The ACC has gotten down to the core of its conference play. Clemson continues to sit comfortably on top like a cat sitting on a fresh load of towels right out of the dryer. NC State and FSU couldn’t decide who wanted to win their game this week, but after FSU felt they led long enough decided to blow their lead and chance at a comeback. The Wolfpack thanked them and took their spot in second in the Atlantic as Wake Forest played a non-con against Army and showed them how to deploy offensive firepower. Louisville decided to join the win column this week against fellow winless Virginia.
The Coastal in its ever-chaotic universe had three divisional matchups this week to help sort out the pecking order. VT got out to a good offensive start before Pitt decided throwing the ball is useless and just let RB Israel Abanikanda run for 320 yards and 6 touchdowns. On the other end of the spectrum, Miami and UNC decided air travel is the only way to go and had both QBs pass for a combined 800 yards. Despite all that yardage, neither team managed 30 points and UNC came out on top to set themselves nicely in the Coastal. Finally, Duke went down to Atlanta on homecoming to take on the Jackets. Duke managed their only offensive TD with 8 seconds remaining to send it to OT. A costly offensive PI and a missed kick by Duke would be all for naught as Georgia Tech won and now controls its own destiny in conference play.
- Clemson - Neither team wanted to score in the first half as Clemson took a power nap into the half with a 10-3 lead on Boston College. After a good rest, they came out and put the Eagles to bed. They’ll travel to FSU next which seemed to be a good game a few weeks ago but the Seminoles have been slipping the last two weeks.
- Wake Forest - The Deacons took a breather from the nail-biters this week and easily dispatched Army at home. They’ll get another rest this week with a bye before finishing off their schedule with 6 straight conference games.
- North Carolina State - The Wolfpack appeared in trouble at the half after FSU scored 17 points in the 2nd quarter. Credit to the NC State defense as it would be only points FSU would score as NC State widdled down the lead with a touchdown and three straight field goals. A deciding game looms next week though against the unbeaten...
- Syracuse - The Syracuse Orange took a bye after navigating the first half of their schedule without a loss. It’s time to prove that record as the next three up are NC State, Clemson, and Notre Dame.
- North Carolina - The Tar Heels sit atop the Coastal as the only team left with no conference losses after taking down Miami. Their defense gave up a lot of yards but held fast to keep Miami out of the endzone. A good rivalry game with Duke is up next.
- Florida State - The Seminoles are sliding fast after failing to come back against Wake two weeks ago and blowing a two-touchdown lead against NC State. Things won’t be any easier next week with Clemson coming to town where another sluggish offensive performance will be costly.
- Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh was able to redeem itself after its loss to GT...sort of. The offense was plain horrible outside of just handing the ball to Israel Abanikanda. The final score wasn’t indicative of how long VT hung around with a blocked punt for a touchdown. They’ll get a bye and a road game against Louisville to make some adjustments.
- Georgia Tech - The Yellow Jackets have gone from forgotten to a contender in the Coastal division after roughing up Duke at home 23-20. The game was closer than it should have been with officiating being brought into question by both fans. The Yellow Jackets could truly benefit the most from a bye this week after changing coaches and will take on a very beatable Virginia team after.
- Duke - The Blue Devils got off to a hot start but may have been fool’s gold with some weaker competition. Two losses in the last three weeks have killed some momentum. They still have a good shot for the Coastal but will have to prove something next week against rival UNC.
- Miami - Miami dropped its third straight game against and first ACC game against UNC. Things are still salvageable with the rest of the ACC games left but the offense is struggling to find the endzone. If they can’t find a win next week against Virginia Tech it will be a very disappointing first year for Coach Mario Cristobal.
- Virginia Tech - The Hokies' defense just doesn’t have an answer for anything this season and may have already played its way out of the Coastal with losses to UNC and Pitt. Should they get hot and win most of their remaining games those tiebreakers could be costly. Miami is next and the loser of that game will be in a real hole.
- Louisville - The Cards finally picked up their first conference win after playing half their ACC games. It was against Virginia though, and 5 of the 6 remaining games are against teams currently in the Top 25. Not a great way to help a struggling team hoping to get their starting QB back.
- Boston College - At this point, Boston College is out of it as the offensive line can’t do anything to keep the ball moving. They still face some of the tougher teams on its schedule with Wake Forest, NC State, and Syracuse. There might be a chance against UConn in two weeks but that’s about it.
- Virginia - Virginia missed an opportunity against Louisville who has struggled and was being led by a backup QB. They got out to a good start with a 10-0 lead but three turnovers and a poor run game doomed them later on. They get a bye week before taking on Georgia Tech, but the Jackets are improving each week and there aren’t many winnable games left for Virginia. Their best chance seems to be the final week against Virginia Tech.