We’ve got some movement this week as strong performances from Boston College and Syracuse provided both teams a bump in the rankings. Did anyone anticipate the abomination that currently is Florida State? I sure didn’t.
Overall, the conference went 8-3 last week and was 4-3 against Power 5 opponents. Despite Hurricane Florence cancelling three of the ACC’s games, here’s a look at how everyone else faired through week three of the college football season.
1. #3 Clemson (3-0 Overall)
Let’s be real – Clemson is one of the most talented teams in the nation and probably will be holding down this number one spot all year long. A career-best performance from Travis Etienne powered the Tigers past FCS Georgia Southern, 38-7. Etienne rushed 16 times for 162 yards and 2 TDs. Kelly Bryant left the game in the first half after he appeared to be shaken up on a play and he did not return to the game. Freshman Trevor Lawrence stepped in and went 12-for-19 for 194 yards and a score. Clemson’s defense combined for five sacks and held the Eagles to just 143 total yards on the day.
Up next: Saturday 9/22 at Georgia Tech (1-2) at 3:30 p.m. on ABC
2. #13 Virginia Tech (2-0 Overall, 1-0 Conference)
No change here for the Hokies as their game against ECU was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence. While their season-opening win against FSU was impressive, the more we see FSU play, the less impressive it becomes. Their first real test of the season comes in two weeks when they host #8 Notre Dame. Virginia Tech’s defense currently ranks second amongst the NCAA in total yards allowed (593) and they’ve surrendered just 128 yards rushing to date.
Up next: Saturday 9/22 at Old Dominion (0-3) at 3:30 p.m. on CBSSN
3. #21 Miami (2-1 Overall)
Malik Rosier combined for 5 TDs (two passing, three rushing) as the ‘Canes cruised past Toledo, 49-21. Jeff Thomas, who ranks 3rd amongst the conference in receiving yards, caught five passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Up next: Saturday 9/22 vs. FIU (2-1) at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2
4. #23 Boston College (3-0 Overall, 1-0 Conference)
The Eagles jump up a spot over NC State this week after defeating Wake Forest 41-34 last Thursday night. Anthony Brown had a career night, throwing for 5 TDs and completing 16-of-25 passes for 304 yards. AJ Dillon, the ACC’s leading rusher, dashed for 185 yards and a score on 33 attempts; he currently ranks 5th amongst the NCAA in total rushing yards (432). Star defensive end Wyatt Ray’s 4.0 sacks against Wake Forest earned him Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honors, and his 5.0 on the season is currently tied for the most in the NCAA
Up next: Saturday 9/22 at Purdue (0-3) at 12:00 p.m. on ESPN2
5. NC State (2-0 Overall)
The Wolfpack slide down a spot as their matchup with West Virginia was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence. Through just two games, Ryan Finley’s 679 passing yards is still enough to rank 3rd amongst the conference.
Up next: Saturday 9/22 at Marshall (2-0) at 7:00 p.m. on CBSSN
6. Duke (3-0 Overall)
Despite losing their starting quarterback a week ago, the Blue Devils coasted to a 40-27 victory over Baylor. Making his first career start, Quentin Harris was 12-for-30 for 174 yards and 3 TDs. Duke’s defense is allowing just 16.0 points per game and that’s likely to sharpen up as they host FCS-opponent North Carolina Central this week.
Up next: Saturday 9/22 vs. NC Central (1-1) at 3:30 p.m. on ACC Network
7. Syracuse (3-0 Overall, 1-0 Conference)
Up two spots from last week, the Orange dominated Florida State 30-7 to notch their first conference win. Defensive back Andre Cisco’s three interceptions are tied for the most in college football.
Up next: Saturday 9/22 vs. UCONN (1-2) at 4:00 p.m. on ESPN News
8. Louisville (2-1 Overall)
Despite the Cards’ 20-17 win against in-state opponent WKU, it’s still not enough to convince me they’re deserving of ranking amongst the top half of the conference. Malik Cunningham was Louisville’s saving grace, replacing struggling starter Puma Pass and leading the team in rushing with 129 yards on 21 attempts.
Up next: Saturday 9/22 at Virginia (2-1) at 12:30 p.m. on ACC Network
9. Wake Forest (2-1 Overall, 0-1 Conference)
Down one from last week are the Demon Deacons who dropped their first conference loss to Boston College 41-34 last Thursday night. Greg Dortch caught nine passes for 93 yards and currently ranks 12th amongst the nation in receiving yards (336).
Up next: Saturday 9/22 vs. Notre Dame (3-0) at 12:00 p.m. on ABC
10. Pittsburgh (2-1 Overall, 1-0 Conference)
Pitt’s 24-19 win over Georgia Tech bumps the Panthers up three spots this week.
Up next: Saturday 9/22 at North Carolina (0-2) at 12:20 p.m. on ACC Network
11. Virginia (2-1 Overall)
Olamide Zaccheaus set a school record on Saturday, catching nine passes for 247 yards as the Cavaliers rolled Ohio, 45-31. Zaccheaus leads the conference in receiving yards and ranks for the 9th most amongst the NCAA. Surprising for a team so low on the conference power rankings, amirite? Jordan Ellis’ 171 rushing yards and 3 TDs additionally helped power the Cavs up one spot in this week’s rankings.
Up next: Saturday 9/22 vs. Louisville (2-1) at 12:30 p.m. on ACC Network
12. Georgia Tech (1-2 Overall, 0-1 Conference)
Despite their position on this list, Georgia Tech still leads the nation in total rushing yards and rushing yards per game with 1,178 and 392.7, respectively. They earned their first conference loss of the season at the hands of Pittsburgh, 24-19.
Up next: Saturday 9/22 vs. Clemson (3-0) at 3:30 p.m. on ABC
13. Florida State (1-2 Overall, 0-2 Conference)
Do better, FSU. The Seminoles looked absolutely dreadful in their 30-7 loss to Syracuse and were held scoreless until there were six minutes left in the game. Willie Taggart is pleading for patience, but if they lose to Northern Illinois this week, I can’t help but wonder how long it’ll be before fans begin demanding a switch.
Up next: Saturday 9/22 vs. Northern Illinois (1-2) at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU
14. North Carolina (0-2 Overall)
Hurricane Florence cancelled their game against Central Florida, saving the Tar Heels from their inevitable third loss of the season. Rest assured though, they’ll get it this week when they host Pitt.
Up next: Saturday 9/22 vs. Pitt (2-1) at 12:20 p.m. on ACC Network