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A look around the ACC in Week 8 of the college football season

Clemson could be the only ranked ACC team come Sunday.

Clemson v Wake Forest
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and quarterback Trevor Lawrence
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Virginia Tech Hokies were off this weekend, however, it was still a busy day around the ACC. No. 3 Clemson embarrassed No. 16 N.C. State 41-7 in a game that exposed the Wolfpack as a pretender. Sure, N.C. State is solid, but padded its win total with victories over James Madison, Georgia State and Marshall to start the season.

A little closer to home in the Coastal Division, the Virginia Cavaliers won again. Yes, you read that right. The ‘Hoos traveled to Durham and defeated the Blue Devils 28-14 to improve to 5-2 on the season and 3-1 in the ACC. Don’t look now, but head coach Bronco Mendenhall has this bunch heading in the right direction at the right time. The Coastal doesn’t have a dominant team in 2018 and UVA plays strong defense and quarterback Bryce Perkins is the kind of dual-threat passer who gives the Hokies trouble.

After a hot start to the season, Duke is now 5-2, which is solid, but the Blue Devils are not a threat to win the Coastal.

Elsewhere in league play, the North Carolina Tar Heels suffered another gut-wrenching defeat, falling to Syracuse 40-37 in double overtime. The Heels aren’t very good but have now lost two heartbreakers in a row. They sit tied for last in the Coastal with Georgia Tech, who come to Lane Stadium on Thursday night in a huge matchup for the Hokies.

As we prepare for Georgia Tech and the triple option on Thursday, it’s important to note the Hokies still remain undefeated in conference play. While the Yellow Jackets haven’t looked good in 2018, they always give Bud Foster trouble. With a young defense that sometimes struggles with assignment football, that is a concern heading into this game.

So, while the Hokies were off on Saturday, it was still a noteworthy—although somewhat quiet with only eight teams playing—day around the league. As we head into a new week will any teams join Clemson in the top 25? N.C. State shouldn’t be punished too much for losing to Clemson, however, the Wolfpack lost in embarrassing fashion.

And, as much as Hokie fans don’t want to hear this, could the Virginia Cavaliers make an appearance in the top 25?

This much is sure, everything is in front of Virginia Tech. If the Hokies win and take care of their own business they are in good shape. And that begins on Thursday with a stiff test as Georgia Tech returns to Blacksburg.