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ACC Rankings Week Five

Clemson stays at the top, but it’s pandalerium below after a weird week in the ACC!

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports


1. Clemson Tigers: DJ Uiagalelei threw for one score and ran for two more while the Clemson defense won the turnover battle 2-0 against the Wolfpack. After facing down their two toughest conference opponents, on back-to-back weekends, the Tigers have re-established themselves as the class of the ACC. Barring some sort of surprise or meltdown, Clemson has a clear path to going regular season undefeated, destroying whatever lump survives the Coastal, and making their way back into the CFB Playoff. Before all that they visit BC this weekend.

2. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: After taking Clemson into 2OT, head coach Dave Caldwell got WF refocused on their next threat, an away game against a ranked FSU squad, and the Deacons answered. The Seminole defense did a good job holding Hartman and company, on the Wake offense, to mere mortal numbers, but the Deacons dominated time of possession on the back of a rushing attack that ran 51 times. The defense held the ‘Noles to only 21-points, which is a season low for Wake’s FBS opponents. If the Demon Deacons are starting to hint at having an average defense, they are going to be an even more dangerous foe. Next up they host a struggling Army.

3. NC State Wolfpack: That was a tough game and hard fought by NCST. The ‘Pack was in the fight until the last half of the fourth quarter when Clemson went up three scores with three minutes left in regulation. NC State doesn’t get much of a breather and will be hosting the Seminoles this weekend.

4. Syracuse Orange: Syracuse was beating Wagner so bad, by halftime, that the two head coaches agreed to play ten minute third and fourth quarters. This was a stats game for RB, Sean Tucker, who ran for 232 yards and three touchdowns over 23 carries. Garret Shrader threw a 100% completion game, making 17 of 17 throws for 238-yards and two TDs. The Orange get the weekend off and that means they get two weeks to prepare for their toughest game of the season, thus far, the Wolfpack.

5. Florida State Seminoles: It was a close game and the FSU fumble, in their territory, gave Wake Forest a short field, which they scored on, and the Demon Deacons took control of the game during the second quarter. Florida State’s defense did hold WF to their lowest points total of the season, but it wasn’t enough. The Seminoles have their second of three consecutive games against ranked teams when they visit Raleigh on Saturday.

6. Boston College Eagles: The BC offense finally looked like it should with the talent they have around the ball. QB Phil Jurkovec threw for 304-yards, three TDs, and one INT. While the Eagles rushing attack finally found some purchase and together combined for 144-yards over 36 runs (4.0 YPC) and a score. The Eagles defense did a nice job slowing Malik Cunningham but caught some grace when the Cards’ starting QB was held out of the game after a hit to the head. BC hosts Clemson this weekend, so hopefully they enjoyed their win.

7. Louisville Cardinals: If Malik Cunningham is in the entire game Boston College is probably in the Atlantic’s last place, but that didn’t happen, so they aren’t. The Louisville defense hasn’t been great all year and the BC offense was able to take advantage and finally look competitive. After UVA, this weekend, the Cardinal’s face a brutal schedule. I thought that Louisville would be a bowl team this year, but that’s not going to happen unless they figure some things out quickly.


1. North Carolina Tar Heels: I mean, it’s week five and the Coastal is a complete mess of confusion and inconsistency. UNC has an all-star, in Drake Maye, at QB. The Tar Heels dominated an overmatched VT squad. This weekend’s game, against the Hurricanes, will likely be a primary deciding factor in the hunt for the Coastal crown.

2. Duke Blue Devils: Duke just handled the Cavaliers with little issue, jumping out to a 21-point lead and never looking back. With 248-yards over 48 carries (5.2 YPC) and four TDs, their running attack allowed the Blue Devils to dominate time of possession (36:03). The Duke defense won the turnover battle, 2-0, before winning the game 38-17. Next up, the Blue Devils visit GT.

3. Miami Hurricanes: Miami had the week off and an opportunity to think about what they’ve done. The Hurricanes have had the most disappointing start to the season of any ACC team, when hype and expectations are considered. Tyler Van Dyke has not looked to be the budding star he seemed to be last year, and the Hurricane offense has struggled for it. There’s too much talent on this team, and they could easily win the Coastal, starting this weekend against UNC.

4. Pittsburgh Panthers: What was that? Pitt always seems to lose some random game they have no business losing. Last year it was Western Michigan… this year I guess it was GT. The Panthers are going to be pissed and look to take it out on a visiting vulnerable VT.

5. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: What was that? GT always seems to win some random game they have no business winning. Last year it was UNC… this year I guess it was Pitt. This weekend’s game against Duke should help us understand if the Pitt win was a fluke.

6. Virginia Cavaliers: Honestly the bottom three of the Coastal could be shuffled in any order and it would probably be valid. UVA beat ODU, we didn’t. UVA has a much better QB than we do. Finally, UVA’s losses haven’t looked as bad as ours. They had the decency to only lose by 21-points this past weekend, instead of VT’s 31-points. The Hoos host the Cardinals.

7. Virginia Tech Hokies: You know, and if you don’t, then read our post-game articles and listen to the most recent episode of Talking Turkey, SB Nation’s Virginia Tech Hokies podcast (Spotify, apple podcasts, etc.). VT visits Pittsburgh this weekend.


1. (No. 5 AP / No. 5 Coaches) Clemson Tigers, (5-0, 3-0 ACC) – Static

2. (No. 15 / No. 15) Wake Forest Demon Deacons, (4-1, 1-1) – Up One

3. (No. 14 / No. 14) NC State Wolfpack, (4-1, 0-1) – Down One

4. (No. 22 / No. 21) Syracuse Orange, (5-0, 2-0) – Up Two

5. Florida State Seminoles (4-1, 2-1) – Down One

6. North Carolina Tar Heels (4-1, 1-0) – Up One

7. Duke Blue Devils (4-1, 1-0) – Up One

8. Miami Hurricanes (2-2, 0-0) – Up One

9. Pittsburgh Panthers (3-2, 0-1) – Down Four

10. Boston College Eagles (2-3, 1-2) – Up Three

11. Louisville Cardinals (2-3, 0-3) – Down One

12. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-3, 1-1) – Up Two

13. Virginia Cavaliers (2-3, 0-2) – Down Two

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