Another stellar performance from Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals, Pittsburgh’s win over Penn State, along with other noteworthy outcomes, brings a shakeup to this week’s Power Rankings. As always, before we get to the rankings, we’ll offer brief recaps of the latest happenings around the ACC.
Around the ACC
Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals ran roughshod over the Syracuse Orange on Friday night, winning 62-28. It didn’t take long for Jackson to show his ability. Jackson hit receiver James Quick for a 72 yard touchdown pass on Louisville’s opening drive to begin his assault on the scoreboard. After that, the game turned into a Lamar Jackson highlight reel as he threw and leaped his way to six scores, finishing with 411 passing yards and 199 rushing yards.
Clemson survived an outing with Troy in Death Valley, edging out the Trojans 30-24. Quarterback Deshaun Watson struggled on the day, throwing for 292 yards on 27 of 53 passing with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Florida State Seminoles pummeled Charleston Southern, winning 52-8 in Tallahassee. Quarterback Deondre Francois went 25 of 32 passing for 262 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. The Seminoles secondary took a major loss, however. Derwin James, a standout defensive back for the ‘Noles, suffered torn cartilage and is expected to miss anywhere between 2-10 weeks.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets beat Mercer, 35-10, in Atlanta.
Virginia Tech had a strong start but ultimately fell to the Tennessee Volunteers, 45-24, at the Battle at Bristol. The Hokies outgained the Volunteers, performed better on third downs, and quarterback Jerod Evans went 20 of 28 passing for 214 yards and a touchdown. None of that could save Virginia Tech from itself, however. Five fumbles, three of which resulted in points for Tennessee, severely hindered the Hokies. Along with the five fumbles the Hokies surrendered Saturday night, they lost another four in their opener against Liberty, making their total (9) the most in the nation through two games.
Second only to the Hokies in fumbles lost is the Duke Blue Devils with seven. On Saturday, the Blue Devils’ miscues, two fumbles lost, and an interception thrown, helped Wake Forest edge out a 24-14 victory in Durham. Duke freshman quarterback Daniel Jones had a good showing, throwing for 332 yards on 31 of 48 passing and one interception. Duke’s rushing attack, however, could never get going as the Blue Devils totaled just 37 rushing yards on 30 attempts.
The North Carolina Tar Heels topped Illinois with a 17-point flurry in the fourth quarter, winning 48-23. Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky finished 19 of 25 passing for 265 yards and two touchdowns. North Carolina’s 197 yards rushing were split between Trubisky and running backs Elijah Hood and T.J. Logan. Hood led the charge with 88 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. Trubisky rushed for 42 yards on 9 carries and two touchdowns.
Boston College rolled past Mark Whipple and the UMass Minutemen, winning 26-7 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
The Virginia Cavaliers suffered a 44-26 defeat at the hands of Oregon.
East Carolina topped the N.C. State Wolfpack, 33-30, in Greenville. The Pirates have had their way with the ACC in recent years, besting N.C. State, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech, and winning six straight games.
Pittsburgh was in a dogfight with rival Penn State, but through a determined rushing attack they overpowered the Nittany Lions, winning 42-39 at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh’s 341 rushing yards were spearheaded by running back James Conner, who rushed for 117 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown.
Those are your quick-hitters from around the ACC. Now, let’s see how those outcomes impacted the Power Rankings.
Atlantic Division Rankings
1. Florida State Seminoles (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Previous week: vs. Charleston Southern (1-2); Result: WIN 52-8
Next opponent: at Louisville Cardinals (2-0, 1-0 ACC)
2. Louisville Cardinals (2-0, 1-0 ACC)
Previous week: at Syracuse Orange (1-1, 0-1 ACC); Result: WIN 62-28
Next opponent: vs. Florida State Seminoles (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
3. Clemson Tigers (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Previous week: vs. Troy Trojans (1-1); Result: WIN 30-24
Next opponent: vs. South Carolina State (0-2)
4. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-0, 1-0 ACC)
Previous week: vs. Duke Blue Devils (1-1, 0-1 ACC); Result: WIN 24-14
Next opponent: vs. Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens (2-0)
5. N.C. State Wolfpack (1-1, 0-0 ACC)
Previous week: at East Carolina Pirates (2-0); Result: LOSS 33-30
Next opponent: vs. Old Dominion Monarchs (1-1)
6. Syracuse Orange (1-1, 0-1 ACC)
Previous week: vs. Louisville Cardinals (2-0, 1-0 ACC); Result: LOSS 62-28
Next opponent: vs. South Florida Bulls (2-0)
7. Boston College Eagles (1-1, 0-1 ACC)
Previous week: at Massachusetts Minutemen (0-2); Result: WIN 26-7
Next opponent: at Virginia Tech Hokies (1-1, 0-0 ACC)
Coastal Division Rankings
1. Miami Hurricanes (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Previous week: vs. Florida Atlantic Owls (1-1); Result: WIN 38-10
Next opponent: at Appalachian State Mountaineers (1-1)
2. Pittsburgh Panthers (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Previous week: vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (1-1); Result: WIN 42-39
Next opponent: at Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-1)
3. North Carolina Tar Heels (1-1, 0-0 ACC)
Previous week: at Illinois Fighting Illini (1-1); Result: WIN 48-23
Next opponent: vs. James Madison Dukes (2-0)
4. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-0, 1-0 ACC)
Previous week: vs. Mercer Bears (0-2); Result: WIN 35-10
Next opponent: vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (1-1)
5. Virginia Tech Hokies (1-1, 0-0 ACC)
Previous week: vs. Tennessee Volunteers (2-0); Result: LOSS 45-24
Next opponent: vs. Boston College Eagles (1-1, 0-1 ACC)
6. Duke Blue Devils (1-1, 0-1 ACC)
Previous week: vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-0, 1-0 ACC); Result: LOSS 24-14
Next opponent: at Northwestern Wildcats (0-2)
7. Virginia Cavaliers (0-2, 0-0 ACC)
Previous week: at Oregon Ducks (2-0); Result: LOSS 44-26
Next opponent: at Connecticut Huskies (1-1)
If you have any thoughts or comments on these rankings, teams, or want to list your own rankings, please do so below in the comments section.