Week 3 of the Atlantic Coast Conference rolls in and only one league game is scheduled for the weekend. For the third straight Saturday night, an ACC team will be featured on ABC/ESPN. This week it will be Pittsburgh at West Virginia. There will be seven national broadcasts of ACC football during the season. Let’s take a look at the goings on in the league.
For the second straight week, the league has four teams in the AP Top 25 poll. Florida State moved inside the Top 5 at #3, North Carolina at #20, Duke at #21, and Miami at #22 round out the list. For the first time in 20 weeks, the Clemson Tigers are now inside the Top 25. The Tigers received 68 votes overall. In the USA Today AFCA Coaches Poll, the Seminoles are at #3, the Tar Heels at #18, Duke is at #20, Clemson at #22, and Miami at #23. Syracuse and Louisville also gained some notice.
On Saturday afternoon at Chestnut Hill, the annual “Red Bandana” game will take place as the Eagles will host #3 Florida State (2-0). The Seminoles will bring with them an eight-game winning streak to Alumni Stadium. It is the fourth-longest streak in FBS. Their offense has been a factor in the red zone already this season. They are a perfect 10-for-10 in the red zone with eight touchdowns and two field goals. They ranked fourth in the country averaging 55.5 points per game. They are one of five teams to be perfect in the red zone this year. The Eagles (1-1) have played two games that have been decided by three points. QB Thomas Castellanos has taken over the starting quarterback job, and in the first two games leads the team in passing with 339 yards and in rushing with 138 yards. Of the seven touchdowns that BC has scored, Castellanos has been responsible for five of them.
Speaking of offense, the Duke Blue Devils (2-0) have been putting up a lot of points in the early going. In their two games to date, the Blue Devils have outscored their opponents by a 70-14 margin. Their defense has been very good at keeping teams off the scoreboard. They ranked eighth in scoring defense at 7.0 points per game. The offensive line has not allowed a sack through two games, and QB Riley Lenoard is 29-for-45 (64%) for 311 yards and one score.
The Syracuse Orangemen are off to a 2-0 start with both wins coming at home. They have outscored their opponents by a whopping 113-7 margin. They lead the league in both scoring offense at 56.5 points a game and in scoring defense, allowing 3.5 points. They also lead the league in total offense with 586.5 yards a game and n total defense, allowing just 212 yards a game.
The Virginia Cavaliers are off to an 0-2 start. However, they may have found their QB in Anthony Colandrea. In his first career start last Saturday vs James Madison, he went 20-for-26, 377 yards and two touchdowns. All these marks are single-game freshman records at Virginia. The 377 passing yards are the most in the league so far this year and the most by a FBS freshman nationally. The two TD strikes matched the school record for a freshman QB, that was done by two other quarterbacks at Virginia.
Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke earned ACC Quarterback of the Week honor this week with his performance vs Texas A&M last weekend. He threw a career high five touchdowns in the 48-33 win over then #23 Aggies. WR Jacoby George was named WR of the Week in the league with his career best three touchdowns game. Brashard Smith earned Special Team Honors with a 98 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. The Hurricanes have been perfect in the red zone, going 8-for-8 with five touchdowns and three field goals.
Louisville is off to a great start for new head coach Jeff Brohm. At 2-0, the Cardinals are getting it done on the offensive side of the ball. Last week vs Murray State, the Cardinals put up 690 yards of total offense in the 56-0 win. Their defense did their job holding the visitors to just 166. The 524-yard margin is the second highest in school history. The highest being a 596-yard margin also vs Murray State back on September 30, 2017.
The Pittsburgh Panthers (1-1) will look to start a new winning streak after their six-game streak was snapped by Cincinnati last week 27-21. The defense is third in the league in total defense allowing 248.5 yards a game. They are third in scoring defense at 17 points a contest. They too are perfect in the red zone at 8-for-8. Transfer QB Phil Jurkovec leads the offense with 393 passing yards and four TD’s.
That’s all for this week. We will be back next week with more from the ACC.
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