The Tigers' defense did this. Dabo said that. And I look brilliant for believing in Clemson. Hey, I get lucky once in a while.
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FLORIDA STATE (2-0 ACC | 4-0 OVERALL)
Dalvin Cook started like a boss against Wake Forest. Now, he's day-to-day. This team needs him because we've seen enough now to know there are flaws.
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NORTH CAROLINA (1-0 ACC | 4-1 OVERALL)
Yep, the Tar Heels are my Coastal Division Flavor of the Week. They move up to 3. Take away 1 of Quise's 3 awful INTs vs USCjr and UNC would be undefeated. As bad as he was that day, he looked that good against Georgia Tech--leading the team in passing, rushing AND receiving.
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DUKE (2-0 ACC | 4-1 OVERALL)
By one measure, Duke has the best pass defense in the nation. The Jeff Fischel Eye Test--whatever that's worth--confirms it. By the way, Duke's win over BC is the first time I've ever done ACC highlights of a game that didn't include a TD by the winning team. It did happen once last year--I'm sure you haven't forgotten--but I didn't do the highlights.
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PITT (1-0 ACC | 3-1 OVERALL)
The defense has completely remade itself in Pat Narduzzi's image. For the first month, it's played like a top 25 defense. It held Virginia Tech to 100 yards of total offense. That's no joke. Now, can Nate Peterman manage the offense, avoid mistakes, and find ways to get the ball to Tyler Boyd enough? If so, the Panthers may be my Coastal Division Flavor of the Week before long.
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LOUISVILLE (1-1 ACC | 2-3 OVERALL)
As expected, the NC State defense just couldn't keep up with Lamar Jackson for 60 minutes. He's still raw as a thrower, but overall, a remarkable dual threat. I said last week: I still think this team can get to 8 wins. Saturday confirmed it for me.
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SYRACUSE (1-0 ACC | 3-1 OVERALL)
The Orange move up despite a bye. I'm just not convinced anyone behind them is playing better right now. Plus, QB Eric Dungey and playmaker Erv Philips both should be back this week for the game at South Florida.
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GEORGIA TECH (0-2 ACC | 2-3 OVERALL)
During this 3-game losing streak, Justin Thomas has fumbled at least once each game. The Yellow Jackets have given up at least 30 points each time. And Clemson looms. 2-4 was definitely not in anyone's pre-season conversations about the defending Orange Bowl champs.
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MIAMI (0-0 ACC | 3-1 OVERALL)
_ can't lose to Cincinnati. It's a tough loss to stomach considering it felt like this team had made strides. And I feel like I've said that before. Maybe the Canes need the kind of motivation that comes from facing rival FSU. I'm guessing Miami is fired up. Will it be good enough?
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NC STATE (0-1 ACC | 4-1 OVERALL)
So, after 5 weeks, what do we really know about this team? That's why I dropped them 7 spots. You feast on the worst FBS teams, and then come up short in your first test. Even Jacoby Brissett was shaky with his accuracy. To be fair, I thought Louisville was the better team going in, so maybe this team IS exactly what we thought they'd be all along--4th in the Atlantic.
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BOSTON COLLEGE (0-2 ACC | 3-2 OVERALL)
BC moves up 1 spot despite a loss to Duke. Let's be honest, no one can really know if Thadd Smith held onto that ball or not. But we do know that would have been the difference. According to the advanced stats, BC has the #1 defense in the nation. Of course, those stats also say the offense is 114th in the nation.
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WAKE FOREST (0-2 ACC | 2-3 OVERALL)
I know FSU isn't what it's been the past 3 years, but the Noles are still the measuring stick in the ACC, and it's games like Saturday that show just how much progress Wake has made under Clawson. So yes, despite a loss, I'm moving the Deacs up a spot.
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VIRGINIA TECH (0-1 ACC | 2-3 OVERALL)
Back-to-back disappointments leave me with a lot of worrisome questions about Virginia Tech. The defense isn't dominating and the offensive line was springing leaks all over Saturday against Pitt. I predicted at least 8-4. At this point, I don't know how they get to 8 wins.
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VIRGINIA (0-0 ACC | 1-3 OVERALL)
I hope the Cavaliers used the week off to get everything straightened out. It's no surprise they're 1-3 right now. So, it's really about what they do from here.