Let’s get going with this week’s ACC Football Power Rankings: Miami’s offense continues to take flight, FSU unravels further and a couple quarterbacks can’t stop throwing interceptions.
No. 1 Clemson
After breezing through a 2-0 start, Clemson is coming off an open week before returning to conference play: hosting Virginia.
Next game: Virginia, Saturday (10/3)
No. 2 Notre Dame
Notre Dame has an open week on the horizon; after that, the Irish will play a Florida State program that’s trapped in quicksand.
Notre Dame makes this official. Seven positive tests on Monday, the school said. "Combined with last week’s testing results, a total of 13 players are currently in isolation, with 10 in quarantine." https://t.co/M7lNlU2hcO
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) September 22, 2020
Next game: Florida State, Saturday (10/10)
No. 3 Miami
Last Saturday quickly turned into a Hurricane party as Miami beat Florida State for the fourth consecutive time, and did so in style: hanging 50+ points on FSU for the first time ever.
After catching just two touchdown passes all season in 2019, tight end Brevin Jordan now has a touchdown grab in all three games this year.
Cam’Ron Harris ran for two more touchdowns, which gives him five rushing scores in three games. D’Eriq King (No. 8 nationally in ESPN’s QBR) was once again hyper-efficient: 29-of-40 through the air (72.5 percent completion rate) for 267 yards and two touchdowns, including a 40-yard bomb to Dee Higgins.
D'Eriq King is letting it fly 🎯 pic.twitter.com/fIxEXQtI0L
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 27, 2020
Next game: at Clemson, Saturday (10/10)
No. 4 Pittsburgh
For the second straight game, Pitt’s pass rush recorded seven sacks, while the Panthers defeated Louisville 23-20. Patrick Jones led the way with three sacks; he was followed closely by Rashad Weaver, who recorded 1.5 sacks in his second game back.
It wasn't hard to find Patrick Jones for @Pitt_FB against UofL — dude lit up the stat sheet but it was the way he won that impressed me. He won with an array of pass-rushing moves and his athleticism just JUMPS off the screen.@P_jones9 is a legit All-American kinda dude. pic.twitter.com/gVxZVwrlLb
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) September 27, 2020
Next game: NC State, Saturday (10/3), 12:00 p.m.
No. 5 North Carolina
It’s been over two weeks now since UNC last took the field for a game; however, Mack Brown has managed to stay busy. Last Friday, North Carolina landed a commitment from 4-star offensive tackle Diego Pounds — who many believed was bound for Penn State.
Next game: at Boston College, Saturday (10/3), 3:30 p.m.
No. 6 Virginia Tech
Down 23 players, including projected starting quarterback Hendon Hooker, and four coaches due to COVID-19, Virginia Tech made easy work of NC State. The Hokies jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, winning 45-24.
— David Teel (@ByDavidTeel) September 26, 2020
Braxton Burmeister got the start in place of Hooker; before injuring his hand, the Oregon transfer looked good, too. Burmeister completed 7-of-11 passes and ran for 46 yards. After he left the game, though, Quincy Patterson entered in relief and performed admirably — something he’s done before.
Next game: at Duke, Saturday (10/3), 4:00 p.m.
No. 7 Virginia
It wasn’t always pretty, but Virginia’s 38-20 victory over Duke on Saturday marked the sixth straight win for UVA in the series.
Saturday’s win also notes just the eighth time since the 2000 season that an ACC team has forced seven or more opponent turnovers in a game. Rare is it when you turn the ball over three times and still win the turnover margin with a +4. Ironically, the last ACC team to hit that benchmark was also Virginia — a 2014 win over Richmond.
Some UVa defensive highlights from yesterday:
Zane Zandier – 15 tackles
Brenton Nelson – 2 INTs
D'Angelo Amos – 7 tackles and an INT
Noah Taylor – 7 tackles and 1.5 sacks
The team finished with 11 tackles for loss, 7 forced turnovers and 5 sacks. That'll do.
— Bennett Conlin (@BennettConlin) September 27, 2020
Next game: at Clemson, Saturday (10/3), 8:00 p.m.
No. 8 Louisville
Things got incredibly scary near the end of the Pitt-Louisville game on Saturday: Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham suffered a serious injury when he was knocked down and appeared to hit his head on the turf. Cunningham was on the ground for 10 minutes while emergency personnel removed him from the field.
Update on Louisville QB Malik Cunningham. I’m told by the Cards he is moving everything and has feeling. Great news – as he had to exit game late 4Q via stretcher and was carted off.
