First impressions mean a lot and the ACC overall put their best foot forward.
The infamous #goacc has become notorious for meaning the collapse of ACC teams during the non-conference schedule. Typically we see overmatched teams get blown out or someone bungle a game they have no business losing. It wasn’t perfect in the opening week but the ACC saw its share of big wins over the likes of the SEC and Big 12. Virginia Tech and Boston College were the only two to notch a loss to out-of-conference foes this week.
A few teams got the conference slate kicked off early with Syracuse getting a much-needed win over Louisville and Clemson getting back on track for their quest back to the ACC championship. Not all the wins were pretty though so don’t expect a jump in rankings because your team is already looking forward to basketball season with their score.
- Miami – Miami started off the season with a pretty easy opponent in Bethune-Cookman. They did what they were supposed to and ran away with a 70-13 score. The Hurricanes amassed 586 yards with Van Dyke throwing for 13/16 for 196 yards and a touchdown. Parrish Jr carried the ball into the endzone 3 times and 104 yards. The backups got plenty of reps by the second half. Southern Miss will come to Miami next week but expect this storm to keep moving.
- Clemson – Clemson came out a bit shaky to start the game with new coordinators on both sides of the ball. The defense settled in quickly and overwhelmed Tech’s offensive line but the offense needed a blocked punt for an easy drive to get their first points on the board. That got the Tigers rolling from there and while DJ Uiagalelei wasn’t great he looks to have a better season than last year.
- Florida State – The Seminoles got the top win for the weekend over a decent LSU down in New Orleans at the outdated Mercedes Benz. QB Jordan Travis looks ready to be one of the top QBs in the ACC this year. The run game had a little trouble getting going but credit the defense for shutting down LSU for most of the game. LSU tried to make a run at it late with two touchdowns in the final four minutes but FSU’s special teams sealed the deal with a blocked PAT to avoid overtime.
- Wake Forest – It looks like Wake Forest will be just fine with QB Mike Griffis taking over while Sam Hartman deals with an injury. He threw for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns to go along with RB Christian Turner’s 100 yards on the ground. The defense held VMI to 222 yards total. The Demon Deacons will get two more tune-ups with Vandy and Liberty before hosting Clemson.
- North Carolina State – The Wolfpack seemed to be ready to run away against ECU going into the third quarter but the offense fell flat in the second half. ECU might have stolen a victory if not for two missed kicks late in the fourth, the first a missed PAT to tie and then a missed FG that would have claimed the win. NC State might want to use Charleston Southern to tune things up before getting Texas Tech in week 3.
- Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh seems to have a knack for finding late-game gifts floating around in the air to win football games. WVU had a chance to drive late for a game-winning score but instead had a pass bobbled up into the air on a routine pass with no coverage bounce off the receiver’s hand and into Pitt’s MJ Devonshire’s who would take it in for the winning score. QB Kendon Slovis look good when he got a chance to throw but he took 5 sacks on the night. That’s going to have to be cleaned up if Pitt wants to return to the ACC title.
- Syracuse – The Orange didn’t have much success last season keeping opponents out of the endzone. It was much improved this week as Louisville only managed a single touchdown. Sean Tucker continued his dominance on the ground rushing for 100 yards as he sets his sights on making the top 3 of the Syracuse career rushing record.
- Duke – Duke took on Temple who isn’t the greatest in the world but the Blue Devils took care of business and shut out the Owls 30-0. The offense hummed along with 500 total yards and gave up zero turnovers which was an issue last season. Northwestern will be a good test next week and if they can win that, we might see a 4-0 Duke team before conference play.
- North Carolina – The Tar Heels love basketball season and they showed to be scoring 63 points…and letting App State score 61. A win is a win but this UNC team looks like they are going to give their fans quite a ride this season. The defense just didn’t show up and despite scoring 63 the offense seemed inconsistent at times. Still, 2-0 is all you can ask for so far but there are some really good defenses awaiting down the road.
- Boston College – The Eagles seemed like a team who could be better this year with QB Phil Jurkovec back under center. The problem for him is his offensive line isn’t doing him any favors because of inexperience and giving up four sacks. The defense did all they could to preserve the slim lead but couldn’t hold out as three turnovers were too much to keep Rutgers from taking the lead and the win in the fourth.
- Virginia – It’s expected for a team with a new coaching staff to come out sluggish in their opening game. It took the Cavaliers late into the third quarter before they would pull away from their FCS foe, Richmond. The offense put up yards but a couple of turnovers kept things close for a while. QB Brenen Armstrong and RB Perris Jones both broke 100 yards rushing but the passing game needs to improve.
- Georgia Tech – The Jackets couldn’t get out of their own way despite holding Clemson close for the first half. QB Jeff Sims opened the game by tossing an interception on the very first play. The defense looked much better with DE Keion White constantly harassing Clemson’s backfield. Horrible blocking by Tech’s special teams unit would lead to two blocked punts that would set Clemson up for the runaway score.
- Louisville – QB Malik Rutherford has looked promising while at Louisville but this week a no touchdown and two interception game against Syracuse makes it look like it will be another long year for the Cards. Coach Satterfield will have to hope his team turns things around quickly or his seat will be on fire by year’s end.
- Virginia Tech – The big black eye to the ACC this week came from the Virginia Tech Hokies. They were replacing a lot of players and staff but their performance against ODU shows this will be a slow build. Transfer QB Grant Wells was terrible with 4 interceptions thrown. The defense did ok with how often Old Dominion got the ball with good field position. The Hokies will play much better offenses later on and they won’t last long with turnovers from this performance.