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ACC Rankings Week Two

Virginia Tech v West Virginia Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Atlantic

1. Clemson Tigers: The Tigers earned the highest quality win for the ACC when they defeated the then No. 13 / No. 13 Auburn Tigers, 14-6. Clemson got off to a rocky start with defensive penalties and offensive miscues leading to Auburn’s two early field goals. After those six points, the Alabama based Tigers never again scored. The Clemson offense is still clearly working to reload the talent lost from last season. Considering how the Clemson defense played even the two turnovers by Swinney’s offense couldn’t help the boys from Alabama. Clemson gets no time to catch their breath as they travel to Louisville and face dual threat Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals.

2. Florida State Seminoles: The FSU game against Louisiana Monroe was canceled due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Irma. Another effect of the storm results in great news for the Seminoles. Their matchup against Miami has been moved to 07 October, allowing Florida State an opportunity to get some sense of offensive stability against NCSU and WF before facing their challenging in-state rival.

3. Louisville Cardinals: Lamar Jackson continues to be ridiculous. Against UNC he went 25-39, threw three TDs, and no INTs. On the ground he ran 19 times for 132 yards and another three TDs. Even more important Jackson seemed to figure out the fumbling bug from last week and the Cards committed zero turnovers. Louisville’s defense still demonstrated significant problems with the pass, allowing the Heels to throw for 384 yards and three TDs. A busted special teams performance permitted UNC a 94 yard kickoff return. Next Louisville faces what is probably the best defense in college football when they host Clemson.

4. N.C. State Wolfpack: Five minutes before the half NCSU was losing to the Marshall Thundering Herd, 10-20. The ‘Pack was able to take control of the game after that and win 37-20, but for the majority of the first half they looked like the team that was dominated by South Carolina. Next week N.C. State gets a break against Furman before facing FSU the following week.

5. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: Okay… umm… so… did Wake finally find some offense, or are we seeing what could’ve been if their playbook wasn’t for sale to opponents in 2016? I guess it doesn’t really matter because the results are the same. The WF offense presented a balanced attack, earning 151 yards and a TD in the air, and 158 yards and two TDs on the ground. That performance coupled with another dominate defensive performance, including a pick six, resulted in the Deacons leading for the entire game. WF next faces Utah State and Appalachian State. It looks like they should be 4-0 before their next four games see them facing the brutal stretch of No. 11 FSU, No. 3 Clemson, GT, and No. 14 Louisville.

6. Boston College Eagles: The Eagles were completely dominated by Wake Forest. They committed four turnovers and never really threatened the Demon Deacons. Next week Boston College will face an angry Notre Dame squad before traveling to Death Valley and facing that Clemson defense. The Eagles really needed that game against WF for them to remain in the hunt for a bowl. There is a lot of season left, but right now Boston College is not demonstrating much to give confidence that they can compete against most teams in the ACC.

7. Syracuse Orange: SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS? Middle Tennessee? CUSE and MTSU entered the fourth quarter tied, 16-16, but the final period of regulation belonged to the Blue Raiders. Middle Tennessee left the Carrier Dome with six sacks and a 30-23 win. Losses like this are why I think Dino and company need another year before they can challenge for a bowl berth. They needed this game and next week’s game against Central Michigan for any real post season hope. The Orange are 10.5-point favorites against the Chippies, but I am not at all convinced that 2-0 CMU doesn’t come into the Dome and depart with a 3-0 record.

Coastal

1. Virginia Tech Hokies: FIRST THE GOOD. A shutout is always fun, and the VT defense performed as they should against an overmatched FCS foe. Now, the troubling. The Hokie offense seemed lackluster and one dimensional. Josh Jackson did throw for 222 yards and two TDs, but VPI could get nothing going on the ground. 28 rushing attempts resulted in a measly 81 yards and a paltry 2.9 yards per carry. The Gobblers seemed incapable of sustaining drives and the Fightin’ Blue Hens dominated time of possession 36:47 to the Hokies’ 23:13. Joey Slye missed field goals from 46 yards and 51, and is currently 3/6 on the season. Boo. Coach Fuente has demonstrated a penchant for keeping his cards close to his chest. When challenged regarding the Hokie performance on the ground he referenced the Delaware scheme being the culprit. I am not convinced that we need to be particularly alarmed. The defense was lights out and the Hokies were doing plenty to put points on the board. Why adjust simply to score even more against a nonconference FCS foe? To cover the spread? Because we fans and commentators are going to criticize the performance? Those are not motivators for Coach Fuente. Take a deep breath Hokie Faithful, I think the demise of the Hokie running attack and offense is greatly exaggerated. I am much more concerned with Mr. Slye’s field goal issues.

