1. Clemson Tigers: Uiagalelei threw three TDs and ran for another while carrying the Tigers past the Seminoles, 34-28. The ‘Noles did a good job keeping the Clemson offense in check, but it wasn’t enough to stop the best team in the ACC. This weekend the Tigers host a surprise Orange squad they better not sleep on.
2. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: Wake Forest had a bye this weekend. This Saturday they will face BC.
3. Syracuse Orange: Syracuse stymied a Devin Learly-less NCST offense while Orange offensive duo, QB Shrader and RB Tucker, did enough against one of the nation’s best defenses to earn Syracuse their season first win over a ranked opponent. The last half of the year is much more demanding than the first. That starts next week with their biggest challenge yet – visiting Clemson.
4. NC State Wolfpack: With Devin Leary, the most experienced QB in the ACC, out for the season with an upper body injury, the Wolfpack offense has looked toothless. Backup QB, Jack Chambers, and the NCST offense never found the end zone, against Syracuse, only managing three field goals during their 24-9 loss. NCST gets a bye.
5. Florida State Seminoles: Except for a disastrous 17-point second quarter that saw Clemson convert an FSU turnover into a TD, the Seminoles defense did a decent job forcing Clemson into mortal numbers territory. But, the ‘Noles offense struggled against the might of the Clemson defense. Despite a 14-point Florida State fourth quarter the Seminoles took their third straight loss (all against ranked opponents). FSU gets a break this weekend.
6. Louisville Cardinals: Louisville didn’t play football last weekend, but they will this weekend – Against Pitt!
7. Boston College Eagles: BC also didn’t play football. Wake Forest awaits them this Saturday!
1. North Carolina Tar Heels: UNC squeaked past the surprising upstart Blue Devils, 38-35. Drake Maye continued to look like the best QB in the ACC, completing 28 of 38 for 380 yards, three touchdowns, and zero INTs. He also led the team rushing with 70-yards, accounting for 450 yards of offense, by himself. UNC’s defense struggled hard against the Duke rushing attack, allowing a 7.1 YPC and four running TDs. North Carolina gets a bye this weekend and appear to be the clear power in the Coastal. At least, thus far. Who knows with the Coastal?
2. Pittsburgh Panthers: Panthers didn’t do football last weekend, but they visit Louisville Saturday.
3. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: A lot of bye weeks in the ACC this past weekend. GT didn’t play, but they look to continue their resurgence, against a hapless Hoos squad, on Thursday night.
4. Duke Blue Devils: QB, Riley Leonard, is establishing himself as a dual-threat talent. Throwing for 245-yards and a TD while also rushing for 130-yards (9.3 YPC!) and a TD, he was the most prolific player on rookie head coach, Mike Elko’s, Blue Devil offense. They did a good job protecting the ball and owning time of possession, but the dangerous UNC offense did enough damage to barely beat Duke. Man, what is up with North Carolina football teams? Wake, NCST, UNC, and Duke all looking competent. Used to be that way in VA… times have changed, I s’pose.
5. Miami Hurricanes: Miami held on to break their two game losing streak. Tyler Van Dyke and the offense looked unstoppable during the first half, but struggled to find purchase in the second half, only scoring three points. It was enough to win, 20-14, even after an energetic comeback attempt by VT during the fourth quarter. Miami hosts Duke, this weekend, in a game that certainly didn’t figure to be a toss-up at the start of the year, but most certainly is halfway through the season.
6. Virginia Tech Hokies: The VT offense probably played their worst football during the first three quarters of the game. Then the Hokies, as a team, probably played their best football, of the season, during the fourth quarter. I hope fourth quarter VT is an indication of a corner turned and not simply a flash. Hokies have a bye.
7. Virginia Cavaliers: Hoos didn’t play this weekend, but they do visit GT on Thursday night.
1. (No. 5 AP / No. 5 Coaches) Clemson Tigers (7-0, 5-0 ACC)
2. (No. 13 / No. 13) Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-1, 1-1)
3. (No. 14 / No. 14) Syracuse Orange (6-0, 3-0)
4. (No. 22 / No. 22) North Carolina Tar Heels (6-1, 3-0)
5. (No. 23 / No. 23) NC State Wolfpack (5-2, 1-2)
6. Florida State Seminoles (4-3, 2-3)
7. Pittsburgh Panthers (4-2, 1-1)
8. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-3, 2-1)
9. Duke Blue Devils (4-3, 1-2)
10. Miami Hurricanes (3-3, 1-1)
11. Louisville Cardinals (3-3, 1-3)
12. Boston College Eagles (2-4, 1-3)
13. Virginia Tech Hokies (2-5, 1-3)
14. Virginia Cavaliers (2-4, 0-3)