Sports, Football

ACC Power Rankings: Clemson Surges While Miami Plummets 

  1. Florida State (10–0, 8–0 Atlantic Coast) ↔ 

No. 4 Florida State found itself in a dog fight with Miami this past weekend but managed to secure the victory and remain unbeaten. A Keon Coleman touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter gave the Seminoles a 14-point cushion, and Jarrian Jones’ last-minute interception sealed the 27–20 win for Florida State. This week should be a blowout victory for Mike Norvell’s squad, as the Seminoles welcome FCS foe North Alabama to town. The undefeated season will likely march on. 

Next Up: vs. North Alabama, Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

  1. Louisville (9–1, 6–1) ↔

Virginia almost stunned No. 9 Louisville last Thursday night, but the Cardinals’ explosive offense woke up just in time to escape with the 31–24 victory. Ahmari Huggins-Bruce hauled in a 52-yard touchdown pass to even the score before Isaac Guerendo sped through the Cavaliers’ secondary for a 73-yard touchdown scamper. Louisville has now won three straight since suffering its only defeat of the year in Pittsburgh, Pa. on Oct. 14, and the Cardinals have been unstoppable at home. 

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

  1. North Carolina (8–2, 4–2) ↑1

No. 22 North Carolina won a wild double-overtime game against its biggest rival this past Saturday. The Tar Heels upended Duke, 47–45, in a thriller in Chapel Hill, N.C. Noah Burnette drilled a 43-yard field goal at the end of regulation to send the game to the extra session. North Carolina compiled 537 total yards of offense against the Blue Devils’ stout defense, with Drake Maye throwing for 342 yards. The Tar Heels still have an outside shot at the ACC Championship game but will need some help.

Next Up: at Clemson, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

  1. NC State (7–3, 4–2) ↑1

NC State easily defeated Wake Forest 26–6 to win its third consecutive game. The Wolfpack has quietly had an impressive season, and its defense has starred recently. NC State held the Demon Deacons to 163 yards and eight first downs, and the Wolfpack held its opponent to just six points for the second straight week. Brennan Armstrong returned under center for the Wolfpack this past weekend and rushed for a score in addition to throwing for one.

Next Up: at Virginia Tech, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

  1. Clemson (6–4, 3–4) ↑5

On the heels of their big 31–23 win over No. 20 Notre Dame, the Tigers demolished Georgia Tech in Week 11 42–21. Clemson’s defense suffocated the Yellow Jackets, forcing four interceptions and holding them to just 254 yards. Cade Klubnik tossed four touchdown passes for the Tigers, who led 42–7 at one point. Another big home matchup awaits Dabo Swinney’s group this weekend, as the Tigers continue to try to salvage whatever is left of this season. 

Next Up: vs. North Carolina, Saturday, 3:30 p.m.

  1. Virginia Tech (5–5, 4–2) ↑3

Virginia Tech absolutely dismantled Boston College 48–22 over the weekend in a bounce-back effort from its Week 10 blowout loss in Louisville, Ky. The Hokies capitalized on a pair of early interceptions and a successful onside kick to build a 31–7 halftime lead. Virginia Tech totaled 600 yards against the Eagles’ defense, and dual-threat quarterback Kyron Drones accounted for 354 of them. It was a dominant showing from Brent Pry’s squad, which is in position to earn bowl eligibility with a win this weekend. 

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

  1. Duke (6–4, 3–3) ↓1

The Blue Devils’ up-and-down loss to North Carolina in Chapel Hill was a tough pill to swallow. Duke led by three with 0:41 remaining in the game before allowing the game-tying field goal and eventually losing in double overtime. After a 4–0 start to the year, the Blue Devils have lost four of their last six. Injuries haven’t been kind to Mike Elko’s team, as it was without star quarterback Riley Leonard once again this past weekend. Duke matches up against two inferior opponents in Virginia and Pittsburgh to close out the season. 

Next Up: at Virginia, Saturday, 3 p.m.

  1. Georgia Tech (5–5, 4–3)  ↔ 

Georgia Tech never stood a chance against Clemson this past weekend. The Yellow Jackets allowed 42 consecutive points to go down 42–7, and quarterback Haynes King was an interception machine, totaling four, including a pick six. Georgia Tech has had a crazy season, struggling to get any sustained positive momentum. There have been some great wins—such as defeating North Carolina—and there have been some puzzling losses, like losing to Bowling Green. Brent Key has his team primed to secure a bowl game, however, with one more victory.

Next Up: vs. Syracuse, Saturday, 8 p.m.

  1. BC (6–4, 3–3) ↓2

Saturday’s performance against Virginia Tech was a total no-show from BC. The Eagles’ defense was pathetic, allowing 600 total yards of offense, and it couldn’t get off the field much on third and fourth down. Quarterback Thomas Castellanos has struggled in his last three games and threw two interceptions early against the Hokies to put BC in an immediate hole. Jeff Hafley has a short week to prepare for a road test in Week 12. 

Next Up: at Pitt, Thursday, 7 p.m.

  1. Miami (6–4, 2–4) ↓7

After Saturday’s 27–20 defeat in Tallahassee, Fla., Miami has now lost two straight and four of its last six games. The Hurricanes haven’t had a very dangerous offense, and quarterback Tyler Van Dyke has been a major disappointment this season. The junior was benched in favor of Emory Williams last weekend but now comes back as the starter after Williams suffered a gruesome arm injury against the Seminoles. The Hurricanes return home to face another tough opponent this Saturday.

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

  1. Virginia (2–8, 1–5) ↔

The Cavaliers had another spunky effort against Louisville this past week before falling 31–24. Virginia has come very close in a number of games this year but has struggled closing teams out. Five of the Cavaliers’ eight losses have been one-score defeats. Malik Washington continues to be a star for Virginia, being one of the top wide receivers in the country. The senior has racked up 100 receiving yards in eight of the Cavaliers’ 10 games this season. Virginia closes the season with two home tilts. 

Next Up: vs. Duke, Saturday, 3 p.m.

  1. Syracuse (5–5, 1–5) ↑2

Syracuse finally got in the win column against an ACC opponent when it defeated Pitt at Yankee Stadium 28–13 on Saturday. The victory snapped the Orange’s five-game losing streak. Syracuse relied almost exclusively on its running game to beat the Panthers, finishing the game with 382 yards on the ground. The Orange also forced four turnovers while holding Pitt’s limited offense to 269 yards. Syracuse can earn bowl eligibility with a win in Atlanta, Ga. this weekend.  

Next Up: at Georgia Tech, Saturday, 8 p.m.

  1. Wake Forest (4–6, 1–6) ↓1

It’s been a struggle all season for the Demon Deacons offensively. Their 26–6 defeat against NC State was another reminder of that. Wake Forest has gotten very little from the quarterback position, and it doesn’t have the same stable of skill players as in past years. Wake Forest averaged just 20.5 points per game, good for No. 13 in the conference. It looks like Dave Clawson’s crew will miss a bowl game for the first time since 2015. The Demon Deacons wrap up the season with two games on the road. 

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

  1. Pitt (2–8, 1–5) ↓1

This season has been an absolute disaster for Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers. They’ve won just one game against an FBS opponent and have lost four straight. Pitt handed Syracuse its first ACC win in an unspirited effort this past Saturday, and the Panthers now boast the conference’s worst offense statistically. There’s not much to play for at this point of the season. Pitt hosts its final game of the year on a short week in Week 12. 

Next Up: vs. BC, Thursday, 7 p.m.

November 16, 2023