ACC Football Rankings And Reactions, Week 8

    Week 8 ACC football rankings and reactions. Conference heavyweights Florida State and Clemson travelled in opposite directions Saturday. While the Noles suffered their first loss in crushing fashion, the Tigers handed Miami its worst defeat in program history. Over in the Coastal Division, Pitt, North Carolina and Duke remained unbeaten in league play.

    October 26, 2015

    Week 8 ACC football rankings and reactions. Conference heavyweights Florida State and Clemson travelled in opposite directions Saturday. While the Noles suffered their first loss in crushing fashion, the Tigers handed Miami its worst defeat in program history. Over in the Coastal Division, Pitt, North Carolina and Duke remained unbeaten in league play.

    Week 8 ACC Player of the Week

    Georgia Tech DB Lance Austin made two tackles and returned a blocked kick 78 yards for the game-winning touchdown in the win over Florida State.

    Week 8 ACC Football Rankings

    1. Clemson: W, at Miami 58-0

    The Tigers aren’t just playing great defense this season, pitching a shutout and holding Miami to just six first downs on Saturday. They are punishing opponents. Clemson destroyed the Hurricanes at the line of scrimmage, harassed quarterbacks Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier and picked off three of their passes. The Tigers’ nastiness, when combined with their team speed, makes for a championship-caliber D.

    2. North Carolina: W, Virginia 26-13

    The Tar Heels haven’t lost a game in almost two months. But what does anyone really know about Larry Fedora’s fourth team in Chapel Hill, beyond the fact that it’s bowl eligible? Not too much, since Carolina has yet to face a quality opponent. The curtain begins getting pulled back on the Heels with this Thursday night’s trip to Pitt to play the one-loss Panthers.

    3. Pittsburgh: W, at Syracuse 23-20

    Pitt has become Utah East. Like the Utes, the Panthers aren’t sexy, but they’ve learned how to win close games, and win them on the road. Plus, both programs are flourishing with defense, a power running game and timely contributions from the special teamers. Will a lack of elite talent catch up to Pitt? Probably. But it’s surviving and it’s found an identity under first-year head coach Pat Narduzzi.

    4. Duke: W, at Virginia Tech 45-43

    It’s not always pretty—or perfect—but Thomas Sirk is becoming the kind of quarterback the Blue Devils know they can rally around at crunch time. While Sirk completed less than 50% of his throws, he also tossed four touchdown passes and rushed for more than 100 yards. Plus, he was clutch in overtime, bulling his way for the game-winner in the fourth extra session for a huge win in Blacksburg.

    5. Georgia Tech: W, Florida State 22-16

    Impressive win, Yellow Jackets. But what will you do with it from here? With one memorable finish, Tech snapped its five-game losing streak—and the Seminoles’ 30-game regular season winning streak. While the offense remains out of synch by its usual standard, the D played surprisingly well. Now, it’ll be interesting to see if the Jackets spent everything on this upset, or they can use it as a launching pad to bowl eligibility.

    6. Florida State: L, at Georgia Tech 22-16

    Everyone will remember that the Seminoles lost on a bizarre blocked field taken back 78 yards as time expired. Obviously. But Florida State really had no business winning this game, at least based on how the offense performed. This was Georgia Tech, which had allowed no fewer than 30 points to its last five opponents. Where was the Dalvin Cook-led attack that tore through a very good Louisville D over the final two quarters last Saturday?

    7. Louisville: W, Boston College 17-14

    A win’s a win, and the Cardinals need every W they can get in the quest for postseason eligibility. But in beating the Eagles, Louisville’s problems at the line of scrimmage were once again exposed. The Cards allowed an unimaginable 16 tackles for loss and seven sacks, the only reasons the team almost lost a game in which it yielded just four first downs and 79 total yards.

    8. Miami: L, Clemson 58-0

    And as if Saturday at Sun Life Stadium couldn’t possibly get any worse, offensive cover boy Brad Kaaya left the rout with a head injury. If he misses any time, the Hurricanes will find it impossible to rally, because the gap from Kaaya to backup Malik Rosier is precipitous. Rosier is just a rookie, and he looked every bit like a true freshman coming off the bench against the Tigers.

    9. Virginia Tech: L, Duke 45-43

    This might be defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s worst season in an otherwise glorious career in Blacksburg. The Hokies began the year with enormous expectations and a ton of returning talent. But they haven’t lived up to the hype, struggling to generate pressure or make timely stops. Va Tech had no answers for Blue Devil QB Thomas Sirk, and now sit two games below .500 with four to play.

    10. NC State: W, at Wake Forest 35-17

    The Wolfpack is beginning to flash potential along the D-line, good news for the back seven. State amassed seven sacks in the win, three from DE Mike Rose and a pair more from blue-chip rookie Darian Roseboro. The program is especially excited by the potential of Roseboro, who also had a two-sack game last month, and was one of the state’s most coveted recruits earlier in the year.

    11. Wake Forest: L, NC State 35-17

    The Deacon D was roughed up for a second consecutive game. And that’s a particularly big concern for a program that lacks the offensive punch and consistency to pick up the slack. The Pack, primarily RB Matt Dayes, gashed Wake Forest for more than eight yards a carry, a starkly different result from the team that was holding up well in the front seven in the early stages of the 2015 season.

    12. Virginia: L, at North Carolina 26-13

    If someone other than Mike London is coaching the Cavaliers in 2016, that guy will need to develop a quarterback, Matt Johns or whoever else is on the roster. Since playing well in Week 2 versus Notre Dame, Johns has thrown nine touchdown passes and 11 interceptions, including four against the Tar Heels. And Virginia just doesn’t have the talent base to overcome days when it’s handing the ball over to opponents.

    13. Syracuse: L, Pittsburgh 23-20

    The Orange needs to see more of the Zaire Franklin who harassed the Panthers throughout Saturday’s loss in the Carrier Dome. After a couple of rough weeks for the Syracuse D, the sophomore linebacker led the team with 11 tackles, three stops for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. He’ll have to be one of the players who sets the tone now that the Orange has dropped four in a row.

    14. Boston College: L, at Louisville 17-14

    It’s not going to get widespread attention, since the Eagles have now lost four in a row, but LB Steven Daniels is authoring a Butkus Award-caliber senior season. Okay, so the individual honors probably won’t come, but NFL scouts are paying attention to the 6-0, 243-pounder. Daniels was an all-around force again on Saturday, making 11 tackles, four stops for loss and a pair of sacks.

    DOWNLOAD THE APP

    Have the full Stadium experience

    Watch with friends

    Get rewards

    Join the discussion