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ACC Power Rankings: Week Nine

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We’ll be providing our readers with game recaps and outlooks of what lies ahead for each member of the conference. We’ll also be listing any pertinent information for each team including injury news, roster updates, and the like.

"Turkey calls, bruh. They kept playing turkey calls over the PA."
"Turkey calls, bruh. They kept playing turkey calls over the PA."
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Atlantic Division

1st - Florida State Seminoles 7-0 ACC: 4-0

AP/Coaches ranking: 2nd/2nd

Previous week: BYE; Result: N/A

Next opponent: Thursday October 30th 7:30PM @ Louisville Cardinals (6-2)

Find all your FSU-Louisville hype below:


2nd - Clemson Tigers 6-2 ACC: 5-1

AP/Coaches ranking: 21st/20th

Previous week: vs. Syracuse Orange (3-5); Result: WIN 16-6

Next opponent: BYE

The Tigers survived another Atlantic Division matchup without Deshaun Watson. Clemson's defense played a tight game against Syracuse, more on that will be provided under the Orange's ranking.

3rd - Louisville Cardinals 6-2 ACC: 4-2

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR

Previous week: BYE; Result: N/A

Next opponent: Thursday October 30th 7:30PM vs. Florida State Seminoles (7-0)

All things Louisville hype:


4th - Boston College Eagles 5-3 ACC: 2-2

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR

Previous week: @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-6); Result: WIN 23-17

Next opponent: November 1st 12:30PM @ Virginia Tech Hokies (4-4)

Boston College squares off this weekend with a Virginia Tech Hokies team that's found themselves at the bottom of the Coastal Division standings.

5th - N.C. State Wolfpack 4-4 ACC: 0-4

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR

Previous week: BYE; Result: N/A

Next opponent: November 1st 3:00PM @ Syracuse Orange (3-5)


6th - Syracuse Orange 3-5 ACC: 1-3

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR

Previous week: @ #20 Clemson Tigers (6-2); Result: LOSS 16-6

Next opponent: November 1st 3:00PM vs. N.C. State Wolfpack (4-4)

Here are the aforementioned struggles the Syracuse offense had facing Clemson:


7th - Wake Forest Demon Deacons 2-6 ACC: 0-4

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR

Previous week: vs. Boston College Eagles (5-3); Result: LOSS 23-17

Next opponent: BYE

Wake Forest has a bye before welcoming Clemson to Winston-Salem on Thursday night (11/6).


Coastal Division

1st - Duke Blue Devils 6-1 ACC: 2-1

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR

Previous week: BYE; Result: N/A

Next opponent: November 1st 12:00PM @ Pittsburgh Panthers (4-4)

Duke can't afford to have a misstep against Pittsburgh as the race in the Coastal Division continues to ramp up with five members tied behind the Blue Devils at 2-2.

Football Study Hall lists the current ACC win projections for each member:


2nd - Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 6-2 ACC: 3-2

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR

Previous week: @ Pittsburgh Panthers (4-4); Result: WIN 56-28

Next opponent: November 1st 3:30PM vs. Virginia Cavaliers (4-4)

Georgia Tech bounced back from its loss to North Carolina with a dismantling of the Panthers. A stiffer challenge on defense in the Virginia Cavaliers awaits the Yellow Jackets.

3rd - Miami Hurricanes 5-3 ACC: 2-2

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR

Previous week: @ Virginia Tech Hokies (4-4); Result: WIN 30-6

Next opponent: November 1st 12:30PM vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (4-4)

Below the Conference Notes portion of the Power Rankings is a crash course preview of North Carolina.

4th - North Carolina Tar Heels 4-4 ACC: 2-2

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR

Previous week: @ Virginia Cavaliers (4-4); Result: WIN 28-27

Next Opponent: November 1st 12:30PM @ Miami Hurricanes (5-3)

A look at the Hurricanes through the eyes of Tar Heels:


5th - Virginia Cavaliers 4-4 ACC: 2-2

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR

Previous week: vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (4-4); Result: LOSS 28-27

Next opponent: November 1st 3:30PM @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-2)

Virginia's loss to North Carolina was the result of far too many self-inflicted wounds:


6th - Pittsburgh Panthers 4-4 ACC: 2-2

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR

Previous week: vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-2); Result: LOSS 56-28

