730 The Game ESPN Charlotte
730 The Game ESPN Charlotte

Episode · 3 months ago

The Afternoon Rush - Matt Fortuna - The ACC is the best QB league in the country

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Matt Fortuna joined The Afternoon Rush to go around the ACC, which teams could surprise nationally and more. 

M Hm. The GAME ESPN a Charlotte, a Friday edition of the afternoon Roshmaley cotton and Mark Yarbro with you, Bobby Yours. Razinski still on vacation,...

...will be back Monday. So the game back together on a Monday from three to six on the afternoon rush. We'll have lots of NFL and college football conversation and we'll continue our college football conversation right now. Is We had to our guest line, with Matt for tuna of the athletic now joining us on the afternoon rush. Matt, thanks for joining us. How are you doing well? Molly, thanks for having me. Are you, of course, doing well? Always great to hear from you can find Matt on twitter at Matt Underscore for tuna and Matt, we were just talking at teams that maybe we're undervaluing or sleeping on. Certainly I believe wake forest is one of those teams. But before I ask you about the demon deeks, are things oddly quiet for you and see this season, especially considering all of the hype that Mac Brown warned us was too much around the tar heels last year? Yeah, absolutely, compared to last year, where it was just the tsunami of attention in heisman hyper samp Howell, who, I will add, I think had a very good season last year. His team success not with standing.

Um, it's been different. I mean background has been known, for better for worse, to win a lot of off seasons and it's understandable why. I mean they probably overperformed a little bit in twenties first years there and they had recruited extremely well and returned, Um, you know, an all world quarterback under center and Sam Howell, and there's just a lot of question marks as far as who are going to be those marquee players for that team this year. So it was interesting being, you know, in Charlotte in your backyard a couple of weeks so crazyc media dates. It seems like they just kind of came and went. There were a few big headlines that came out of that. That's such. In those two days there are a couple of coaches who had made some headlines and Mac Brown, who who's always very talkative, it always ahead at these these kind of events. Um, you know, just kind of blended in and maybe that's what his team needs after the over hyper last season because, Um, you know, they crashed and burned really from week one and that that Friday nights, starting with that loss in Virginia tug that that unfortunately kind of set um the wrong tone for them the rest of the year. But it's funny you mentioned a force because I...

...was in the middle of still now one of several preseason top twenty five ballots Um right right before the session and I was looking at where some of the other prognosticators had had wake force just to get a sense of it, and it's just funny to me that NT states brings out of them by pretty much every measure when you know wait brings back everyone and beat them last year. But I think that's just the nature of playing at a small private school. Matt for North Carolina is the biggest question is that at quarterback with Drake May, can he, you know, take over for Sam how and and get this offense been put up the type of numbers that Sam how was able to the last few years? It has to be. I mean you look at the workload that Sam how it put in the last free years, particularly last year, especially late in the year. I may remember that that Notre Dame game where, you know, going into that game I or name was a big favorite and Martin. No one was given North Carohn a much of a chance and they took the Irish, who ended up finishing, I think, number five in the country last year, right down to the end. And it was most of it was because Sam Howell was relentless. I mean the...

...way he would just barrel into linemen and linebackers and then the fearlessness was which he played despite the fact that again his team was eliminated from from anything any meaningful postseason contention. We all knew this guy had a pro future and he was not worried at the moment about protecting that. He was worried about, you know, doing what was best for his team. and Um, you know, you saw some flashes of glory team wise, right like the week fourth team last year and a few others last year where you were able to see what that team was capable of. But no question. You look at that roster, the biggest question mark has to be quarterback, Matt Fortune of the athletic now joining us on the afternoon rush, and I started off mentioning wake four, so we will get to the demon deeks. Well, this to be another season of AH. We should look saw this coming from wake forest and Dave claws in. Yeah, well, it's funny. You know, one of my favorite stats, I think every year they've done the preseason a CC media poll outside of one. I don't think there was one. Um that since Dave class has been a week four wake forest is outperformed their...

