Wake Forest

ACC Rankings & Quick Takes After Week 5

What happened in all the Week 5 ACC games? Where are all the teams ranked, and what’s the quick take on each game? Check out the ACC rankings and analysis.

ACC Week 5 Rankings & Quick Takes

How are the ACC predictions so far? SU: 41-17, ATS: 23-19

1. Clemson (5-0)

Final Score: Clemson 42, Louisville 36
Prediction: Clemson 37, Louisville 31, UL -2
Up Next: at Boston College

Quick Take: Lamar Jackson might be the one everyone remembers for his flash and his dash, but Deshaun Watson overcame a rocky second half, and a knee problem late, to rally his team through the adversity with five touchdown passes and 306 yards to go along with 91 yards. He might have thrown three picks, and two of them were on him, but when the team had to come through late, it went on the drives it needed to have – thanks to No. 4. It might have been an almost collapse, and it might have been a rocky run, but the ACC Atlantic is Clemson’s. This was a gut-check second half, and Watson came through.

2. Louisville (4-1)

Final Score: Clemson 42, Louisville 36
Prediction: Clemson 37, Louisville 31, UL -2
Up Next: Duke (Oct. 14)

Quick Take: The Cardinals overcame the crowd, the awful second quarter, and the struggles when the offense couldn’t quite come through early on to almost pull off an amazing comeback. But Clemson can play a little bit, too, and Deshaun Watson ended up being too good when it counted. As brilliant as Lamar Jackson was to carry the team like he did – running for 162 yards and two scores along with 295 passing yards and a touchdown – and as balanced as the offense was because of him, the 11 penalties hurt, and the empty drives early turned out to be a problem. There’s obviously no shame here – win out, and 11-1 might still get the CFP job done.

3. Virginia Tech (3-1)

Up Next: at North Carolina (Oct. 8)

4. Miami (4-0)

Final Score: Miami 35, Georgia Tech 21
Prediction: Miami 27, Georgia Tech 23, Miami -7.5
Up Next: Florida State

Quick Take: Here’s the nice part about it – Miami got a double-digit win on the road without playing its best. The defense continued the production with enough plays in the backfield to keep the Georgia Tech offense from getting into a groove – the scoop and score helped – but the offense couldn’t keep the chains moving. It might not have been pretty, but the Canes didn’t turn the ball over, were a +3 overall, and let the defense clean up the rest in the second half.

5. North Carolina (4-1)

Final Score: North Carolina 37, Florida State 35
Prediction: Florida State 45, North Carolina 31, FSU -10.5
Up Next: Virginia Tech

Quick Take: The Nick Weller 54-yard bomb will be whatever everyone remembers, but Mitch Trubisky had himself a game, and Ryan Switzer had himself a better one. The run defense is still awful – Dalvin Cook did whatever he wanted to – but Trubisky and Switzer hooked up 14 times for 158 yards as part of the 405-yard passing day. This was UNC’s big-time ACC moment. Miami might be playing well, but now the Tar Heels might really and truly be the Coastal favorite with the way the passing game rolled.

6. Florida State (3-2)

Final Score: North Carolina 37, Florida State 35
Prediction: Florida State 45, North Carolina 31, FSU -10.5
Up Next: at Miami

Quick Take: The nightmare continues. Dalvin Cook came up with a second straight amazing game with 140 yards and three scores, and Deondre Francois was magical, throwing for 372 yards and getting what should’ve been the game-winning touchdown, but the defense full of NFL talents has been a disastrous dud. UNC has a solid passing game, but Ryan Switzer did whatever he wanted against the supposedly amazing Seminole secondary and the D as a whole failed yet again. Now the ACC title hopes are all but gone, and dreams of even getting one of the ACC’s better bowl spots might be done.

7. Pitt (3-2)

Final Score: Pitt 43, Marshall 27
Prediction: Pitt 55, Marshall 31, Pitt -16
Up Next: Georgia Tech

Quick Take: The Marshall defense is abysmal, and Pitt took advantage early on as Nathan Peterman rolled to a brilliant game – but it was the one big throw late that saved the day. Just when it seemed like Pitt was about to choke away the game – or was going to be close do doing it – Peterman found Jester Weah for a 54-yard exhale-inducing touchdown pass to get out alive. Peterman completed 17-of-23 passes for 280 yards and two scores, and Weah ripped off 176 receiving yards and the score on seven grabs, but this defense needs a whole lot of tweaking in a big, big hurry.

