It has been one epic weekend after another in college football since this season began back on Labor Day. No conference has been spared of the upsets that have taken place. The ACC headed into this weekend with just two teams ranked in the Top-25. Quite a statement to make for a league that has always had a presence in the rankings. Let’s take a look back at how the holiday weekend games went.
The Pittsburgh Panthers (4-1, 1-0) will head to Blacksburg, Virginia after having last week off. This is a trip that the Panthers have not done well in lately. They have lost seven of the last nine meetings at Virginia Tech (3-2, 1-0). This time around could be a little different because Pittsburgh has put together quite an offensive attack this year. They lead the nation in scoring at 52.4 points per game, are third in the nation in total offense at 554.4 yards a game, and fourth in passing offense at 389 yards a game. Quarterback Kenny Pickett has thrown 19 touchdowns to just one interception in five games played to date. The Hokies are taking advantage of a schedule that has been top-heavy with home games to begin the year. Saturday’s game will be the fifth home contest already and they will have one more before things flip. Virginia Tech will finish the season playing four of their final five games on the road.
Boston College and North Carolina State (#22) will return to action after taking last weekend off. Both ACC teams enter the contest at 4-1 overall with the Wolfpack at 1-0 in league play and the Eagles at 0-1 in the conference. Boston College is in the midst of playing four straight games against Atlantic opponents. North Carolina State will do the same thing later in the year. In the 15 meetings between the two schools, the Eagles hold a 9-6 advantage. Eagles wideout Zay Flowers has surpassed the 100 receptions mark for his career at BC. He is the first 100-reception player since Bobby Swigert in 2013.
Last week was a good week to be the road team as all four road teams were winners. Quarterback play begins the key reason why. The four QB’s Florida State’s Jordan Travis, Georgia Tech Jeff Sims, Virginia Brennan Armstrong, and Wake Forest Sam Hartman combined to go 82-of-130 (63%) for 1,259 yards, and 12 touchdowns. If you factor in rushing yards, the numbers go up 1,420 and 16 trips to the end zone.
As for Armstrong, he won his third straight ACC Quarterback of the Week honor by leading his team to a comeback win at Louisville. Trailing 30-13 to start the fourth quarter, Armstrong would lead his team on three touchdown drives that gave his team a 34-33 come from behind win. For the day, he was 40-of-60 for 487 yards, three touchdowns, and two picks. He also ran for 31 yards and accounted for 518 yards of total offense. He ranks second in the nation in both total offense and passing yards.
Florida State’s Travis was involved in all five scores that the Seminoles got in their win over North Carolina. He was 11-of-13 for 143 yards and three touchdowns. He also went for 121 yards and two scores on the ground. The three touchdowns through the air were a career-high. He became the first FSU quarterback in 25 years to throw for three scores and run for two in the same game.
Sims accounted for 352 yards (297 in the air, 55 on the ground) and was responsible for all four Yellow Jackets touchdowns in their win over Duke. His best moment came on the last drive of the game which turned out to be the game-winning drive of 88 yards. It took six plays and just 51 seconds. The final play was a 36-yard strike to Adonicas Sanders that sealed the 31-27 win. Sims had a hand in all 88 yards by completing 4-of-5 throws for 79 yards and running once for nine more yards.
Hartman threw for another 300 plus yards vs Syracuse which included three touchdown passes and one rushing TD. It was his second straight 300-yard passing game and third three-touchdown game of the season. He has thrown for a 63% rate (116-of-184) and has thrown at least one touchdown pass in his last 10 games dating back to last year.
Next week we will be back with more from the ACC.