The ACC staved off Coastal Chaos this week with most of the favorites staying in the win column. There was one upset in Wake beating Virginia Tech and Miami struggled to put Virginia away. Clemson still remains in their own class but it looks like three other teams in Notre Dame, Miami, and UNC will be the next tier to battle each other for the next few spots.
@Clemson 47 Syracuse 21
Syracuse managed to hang around a while in this game and even got within 6 points midway through the 3rd quarter. The defense was a big reason why with a pick six and forcing a few short drives. Clemson just had the better athletes and made more explosive plays in the end. It was a much more tame day for Trevor Lawrence after last week’s carnage as he only threw for 289 yards.
@North Carolina 48 North Carolina St 21
The Tar Heels didn’t pull away in the score box until the third but had complete control of this game from the start. Sam Howell is a good QB but Javonte Williams and Michael Carter once again showed they are the best duo of running backs in the conference with 160 and 106 yards respectively. The Wolf Pack couldn’t find a rhythm offensively with QB Devin Leary unavailable. Hockman and Finley both got a chance to take charge in his absence but both were turnover prone.
Notre Dame 45 @Pitt 3
Kenny Pickett has never been confused with the best QB in the conference but the Panthers sure do miss him right about now. Pitt gained only 162 yards that included three turnovers in a dreadful offensive showing. Ironically, The Irish weren’t consistent on offense either but took advantage of short fields, a punt return, and hit Ben Skowronek on for two long touchdown passes that were his only receptions.
@Wake Forest 23 Virginia Tech 16
Defense actually prevailed on both teams in what has become an uncommon theme in college football this year. The Hokies still managed to rack up the rushing yards at 206 but the majority was QB Hendon Hooker. Hooker didn’t have a good day passing with 3 interceptions, all intercepted by Nick Andersen. Wake wasn’t lights out on the offense either accumulating 316 yards, VT had 433, but stayed out of turnover trouble which proved to be the deciding factor.
@Boston College 48 Georgia Tech 27
The Yellow Jackets needed to prove the Clemson game was just Clemson but that may not have been the case. The Eagles had been horrendous in the running department all season but nearly matched their season total in this game alone. Some miscues on offense that BC cashed in on along with poor tackling by Georgia Tech led to a very long day in Chestnut Hill.
@Louisville 48 Florida State 16
Florida State’s defense did not show up to play in this game. Louisville scored on all but the last drive of the first half which was a missed 52-yard field goal. The Seminoles offense did sustain a few drives but fell behind so quickly they were forced to try and convert their 4th down attempts in the second half. They only converted 1 out of 5 though.
@Miami 19 Virginia 14
D’Eriq King was once again the main source of output for the Hurricane offense accumulating 350 of Miami’s 444 yards. They struggled to convert on Virginia’s side of the field though as the Hoos tightened up close to the red zone. Virginia did struggle in the passing game as they were just a completion above 50% on the night.
Last week several people mentioned in the comments they enjoyed having the teams broken up in tiers. Well, after trying to put together who is actually better than who after Clemson I am happy to oblige.
There is only one team who belongs at the top and their name shall be the placeholder until otherwise disputed. You know you are elite when your head coach gets angry in the post-game conference for having to defend a 26-point win as sloppy. Clemson will properly show Tech how to defend the Eagles next week.
Notre Dame and Friends (Notre Dame, Miami, UNC)
The Irish are the only remaining unbeaten and haven’t been threatened that much so far through the season. GT shouldn’t be an issue before a big showdown with Clemson the following week. Miami and UNC have different strengths but both are more balanced than the rest of the conference. Each come in at one loss apiece in conference play but Miami has the slight edge with their loss being Clemson.
Muddled Middle (Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Boston College, NC State)
None of these teams have been that great but not terrible either. NC State seems to be the most likely to fall to the trash heap though if they can’t get Devin Leary back at QB. The Hokies had a rough loss to Wake this week but cleaning up the turnovers would have made that game a different story. Boston got their run game going finally but that may have been as much credit to a team we will cover in the next teir.
ACC Waste Industries (Pitt, Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Louisville, Florida State, Duke)
It’s like the only wins these teams are going to get are against each other because somebody has to win. It might make some team feel more entitled than they should. Like maybe the other team was just so bad your mistakes have been hidden until you faced better competition. Am I calling out one particular school? No, why would you think such a thing?