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ACC Rankings Week Three

Week three largely shook out as expected as most programs start to wrap up their early non-conference slate.

NCAA Football: Wofford at Virginia Tech Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports


1. Clemson Tigers: Clemson again got off to a slow start during the first half, but took complete control with a 21-point third quarter. QB Uiagalelei had some pretty throws and showed off his wheels before making room for second and third stringers to get some reps, but he still doesn’t seem to be completely comfortable. Saturday’s game against Wake Forest is going to be a conference shaping game.

2. NC State Wolfpack: Both teams played hard, but the NCST defense showed what it was capable of, scoring on an 84-yard interception and generating four total turnovers. Even though the Texas Tech Red Raiders largely marginalized the Devin Leary lead Wolfpack offense, if the NC State defense plays like that they are always going to be in the game. NCST has a chance to get their depth players some reps next weekend when they host UCONN.

3. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: This was a stressful game! The Demon Deacons barely survived a visit from the Liberty Flames. After scoring a TD with 1:11 left in regulation, Hugh Freeze made the controversial decision to go for the immediate win with a failed two-point conversion attempt. WF walked away with a one-point win that could have easily been sent into OT. Sam Hartman threw for 325 yards and three TDs, but also tossed two picks. A potential problem was Wake’s complete lack of a rushing attack. 21-yards over 26 carries is not a good look. Next week Hartman and the high-flying Deacon offense face off against Clemson’s NFL talent level defense.

4. Florida State Seminoles: The situation looked bleak when starting QB, Jordan Travis, went down with an injury, but sophomore Tate Rodemaker stepped in a threw two TDs, including the go-ahead during the middle of the fourth quarter. WR, Johnny Wilson, looked a monster going for 149 yards and two TDs over seven receptions. It was a hard-fought win, in enemy territory. Next weekend FSU hosts BC.

5. Syracuse Orange: The Purdue Boilermakers finally slowed Garrett Shrader and Sean Tucker down, holding them to mortal numbers. It wasn’t enough and Shrader hit a late TD pass with only seven seconds left in the game, to win. I am looking forward to the Orange’s matchup with the Hoos on Friday night.

6. Louisville Cardinals: The Cards did not look like a 0-2 ACC team on Saturday, but they are, so here they rest. Malik Cunningham showed off his skillsets in the air and on the ground. In fact, it was his best game of the season, accounting for 370 total yards and three touchdowns. Louisville won the turnover battle, and they were facing a backup QB for most of the second half. Louisville will look to find their second win when they host the South Florida Bulls.

7. Boston College Eagles: Against Maine, a not-so-great FCS team, The BC offense finally looked decent. We will see if they have been able to address their offensive line woes Saturday night when they visit Tallahassee.


1. Pittsburgh Panthers: It wasn’t a particularly pretty win, without their first and second string QBs, but Pitt avenged last year’s surprise loss to Western Michigan on the back of junior RB, Israel Abanikanda. Freshmen, Nate Yarnell, stood in for the injured Slovis. He protected the ball and tossed a TD. Slovis was called a “game-time decision” this past weekend, so we can expect him potentially back under center for Rhode Island this weekend. Although, it is entirely possible they let Yarnell have another run at starting just to keep Slovis from aggravating anything prior to starting the conference slate.

2. Miami Hurricanes: Tyler Van Dyke looked average against the Texas A&M Aggies, but the Hurricanes were in the fight until the very end. Unfortunately for them, their final drive of the night was also their worst of the game. All night Miami never found the endzone. Statistically, the Hurricanes looked like they should have won the game, outgaining the Aggies 392-yards to 264, owning ToP 34:20 to 25:40, and earning the only turnover of the day. But poor execution and miscues plagued the ‘Canes. College Station was raucous and certainly piled on to the Miami woes. The Hurricanes have a get-well game against MTSU.

3. North Carolina Tar Heels: UNC was off this week. The Tar Heels visit the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Saturday.

4. Duke Blue Devils: Duke dispatched North Carolina A&T easily and the Blue Devils exercised their bench towards the end of the game where NCAT earned 14 of their 20 points. I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me that a 3-0 Duke team would be facing off against a 3-0 Kansas Jayhawks team during week four, but that is exactly what will happen when the Blue Devils visit Lawrence, Kansas this Saturday.

5. Virginia Tech Hokies: VT’s third quarter against Wofford had to have been the most boring quarter of college football this week. The play calling was conservative and bland, but that is no surprise considering WVU is coming to visit Thursday night and the coaches, no doubt, didn’t want to create much game film for the Mountaineers. Second and third stringers were in and out most of the game, but the OL run-blocking still seems to be an issue. Hopefully that finds a remedy and the OL can turn the corner.

6. Virginia Cavaliers: Ugh. UVA beat ODU. Granted they were at Scott Stadium, but it still stings. It was a close game though. The Cavaliers had to kick a field goal, as regulation expired, to win by two points. Maybe UVA should be No. 5 in the Coastal, but… nah! Anyway, I think Friday’s game at Syracuse could get ugly for the Hoos.

7. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Nobody expected GT to beat Ole Miss, but getting the brakes blown off, 42-0, at home is also not what people expected. The last time the Yellow Jackets defeated an FBS program was Duke, on 9 October, last year. They’ve been shut out of three of their last five games. Geoff Collins’ chair must be white hot right now. Another loss like that might find him joining Scott Frost for the rest of the season. GT visits UCF this weekend.


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

2. (No. 12 / No. 11) NC State Wolfpack (3-0, 0-0) – Static

3. (No. 21 / No. 16) Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-0, 0-0) – Up One

4. Florida State Seminoles (3-0, 1-0) – Up One

5. (No. 24 / Unr.) Pittsburgh Panthers (2-1, 0-0) – Up One

6. (No. 25 / No. 25) Miami Hurricanes (2-1, 0-0) – Down Two

7. Syracuse Orange (3-0, 1-0) – Static

8. North Carolina Tar Heels (3-0, 0-0) – Static

9. Duke Blue Devils (3-0, 0-0) – Static

10. Virginia Tech Hokies (2-1, 1-0) – Up One

11. Virginia Cavaliers (2-1, 0-0) – Up One

12. Louisville Cardinals (1-2, 0-2) – Down Two

13. Boston College Eagles (1-2, 0-1) – Up One

14. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-2, 0-1) – Down One