ACC Football: What we learned around the ACC in week four

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 21: A general view of the Clemson Tigers' football game against the Charlotte 49ers at Memorial Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 21: A general view of the Clemson Tigers' football game against the Charlotte 49ers at Memorial Stadium on September 21, 2019 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /

Geoff Collins and his Georgia Tech football program had this past weekend off but we were able to learn quite a bit about the other 11 football programs in the ACC this weekend.

Boston College: 30-16 win over Rutgers

After a shocking loss last week to Kansas, Boston College struggled against Rutgers on Saturday. The Scarlet Knights are arguably the worst Power 5 program in America over the last few years which doesn’t scream great news for Boston College. They got a nice win in week one over Virginia Tech and cruised against FCS opponent Richmond, but the last two weeks have cast some doubts about the Eagles.

Clemson: 52-10 win over Charlotte

There was a kickoff. There was a ton of Clemson points and the defending national champions rolled once again. Rinse and repeat for the remainder of the regular season. The Tigers are going to cruise to an another ACC title and playoff appearance.

Duke: OFF

Duke got a bye week this week and will take on the Virginia Tech Hokies on Friday night, looking for their third straight win.

Florida State: 35-24 win over Louisville

The first thing you should know about this game is that Florida State was once up 21-0. Then they were losing 24-21 in the second half and for a while it looked like Willie Taggert’s program was headed for another baffling loss. Looking at the numbers won’t matter here, Florida State isn’t a good program right now and Willie Taggert may be out of Tallahassee by seasons end.

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Louisville: 35-24  loss to Florida State

Credit to Louisville for making this once a game after going down 21-0 but like Florida State, their not a good program right now. But that’s expected, they need a total rebuild with Scott Satterfield now at the helm and were the vastly less talented team compared to that of the Seminoles. They showed a lot of heart and grit in their loss, like they did in week one against Notre Dame. The Cardinals are not going to be contending for anything, any time soon but they’re a team that may be able to squeak out two or three more wins this season.

Miami: 17-12 win over Central Michigan

It’s safe to say the first four weeks haven’t gone to plan for new Miami coach Manny Diaz and Saturday’s ugly win over Central Michigan was another reminder. The Hurricanes totaled just 287-yards of offense including just 51-yards on the ground. Their defense remains stout, but a 17-12 win over an average group of five team doesn’t instill any confidence that the Hurricanes will be contending for anything this season.

North Carolina: 34-31 loss to App St

The Appalachian State Mountaineers earned their first win over a power-five program since 2007. It was a tough spot for the North Carolina Tar Heels, losing last week to Wake Forest and having to face Clemson this upcoming weekend. The Tar Heels defense didn’t perform all that poor but did allow 161-yards on the ground. Freshman quarterback Sam Howell performed rather well and threw for over 300-yards but also threw two costly interceptions.

The Tar Heels started off the season with two strong wins but since then have come back down to earth in Chapel Hill. It”s starting to look like another long season for the Tar Heels.

North Carolina State: 34-23 win over Ball State

This was another rather ugly game especially for the NC State offense. The NC State offense managed 389-yards but struggled through the air with their two quarterbacks going a combined 19-for-33, for 185-yards and two interceptions. They ran the ball well on the ground though, totaling 204-yards. Defensively, they allowed Ball State to pass for 333-yards over 57 passing attempts while keeping the Cardinals to just 84-yards of rushing.

NC State has the talent to be a top team in the ACC this season but they’ll need to figure out their passing game sooner than later if they wish to land in a notable bowl game.

Pittsburgh: 35-34 win over Pittsburgh

The Panthers broke out the “Pitt Special” to upset UCF, handing the Golden Knights their first regular season loss in over two years. The Panthers the week before played well against another top-15 team in the Penn State Nittany Lions as well. The Panthers are once again a formidable foe and are among the ACC Atlantic’s top contenders to make the ACC Championship game. They’ll need to play strong football from here on, out but the last two performances have been good indications of what could come for the Panthers.

Syracuse: 52-33 win over Western Michigan

This isn’t the Syracuse team we saw last season, that’s for sure after four weeks. Don’t let the score fool you, this game was close for most of the afternoon before the Orange pulled away in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Tommy Devito had a fantastic performance, going 27-of-35 for 297-yards and four touchdowns but their defense allowed 541-yards of total offense including 356 passing yards. Combine this defensive performance with their performances against Clemson and Maryland and it’s evident that this team just isn’t very good. They still have a shot at 7-8 wins but that’s about it for Dino Babers’ squad.

Virginia: 28-17 win over Old Dominion

At one point, it appeared Old Dominion was on track to have their second straight season with an upset over one of their state’s FBS programs. Early in the second quarter, it was a 17-0 lead for the Monarchs but Bryce Perkins and the Virginia offense would score 28 unanswered points to win the game. The Virginia offense struggled, managing only 221-yards of total offense but the defense still looks like one of the nation’s best. The offense will need to step it up for the Cavaliers as they enter conference play.

Virginia Tech: OFF

The Hokies got revenge on Old Dominion in week three and have their eyes turned to Duke for their matchup on Friday night in Blacksburg.

Wake Forest: 49-7 win over Elon

Wake Forest is off to a 4-0 start after a dismantling of Elon this weekend. Quarterback Jamie Newman once again had a fantastic performance, completing 27-of-35 passes for 351-yards, and five touchdowns. He did throw an interception but not everyone can be perfect. Overall, the Demon Deacons totaled 607 yards of offense while allowing just 171 total yards. Wake Forest is making an early statement in a down year in the ACC. They have a great chance of finishing second in the ACC Atlantic.