2. Miami-Florida Hurricanes: Miami’s game against Arkansas State was canceled due to Hurricane Irma. Their game against FSU has been postponed until 07 October. They will next face Toledo before playing a rather surprising Duke squad.

3. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Jacksonville State was just what the doctor ordered to soothe the Jackets after the heartbreaking loss to Tennessee. GT’s offense didn’t have to do anything insane to defeat JSU and the defense provided four turnovers. A most interesting statistic is that Georgia Tech QB, TaQuon Marshall, was 5-7 for 112 yard, but three of those five completions were for TDs. Two of those TD passes were 20+ yards. The Yellow Jackets are demonstrating a frightening ability to be two dimensional when they need to be. Of all our division opponents, these gentlemen concern me the most.

4. Duke Blue Devils: Daniel Jones is a name that we will need to become very familiar with. Duke’s QB went 29-45 for 305 yards, threw two TDs, and one INT. He also added 108 yards on 16 carriers and two TDs on the ground. Hanging 60 points on North Carolina Central is one thing, but punching a Power 5 bowl winning team in the mouth for 47 points is quite another. I have communicated that I felt the Coastal conference picture would be much clearer this year than those of the past. I might need to revisit that assertion. Yeah, UNC and Pitt are shells of their former selves, but GT and Duke look completely capable. Next week the Blue Devils face a helpless Baylor Bears team that has already collected two loses against an FCS foe and a C-USA middle-tier team. Don’t sleep on these boys.

5. Pittsburgh Panthers: The Panthers could’ve been much more competitive if they hadn’t shot themselves in the foot with costly turnovers, two of which occurred when threatening on the Penn State side of the field. Life gets worse when the No. 9 Oklahoma State Cowboys come calling next week.

6. North Carolina Tar Heels: This game was a lot closer than I thought it would be, which is a testament to how vulnerable the Louisville secondary really is. Brandon Harris and Chazz Surratt combined for 384 yards, three TDs, and no INTs. UNC was unable to get much going on the ground, only managing 17 yards on 23 carries. If Louisville hadn’t allowed the Heels to return a kickoff for a TD the game wouldn’t have been close going in to the fourth. Lamar Jackson scored three consecutive TDs in the final quarter, completely putting the game out of reach. Next up the Tar Heels host ODU. Although they are favored heavily a robust Monarchs’ DL will not make it easy for UNC.

7. Virginia Cavaliers: A week after hanging 420 yards on Ohio State Indiana benched Richard Lagow due to poor performance against the Hoo’s secondary (3-10, 24 yards, one INT). Peyton Ramsey entered the game and was much more effective. Honestly the Cavalier defensive effort was solid. They held Indiana to 318 total yards, 4-15 on third down efficiency, had four sacks, and eight tackles for a loss. The Hoos were disciplined, only committing five penalties (26 yards). Where UVA suffered was on special teams and offense. Four times the Hoosiers punter pinned Virginia inside their 20, and IND also took a UVA punt to the house. The Cavaliers only mustered 55 yards on 25 rushing attempts. Benkert threw the ball a stupefying 66 times, but only earned 259 yards over 39 completions. A 3.9-yard average per pass is not going to cut it even when dominating TOP 34:53 to 25:07. At 1-1 the Cavaliers look much better than they did last year, and they do have positives to build on. If they can iron out the issues on offense this team can still find a bowl berth, but that must begin next week against Connecticut.

Conference

1. (AP No. 3 / Coaches No. 2) Clemson Tigers (2-0) – Static

2. (No. 11 / No. 10) Florida State Seminoles (1-0) – Static

3. (No. 16 / No. 16) Virginia Tech Hokies (2-0) – Static

4. (No. 14 / No. 14) Louisville Cardinals (2-0) – Up One

5. (No. 17 / No. 15) Miami-Florida Hurricanes (1-0) – Down One

6. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-1) – Static

7. Duke Blue Devils (2-0) – Up Five

8. N.C. State Wolfpack (1-1) – Up One

9. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-0) – Up One

10. Pittsburgh Panthers (1-1) – Down Two

11. Boston College Eagles (1-1) – Down Four

12. North Carolina Tar Heels (0-2) – Down One

13. Virginia Cavaliers (1-1) – Up One

14. Syracuse Orange (1-1) – Down One

Poll

Do you agree with the week two rankings?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    YES! Another Hokie shutout! That’s what I’m talking about!
    (47 votes)
  • 8%
    God, I wanted NCSU to lose just so you would look even dumber... but, the ACC is already looking bad enough in non-conference play. Anyway, I don’t agree and you need to trim your fingernails, slob.
    (6 votes)
  • 14%
    The middle is a mess, but what you have here should be shifted.
    (11 votes)
  • 14%
    THE HOKIES SHOULD BE RANKED HIGHER, OKAY?
    (11 votes)
75 votes total Vote Now