2. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: The 48-21 drubbing that the Cardinals handed Wake Forest is an example of why the ACC can’t have nice things. Except for Clemson, it seems like the moment an ACC program cracks the Top Ten they lay a massive egg. Wake Forest had eight… EIGHT turnovers. Hartman threw four interceptions and the team lost four fumbles. Of Wake’s ten second half drives, eight were turnovers, one was a punt, and one was a last gasp TD, at the end of the game, when victory was out of reach. The Demon Deacons face NCST this weekend, so either way the ACC will be down a Top 25 team.
3. Syracuse Orange: The Orange fell to the Fighting Irish, 41-24. Syracuse QB, Garrett Shrader, sat the second half with an undisclosed injury while Notre Dame did a good job marginalizing Sean Tucker, the prolific Orange RB. The Orange visit Pittsburgh this weekend.
4. NC State Wolfpack: True freshmen QB, MJ Morris, came into his own during the second half of NC State’s comeback victory against VT. Trailing 21-3, after a disastrous third quarter against VT, Morris led the Wolfpack to 19 consecutive points, sealing the win 22-21. The first half found the NCST offense anemic, as did most of the third quarter, but once Morris turned it on, the tired VT defense couldn’t keep up. Expect Morris to start over Chambers for the remainder of the year.
5. Louisville Cardinals: The Cardinals had the surprise win of the week when they, not particularly known for their defense, devastated a traditionally potent Wake Forest offense. The offense protected the ball, but the Cardinals’ offense really didn’t need to do much with the defense out there already scoring twice and collecting eight total turnovers and sacking Wake QB, Sam Hartman, eight times. Louisville plays the upstart James Madison Dukes, who are surprising teams during their first season in the FBS.
6. Florida State Seminoles: FSU emphasized GT’s return to earth with a 41-16 thrashing that saw the Seminoles outgain the Yellow Jackets, 642 – 264. Travis threw for 396-yards and three TDs while the defense punished the GT backup QBs. FSU faces Miami this weekend.
7. Boston College Eagles: The Eagles suffered, perhaps, their ugliest loss of the season when the UConn Huskies beat them, 13-3. BC turned the ball over five times as the Huskies earned their first ever win over Boston College. BC hosts Duke this Thursday.
1. North Carolina Tar Heels: Drake Maye performed a clinic of domination against the Panthers, throwing for 388-yards and five touchdowns. He was also UNC’s leading rusher. Trailing 17-14, at halftime, the Tar Heels dominated the second half and won, 42-24. Next up UNC faces UVA.
2. Duke Blue Devils: Duke had a bye-week. They’ll be looking for bowl eligibility, against BC, Thursday night.
3. Miami Hurricanes: Miami being No. 3 in the Coastal is more a function of how bad the rest of the division is rather than an indication of performance. Miami beat UVA, in a game that ended during regulation, 6-6, and after four OTs finished, 14-12. No touchdowns were scored – only field goals and a single two-point conversion. They are still missing starting QB, Tyler Van Dyke, due to an upper body injury, and I bet they sure hope he returns soon. Anyway, the ‘Canes host the Seminoles this weekend.
4. Pittsburgh Panthers: UNC destroyed them. Syracuse probably will too, next week. RB, Israel Abanikanda, was the only high point, running for 127-yards and three TDs.
5. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: QB Jeff Sims was hurt last week, and GT primarily played backup QB, Zach Pyron. GT struck first with a field goal to take their only lead of the game before the Seminoles rattled off 24 unanswered points and took complete control of the game. This weekend GT and VT will battle for the bottom of the Coastal in an ACC pillow-fight.
6. Virginia Cavaliers: I can only imagine the frustration QB, Brennan Armstrong, must feel after he showcased what he is capable of when protected and in a decent offense. Being sacked five times and leading the Hoos, in rushing yards, probably left him a bit sore. UVA hosts UNC.
7. Virginia Tech Hokies: It was a very close 22 – 21 defeat but the Hokies continue to trend upwards. Instead of getting blown out, like they were three weeks ago, the Hokies are coming within two-points of defeating a ranked team at home. The Hokie offense that showed up during the third quarter looked explosive and dynamic, but VT did see starting RB, Malachi Thomas, leave with an injury. This weekend the Hokies host the Yellow Jackets.
1. (No. 5 AP / No. 5 Coaches) Clemson Tigers (8-0, 6-0 ACC)
2. (No. 17 / No. 15) North Carolina Tar Heels (7-1, 4-0)
3. (No. 20 / No. 19) Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-2, 2-2)
4. (No. 22 / No. 22) Syracuse Orange (6-2, 3-1)
5. (No. 21 / No. 20) NC State Wolfpack (6-2, 2-2)
6. Louisville Cardinals (5-3, 3-3)
7. Florida State Seminoles (5-3, 3-3)
8. Duke Blue Devils (5-3, 2-2)
9. Miami Hurricanes (4-4, 2-2)
10. Pittsburgh Panthers (4-4, 1-3)
11. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-5, 2-3)
12. Virginia Cavaliers (3-5, 1-4)
13. Virginia Tech Hokies (2-6, 1-4)
14. Boston College Eagles (2-6, 1-4)