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Around the ACC: Week 4

NC State got the win of the weekend, taking down #12 FSU.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia (3-1)

Virginia got things underway Thursday night by laying down a road beatdown against Boise State. The Broncos hadn’t lost by double-digits at home since 2001, but Virginia left Idaho with a 42-23 victory. After going just 2-10 last year, the Cavaliers have already topped their win total and done it in impressive fashion. Quarterback Kurt Benkert is doing a great job leading this team and had another impressive game Thursday night. He finished 19-29 for 273 yards and a trio of touchdowns. If he continues to play at this level, the Cavaliers offense will give plenty of teams trouble. They will have a week off before starting ACC play against undefeated Duke on October 7.

Pittsburgh (1-3)

The Pittsburgh Panthers faced your very own Yellow Jackets. Check out the game recap for a breakdown of that one.

Boston College (1-3) & #2 Clemson (4-0)

What looks at first to be a massively lopsided score, was actually a very tight game for 45+ minutes. Boston College, a 32 point underdog was still tied with Clemson 7-7 at the start of the 4th quarter, before the Tigers dropped 27 points in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Eagles. It was a valiant effort for the Eagles, but things massively unraveled in the fourth quarter. The first three quarters will still leave them with plenty of positives to build upon, especially the defense which shut Clemson down and forced multiple turnovers. For Clemson, the defense was elite once again, holding Boston College to just 7 points on 238 points. However, the offense was sloppy in this one until the fourth quarter, something that might have Clemson fans hoping for a national championship mildly concerned. Boston College will return to non-conference play next week when they take on Central Michigan. Next up for Clemson is the game of the week, as they travel to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech where the offense will have to look much sharper.

North Carolina State (3-1) & #12 Florida State (0-2)

What a day for the NC State Wolfpack. What a disastrous start to the season for the Florida State Seminoles. First, lets start with the Wolfpack, who picked up their first ranked road win since 2008. They took the lead early and never let FSU lead. Their swiss army knife all-purpose back Jaylen Samuels had a big day with 75 all-purpose yards, a pair of touchdowns, and even a 25 yard pass completion. For the Seminoles, they drop to 0-2 after being picked by many to be in the college football playoff. The loss of Deondre Francois was obviously devastating for FSU, but they will need to get things together before the season totally unravels. NCSU will take on Syracuse next week, while FSU will head to Wake Forest next week who are sitting at 4-0 because...college football ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

#13 Virginia Tech (4-0)

Virginia Tech was rolling once again on Saturday, moving to 4-0 with a 38-0 win over Old Dominion. Not much can be said about this one, as the Hokies had 582 offensive yards and held ODU to just 149. Things will get much more real for the Hokies next week when Clemson comes to town in what should be a very fun matchup.

#14 Miami (2-0)

It took the Hurricanes a while, but eventually the pulled away from Toledo, eventually winning 52-30. Miami was actually trailing at halftime, but a bit of a slow start is to be expected after three weeks off. In the first half, Miami was a disaster both offensively and defensively, but scored four unanswered touchdowns in the second half to eventually pull away. Possibly the biggest takeaway for Miami? Mark Walton is an absolute monster. He had 204 yards on just 11 carries. Miami has a short week on deck, as they’ll travel to Duke Friday night.

#19 Louisville (3-1)

Louisville did exactly what the needed to do in this one, bouncing back from the Clemson loss with a 42-3 win over Kent State. There are still areas for concern though, as Lamar Jackson threw a pair of interceptions despite completing 18 of his 22 pass attempts. The Louisville defense finally looked good, holding the Golden Flashes to just 150 yards, however the competition has to be considered there. Next up for Louisville should be another easy one against FCS foe Murray State.

Syracuse (2-2)

Night games in death valley are no easy task, but Syracuse sure gave it their best effort Saturday night, eventually falling 35-26. The Orange had their chance, down just two points in the fourth quarter, but an LSU touchdown with less than two minutes left put things away. The Syracuse front seven was really impressive in this one, holding Heisman contender Darius Guice to just 14 yards, but the secondary allowed two long touchdown throws. Still plenty of things to improve on for Syracuse, but it was a valiant effort all things considered, even if LSU has not looked as good as expected. Next up for Syracuse is NC State.

Wake Forest (4-0)

Wake Forest moved to 4-0 Saturday thanks to a blocked field goal on the road against Appalachian State. App State out-gained Wake by 150 yards, but the only play that mattered was the blocked field goal with under 10 seconds left that would have won the game for App State. Big picture wise, what a start for Wake Forest, who is 4-0 for just the sixth time in school history and first time ever in back to back seasons. Dave Clawson deserves a ton of credit for what he has been able to do since he took over in 2014. Wake will have their biggest test of the young season next week when FSU comes to town.

Duke (4-0) & North Carolina (1-3)

Saturday, Duke’s dream and UNC’s nightmare continued, as Duke remained undefeated, dropping UNC to 1-3 with a 27-17 win. The game was closer than the score indicates, with UNC leading at the start of the fourth quarter, but the Duke defense delivered down the stretch, holding the Tar Heels at bay every time they were called upon in the fourth. Duke will host Miami Friday night while UNC heads to Atlanta next week for a meeting with your Yellow Jackets.