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2021 ACC Rankings Week Eight

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Wake Forest and Pitt continue to dominate the ACC and the Hokies fall even farther... not much farther left to go, honestly.

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Atlantic

1. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: The Deacons scored their highest point total of the year, putting 70 up on the back of Sam Hartman’s 458 yards, five TDs, and zero INTs. It was an offensive showcase with 1,233 yards between both teams. WF’s offense showed off their big play ability, scoring passing TDs from 54-yards, 75-yards(twice), and a rushing TD from 46-yards. The Wake defense allowed the potent Army rushing attack to put up 416 yards and five TDs, but they were able to return an Army interception 83 yards for the score. This weekend Wake hosts Duke.

2. NC State Wolfpack: Even though they lost, to Miami, by one point, a lot of their Atlantic brethren also fell. The game was back and forth all day with five lead changes. NCST didn’t play particularly poor. Leary threw for 310 yards and two TDs, and the offense protected the ball. The Hurricanes were simply able to put together a complete game. Saturday, NCST hosts Louisville.

3. Clemson Tigers: I don’t think there was any surprise that the high-flying Pittsburgh offense was able to put up enough points to defeat the anemic Clemson offense, 27-17. The Tigers lost the turnover battle, struggled on third downs, and were dominated in time of possession. They led the game during the first quarter, but Pitt took the lead late in the first half and dominated the second half. Clemson hosts an FSU squad that is on a three-game winning streak.

4. Louisville Cardinals: Malik Cunningham struggled in the air, tossing two INTs, but made up for it on the ground with 133 yards and three scores. The game itself was sloppy with seven total turnovers between the two programs (four from LOU and three from BC). The Cardinals rushing attack allowed Louisville to take control of the game and their defense held the Eagles to only 266 yards. This weekend Louisville heads to NC to face the Wolfpack.

5. Syracuse Orange: QB Garrett Shrader had his best game of the season, passing for the most yards of his year (236 yards) and two TDs, one of which was a critical 45-yard score to put the Orange up with only 0:19 left in regulation. If that wasn’t enough, Shrader also added 174 yards and three TDs with his legs. RB Sean Tucker continued his streak of 100+ yard games with 112 and a rushing TD of his very own. The defense struggled to contain VT RB, Malachi Thomas, but did enough to slow the rest of the Virginia Tech offense that has only managed to score 60 total points against ACC foes. Saturday the Orange will be facing Boston College.

6. Boston College Eagles: QB Dennis Grosel threw two interceptions and the BC offense struggled to find any purchase against Louisville. In a defensive effort that saw Cardinal’s QB, Cunningham, held to mortal numbers the potential to win was there, but the Eagles simply couldn’t put it together. BC travels to New York to face Syracuse.

7. Florida State Seminoles: FSU beat up on MASS. This marks a three-game winning streak for the Seminoles who are looking like a different team than the one that lost to FCS foe Jacksonville State. The game in South Carolina, against Clemson, suddenly is very interesting.


Coastal

1. Pittsburgh Panthers: Pitt is good. If they didn’t have the weird loss against Western Michigan they’d be ranked in the top ten and Kenny Pickett would have dark-horse Heisman buzz. The Panthers can’t lose focus, there are some dangerous teams ahead of them, but they are poised to win out the remainder of their season. Miami comes calling this weekend.

2. Virginia Cavaliers: Brennan Armstrong and the Hoo’s offense put up staggering numbers again. Armstrong passed for 396 yards and four TDs. UVA had 636 total yards of offense, but their defense struggled against GT almost allowing them to come back by allowing 16-points in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers have a big non-conference game this Saturday when they face off against No. 25 BYU, in Utah.

3. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: GT continues to outperform expectations this season. Apart from the blowout against Pitt they have kept all their losses to within one score. Their season is perfectly interleaved with L-W-L-W-L-W-L. So, I guess that pattern dictates a win this weekend? They will be looking to feast on a very mortal visiting Virginia Tech squad.

4. North Carolina Tar Heels: UNC was idle this week. Life gets tough when they visit No. 11 Notre Dame Saturday evening.

5. Miami Hurricanes: Miami was able to finally put together a complete game rather than looking like trash the first half and then almost coming back in the second half. The Hurricanes unseated then No. 18 NCST to get in the ACC win column. Tyler Van Dyke had a fantastic game that saw him go 25/33, 325 yards, four TDs, and zero INTs. A solid win against a decent opponent, but next week they head to Pittsburgh to face the Panthers.

6. Virginia Tech Hokies: Virginia Tech is on its third three-game slide in the Fuente era, a sin Beamer only managed to commit twice in his 29 seasons in Blacksburg. It was another close one lost by giving up a lead in the waning seconds of a game. There’s enough out there to read about how frustrating the loss is. The players on the field deserve a better coaching product and the game against Syracuse might be the catalyst that starts a coaching search.

7. Duke Blue Devils: Duke was idle this week. They must play Wake Forest this weekend.


Overall

1. (No. 13 AP / No. 13 Coaches) Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7-0, 4-0 conf) – Static

2. (No. 17 / No. 19) Pittsburgh Panthers (6-1, 4-0) – Up One

3. (Unr. / No. 25) NC State Wolfpack (5-2, 2-1) – Down One

4. Virginia Cavaliers (6-2, 4-2) – Up One

5. Clemson Tigers (4-3, 3-2) – Down Two

6. Louisville Cardinals (4-3, 2-2) – Up Three

7. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-4, 2-3) – Static

8. North Carolina Tar Heels (4-3, 3-3) – Static

9. Syracuse Orange (4-4, 1-3) – Up One

10. Boston College Eagles (4-3, 0-3) – Down Four

11. Florida State Seminoles (3-4, 2-2) – Up One

12. Miami Hurricanes (3-4, 1-2) – Up Two

13. Virginia Tech Hokies (3-4, 1-2) – Down Two

14. Duke Blue Devils (3-4, 0-3) – Down One