ACC Rankings & Thoughts: Week 1
The rankings & thoughts for all the ACC teams after Week 1.
14. Virginia Cavaliers (1-0)
Score: at Virginia 28, William & Mary 10
Next Up: Indiana
– That’s what you want to see. The passing game was effective and showed promise, with Kurt Benkert completing 27-of-39 passes for 262 yards and three scores. However …
– It took Virginia too long to put it away. Even though the Cavaliers had the game in control, they needed a late TD to finally end it.
– The pass defense was great. The Tribe couldn’t get anything going down the field with just 72 yards. The pressure will ramp up with Indiana up next.
13. Boston College Eagles (1-0)
Score: Boston College 23, at NIU 20
Next Up: Wake Forest
– So how did the new offense work? It was okay, but it stalled way too much and the passing game explosion was non-existent. BC averaged just 4.5 yards per pass.
– The O line got pummeled. Jon Hilliman ran for just 58 yards on 25 carries and the team averaged just three yards per try.
– Survive and advance. It might have been a fight against a MAC team, but it was on the road on a weeknight in Week One. Beat Wake Forest, and this close call gets blown off.
12. Syracuse Orange (1-0)
Score: at Syracuse 50, Central Connecticut 7
Next Up: Middle Tennessee
– This was supposed to be target practice, and it was exactly that. Eric Dungey hit 28-of-36 passes for 328 yards and three scores. He also ran for two touchdowns – but it’s not a plus that he led the team in rushing.
– Steve Ishmael was fantastic. He caught 12 passes for 134 yards, while Ervin Phillips caught six balls for 71 yards and a touchdown.
– The Orange played a little D. The Blue Devils converted just one third down and finished with 167 yards.
11. Duke Blue Devils (1-0)
Score: at Duke 60, NC Central 7
Next Up: Northwestern
– That worked out just fine. Daniel Jones completed a sharp 19-of-25 passes for 213 yards and two scores with a rushing score as Duke rolled to 47 first half points.
– The running game did whatever it wanted to. The Blue Devils ran for 243 yards and four scores, averaging over five yards per pop.
– What was the problem? There really wasn’t one, but the three penalties seemed to matter – a big pass play was erased by one.
10. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-0)
Score: at Wake Forest 51, Presbyterian 7
Next Up: at Boston College
– The quarterbacks were fantastic. Kendall Hinton hit 7-of-8 throws and two scores, while John Wolford hit 11-of-15 throws with three touchdowns. It’s what the offense needs – even if it was just against Presbyterian.
– It’s still Wolford’s gig. He won the starting job and nothing he did will change that. Hinton was great, but Wolford was sharp – and, like Hinton, he ran for a score.
– The secondary was great. Presbyterian QB Ben Cheek hit just 2-of-9 throws for 41 yards with a pick.
9. North Carolina Tar Heels (0-1)
Score: California 35, at North Carolina 30
Next Up: Louisville
– What was the problem? The defense couldn’t seem to come up with a key third down stop. The three turnovers didn’t help, either. It didn’t help that the offense looked like it really is rebuilding.
– Brandon Harris didn’t get the job done. He completed 7-of-16 passes for 60 yards and two picks. Chazz Surratt was better. He went 18-of-28 for 161 yards with a touchdowns and ran for 66 yards and a score.
– The run defense was tough enough, but the secondary was the problem. With Lamar Jackson coming up next, the UNC offense has to prepare for a shootout to have a shot – the D won’t get the job done.
8. Pitt Panthers (1-0)
Score: at Pitt 28, Youngstown State 21 OT
Next Up: at Penn State
– There’s letting your foot up off the gas, and there’s what Pitt did. This was turning into an ugly blowout, and then the Panthers didn’t show up in the second half and almost blew it.
– Max Browne didn’t do much in his debut. He completed an effective 17-of-24 passes for 140 yards with a score. Qadree Ollison ran for 91 yards and two scores.
– And the pass D that was such a problem last year? Better early, lousy late allowing 311 yards and two scores on the day.
7. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (0-1)
Score: Tennessee 42, Georgia Tech 41 (2 OT)
Next Up: Jacksonville State
– This one will hurt. Georgia Tech did everything right but win, and hold on to the ball. The two turnovers were a killer, but 655 total yards, 41:27 in time of possession, total domination offensively – it all worked until the final play in the second overtime.
– Welcome to TaQuan Marshall. He stepped in and completed 5-of-9 passes for 120 yards, and ran 44 times for 249 yards and five scores.
– The game-winning attempt was blocked, as it turned out, Shawn Davis missing two field goals was a killer.
6. Louisville Cardinals (1-0)
Score: Louisville 35, Purdue 28
Next Up: at North Carolina
– Lamar Jackson was Lamar Jackson. He completed 30-of-46 passes for 378 yards and two scores, and ran 21 times for 107 yards. Sometimes the Heisman guy has to pull the team out of a rough day – and he did that.
– Everything bogged down when No. 8 wasn’t doing his thing. The rest of the running game went nowhere when Jackson wasn’t taking off.
– The real problem? 16 penalties for 110 yards and three turnovers. Fortunately, the D came up with four key takeaways.
5. NC State Wolfpack (0-1)
Score: South Carolina 35, NC State 28
Next Up: Marshall
– There’s no reason to panic. It was a tough loss, but NC State outplayed the Gamecocks. The D line did what it was supposed to do. the offense was fine – South Carolina found a way.
– Ryan Finley was on. He couldn’t finish it off, but he completed 45-of-64 passes for 415 yards and two scores.
– NC State outgunned USC 504 yards to 246 and dominated in almost every phase. Two turnovers and a special teams meltdown to start were the killers.
4. Virginia Tech Hokies
Score: Virginia Tech 31, West Virginia 24
Next Up: Delaware
– Welcome to Josh Jackson. Yet another great quarterback under Justin Fuente, the freshman completed 15-of-26 throws for 235 yards and a score, and led the team with 101 rushing yards and a score.
– The secondary was gassed. It’s got a ton of talent, but it was pushed around by Will Grier for 371 yards and three scores. However, the Hokies survived when they had to.
– It wasn’t perfect – West Virginia outgunned the Hokies 592 yards to 469 – but it was a tough win against a strong team. Take it and move on.
3. Miami Hurricanes (1-0)
Score: at Miami 41, Bethune-Cookman 13
Next Up: at Arkansas State
– After needing a little bit to warm up, the Canes were fine. Malik Rosier completed 17-of-28 passes for 217 yards and three scores, and ran for 41 yards.
– There was no hope of this being close, but it was still a plus that the ground game rumbled for 322 yards. The Cane backs tore off yards in massive chunks.
– The defense was good, but it wasn’t quite in midseason form. The Wildcats came up with 20 first downs and move the ball relatively well through the air. That’s a problem considering Arkansas State QB Justice Hansen – up next – hit Nebraska for more than 400 yards.
2. Florida State Seminoles (0-1)
Score: Alabama 24, Florida State 7
Next Up: ULM
– It was disastrous losing Deondre Francois, and now the running game has to be better. Francois completed 19-of-33 passes for 210 yards with a score and two picks before getting hurt.
– Cam Akers led the team with 39 yards on ten carries, but the Noles couldn’t get free, The longest run was just nine yards.
– Derwin James was back to form. He was all over the field making things happen like he was as good as new. The FSU defense was fine – it only allowed 269 yards and one really big play.
1. Clemson Tigers (1-0)
Score: at Clemson 56, Kent State 3
Next Up: Auburn
– Kent State is awful, but Clemson did exactly what you’re supposed to do to an awful team. The defense was amazing – the Golden Flashes hit just one pass for one yard.
– Kelly Bryant was razor sharp from the start, completing 16-of-22 passes for 236 yards and a score with a pick, and ran for 77 yards and a touchdowns. Hunter Johnson dinked and dunked completing 5-of-6 throws.
– It was perfect – everyone got involved. 15 Tigers caught passes, nine got carries. It was the exact tune-up needed for Auburn.