...preseason expectation. Um, they weren't picked last this year, but but they were picked, I think, third, which is higher than usual. And Uh, you know, wake forest says all the right things right and they're accurate in their assessment of like, look, we can't just assume because we got to the a SEC title game last year that we're going to show up make it again this year and hopefully have a better outcome in Charlotte. I mean the margin for error with that program is incredibly sin I mean they just don't recruit, they can't recruit to the nature of that campus, at the level of the clubsons of the world, the Miamis of the world. So Uh, you know, they're a developmental program but you know, the good thing with that, especially with the covid year in eligibility, is they are really, really old. I mean Sam howells going into I think his fifth year under center there and he's one of the youngest guys on that offensive teams, like, even though he's such a same heartman. I'm sorry, like Sam House back wake forest. Jeez, I'm really just played into the wats.

Well, you saw you had that nick tap on. He looked like a journalist in the nineteen four media or that he looks like a college quarterback. But uh no, but he's played a lot of football and he's still one of the younger guys, one of the younger starters, I think. On that offense they have a deep and experienced offensive line. They have really good receivers Um. But you know, even when they started out eight and Oh last season, you know that army game was perfect offensively, it was pretty imperfect defensively. Right they gave up fifty something points to the Black Knights. We saw them collapse in the fourth quarter defensively against wake against North Carolina. Now they've made changes on that defensive staff. They hired Brad Lambert who in one year for to completely turned around the boilermakers defense and I think they're excited about what that you can do this year. But you know, it's just a different program it's the smallest power five school in the countries among football playing schools. Um It just has a very unique may up and because of...

...that they just can't roll the balls out there and line up and beat the teams that that that be more talented and beat teams you know, based off muscle memory at this point, that they've got to grind it out every single week. It'll be curious to see, especially after the last year. And Look, last year was one of the greatest. It's not the greatest season in program history. So I don't want to put it in any negative context, but I'm sure there's a part of piece of people in that program who look at that as a missed opportunity to maybe when the ECS had or maybe win more and more game, especially with the way that North Carolina game ended up finishing. So I'll be curious to see how they approach everything going in two. Matt, when you talked about the love for the wolf pack that they have gotten here in the preseason, it's you know, it starts with all the talent they have coming back and that starts with the quarterback position and Devin leary. When you look at Devin and you look at great quarterback play across the country. Where does Devin leary kind of fit into that? For you? He's right up there. I mean, look, I think it's interesting cause I don't think he made any of the all EC team last year,...

...and I don't say that, you know, it's disrespect him. I just think the A C C is the best quarterback league in the country. Folk last year and going into this year it really it wouldn't surprise me, however, this took out right between Hartman, leary, puilder Coovic at DC frend and Armstrong in Virginia. M Keenan Slovis, you know if he lives up to the heidst of Pittsburgh. I mean, there are a lot of really good quarterbacks in this conference. So it's been interesting to see so much focused intention on the one guy who didn't make been a a CC team last year. But look, if you look at that roster, I mean I think it's the second best in the conference. Fine clubs and especially defensively, they're absolutely loaded. And now, look, it's not the first time we've said that about the C state. Like they've become known for losing one or two games every year that they had no business losing. I mean I think they've lost the weight force for the last five years and you can never convince me is that weight. Forest is better football players and NC state. Like that should not happen and that's something that NC state is gonna have to get over this year. I mean, look, they've got a ship on their shoulder with the way things ended last year. They felt they were they had...

...the rug pulled out from under them by U C L A and the ball game and they were, you know, basically had their chance to become the second time win program time when team in the program's history taken away from them. Uh, and there's a real hunger and fire to that team this year. But they've got to win the Games that they're supposed to win. They've got to beat wake forest when they finally do beat Clemson, they can't lose to Miami with what at the time of the backup quarterback. They've got to take care of business and when the Games are supposed to win. And you know, for me, as a quote unquote prognosticator, I just had a hard time put in my face and the team to finally break through when they they've proven, you know, everyone else right so often before and when you've seen Clemson, wake forest, when the Big Games of NC state has not been able to win. But but they definitely have the talent on that roster this year to prove me wrong and to do that this year. Matt Fortune. And now on the afternoon rush. And what teams do you look at in the A C C that could swing this conference the most and just how we look and perceive in a better light at this conference? Is that the talented roster of NC STATE? Is it of you maybe being back? You...

