ACC Football: Week 7 Power Rankings

This week’s Atlantic Coast Conference power rankings take an interesting turn.

With Virginia Tech losing to Syracuse this week, the ACC’s Coastal division is, once again, a wide open race. The Clemson Tigers are creating distance in the Atlantic division but the challenges still remain steep.

The Coastal division is anybody’s to win as the Pittsburgh Panthers find themselves inching closer to the title behind UNC. Clemson is still alive and undefeated despite a late scare in the fourth quarter.

Without further adieu, here are this week’s ACC Power Rankings.

Oct 7, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston College Eagles quarterback Patrick Towles (8) scrambles out of the pocket during the first quarter against Clemson at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

14

Boston College Golden Eagles

(3-3)

Last week: Bye
Last rank: 13th

Coming off a bye week, the Boston College Golden Eagles face a hot Syracuse Orange football team this week. Head coach Steve Addazio is on the proverbial hot seat.

But coming off a bye week, they look to win their first conference game of the season. With two of their worst ACC losses of the season behind them, they’ll look to get a win this week in a tough game. Making a bowl game is still a real possibility this season.

Oct 15, 2016; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers running back Taquan Mizzell (4) scores a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Panthers in the first quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

13

Virginia Cavaliers

(2-4)

Last week: L 45-31 Pittsburgh
Last rank: 12th

The Virginia Cavaliers looked a whole lot better offensively for the second straight week. But they couldn’t pull out the victory over Pittsburgh this week, losing 45-31. The Cavaliers are 1-1 in the ACC Coastal and move down a spot in this week’s power rankings.

Virginia played another good game on offense but a turnover made the difference in this conference affair. Quarterback James Benkert threw a 59-yard pick six to end the first half and the Panthers never looked back.

The Cavaliers tied the Panthers in first downs with 19. They out-gained Pittsburgh 364 to 346 in total yards of offense. Virginia expected more coming off a bye week and a victory over Duke 34-20 in Week 5. It will be interesting to see how they respond this week against North Carolina.

This Week: North Carolina

The Cavaliers face North Carolina this week. They have lost the last six meetings against the Tar Heels.

Oct 14, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Duke Blue Devils running back Jela Duncan (25) runs the ball against Louisville Cardinals safety Josh Harvey-Clemons (25) during the second quarter at Papa John

12

Duke Blue Devils

(3-4)

Last week: L 24-14 Louisville
Last rank: 11th

The Duke Blue Devils drop a spot in this week’s power rankings after their 24-14 loss to Louisville.

The Blue Devils gained just 239 yards of total offense in the game despite holding the ball for over 37 minutes. Quarterback Daniel Jones was the bright spot for the Duke offense. He threw for 129 yards and two touchdowns.

The Blue Devils simply couldn’t stop Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson when it counted most. Jackson accounted for 144 of the 288 rushing yards the Blue Devils allowed . Jackson scored a rushing touchdown with 1:32 left in the game.

The loss puts the Blue Devils at 0-3 in ACC play on the season.

This Week: Bye

The Duke Blue Devils have a bye week this week, which should be good for the team’s psyche. They face Georgia Tech on October 29.

Oct 15, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Dedrick Mills (26) scores a touchdown against the Georgia Southern Eagles during the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

11

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

(4-3)

Last week: W 35-24 Georgia Southern
Last rank: 10th

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets drop two spots in the power rankings despite their win over Georgia Southern last week. Despite snapping a three-game losing streak, the Yellow Jackets move down due to other conference matchups. They are still 0-3 in ACC play.

The Yellow Jackets gave up 25 first downs, the Eagles went 13-20 on third downs and gained 335 yards of offense. The victory did more to expose the Yellow Jacket’s problems than to solve them.

They have a bye week this week to regroup. Georgia Tech is third in the ACC in rushing yards per game with 234.3 yards a contest. However, they’re 10th in the conference in scoring.

This Week: Bye

Georgia Tech has this week off, they’ll need to prepare for the tough back end of their conference schedule. They have Duke, UNC, Virginia Tech, and Virginia left before rivalry week with Georgia.

Oct 15, 2016; Syracuse, NY, USA; Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

10

Syracuse Orange

(3-4)

Last week: W 31-17 Virginia Tech
Last rank: 14th

The Syracuse Orange got their first ACC win of the season 31-17 over the Virginia Tech Hokies this week. They move up three spots in this week’s power rankings.

