Another week and another change in the top of the ACC Power Rankings. The top looks better after two big wins by the Tech duos, while the bottom of the pile continues to remind us; “They are who we thought they were!”
1. Virginia Tech
The Hokies got back on track with a 605 yard offensive explosion against Marshall. While Tech showed a stout defense and Taylor had a nice day through the air, the most encouraging thing for the Hokies was their 444 yards on the ground. I’d say they’ve found a way to replace the injured Evans. One more big test awaits them in out of conference play as they host Nebraska this Saturday.
2. Georgia Tech
In their classic style, Georgia Tech and Clemson brought it right down to the wire before kicker Scott Blair saved the Jackets hopes for an ACC title. Tech may be weak against the pass but their offense proved to be solid with 301 yards rushing and 117 through the air.
Despite the bye this week, Miami moves up to the No. 3 spot. Their offense is one of the few in the conference that has the potential to match anyone they line up against. One of their biggest tests on defense will come this Thursday as they battle the Jackets in what should be a great game for the ACC.
4. North Carolina
The Tar Heels showed a lot of grit as they came back from down 10-0 at halftime to squeak by Connecticut. Yates is apparently still shaking off the rust from 2008, but he threw for 233 yards and one score. The UNC running game needs to do a lot better than 33 yards to have a legitimate shot at the ACC crown.
5. Florida State
This is a team that is still trying to figure out who they are, but their offense can light up some teams. They played weak against Jacksonville State, but Ponder threw for 324 yards and, more importantly, no interceptions. If the FSU defense can get pressure on the quarterback, then they will be a tough opponent for anyone.
Like most teams, the Tigers struggled early with the Georgia Tech offense, but showed a lot of poise, and heart in their second half comeback. Parker had three touchdowns through the air along with 261 passing yards, but Spiller is still bothered by the injury, and will need to be more productive if Clemson wants to have the kind of 2009 fans were expecting.
7. N.C. State
Russell Wilson started his season a week late in 2009, but better late than never, right? He lead the offense with 228 yards passing and four touchdowns while the Wolfpack defense held their opponent to 36 total yards. No, the game was not just played on a PS3. Yes, it was basically a high school team, but we’ll give them some love anyway.
8. Boston College
This could be the hardest team to grade in the ACC because we still don’t know much about them. They had solid numbers, with 223 yards through the air and 126 on the ground, but they haven’t faced any big opponents yet. This weekend’s matchup with Clemson will be a defining game for the ACC Atlantic.
9. Wake Forest
It took a 14 point fourth quarter caped by a last second touchdown run, but the Demon Deacons got their first win against the Stanford Tree-huggers. Skinner was mediocre and the running game has yet to define itself. After giving up 391 yards this week it is hard to put much faith in this defense.
Congratulations to the Blue Devils for cracking the top ten! Enjoy it because a trip to Kansas next week will expose Duke on both sides of the ball. While they won against Army, rumors are flowing that Lewis may not be the starter by the end of the year. This team needs help!
The Terps put up 236 yards through the air, 123 on the ground, and defend their home turf in a 38-35 showdown! They played who again? So, in reality, Maryland is fortunate to avoid complete embarrassment, but look out this week, as the mighty Blue Raiders from Middle Tennessee State take their shots at outrunning the Turtles.
The Cavaliers only lost by 16 to the No. 16 team in the country. That’s pretty good. That is until you see that all 14 Virginia points came with under five minutes to play in the game. UVA hadn’t even gotten 100 total offensive yards until late in the fourth quarter. Better luck next week.
Also See: SEC Power Rankings: Week 2
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