Clemson retains their No. 1 spot after a tough win over Wake Forest. The Tigers didn’t look particularly great, but they got the job done against a feisty Deacon team. Clemson is still sitting pretty at 6-0, even with Kelly Bryant banged up after his ankle injury. They’ve replaced Florida State as the class of the ACC, and take on a struggling but still talented Syracuse team this week.
The streak is over, and the U may be back. Miami snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on Saturday when a late touchdown pass beat the Noles and established the Canes as one of the top teams in the ACC. Miami was outplayed for the most of the game, but the only thing that matters is the final score. The ‘Canes were bad defending the run against FSU and will need to work on defending the triple option if they want to prevent an upset by Georgia Tech Saturday.
The Wolfpack move up a spot this week after beating Louisville last Thursday night. Ryan Finley was excellent against the Louisville defense, and the NC State front seven limited Lamar Jackson’s rushing game, and while the Heisman winner did pass for 354 yards, the NC State defense did enough for a win. The Wolfpack takes on Pitt this week, and a win would further establish them as ACC contenders.
The Hokies game against Miami in a few weeks is now of more importance, seeing as that game most likely will decide the Coastal Division. VT beat down Boston College 23-10, in a game where Virginia Tech had over 400 yards of offense but could not convert red zone opportunities into touchdowns. The Hokies have a bye week before taking on North Carolina in two weeks.
Louisville stays at No. 5, but after the loss to NC State, there are a lot of questions surrounding the Cardinals. Lamar Jackson played well as always, but the defense let him down, and now Louisville has fallen outside of the top 25. The Cardinals need a good win over Boston College this week, and over Florida State in two weeks, to stay in the ACC title race.
The Jackets had a bye this past week, which has given them two weeks to prepare for the Hurricanes this Saturday. Paul Johnson and the rest of the Yellow Jackets have to win this week in order to be taken seriously in the ACC Coastal.
Another rough loss for Seminoles, who blew a late lead against Miami. Florida State is a few plays away from being 3-1, but also a few plays away from being 0-4, and are definitely underperforming to their potential. The Seminoles must look impressive on the road this week versus Duke, and in two weeks against Louisville in order to get back on track for the season. Otherwise, The Noles will be struggling for bowl eligibility, and the annual game with Florida might become the ‘ELIGIBowl’
Another close game against Clemson proves how far that this program has come since Dave Clawson took over a few years ago. After back-to-back weeks in the meat grinder against FSU and Clemson, the Deacs get a week off before they play Georgia Tech in two weeks. For Wake Forest to further estbalish themselves as a force, and continue their strong start, they must beat the Yellow Jackets.
Virginia seems to definitely be for real and is off to their best start in over a decade. The Hoos beat Duke by a touchdown after a great performance by Kurt Benkert, and have now firmly entrenched themselves into the Coastal division race. UVA plays North Carolina this week, and a win will put them at 5-1, and undefeated in ACC play. Who would’ve thought that going into the season? Well done Coach Mendenhall.
The Blue Devils took a rough loss against Virginia last week, which most likely knocked them out of contention for an ACC Coastal title. But Duke is still a talented and well-coached team, and could potentially spoil someone’s season, as they still have yet to play Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. A win against Florida State this week would do a lot for the program as a whole, especially recruiting wise.
Syracuse proved that they’re the best of the worst by beating Pittsburgh last Saturday in what was a tight game throughout. Eric Dungy was stellar as always, and the defense was able to limit Max Browne. The Orange play Clemson at home this week, in what is a chance for a signature upset for Dino Babers’ program.
Pitt came into the season with expectations of competing in the Coastal, but now are most likely going to be struggling to become bowl-eligible. The Panthers play NC State this week, in a game that they need to win to even stay in contention for a bowl game. The rest of their schedule is loaded with the top of the Coastal, and Pitt is going to have a very tough time getting to 6 wins, especially if they lose this weekend.
The Eagles still have a good defense, one that limited the Hokie offense and Clemson in back to back weeks, but the offense is not good at all. They play Louisville this week, in a game that Steve Addazio most likely needs to save his job.
The Heels aren’t very good, and fans should just be thankful basketball season is getting closer. They played with Notre Dame for a while, but the Irish eventually pulled away. Just wait until next season Tar Heel fans.