The Orange snap a two-game losing streak to bounce back to 1-2 in ACC play. Quarterback Eric Dungey rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown and threw for 311 passing yards and another touchdown.

Running back Dontae Strickland threw a touchdown pass for 84 yards on a trick play and ran for 69 yards and a score. The Orange used their offensive prowess to confuse the Hokies’ defense all game. It was the Orange’ first victory over a ranked opponent since 2012.

This Week: @ Boston College

Syracuse faces Boston College on the road. If they want to keep their bowl hopes alive, they’ll need this victory.

Oct 15, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defense tries to pressure Wake Forest Demon Deacons quarterback John Wolford (10) during the game at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

9

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

(5-2)

Last week: L 17-6 Florida State
Last rank: 8th

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons lost this week 17-6 to Florida State. They are now 2-2 in ACC play. The Demon Deacons were outmatched against the Seminoles this week despite forcing four turnovers in the game. Wake Forest had three turnovers in the game.

Quarterback John Wolford threw two interceptions. Wake Forest was held to just 68 rushing yards on the day. It was the second game this season Wake Forest was held under 100 rushing yards. They are 0-2 in games they don’t rush for over 100 yards.

Being one game away from bowl eligibility, the Demon Deacons are looking to make their first bowl game since 2011.

This Week: Army

The Demon Deacons look to get their sixth win next week against Army. They are 11-4 all time against Army and have won the last nine meetings.

Oct 15, 2016; Clemson, SC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Ryan Finley (15) is brought down by Clemson Tigers defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence (90) during the second half at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Tigers won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

8

North Carolina State Wolfpack

(4-2)

Last week: L 24-17 Clemson
Last rank: 7th

The NC State Wolfpack were a field goal away from knocking off the Clemson Tigers in Death Valley but no luck. They lost 24-17 in overtime.

Wolfpack kicker Kyle Bambard went 1-4 on his field goal attempts. He missed from 43 yards, his 37-yard attempt was blocked, and missed his 33-yard field goal to win it as time expired. The Wolfpack did almost everything right outside convert points when they needed to to get the victory.

Running back Matt Dayes carried the ball 22 times for 106 yards and a touchdown. Cornerback Mike Stevens returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown.

This Week: @ Louisville

There’s not too much time to dwell on this loss as the Wolfpack travel into hostile territory this week as well. They visit the Louisville Cardinals this week looking to get back to their winning ways.

Oct 15, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes running back Joseph Yearby (2) lunges for extra yardage after being tripped up against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

7

Miami Hurricanes

(4-2)

Last week: L 20-13 UNC
Last rank: 4th

The Miami Hurricanes have lost two straight games now. Their 20-13 loss to the Tar Heels is the latest road block. They drop three spots in this week’s power rankings.

They were down 20-3 at halftime and could never fully come back in the game.

Quarterback Brad Kaaya threw for 224 passing yards but did not throw a passing touchdown. It was the second time this season he didn’t throw a touchdown pass.

Running back Joseph Yearby ran for 74 yards and a score. The Hurricanes defense allowed 299 passing yards and two touchdowns to the Tar Heels.

At 1-2 in the ACC, Miami will need to string some victories together in order to get back to their winning ways.

Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

6

Virginia Tech Hokies

(4-2)

Last week: L 31-17 Syracuse
Last rank: 3rd

The Virginia Tech Hokies drop three spots in this week’s power rankings after their upset loss to Syracuse 31-17.

The Hokies snapped a three-game winning streak and looked very uncharacteristic in their loss.  The defense gave up 32 first downs, 561 yards of offense, and were simply outplayed all game. They also converted four out of five of their fourth downs.

The Hokies offense were held to their lowest scoring total of the season as well with 17 points. They average 35.3 points per game.

Virginia Tech turned the ball over twice, one by fumble the other by interception. They’ll go back to the drawing board this week, after a short week.

This Week: Miami

There’s no time to dwell on this loss, the Hokies welcome Miami to town this Thursday. They’ve lost the last two meetings with the Hurricanes.

Oct 15, 2016; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers running back James Conner (24) celebrates with Panthers offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty (69) after scoring a touchdown against the Virginia Cavaliers in the second quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

5

Pittsburgh Panthers

(5-2)

Last week: W 45-31 Virginia
Last rank: 9th

Don’t look now but the Pittsburgh Panthers are slowly climbing back up the power rankings. They climb four spots this week.

