Edit: Notre Dame’s game against Wake Forest has been postponed due to Covid-19.
#1 Clemson. LW:#1. Next Game: 10/3 vs UVA, 8:00 PM ACCN.
Clemson made quick work of the Citadel, dropping 49 points on the Dogs in the first half. Apparently Dabo suggested a running clock in the second half, but Citadel declined. All in all it was a good day. We got extensive looks at both DJ Uiagelelei and Taisun Phommachahn. It was also nice to get to see the boys run down the hill again. From watching on TV, it looked like Clemson did a good job spacing fans and handling things with COVID. I liked the decision to put the band on the hill. I really wasn’t wanting to see an empty hill all year, so this was a great solution.
#2 Notre Dame. LW:#2. Next Game: 9/26 @ Wake Forest 12:00 PM ABC.
Notre Dame shredded USF 52-0 on the USA network. We now get to see the Irish hit the road for the first time as an ACC program in a high noon showdown at Wake Forest Saturday.
#3 North Carolina (1-0) LW:#3 Next Game: 10/3 @ Boston College.
And here’s one of the many issues of doing this column in 2020. UNC’s game against Charlotte was cancelled due to the 49ers having multiple players test positive and need to quarantine for COVID. To be fair, we probably wouldn’t have learned that much more about UNC in this game. The other issue for UNC is that they were unable to line up a replacement game for this this weekend and won’t be playing again until October 3rd.
#4 Miami (2-0, 1-0) LW: #7. Next Game: 9/26 vs FSU, 7:30 PM ACC.
I think Miami heard me talking trash. Lord knows I do not want fire up the Miami hype train two games in, but this Canes team actually looks...good? The U’s offense was able to bully UofL early on in their 47-34 win on the road.
Would adore a heat map analysis of how Miami attacked last night because they found so much joy to the boundary side of Louisville's defense. pic.twitter.com/QMsEuLaj60— Richard Johnson (@RJ_Writes) September 20, 2020
I would highly recommend you scroll through Richard Johnson’s thread here, because it’s a great breakdown of what Miami was able to do. Miami’s sitting at #12 in the nation now and has a hapless FSU squad coming up, and then a bye week after that. I have not looked at the slate for games on 10/10, but if Miami does what we think they should do against the Noles, I’d say Miami-Clemson in Death Valley is on the short list for Gameday and the ABC Game of the Week.
#5 Pitt (2-0, 1-0) LW: #9. Next Game: 9/26 vs Louisville, 12:00 PM ACCN.
Pitt dispatched the ‘Cuse, 21-10. Pitt now has Louisville coming to town, trying to rebound from their loss to Miami. Pitt has some fancy new threads for Saturday’s game.
Objectively, it’s not a bad look, and honoring the steel industry is cool, but these feel a bit more like Las Vegas Raiders cosplay. Anyway, the ‘croots will love it. Just don’t be that team that debuts a weird jersey combo and then lays an egg ( cough Georgia cough ).
#6 Virginia Tech (0-0) LW: #6. Next Game(?): 9/26 vs NC State, 8:00 PM ACCN.
Allegedly the Hokies are going to play on Saturday. The way this season’s going in general I don’t like to get too excited for a game until toe meets leather. We’ll talk more on this game when I get to NC State in a bit.
#7 Virginia (0-0) LW: #6 Next Game: 9/26 vs Duke, 4:00 ACCN.
I know in the comments some of y’all don’t like me keeping UVA and VT so high when they haven’t played, but, honestly, for UVA, not playing may actually be their best strategy. Looking at the history of UVA football, I’d like for you to name me one season that playing actually benefited them. UVA on paper should probably be a better football program than it is, yet that just doesn’t seem to show on the field. Even Bryce Perkins could only get them one win over Va Tech and a 62-17 loss in the ACC Championship. Seriously though, we’ll hopefully get to see the Wahoos Saturday against a not great Duke team. I hope Chase Brice can tender up the white meat for us before we dine on it in the Valley on 10/3.