— Kelsey Riggs (@kelseyriggs) September 26, 2020
Next game: at Georgia Tech, Friday (10/9), 7:00 p.m.
No. 9 Boston College
Down 14 points late in the third quarter is probably not where Boston College expected to find itself on Saturday against Texas State. However, the Eagles managed to rally and win at home — scoring 17 unanswered points, including 10 points in the final 1:11.
Tremendous drive from Boston College.
Five straight completions early in the drive, followed by a big penalty on Texas State, and Hunter Long caps it with a 5-yard TD reception.
Aaron Boumerhi with the all-important extra point. Boston College 21, Texas State 21, 1:11 left 4Q.
— Trevor Hass (@TrevorHass) September 27, 2020
Tight end Hunter Long was excellent, again: nine receptions for 81 yards and another touchdown grab.
Next game: North Carolina, Saturday (10/3), 3:30 p.m.
No. 10 NC State
After a strong 2020 debut, Bailey Hockman earned the opportunity to start against Virginia Tech; however, things didn’t go so well for the NC State quarterback and the Wolfpack, as a whole. The southpaw completed just 7-of-16 passes (43.8 percent) and threw two interceptions. In relief, Devin Leary completed 75 percent of his passes (10.3 yards per attempt.
On the positive side of things, the backfield of Bam Knight and Ricky Person Jr. played well; the two backs combined for 175 yards from scrimmage on a combined 30 touches.
Next game: at Pittsburgh, Saturday (10/3), 12:00 p.m.
No. 11 Syracuse
Syracuse shook off tough losses at UNC and Pitt with a 37-20 victory over Georgia Tech. Dino Babers’ club controlled the entire game: Syracuse grabbed a 17-point lead in the first quarter and won by that same margin.
All in all, it was a solid defensive performance from a unit that was without its best player: safety Andre Cisco.
No Andre Cisco today for Syracuse after an injury in warmups. It has been fun to watch the All-American safety thrive in the "rover" position of the 3-3-5, which has been solid through two weeks.
— Matthew Gutierrez (@MatthewGut21) September 26, 2020
Next game: Duke, Saturday (10/10)
No. 12 Wake Forest
Something’s gotta give: this Friday, Wake Forest (0-2) plays host to Campbell (0-3). One of these two teams will get its first win of the season. The Demon Deacon enter as a huge favorite, unsurprisingly.
Next game: Campbell, Friday (10/2), 7 p.m.
No. 13 Georgia Tech
Jahmyr Gibbs, one of the top ACC rookies this season, continues to dazzle. Through the first two games of his career, Gibbs has produced 394 all-purpose yards (197 per game) and three total touchdowns.
Less dazzling: freshman quarterback Jeff Sims hurling four interceptions at Syracuse. Sims has now thrown eight interceptions this season — the most in the FBS.
Next game: Louisville, Friday (10/9)
No. 14 Florida State
From the outside looking in: the current state of the FSU football program feels incredibly precarious. That was already the case for Florida State even before the Seminoles took the field on Saturday — without head coach Mike Norvell.
Florida State committed 12 penalties (113 yards), while the defense allowed 517 yards, 33 first downs and 52 points in an embarrassing loss to Miami.
FSU making UAB look like Miami’s toughest home opponent so far: pic.twitter.com/Ai4IXjrgqe
— AuburnBlazer (@AuburnBlazer) September 27, 2020
Next game: Jacksonville State, Saturday (10/3), 4:00 p.m.
No. 15 Duke
Saturday’s loss at Virginia is one Duke would prefer to expunge from the memory banks, quickly. A 10-0 lead to start the game evaporated as the Blue Devils turned the ball over seven times and lost 38-20.
Joey Blount picks Chase Brice. UVA's fourth of the day.
— Wahoos247 (@Wahoos247) September 26, 2020
Duke now has a -52 point differential on the season; things won’t get any easier next Saturday against Virginia Tech.
Next game: Virginia Tech, Saturday (10/3), 4:00 p.m.
|Brian Geisinger||Josh Graham||Consensus|
|2||Notre Dame||Notre Dame||Notre Dame|
|5||North Carolina||North Carolina||North Carolina|
|6||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech|
|9||Boston College||Louisville||Boston College|
|10||NC State||NC State||NC State|
|12||Syracuse||Georgia Tech||Wake Forest|
|13||Georgia Tech||Wake Forest||Georgia Tech|
|14||Florida State||Duke||Florida State|