8. Georgia Tech (3-2)

Final Score: Miami 35, Georgia Tech 21
Prediction: Miami 27, Georgia Tech 23, Miami -7.5
Up Next: at Pitt

Quick Take: The offense was able to overcome the problems against the attacking Miami defense, but Justin Thomas was never able to break free. The option had its moments, but it’s obviously not an offense built to make comebacks, and the deep ball wasn’t there to stretch the Cane back seven. The defense did its job, and the offense cranked out the clock, but the three turnovers and no takeaways were lethal.

9. North Carolina State (3-1)

Final Score: NC State 33, Wake Forest 16
Prediction: NC State 31, Wake Forest 17, NC State -10.5
Up Next: Notre Dame

Quick Take: Wake Forest came into the game with one of the nation’s best statistical defenses, but the Wolfpack came up with a tremendous gameplan from the start. The O might have slowed as the game went on, but Ryan Finley was terrific completing 23-of-36 passes for 300 yards and three scores, while Matthew Dayes fumbled for 125 yards and a score. Wake Forest doesn’t have a high-powered offense, and State was able to take the air out of the ball. The 13 penalties for 144 yards were a problem, but this was a strong win going into the Notre Dame game.

10. Wake Forest (4-1)

Final Score: NC State 33, Wake Forest 16
Prediction: NC State 31, Wake Forest 17, NC State -10.5
Up Next: Syracuse

Quick Take: The Demon Deacons can’t get down early. They did, and they couldn’t claw their way back, even with John Wolford completing 25-of-41 passes for 263 yards and a score to give it a try. The defense couldn’t get off the field enough, the line gave up too many big first down runs and couldn’t make amends after the rough first quarter.

11. Virginia (2-3)

Final Score: Virginia 34, Duke 20
Prediction: Duke 38, Virginia 31, Duke -4
Up Next: Pitt (Oct. 15)

Quick Take: It might have taken a few weeks, but the Cavaliers have settled down, gotten the offense moving, and now it’s doing what a Bronco Mendenhall team is supposed to. Kurt Benkert and his 336 yards and three scores took advantage of all the breaks – getting six takeaways might’ve helped a wee bit. Now the Cavaliers are among the living in the hunt for a bowl game.

12. Duke (2-3)

Final Score: Virginia 34, Duke 20
Prediction: Duke 38, Virginia 31, Duke -4
Up Next: Army

Quick Take: Really? That’s how you build on a win over Notre Dame? The defense might have had a few issues in the secondary, but it couldn’t do much of anything when the offense kept giving the ball away. Daniel Jones was the star against the Fighting Irish, but the five interceptions – six team turnovers in all – were devastating. The Blue Devils couldn’t afford to lose this home game.

13. Boston College (3-2)

Final Score: Boston College 35, Buffalo 3
Prediction: Boston College 27, Buffalo 10, BC -19
Up Next: Clemson

Quick Take: It wasn’t supposed to be too tight, but Buffalo has a little bit of a defense – and it showed. It’s a big concern that BC couldn’t run the ball averaging just 2.5 yards per pop against a MAC team, but Patrick Towles was good enough with 234 yards and two scores. But the O was along for the ride – it’s BC. It’s about the D, and it allowed just 67 total yards – UB couldn’t breathe.

14. Syracuse (2-3)

Final Score: Notre Dame 50, Syracuse 33
Prediction: Notre Dame 41, Syracuse 23, Notre Dame -11
Up Next: at Wake Forest

Quick Take: Yet again, the Syracuse defense can’t handle a decent offense – or a great quarterback. There’s no shame in getting lit up by DeShone Kizer, but the Orange were able to keep up the pace for a little while because Eric Dungey continues to be fantastic. He threw for 363 yards and two scores, and ran for three touchdowns and a team-high 49 yards, but the O fell flat in the second half when the defense finally started to come up with a few stops.