The ACC began play this week but still suffered some attrition to the schedule with Boston College and Virginia having their non conference opponents postpone their seasons. The Hokies are dealing with an outbreak themselves and had their opener vs North Carolina St postponed. The rest of the schedule saw four conference games and three non-cons.
Thursday: @Miami 31 UAB 14
It was a tight game through three quarters of the game with Miami only hanging on to a 17-14 lead until they started to pull away at the end of the 3rd. New Miami QB D’Eriq King showed athleticism with his feet but overthrew several open receivers early on before settling down. RB Cam’Ron Harris gave a boost to the offense with 134 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Miami’s defense had some trouble in coverage early as UAB picked up long passes. King will give this offense new life as he settles in but the offensive line is going to have to improve for Miami to take another step.
@North Carolina 31 Syracuse 6
The Tar Heels were expected to be one of the top contenders this year, and the final score seems to indicate as such but UNC wasn’t without their struggles this game. The game remained within one possession until the start of the fourth quarter when UNC’s offense finally wore down Syracuse’s defense. Sam Howell threw for 295 yards for the Tar Heels but had two interceptions and UNC committed 9 penalties for 91 yards stalling many of their drives. Syracuse struggled to block anything as QB Tommy DeVito only passed for 112 yards despite 31 attempts. DeVito was also the leading rusher with 30 yards as no rushing game ever developed for the Cuse.
@Notre Dame 27 Duke 13
Duke started with a couple of decent offensive drives but only came away with a field goal for the efforts. The offense compiled 334 yards mostly through the air but struggled to convert on thirds down going 4 for 15. Duke’s defense played well through most of the game but eventually gave way to Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams who had 112 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Ian Book had shaky start but still put up a respectable 263 yards and touchdown. This game was also affected by some steady rain showers in the second half.
Georgia Tech 16 @Florida State 13
Both Georgia Tech and FSU had several promising drives stall with little scoring through most of the game. Georgia Tech’s defense proved to be the difference as they began to pressure FSU’s James Blackman as the game progressed. Tech QB Jeff Sims settled after two early picks and moved the offense just enough to give Tech the win. Check out the full recap here.
@Pittsburgh 55 Austin Peay 0
Pitt wasted little time taking care of the only FCS match up of the week. Pitt allowed only 3 yards on 22 rushing attempts and forced three turnovers. QB Kenny Pickett played a steady game with 277 yards passing and a touchdown. The rest of the scoring was on the ground as five different rushers found pay dirt for the Panthers.
Clemson 37 @Wake Forest 13
Clemson took control of this one from the start with Trevor Lawrence casually throwing for 351 yards, a touchdown, and rushing for two more. The offensive line had little trouble getting push and Etienne added on another 102 yards on the ground. Wake was held scoreless until a field goal in the 3rd quarter and added a garbage time touchdown with two minutes left. Wake struggled to protect their QB allowing 4 sacks.
@Louisville 35 Western Kentucky 21
Louisville had a few miscues to start the game but then quickly pulled away with strong performance from QB Micale Cunningham and RB Hassan Hall. Louisville’s defense performed well allowing only 248 total yards and forcing 2 turnovers.
1. Clemson (Last Week 1) - They had the most dominant performance even with Wake replacing some key positions. Clemson won’t be tested much next week with The Citadel coming to Death Valley.
2. Notre Dame (2) - Even with some early struggles Notre Dame got a solid ACC win for their first conference game in the program’s history. USF shouldn’t pose too much of a problem for the Irish next week.
3. Louisville (3) - Louisville’s big weakness last year was defense and they appeared to be improved in their first game. If they continue that trend against Miami next week they could be a contender.
4. North Carolina (4) - The Tar Heels showed some flaws but still took care of business against what could be the bottom of the ACC. It’ll be another week before we learn much more as Charlotte come to town next week.
5. Pittsburgh (7) - The Panthers may have picked on lesser competition but they played a clean game and will get a chance to continue that against Syracuse next week.
6. Georgia Tech (11) - A bit of homerism? Maybe, but two teams ranked higher last week didn’t play and Tech saw improvement across the board despite key defensive players missing. QB Sims looks to develop into the real deal as well. UCF will be another good measuring stick next week.
7. Miami (8) - Miami needs some work as well but they still did enough to get a comfortable win against a strong Group of 5 team. Louisville will be a tough match up next week though.
8. Virginia Tech (6) - The Hokies have postponed two games so far so it could be a few weeks until we get to see Virginia Tech in action.
9. Duke (10) - Despite losing to Notre Dame they showed some flashes against a Top 10 team. They’ll get a more even match up with Boston College next week.
10. Boston College (9) - The Eagles won’t be in action until they take on Duke in the upcoming week and will get to put a stout offensive line and a new QB to the test.
11. Florida State (5) - Ok, I whiffed on this one on preseason rankings. I put a lot of emphasis on their talent pool being better under Norvell. Instead their fan base must endure a stinging loss for an early bye week before getting Miami.
12. Wake Forest (13) - The Demon Deacons didn’t look great but they did face one of the best teams in the nation. They should have a good chance at a win next week against NC State.
13. Virginia (12) - Virginia won’t see a game until it face Duke in two more weeks after the Hokies postponed the game.
14. North Carolina State (14) - The Wolf Pack will start their season with Wake Forest who looked vulnerable on defense against Clemson.
15. Syracuse (15) - The Cuse did the impossible in just one game so far this season. Made Georgia Tech’s offensive production from last year look above average. This team needs to learn how to block fast or DeVito is going to need a life insurance policy.