#8 Louisville (1-1, 0-1) LW:#4 Next Game: 9/26 @ Pitt 12:00 PM ACCN
The Cards fell at home to a fired up Miami team. Louisville now has a pretty good test on the road against #21 Pitt. It’s not all doom and gloom for UofL. Malik Cunningham tossed 307 yards and three TDs, Tutu Atwell had 114 yards and two TDs recieving. Running back Javian Hawkins ran for 164 yards and a touchdown. Scott Satterfield’s offense against this Pitt defense could be a very fun matchup.
#9 Georgia Tech (1-1, 1-0) LW: #8. Next Game: 9/26 @ Syracuse, 12:00 PM Regional TV.
Georgia Tech sandwiched two decent quarters of football between two very meh quarters of football, and if we’re being honest, that’s about the best you can ask for from this work in progress team against a top 15 school like UCF. Georgia Tech now goes to Syracuse for a date with the downtrodden Orange. This is actually a good test to see where GT is as a team. A week after an emotional game against UCF, you go on the road for a sleepy nooner where you are probably favored. If the Jackets can simply take care of business, that is huge.
#10 NC State (1-0, 1-0) LW:#12. Next Game: 9/26 @ Virginia Tech, 8:00 PM ACCN.
NC State has a pulse! The pack actually looked pretty good on offense in a 45-42 win over Wake Forest. Now, NC State heads into a game against an unknown entity in Virginia Tech. This would be huge for Dave Doeren to slip out of Blacksburg with a win, but my guess is the Hokies will be much more of a challenge than Wake Forest.
#11 Florida State (0-1, 0-1) LW: #10. Next Game: 9/26 @ Miami, 7:30 PM ACC.
FSU did not play this week but still had some extremely big news. Head Coach Mike Norvell has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be available to coach Saturday against Miami. This is probably not the last time we see a coach sidelined by the virus, and is absolutely huge for Miami, who can gain a whole lot of momentum with a rivalry win. Assistant coach Chris Tomsen will be head coaching the Noles Saturday night. After last year seeing Hugh Freeze coach Liberty from a hospital bed in a sky box, I am very intrigued about who the first coach will be to try to still coach while quarantined. Zoom coaching is probably not going to be an option, both because I’d imagine some conferences have rules about technology use and such on the sideline and the fact that I can’t even send a Snapchat in Death Valley on game days. I’m sure at some point this year some coach will try “creative measures” to coach from home, but I think Norvell is wisely choosing not to experiment with that.
#12 Boston College (1-0, 1-0) LW: #15. Next Game: 9/26 vs Texas State 6:00 PM, Regional TV.
I really underestimated Boston College (and overestimated Duke). The Eagles rolled to a 26-6 win over the Devils in a game in which BC QB Phil Jurkovich threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns. BC also only rushed for 81 yards as a team. Could this be the emergence of the Boston College air raid era? We’ll see, but BC should have a good weekend to continue to build this offense with Texas State coming to town.
#13 Duke (0-2, 0-2) LW: #11 Next Game: 9/26 @ UVA 4:00 PM, ACCN.
Duke is looking very much like Duke. The Devils had a turnover-laden 26-6 loss to Boston College and find themselves at 0-2.
Chase Brice had an alright game with 217 yards in the air, but threw two picks. 5 turnovers on the day in total for Duke. Now the Devils turn their attention to UVA, who is finally playing their first game.
#14 Wake Forest (0-2, 0-2) LW:#13 Next Game: 9/26 vs Notre Dame 12:00 PM ABC
Wake fell to NC State 45-42. It doesn’t look good for Wake, who now hosts #7 Notre Dame in Winston-Salem on Saturday.
#15 Syracuse (0-2, 0-2) LW:#14 Next Game: 9/26 vs Georgia Tech 12:00 PM, Regional TV.
Dino Babers’ offense has been pretty lifeless two weeks into the season. With a young GT team that’s still in transition, the Cuse could steal one and gain some much needed momentum. Rex Culpepper made a cameo appearance and looked better than Tommy DeVito, going 4/9 with 88 yards and a TD, compared to DeVito’s 9/15, 32 yard performance. Culpepper may be the spark that Syracuse needs.