1. Clemson Tigers: The vaunted Clemson defense looked mortal against the onslaught of Sam Hartman and the WF offense, but QB, DJ Uiagalelei, answered every time the Tigers needed him to respond. 371-yards, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions is, by far, his best performance yet. Clemson’s toughest game of the regular season is this Saturday when NCST comes calling in another conference defining matchup.
2. NC State Wolfpack: NC State beat up on a struggling UCONN team, winning big, 41-10. The two best defenses in the ACC and two of the best defenses, period, in college football meet Saturday night when NCST invades Death Valley for a game that has heavy ACC title and CFB playoff implications.
3. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: Hartman threw for 337-yards, six TDs, and zero INTs as head coach, David Caldwell, nearly took down the Tigers, but the WF defense just couldn’t slow Clemson’s offense enough for WF’s 45-points to be enough. The Deacons next travel to Tallahassee to contend with a resurgent FSU.
4. Florida State Seminoles: The Seminoles mauled BC, 44-14, jumping out to a 31-0 lead by halftime. The Wake offense will be their toughest opponent of the season, thus far. At least they get them at home. If they handle Wake the Seminoles would be a surprise contender for the Atlantic and the ACC.
5. Syracuse Orange: It was an ugly game against a not-so-great UVA squad, but the Orange pulled off the win. QB, Garrett Shrader, and RB, Sean Tucker, looked ordinary against a Virginia defense that is generally not considered very stout, but Orange kicker, Andre Szmyt, carried the team with five field goals. Syracuse expects to improve to 5-0, on the season, when they host FCS foe, Wagner.
6. Louisville Cardinals: Cunningham ran for three scores and threw for one as the Cards dismantled a struggling USF team, 41-3. They’re likely to have little issue getting win number three against BC this week.
7. Boston College Eagles: The offensive line woes continue to be the centerpiece of BC’s season, allowing three sacks, six QB hits, and a 2.8 average YPC over 34 rushing attempts. The defense also provided few solutions, allowing Florida State to earn 530-yards. BC and GT are in a tight race for the bottom a quarter of the way through the season.
1. Pittsburgh Panthers: That close loss to the Volunteers sure looks a lot more reasonable seeing what Hendon Hooker and Tennessee have done during the first four weeks of the year. Pitt beat up on Rhode Island and will face GT this weekend. They look like the most complete team in the Coastal, but that isn’t saying much.
2. North Carolina Tar Heels: UNC suffered a home defeat at the hands of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 45-32. Their passing offense looked perfectly capable with Drake Maye throwing for 300-yards, five TDs, and zero INTs, but the run game struggled to earn only 67-yards on 28 attempts. The Tar Heels defense continues to fail at finding purchase and ND gutted them for 576-yards and owned time of possession 38:13 (ND) to 21:47 (UNC). Saturday, North Carolina hosts a vulnerable VT squad.
3. Miami Hurricanes: WHAT… WAS… THAT? Hangover losses always appear bad after a hard fought and demanding game the week prior, but Miami looked completely outclassed during the most humiliating non-conference opponent defeat during a week of embarrassing ACC non-conference defeats. The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders’ QB, Chase Cunningham, outgunned Tyler Van Dyke big time, throwing for 408-yards and three TDs. Van Dyke was eventually benched for back-up Garcia. Ouch. I know the Miami offense struggled, but they don’t play defense. The entire team looked horrible and certainly didn’t play to their talent level. Miami gets a week to comport themselves and think about what they’ve done.
4. Duke Blue Devils: A fourth quarter offensive surge was not enough for Duke to comeback, against KU, after being down 28-13. The Blue Devils host UVA this weekend.
5. Virginia Cavaliers: Brennan Armstrong has yet to look like the record-breaking player he was last year, going 19 of 38 for 138 yards, one TD, and one INT. The running attack looked decent with 149 yards over 29 carries (5.1 YPC), and two TDs. The Virginia defense also looked decent, slowing the domination that Syracuse’s Shrader and Tucker have shown this season. It seems odd that the passing attack is what held them back.
6. Virginia Tech Hokies: The Hokies have a win against an FCS squad and a very bad BC. The Hoos beat ODU while the Hokies lost to them, and VT simply looked worse in their lost to WVU. So, the Hokies get to be ranked below UVA. Virginia Tech has the biggest program rebuild since Frank Beamer took over all those years ago. It’s probably going to get uglier before it gets better.
7. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Geoff Collins joins Scott Frost and Herm Edwards on the “fired-before-mid-season” bench. None of the Jackets remaining games look winnable, in the team’s current state, and the pain will continue Saturday against Pitt.
1. (No. 5 AP / No. 5 Coaches) Clemson Tigers (4-0, 2-0 ACC) – Static
2. (No. 10 / No. 10) NC State Wolfpack (4-0, 0-0) – Static
3. (No. 22 / No. 21) Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-1, 0-1) – Static
4. (No. 23 / No. 22) Florida State Seminoles (4-0, 2-0) – Up One
5. (No. 24 / No. 24) Pittsburg Panthers (3-1, 0-0) – Down One
6. Syracuse Orange (4-0, 2-0) – Up One
7. North Carolina Tar Heels (3-1, 0-0) – Up One
8. Duke Blue Devils (3-1, 0-0) – Up One
9. Miami Hurricanes (2-2, 0-0) – Down Three
10. Louisville Cardinals (2-2, 0-2) – Up Two
11. Virginia Cavaliers (2-2, 1-1) – Up One
12. Virginia Tech Hokies (2-2, 1-0) – Down Two
13. Boston College Eagles (1-3, 0-2) – Static
14. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-3, 0-1) – Static