...have other teams in this conference that really could surprise some folks nationally. Yeah, I think if you're looking at it from any perception wife for the CC, it comes down to Florida state in Miami Right. I mean the League is better, as the League has more UM general and national cash when those blue blood programs are winning at a high level. Now I think Miami definitely took the biggest first step towards getting to that by bringing back Mario, Crystal Ball Guy, who needed all two years to win a Rosale at Oregon Um. We'll see how far long they can get in this year, but I certainly loved the long term outlook of that program. Florida state, I think you know, finished fairly strong last year but it's been tough flooding for Mike Norvell and pretty much everyone who's spent there in the last five years or so. I do think they have a marketing opportunity on their hands and what will essentially be week two for them, but week one on the general calendar against lsu that Sunday night in New Orleans, which presumably would be their second win after beating new CAINE. If they can be lsu in New Orleans and Brian Kelly's they do in front of a chill audience, I think that will go...

...a long way just towards restoring some of the good will that that program has lost in recent years. But you know, generally speaking, you look at the Atlantic, I mean all the respect of my friends in central New York, I think every team outside of Syracuse has a chance to be really, really good this year, and even Syracuse, I don't think it's going to be bad. And we all know what a tough place the Dome is to play in, uh, particularly on weeknights. I mean I just think um any team is capable of winning any game week to week in the Atlantic the coastal. We'll see what happens. I mean I think it would be fidding if they all went for and for this year. I think we're all kind of secretly hoping and rooting for that and I wouldn't put a path to coptful to do that because, as we all know, there's seven different champions in seven different years and then had Notre Dame in the title game, so one year after that. So we'll see what happens there. But I do think that the division should be much better this year, Um, at least among the teams that are bringing back coaches from last year. As we know, there are three different head coaches um in the coastal this year. Mad At least out about teams you might be sleeping on in the a sec as far...

...as the national landscape, but is there a team or two that you would say keep an eye on this team? They they could make some noise and nobody's really talking about them in the preseason. I mean, look, I think clumpton would fit the build there just because they had a quote unquote, down here last year, if I winning just ten games, but they've got the most talented roster in that conference. They've got what could be the best defense in the country and I would not be surprised at all they ran the table and got back to the playoff for the seven time in the last eight years outside of the SEC Um. You know, I can't remember a conference champion that brings back so much that that's been flying under the radar the way Taylor has. Right, and part of that's probably due to their head coach, Javer and, and just having such a low profile even killed the meaner. But I really like the makeup of that program and what should be a wide open, big twelve out last UFC is getting all the hype, and understandably so. I mean they're gonna be this great. This test, I think, for building. You know, how how quickly can you contend in the transfer portal era? They the twentysomething players from other teams with a new...

...coaching staff. Can they roll the balls out and let talents, you know, essentially overwhelmed the opposition and win the conference in year one? I think they have a talent of that ability to do that. I'd be surprised that it was ended up going that cohesive for them in year one and look Utah One won the past twelve last year, just like Taylor won the big twelve, and I'm not sure we're talking enough about them either, with everything they have coming back. That's always one of the toughest teams in the country. They now have earned their stripes by winning the past twelve last year and they also have a marquee opener at Florida in week one. So I'm looking forward to seeing what you can do this year. Matt Fortuna of the athletic here on the afternoon rush. Find them on twitter at Matt Underscore. For Tuna. Matt, always great to hear Fremy thanks for joining us. Have a great weekend. Thanks. Thanks again, Matt for tuna here on the afternoon rush. We'll take a break. What's trending? Straight ahead we'll give a quick recap of jags raiders and preseason action, and also a quarterback with an abnormal injury. At next seven thirty, the GAME ESPN CHARLOTTE H.

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