Sports, Football, Power Rankings

ACC Power Rankings: Wake Forest Survives Scare, Miami Suffers Tough Loss in Week Three

1. Clemson (3–0, 1–0 Atlantic Coast)

It was more of the same from the No. 5 Tigers in Week Three, and Clemson looked good—but not great—in its 48–20 home win over Louisiana Tech. Clemson’s offense managed just 13 points in the first half but exploded for 35 points after halftime. Running back Will Shipley led the way with 139 rushing yards and two touchdowns while D.J. Uiagalelei posted another underwhelming stat line. The Tigers’ defense was stifling against the run but gave up a whopping 311 yards through the air. The Tigers will need to shore up their pass defense ahead of a Week Four tilt against Wake Forest and standout quarterback Sam Hartman.

Next Up: at Wake Forest, Saturday, 12 p.m.

2. North Carolina State (3–0,  0–0) ↑1

The Wolfpack passed its first Power Five test of the season in a 27–14 victory over Texas Tech. NC State’s Devin Leary–led offense only picked up 270 total yards, but a timely interception by sophomore cornerback Aydan White and a strong defensive performance allowed NC State to coast to a comfortable win. The Wolfpack enters a Week Four matchup against Connecticut as heavy favorites before a crucial trip to Clemson in Week Five. 

Next Up: vs. UConn, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

3. Wake Forest (3–0, 0–0) ↑1

The Demon Deacons had to stop a two-point conversion attempt with 1:11 remaining in the game in order to secure a 37–36 win at home against Liberty. Hartman made up for throwing two interceptions by throwing for 325 yards and three touchdowns in a game where the Wake Forest rushing attack was almost nonexistent. Wake’s defense struggled for nearly the whole game but came up big in the closing minutes to avoid what would have been a crushing loss for a team with ACC-title ambitions. Wake hosts Clemson in a marquee matchup in Week Four. 

Next Up: vs. Clemson, Saturday, 12 p.m.

4. Florida State (3–0, 1–0) ↑1

The Seminoles continued their impressive start to the season by beating Louisville 35–31 on the road in their first conference game of the season. Backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker led three stellar 75-yard touchdown drives in the second half after starter Jordan Travis left the game with a leg injury. The ’Noles finished with 455 yards of total offense, and the defense forced three turnovers in what turned out to be an exciting battle between two high-powered ACC offenses. Florida State will look to improve to 4–0 as it hosts Boston College football in Week Four.

Next Up: vs. Boston College, Saturday, 8 p.m.

5. Pittsburgh (2–1, 0–0) ↑1

The No. 24 Panthers bounced back from their Week Two overtime loss to Tennessee with a 34–13 win at Western Michigan. Starting quarterback Kedon Slovis and backup Nick Patti both suffered injuries in the loss to Tennessee, so redshirt freshman Nate Yarnell was called into action in Week Three. Yarnell filled in by throwing for 179 yards and a touchdown, and running back Israel Abanikanda ran 31 times for 133 yards and one score. Slovis will be back for a home game against Rhode Island on Saturday. 

Next Up: vs. Rhode Island, Saturday, 12 p.m.

6. Miami (2–1, 0–0) 4

The Hurricanes fell 17–9 in a low scoring affair at No. 23 Texas A&M in Week Three. The ’Canes had four long drives stall out in the red zone and thus had only nine points to show for 392 yards of total offense. Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke struggled against an Aggies defense that has been good all year, and Miami’s defense gave up touchdowns on either side of the halftime break that allowed A&M to grab control of the game. 

Next Up: vs. Middle Tennessee State, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

7. Syracuse (3–0, 1–0)

The Orange survived a late surge by Purdue in a 32–29 Week Three win. Syracuse seemed to have lost the game in the final minutes, but two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on Purdue allowed the Orange to score a game-winning touchdown with seven seconds left. Quarterback Garrett Shrader showed his dual-threat ability, and sophomore receiver Oronde Gadsden II exploded for 112 yards and two touchdown receptions. 

Next Up: vs. Virginia, Friday, 7 p.m.

8. North Carolina (3–0, 0–0)

North Carolina retains the number eight spot in the power rankings after a bye week in Week Three. The Tar Heels have put up 154 points through three games this season and are 3–0 despite poor play on the defensive side of the ball. North Carolina hosts a floundering Notre Dame team in Week Four as it seeks to break into the Top 25 of the AP Poll

Next Up: vs. Notre Dame, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

9. Duke (3–0, 0–0)

The Blue Devils continued their strong start to the season by beating North Carolina A&T 49–20 at home. Quarterback Riley Leonard threw two touchdown passes and ran for another two scores in the win. The Blue Devils have already matched their win total from a year ago. Duke travels to Kansas in Week Four for a matchup of two 3–0 Power Five squads that have exceeded expectations in the early part of the season. 

Next Up: at Kansas, Saturday, 12 p.m.

10. Virginia (2–1, 0–0) ↑1

The Cavaliers narrowly avoided defeat in a 16–14 win against in-state foe Old Dominion, requiring a 26-yard Brendan Farrell field goal as time expired to beat the upset-hungry Monarchs. Quarterback Brennan Armstrong continued his underwhelming start to the season by fumbling twice, and the Cavaliers scored just 16 points on 513 yards of total offense. Virginia fans will find solace in the fact that their team found a way to win despite the poor performance, but they will undoubtedly hope for a better showing at Syracuse in Week Four. 

Next Up: at Syracuse, Friday, 7 p.m.

11. Virginia Tech (2–1, 1–0) 1

Virginia Tech built on its Week Two win with a comfortable 27–7 home victory over Wofford in Week Three. Quarterback Grant Wells had his best game of the season, throwing for 314 yards and two touchdowns against a Terriers defense that is admittedly poor. The Hokies’ defense held its opponent to under 200 yards of total offense and didn’t give up any points until the game was already all but over in the fourth quarter. 

Next Up: at North Carolina, Saturday, Oct. 1

12. Louisville (1–2, 0–2)

The Cardinals lost 35–31 in a back-and-forth Week Three thriller against Florida State. Quarterback Malik Cunningham was good with his arm but did more damage with his legs in a prolific performance highlighted by 127 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Louisville held the lead multiple times throughout the game but couldn’t manufacture a late game-winning drive in front of its home fans.

Next Up: vs. South Florida, Saturday, 12 p.m.

13. Boston College (1–2, 0–1) ↑1

The Eagles picked up a much-needed first victory of the season at home against Maine in Week Three. Quarterback Phil Jurkovec finally had some time in the pocket, as he threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns in the 38–17 victory. Running back Pat Garwo III struggled mightily in Weeks One and Two but managed to rack up 78 yards and two touchdowns on the ground against the Black Bears. BC travels to Tallahassee for a matchup against a tough Florida State team in Week Four.

Next Up: at Florida State, Saturday, 8 p.m.

14. Georgia Tech (1–2, 0–1) 1

The Yellow Jackets suffered a lopsided 42–0 defeat at home against No. 20 Ole Miss in Week Three. The offense managed just 214 total yards as it failed to establish any sort of run game against a strong Rebels defense. On the other side, the Jackets defense allowed Ole Miss to rush for 316 yards and six (that’s right, six) touchdowns on the ground.

Next Up: at Central Florida, Saturday, 4 p.m. 

September 23, 2022