Next opponent: November 1st 12:00PM vs. Duke Blue Devils (6-1)

"Call it conference solidarity: a show of support for ACC mate Virginia Tech, which lost fumbles on three consecutive possessions against Miami on Thursday night. Regardless of the motivation, Pitt was in an incredibly giving mood on Saturday in a 56-28 loss to Georgia Tech. The Panthers lost fumbles on their first five possessions of the game, then fumbled twice more (losing one) later on." - Study Hall: Georgia Tech 56, Pittsburgh 28 - Football Study Hall


7th - Virginia Tech Hokies 4-4 ACC: 1-3

AP/Coaches ranking: NR/NR

Previous week: vs. Miami Hurricanes (5-3); Result: LOSS 30-6

Next opponent: November 1st 12:30PM vs. Boston College Eagles (5-3)

The folks at Gobbler Country prepare for Virginia Tech's cross-division matchup, along with additional Miami-VT recaps, because why not?


Conference Notes:

ACC vs. AAC (4-2)

ACC vs. Big Ten (1-3)

ACC vs. Big 12 (2-0)

ACC vs. PAC-12 (1-1)

ACC vs. SEC (0-1)

As State of the U's emissary to the Atlantic Coast Conference, I've had to endure an absurd amount of ACC play. So I've seen my share of North Carolina. With that said, it's time to put those hours (that I'll never get back) of observing and examining to use. This will prepare fans for the Tar Heels, although not thoroughly, State of the U will produce a complete preview later in the week.

The Miami secondary must stay on high alert. Marquise Williams is not killing you with accuracy, but UNC wide receivers know how to shake defenders and attack the ball in the air. On passing downs, pressure needs to be met with equal parts containment. Any gaps on the line, on the edges, up the middle, and Williams will shoot right through for an agonizing amount of yards. Williams has no problems making throws under duress.

Offensive ratings: 47th in total offense, 21st in passing offense and 89th in rushing.

Marquise Williams in his last three games (@ Notre Dame (L 43-50), Georgia Tech (W 48-43), and @ Virginia (W 28-27)):

  • Passing yards average: 330.33 - 991 yards total.
  • Average yards per completion: 13.497
  • Accuracy average: 65.2%
  • One interception in each game.
  • Averaged 39.3 pass attempts vs. 17 average run attempts (Marquise's rushing attempts only, not team total).
  • Marquise Williams rushing yards average: 102.67 - (rush yards gained, opposed to net total - does not include losses on sacks). 132 at Notre Dame, 75 vs. Georgia Tech, and 94 yards gained against Virginia.

Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina's second-string quarterback, is capable if need be. Trubisky has seen action is a handful of games this year. After coming on in short notice against Virginia when Marquise Williams lost his helmet, Mitch threw the game winning touchdown pass (as seen HERE).

SCREEN! Running back screens, wide receiver, tight end - North Carolina wants to keep you on your toes. The defensive line must be aware and break off blocks to hover over the screen target.

North Carolina's rushing attack: Sweeps, runs out of the gun, designed quarterback runs, and many more - basically everything you've come to hate these past few years.

  • After putting up 180+ rushing yards on Notre Dame and Georgia Tech, Virginia managed to hold the Tar Heels to 99 total rushing yards (-27 yards in sacks attributed to the total).

Defensive ratings: 123rd in total defense, 119th vs. pass, and 109th vs. run.

North Carolina Defense in last three outings (see above):

  • Defense is allowing 523.3 yards average.
  • Forced six turnovers (three fumbles and three interceptions).
  • The North Carolina defense had nine passes broken up against Virginia.
  • Only four sacks in last three games.

Special Teams could play a huge factor in this game. Ryan Switzer (poor man's Berrios) has the potential for big returns given the opportunity, despite not yet reaching the end zone this year.

Miami's return team must be prepared. North Carolina had a successful onside kick against Virginia to close out the game. That onside kick was called with the Tar Heels having the lead and roughly four minutes remaining.

  • North Carolina kicker Nick Weiler is five-for-eight on the year with a long of 23.
  • Punting average: 40.7 yards. On 45 attempts, 17 have been downed inside the 20.

Feel free to remember last year's Zero Dark Whatever (HERE) in our preview of UNC before the 2014 season.

#GOACC