As week four approaches, the Atlantic Coast Conference has a log jam at the top as seven teams head into the weekend with 3-0 records. The only team yet to have a win is Virginia who sits at 0-3 as they get ready to host North Carolina State. This week, there are four conference games on the docket. So far in the three weeks of play, the league is once again playing at a high level. The ACC is 26-10 in non-conference action. Eight of those wins have come at the expense of teams from the Big Ten and the SEC. The rest of the country is 9-32 versus those leagues. Here is what else is happening in the league.
For the third straight week, three teams from the ACC are ranked in the AP Top 25. Florida State did drop a spot to #4 after a tough road battle with Boston College. North Carolina is at #17, Duke is at #18, and Miami is at #20. For the second week in a row, the Clemson Tigers do not find themselves in the Top 25. Syracuse and Louisville also received some attention. In the USA Today Poll, Florida State is steady at #3 followed by North Carolina at #17, Duke at #18, and Miami at #21. Clemson joined the group at #23 with Wake Forest and Louisville getting some notice.
Putting points on the board has not been a problem for any team in the ACC. Through three weeks, teams have scored a combined 1,456 points in 42 total games played. It is the second most total points scored by any league in the nation. The only league with more total points is the SEC with 1,563 in 43 games. Three members, Syracuse, Florida State, and Miami rank in the top 15 in scoring so far. The Orangemen are fifth at 49.3 points a game, FSU is seventh at 47.3 points, and the Hurricanes are 11th at 44.7 a game. Not to be outdone, a couple of defenses are stopping teams from scoring. Syracuse is fourth in the country averaging nine points allowed, and 27 in three games. Duke is tied with Syracuse allowing 9.3 points a game, and 28 in three games.
On the individual side of things, Clemson’s Will Shipley is #1 in FBS in career all-purpose yards per game at 122.22 and 3,300 for his career. In 27 games played, Shipley has 2,145 yards on the ground, 415 yards through the air, and 738 kick return yards. Florida State’s DE Jared Verse leads all active players in career tackles-for-loss per game. He has 1.27 tackles for loss and is second in sacks with 0.63.
Four teams in the ACC will be putting win streaks on the line this weekend. The Seminoles will take a nine-game streak to Clemson on Saturday afternoon. The last time they met at Clemson, the Seminoles won 34-28 in 2022. The streak is the fourth-longest in FBS. The Blue Devils have won five in a row and this week they head to Stores, CT. to play the UConn Huskies. These teams have only met twice with the Huskies winning both times. Wake Forest has a four-game streak and this week they are home to Georgia Tech, a team they have struggled with in their history. The Yellow Jackets lead the series 23-8 and won last time out in 2017 by a 38-24 final. Louisville has also won four in a row and they host Boston College this Saturday. The Cardinals hold an 8-7 overall record. However, the Eagles won last time in 2022 by a 34-33 score.
The Demon Deacons (3-0) almost saw their non-conference win streak, which is now at 12, come to an end last weekend on the road at Old Dominion. Down by 17 points, Wake Forest scored 20 unanswered points to come back and take a 27-24 win. It was the largest come-from-behind win since 2017 at Syracuse. Wake’s defense recorded 10 sacks in the game and linebackers Dylan Hazen and Jacob Roberts combined for 22 tackles, four sacks, and six tackles for loss.
Despite Virginia being winless so far, the quarterback position may have been solved. Anthony Colandrea made his first start for the Cavaliers on the road at Rutgers. There was good and bad which is what you would expect from a young single-caller. The good thing was that Colandrea threw for 263 yards on 23-of-39 passing, he threw a touchdown pass of 19 yards to Perris Jones. The bad was the three interceptions and one fumble. Maryland would win 42-14 after trailing 14-0 at the start.
In prime time on Saturday night, Syracuse QB Garrett Shrader had quite the night on the road at Purdue. He was responsible for 379 yards of total offense. He had 195 on the ground and 184 passing going 14-of-28. His rushing total was the most by a quarterback in FBS this year, and the third-highest single-game total in FBS. He set a school record for rushing touchdowns with four. The rushing yardage is the second-highest by a QB in school history.
In Duke’s win over Northwestern on Saturday, junior quarterback Riley Lenord was in charge. First, he threw for 219 yards on 15-of-20 passing and he also rushed for 97 yards and two scores. His teammates were a big help as RB Jordan Waters rushed for a pair and now has five on the year. WR Jalon Calhoun caught five balls for 112 yards, his sixth 100-yard receiving game of his career. The Blue Devils ran for 268 on the ground and outgained the Wildcats by a 487-267 margin winning for the fifth straight time.
That’s a look at this league for this week. We will be back next week with more from the ACC.
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