Six ACC teams landed in this week’s AP Top 25, which includes NC State and UNC. The Pack and Heels will face off on Saturday — with both teams ranked — for the first time since Sept. 1993. Clemson, a team that frequently finds itself at or near the top of the AP Poll, looks to ready to run through just about anything in its way. The Tigers are scary good.
Once again, Clemson tops this week’s ACC Football Power Rankings — with a gap between first and second that continues to widen.
No. 1 Clemson
The numbers behind Clemson’s historic 73-7 beatdown of Georgia Tech are staggering; following the win, the Tigers now boast a +182 point differential on the season (5 games), including +133 in four ACC contests.
At this moment in time, college football belongs to Trevor Lawrence: 404 yards through the air, 12.6 yards per attempt and five touchdowns at GT.
Clemson saw 17 different players catch a pass in this game, too.
“404 Not Found” pic.twitter.com/cLbGOYtYHz
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) October 17, 2020
Next game: Syracuse, Saturday (10/24), 12:00 p.m.
No. 2 Notre Dame
Outside of another 127 rushing yards from Kyren Williams (he’s quite good), Saturday’s win over Louisville was a mostly forgettable game for Notre Dame. Ian Book, who was sacked four times by the Cards, scored the game-winning touchdown late in the third quarter; Notre Dame hung on to win 12-7.
With Kyren Williams' five-yard run in the 4th quarter, Notre Dame marks its fifth-consecutive game with a 100-yard rusher (beginning with the 2019 Camping World Bowl).
The last time the Irish strung together five-straight games with a 100-yard rusher was in 2017.
— Notre Dame Football PR Team (@NDFootballPR) October 17, 2020
Notre Dame’s defense didn’t record a turnover or a sack on Saturday, but Louisville’s run game was held mostly in check.
Next game: at Pittsburgh, Saturday (10/24), 3:30 p.m.
No. 3 Miami
Miami didn’t exactly play a clean game on Saturday, but the Hurricanes got enough from D’Eriq King — four touchdown passes — to defeat a Pitt team sans Kenny Pickett.
Playing without start tight end Brevin Jordan, King hooked up with Will Mallory, Miami’s No. 2 tight end, for two touchdowns.
Final: No. 13 Miami 31, Pitt 19.
D'Eriq King 16-31, 222 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INT; 32 rushing yards.
Mark Pope 6-46, Will Mallory 2-51 (2 TDs), Mike Harley 2-47.
Miami improves to 4-1. Next up: UVA at Hard Rock on Oct. 24.
— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) October 17, 2020
Next game: Virginia, Saturday (10/24), 8:00 p.m.
No. 4 North Carolina
A sloppy first half (FSU led at halftime by 24 points) and several missed (read: dropped) opportunities late against Florida State cost UNC a winnable road ACC game.
The Tar Heels turn the page to NC State — as big home favorites next weekend.
Some brutal drops for UNC, but Florida State will hang on to win. Huge for Mike Norvell and his team.
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) October 18, 2020
Next game: NC State, Saturday (10/24), 12:00 p.m.
No. 5 Virginia Tech
Welcome to the show, Hendon Hooker. In his first start of the 2020 season, Hooker ran for a career-high 164 yards and three touchdowns against Boston College. Hooker completed 73.3 percent of his passes, which included a 29-yard touchdown connection with rising star Khalil Herbert.
Khalil Herbert has 962 all-purpose yards in 4 games this year.
That’s 180 yards more than the No. 2 player in FBS, UTSA’s Sincere McCormick, who’s played 6 games.
— 💫🅰️♈️🆔 (@ADavidHaleJoint) October 18, 2020
Herbert went for 143 yards on the ground: 7.9 yards per carry. With 350 rushing yards vs. BC, the Hokies rank second in the FBS with an average of 312 rushing yards per game. Herbert, the Kansas transfer, ranks No. 1 nationally in rushing with an average of 148 yards per game.
Next game: at Wake Forest, Saturday (10/24), 3:30 p.m.
No. 6 NC State
With three straight wins, NC State pulls into next week’s matchup with UNC at 4-1, with a shinny top 25 ranking, too. However, the injury to Devin Leary looms large. Can NC State’s offense continue to generate explosive plays with Bailey Hockman under center?
Some combo of Bailey Hockman and Ben Finley for the next six games https://t.co/R5oFHgdorZ
— Joe Giglio (@jwgiglio) October 18, 2020
Next game: at North Carolina, Saturday (10/24), 12:00 p.m.
