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Clemson, Pitt hang on to No.1 spots in ACC Power Rankings, but it’s getting close

Scott German

ACC footballClemson and Pitt reman No.1 in the ACC Power Rankings this week, but they both hear footsteps.

The Tigers posted a pedestrian win over FCS Furman, 35-12, at Memorial Stadium. Pitt was not as fortunate, as the Panthers lost to Tennessee, 34-27, in overtime.

Wake Forest and Duke looked impressive in wins over other Power 5 opponents. Wake travelled to Nashville and easily defeated SEC foe Vanderbilt, 45-24. The biggest news for the Deacons was the return of QB Sam Hartman.

Duke, the early surprise team in the ACC, defeated Northwestern in a thrille,r 31-23. The Blue Devils survived a late-game drive to beat the Big Ten Wildcats.

Not every team in the ACC fared as well against Power 5 competition. Virginia was blown out at Illinois, 24-3.

ACC Atlantic

  1. Clemson (2-0, 1-0 ACC) The Tigers’ offense is still searching to find its way. The defense continues to be one of the best in the country.
  2. NC State (2-0,0-0 ACC) The Wolfpack crushed outmanned Charleston Southern with a 55-3 win. Texas Tech comes to Raleigh next week and will present a much tougher challenge.
  3. Wake Forest (2-0, 0-0) Sam Hartman had a solid return as quarterback for Wake. Hartman’s presence puts the Deacons back in the hunt for the Atlantic title.
  4. Syracuse (2-0, 1-0 ACC) The Orange and its re-energized offense impressed again with a 48-14 win over UConn. Is Syracuse a sleeper in the Atlantic?
  5. FSU (2-0, 0-0 ACC) The Seminoles had a bye after its win over LSU. FSU opens ACC play on Friday against Louisville
  6. Louisville (1-1, 0-1 ACC) The Cardinals had a nice bounceback win from their season-opening loss to Syracuse with a 21-14 win at Central Florida Friday.
  7. Boston College (0-2, 0-1 ACC) The Eagles did not show much on either side of the ball in a loss to Virginia Tech. The offense was anemic and the defense struggle against a mediocre VT offense.

ACC Coastal

  1. Pitt (1-1, 0-0 ACC) The Panthers lost an overtime thriller to Tennessee on the heels of an emotional win over WVU in the Backyard Brawl.
  2. Miami (2-0, 0-0 ACC) The Hurricanes trailed early but changed course in the second half for a 30-7 win over Southern Mississippi. Miami travels to Texas A&M in a primetime meeting with the Aggies, who were stunned by Appalachian State.
  3. Duke (2-0, 0-0 ACC) Yes, Duke at No. 3. The Blue Devils move to 2-0 under new coach Mike Elko with an impressive win on the road at Northwestern. Duke has beaten the Wildcats three straight.
  4. North Carolina (3-0, 0-0 ACC) That win over Appalachian State is looking impressive for UNC. The Tar Heels did struggle in a 35-28 win over Georgia State.
  5. Virginia (1-1, 0-0 ACC) The Cavaliers were woeful during a 24-3 loss to Illinois. With a struggling offensive line, it might be over early for Virginia this season.
  6. Virginia Tech (1-1, 1-0 ACC) Tech gave Brent Pry his first win with a 27-10 win over hapless Boston College. Too early to tell if the Hokies can put the Old Dominion loss behind them.
  7. Georgia Tech (1-1, 0-1 ACC) It took almost three quarters for the Yellow Jackets to pull away from Western Carolina. GT must correct plenty of mistakes before next week’s game against a ranked Ole Miss team.

Scott German

Scott German

Scott German covers UVA Athletics for AFP, and is the co-host of “Street Knowledge” podcasts focusing on UVA Athletics with AFP editor Chris Graham. Scott has been around the ‘Hoos his whole life. As a reporter, he was on site for UVA basketball’s Final Fours, in 1981 and 1984, and has covered UVA football in bowl games dating back to its first, the 1984 Peach Bowl.