The first week of the season was, for the most part, a pretty successful one for ACC teams. Only three ACC teams lost their opening game of the season, and one of those came because it was an in-conference matchup. UNC was of course one of those losses, and the third came to an FCS team. Let’s look at how the conference is shaping up after week one.
1. Florida State (1-0)
Trailing by 15 heading into halftime, Florida State rallied, scoring 23 unanswered points in the third quarter, and beating Ole Miss 45-34. Heading into the season, one of FSU’s biggest question marks was quarterback, and Deondre Francois quieted those worries. The freshman threw for over 400 yards. Considering Dalvin Cook did not play as well as he can, FSU should be feeling pretty good right now.
Next game: vs. Charleston Southern
2. Clemson (1-0)
The Tigers didn’t quite perform to the level of last season in their opening game, but they still came away with a 19-13 win over Auburn. Clemson struggled to put the game away, allowing 10 points in the fourth quarter, with Auburn having a chance to win the game at the end. Despite that, it’s hard dock them too much. They still have Deshaun Watson. Auburn might end up being better than people think. Clemson is probably fine.
Next game: vs. Troy
3. Louisville (1-0)
Had Louisville been in the Coastal Division, they might have gone into the season as favorites. However, they are in the Atlantic and therefore stuck behind Florida State and Clemson. In their opening game against Charlotte, the Cardinals showed that they are pretty legit. Lamar Jackson threw for six touchdowns, and ran for two more. Louisville put up 663 total yards, beating Charlotte 70-14. It would be an upset for Louisville to win the Atlantic, but if FSU or Clemson aren’t on their game when they play the Cardinals, it could happen.
Next game: at Syracuse
4. Miami (1-0)
The Mark Richt era got off to a pretty good start, as the Hurricanes beat Florida A&M 70-3. Miami was picked second in the Coastal Division in the media poll before the season, and they didn’t do anything to lessen the expectations in week one.
Next game: vs. Florida Atlantic
5. North Carolina (0-1)
Despite all the justified frustration Carolina fans are feeling after week one, it’s difficult to dock them that much. Just last season, UNC learned from it’s opening game loss, and still went on to have a good season. Considering the preseason expectations and week one performances, it’s hard to jump that many teams over the Tar Heels.
Next game: at Illinois
6. Pitt (1-0)
Pitt was another team in the Coastal Division mix headed into the season. They won their opening game of the season over Villanova 28-7. While they didn’t blow their FCS opponent away like some other teams, their defense allowed just 172 yards. Just how good the Panthers can be will be revealed in the next three games.
Next game: vs. Penn State
7. NC State (1-0)
It’s difficult to say if State has found a solution to their quarterback situation. You can’t really tell when you make quick work of an FCS team. However, State’s offense did have a really good day, putting up over 500 yards against William & Mary.
Next game: at East Carolina
8. Virginia Tech (1-0)
Virginia Tech is another team that put away a FCS team. After struggling a bit in the first half, the Hokies beat Liberty 36-13. Virginia Tech’s defense held Liberty to just 160 total yards. The offense didn’t have much difficulty either, putting up 458 yards. Justin Fuente’s first real test comes this coming week.
Next game: vs. Tennessee at Bristol, TN
9. Georgia Tech (1-0)
The only conference game in the first week of the season was won by Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets’ option offense averaged just 2.7 yards against Boston College’s defense. However, BC’s defense is really good. Allowing 320 yards to Boston College’s offense is not as good a look for Georgia Tech. They did get the win though, and it’s difficult to expect that offense not to pick up in the coming weeks.
Next game: vs. Mercer
10. Duke (1-0)
Another ACC team that beat an FCS team easily. Quarterback Daniel Jones, taking over for an injured Thomas Sirk, threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. The Blue Devils handled North Carolina Central easily, winning 49-6.
Next game: vs. Wake Forest
11. Syracuse (1-0)
Dino Babers got a win in his first game as Syracuse head coach. The Orange’s new offense didn’t have any trouble against Colgate, putting up 554 yards.
Next game: vs. Louisville
12. Boston College (0-1)
Despite the loss, Boston College’s offense actually managed to put up some yards. If they can manage to replicate that at all in other games, they might be able to improve on their win total from last year and win a conference game.
Next game: at UMass
13. Wake Forest (1-0)
The Demon Deacons might have won against Tulane, but:
Next game: at Duke
14. Virginia (0-1)
They gave up 524 yards to an FCS team. They deserve to be last.
Next game: at Oregon