: Texas’ Jerrod Heard and UNC’s Marquise Williams.

Quick hits

  • Miami has scored on 56.4 percent of its drives, which ranks eighth in FBS, but its TD rate of 33.3 percent is just 39th. The Hurricanes are finding the end zone on just 47.6 percent of their red-zone drives, 108th nationally. Since the start of 2014, only five Power 5 teams have been worse.

  • Virginia’s defense is allowing 6.32 yards per play so far, 113th in FBS. Only Indiana, South Carolina and Kansas are worse among Power 5 teams.

  • Leonard Fournette stated his Heisman case Saturday with 228 yards and three touchdowns vs. Auburn. He’ll get Syracuse this week, and since the start of 2014, the Orange defense has allowed the fourth-lowest yards per carry and second-lowest yards before contact per carry to opposing running backs in FBS.

  • Georgia Tech entered Saturday’s game against Notre Dame averaging 7.04 yards per play on first down, seventh best in the Power 5. It mustered just 5.32 yards per play against the Irish, which led to 10 of its 15 third-down tries requiring 7 yards or more for a conversion.