No. 7 Wake Forest
Powered by a top-20 offense — in terms of efficiency — Wake Forest ranks No. 7 in the ACC and No. 38 nationally in net efficiency margin, according to ESPN. Kenneth Walker III: also good at football.
Kenneth Walker III's last 3 games:
27 carries | 131 yds | 3 TDs
11 carries | 105 yds | 1 TD
23 carries | 128 yds | 3 TDs
First Wake Forest RB with three straight 100-yard games since Matt Colburn II did it against Louisville-ND-Syracuse in Oct./Nov. 2017.
— Conor O'Neill (@ConorONeillNOO) October 18, 2020
Next game: Virginia Tech, Saturday (10/24), 3:30 p.m.
No. 8 Boston College
For the first time since 2009, Boston College recorded five turnovers in a single game as the Eagles lost to the Virginia Tech Hokies. Yeah, it’s hard to be -5 in turnover margin and win football games.
Phil Jurkovec throws his second INT of the night.
Looking for Hunter Long down the seam, he tries to fit a pass into a tight window. It's deflected and ends up in the hands of Brion Murray.
The Hokies now have five takeaways. pic.twitter.com/xS11xiRCda
— Andy Backstrom (@andybackstrom) October 18, 2020
Next game: 3-2
Record: Georgia Tech, Saturday (10/24), 4:00 p.m.
No. 9 Pittsburgh
Pitt’s defense has proven to be solid this season; the Panthers ranks No. 1 nationally in both rushing yards allowed per game (61.5) and yards per carry (1.85). Unfortunately, the status of quarterback Kenny Pickett remains up in the air for next Saturday. A healthy Pickett is a necessity for the Panthers.
(Also: man, this team loves field goals.)
Next game: Notre Dame, Saturday (10/24), 3:30 p.m.
No. 10 Georgia Tech
It really do be like that sometimes.
Final from Bobby Dodd: Clemson 73, #GaTech 7
— Georgia Tech Football (@GeorgiaTechFB) October 17, 2020
Next game: 2-3
Record: Boston College, Saturday (10/24), 4:00 p.m.
No. 11 Virginia
Virginia has posted three straight games with a negative turnover differential — all three defeats. The ‘Hoos are pretty good on the defensive side of the ball; however, these disadvantages are hard to overcome. Obviously. Things won’t get any easier on the road against Miami, either.
Next game: 1-3
Record: at Miami, Saturday (10/24), 8:oo p.m.
No. 12 Louisville
Going back to the 2014 season, Louisville is 17-1 in games when the Cards hold opponents to 14 or fewer points. The lone loss came on Saturday against Notre Dame, 12-7.
Next game: Florida State, Saturday (10/24), 12:00 p.m.
No. 13 Florida State
It wasn’t pretty, and the second half was an absolute #DangerZone moment for FSU, but Mike Norvell’s club hung on to get its first league win of the season vs. UNC. Quarterback Jordan Travis made just enough plays: three touchdowns, including two on the ground (107 rushing yards total).
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) October 18, 2020
Next game: 2-3
Record: at Louisville, Saturday (10/24), 12:00 p.m.
No. 14 Duke
Chase Brice tossed three more interceptions in defeat to NC State; Duke has now lost 22 turnovers on the season, the worst in the FBS. Brice is up to 11 interceptions.
Huge play by Payton Wilson to intercept Chase Brice in the red zone.
— The Wolfpacker (@TheWolfpacker) October 17, 2020
Duke finally gets an open weekend to (hopefully) regroup.
Next game: Charlotte, Saturday (10/31)
No. 15 Syracuse
Clemson opens as a 45 pt favorite vs Syracuse. Biggest favorite Tigers have been vs ACC team.
— Josh Goodson (@joshwgoodson) October 18, 2020
We love moral victories, don’t we, folks?
Next game: at Clemson, Saturday (10/24), 12:00 p.m.
|Brian Geisinger||Josh Graham||Consensus|
|2||Notre Dame||Notre Dame||Notre Dame|
|4||North Carolina||North Carolina||North Carolina|
|5||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech|
|6||NC State||NC State||NC State|
|7||Wake Forest||Wake Forest||Wake Forest|
|8||Pitt||Boston College||Boston College|
|10||Georgia Tech||Virginia||Georgia Tech|
|13||Florida State||Louisville||Florida State|