The Panthers are now 5-2 and 2-1 in the ACC Coastal Division, one game behind North Carolina. The Panthers have won their last three games, winning last week 45-31 against Virginia.

Quarterback Nathan Peterman threw for 137 yards and two touchdowns. Running back James Conner rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns.

Pittsburgh is second in the ACC in rushing yards per game with 239.1 a contest. They ran for 209 rushing yards against Virginia.

The Panthers defense came ready to play, earning four sacks. Safety Jordan Whitehead had a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown as well.

This Week: Bye

The Panthers have a bye week. They face the Virginia Tech Hokies on October 27.

Oct 15, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Travis Rudolph (15) is tackled by Wake Forest Demon Deacons cornerback Essang Bassey (21) during the game at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

4

Florida State Seminoles

(5-2)

Last week: W 17-6 Wake Forest
Last rank: 5th

The Florida State Seminoles have won two games since losing to the Tar Heels in Week 5. Their 17-6 victory over Wake Forest last week shows they’re ready to bounce back in the ACC.

At 2-2 in ACC play, the Seminoles look to turn a corner in conference play. They move up one spot in the power rankings.

Receiver Travis Rudolph caught 13 passes for a career high 238 receiving yards. Running back Dalvin Cook ran for 115 rushing yards but did not score a touchdown.

Quarterback Deondre Francois threw for 319 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for a touchdown.

The Seminoles survived despite fumbling the ball three times and throwing an interception. They gained 27 first downs in the game.

This Week: Bye

The Seminoles get a much needed bye week before they meet the Clemson Tigers on October 29.

Oct 15, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Austin Proehl (7) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

3

North Carolina Tar Heels

(5-2)

Last week: W 20-13 Miami
Last rank: 6th

The North Carolina Tar Heels beat the Miami Hurricanes 20-13 last week. They climb to the third spot in the power rankings, as they are now first in the ACC Coastal division.

Quarterback Mitch Trubisky bounced back this week to the tune of 299 passing yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Bug Howard caught 10 passes for 156 receiving yards to lead the receiving core.

The Tar Heels offense was consistent all game, earning 23 first downs and holding the ball for 32:59. They punted just twice in the contest.

The Tar Heels defense held firm all game, allowing 13 points in the game and forcing a fumble.

This Week: @ Virginia

The Tar Heels play the Virginia Cavaliers this week. They’ve won the last six meetings between the teams.

Oct 14, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals running back Jeremy Smith (34) runs the ball against the Duke Blue Devils during the second half at Papa John

2

Louisville Cardinals

(5-1)

Last week: W 24-14 Duke
Last rank: 2nd

The Louisville Cardinals won last week but they did it by making things very interesting. They remain the number two team in this week’s power rankings.

Louisville is 5-1 on the season and 3-1 in ACC play.

The Cardinals won last week 24-14 over Duke. Quarterback Lamar Jackson ran for 144 rushing yards and a touchdown while throwing for 181 passing yards and a touchdown.

Running back Jeremy Smith also had four carries for 97 rushing yards and a touchdown. They gained 469 yards of total offense and fumbled the ball one time in the game.

The passing attack looked a bit behind but adjustments can be made next week, hopefully.

This Week: NC State

The Louisville Cardinals host the NC State Wolfpack this week. They’ll look to return to form against a tough Wolfpack team.

Oct 15, 2016; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Ben Boulware (10) during the second half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Tigers won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

1

Clemson Tigers

(7-0)

Last week: W 24-17 NC State
Last rank: 1st

Well the Clemson Tigers survived last week but another tough test is coming. They remain as the number one team in the power rankings at 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the ACC.

The Tigers won 20-13 in overtime over NC State but it wasn’t pretty at all. The offense turned the ball over four times but still managed to find a way to win in the end.

Clemson earned 30 first downs but gave up 23 on defense. They allowed 397 yards on defense as well but forced two interceptions. It was a game that head coach Dabo Swinney is lucky to have won.

Quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 378 passing yards and two touchdowns in the game. The Tigers lost running back Wayne Gallman to a vicious hit during the game and the offense stalled after that.

This Week: Bye

The Tigers get a much needed bye week before they face the Florida State Seminoles on October 29. They’ll need running back Wayne Gallman available if they want their running game to be top notch.

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