ACC Report Card: Through Week 8

It’s time to look at the second quarter of the season report card for ACC teams, now eight weeks into the season. The report card will factor in each team’s success (or lack thereof) offensively and defensively, while keeping their win-loss record in mind. I’ll also provide a few games to look at over the next three games for each team.

Boston College – Projected Record: (4-3); Actual Record: (1-6)

Total Offense: 311.29 yards/game; 107th.

Run Offense: 114.29 yards/game; 102nd. Pass Offense: 197.00 yards/game; 91st.

Total Defense: 428.29 yards/game; 99th.

Run Defense: 165.57 yards/game; 72nd. Pass Defense: 262.71 yards/game; 100th.

Notes: Boston College is off to their worst start since 1989, when the Eagles were 2-9. Its been a nightmare season for the Eagles, who can’t seem to do anything right on either side of the ball. Boston College must now win out, including games against Florida State, at Notre Dame, and at Miami (FL), in order to be bowl eligible. Offensively, QB Chase Rettig (1362 passing yards, 52.1% completion, 7 passing TDs, but 6 INTs) needs to take better care of the ball. RB Andre Williams (333 rushing yards, 4.5/carry, and 3 rushing TDs) and WR Colin Larmond (443 receiving yards, 17.0/catch, and 2 receiving TDs) have paced the offense. Every game is a must win situation for BC.

Wins: Massachusetts (45-17)

Losses: Northwestern (17-24); @ UCF (3-30); Duke* (19-20); Wake Forest* (19-27); @ #8 Clemson* (14-36); @ #12 Virginia Tech* (14-30)

Current Grade: F.

Clemson – Projected Record: (6-2); Actual Record: (8-0)

Total Offense: 482.50 yards/game; 15th.

Run Offense: 178.88 yards/game; 40th. Pass Offense: 303.60 yards/game; 14th.

Total Defense: 378.00 yards/game; 60th.

Run Defense: 169.38 yards/game; 76th. Pass Defense: 208.63 yards/game; 40th.

Notes: The Tigers are poised to not only make a run at the ACC Title, but also the National Title. The Tigers are in the driver’s seat to win their division, having beaten Florida State and playing home to Wake Forest. However, they will need some help from other teams in order to make the national title, as undefeated LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, and Boise State are in front of Clemson. Clemson’s big three – QB Tajh Boyd (2379 passing yards, 61.9% completion, and 24 passing TDs), WR/KR Sammy Watkins (819 receiving yards, 15.2/catch, and 9 receiving TDs), and RB Andre Ellington (745 rushing yards, 5.1/carry, and 7 rushing TDs) – lead the way offensively. Games against Wake Forest and NC State should post little threat to Clemson’s BCS Title chances, but a showdown in Atlanta this week could spell doom.

Wins: Troy (43-19); Wofford (35-27); #21 Auburn (38-24); #11 Florida State* (35-30); @ #11 Virginia Tech* (23-3); Boston College* (36-14); @ Maryland* (56-45); North Carolina* (59-38)

Losses: None.

Current Grade: A+.

Duke – Projected Record: (3-4); Actual Record: (3-4)

Total Offense: 386.86 yards/game; 69th.

Run Offense: 100.00 yards/game; 110th. Pass Offense: 286.90 yards/game; 22nd.

Total Defense: 398.86 yards/game; 73rd.

Run Defense: 134.86 yards/game; 48th. Pass Defense: 264.00 yards/game; 102nd.

Notes: Duke is off to their best start since 2009, when the Blue Devils finished 5-7. The Blue Devils haven’t made a bowl game since the 1994 Hall of Fame Bowl, which is now defunct. QB Sean Renfree (1800 passing yards, 67.9% completion, 5 passing TDs, but 4 INTs) leads the Blue Devil passing attack, with the aid of WR Conner Vernon (652 receiving yards, 13.9/catch, and 3 receiving TDs) and RB Juwan Thompson (345 rushing yards, 4.4/carry, and 5 rushing TDs). Duke can still make a bowl game, but will need to win three of their last five games; games against Virginia Tech, at Miami (FL), and at Virginia aren’t easy, but if Duke wins two out of three, for the first time in 17 years, they won’t be home for the holidays.

Wins: @ Boston College* (20-19); Tulane (48-27); @ Florida International (31-27)

Losses: Richmond (21-23); #16 Stanford (14-44); Florida State* (16-41); Wake Forest* (23-24)

Current Grade: C+.

Florida State – Projected Record: (6-1); Actual Record: (4-3)

Total Offense: 431.14 yards/game; 38th.

Run Offense: 126.86 yards/game; 86th. Pass Offense: 304.30 yards/game; 13th.

Total Defense: 291.29 yards/game; 12th.

Run Defense: 82.86 yards/game; 6th. Pass Defense: 208.43 yards/game; 39th.

Notes: The ‘Noles had aspirations of a national title run this year, having them dashed at home to Oklahoma. Florida State then proceeded to take off the next two games, leaving them out of the ACC-Atlantic division race. With a relatively soft schedule left, the Seminoles should be bowl eligible, and can benefit from the extra practices. QB EJ Manuel’s (1455 passing yards, 64.4% completion, 11 passing TDs, but 7 INTs) ball security leaves a lot to be desired. Florida State has been led by RB Devonta Freeman (288 rushing yards, 5.6/carry, and 3 rushing TDs) and WR Rashad Greene (457 receiving yards, 17.6/catch, and 6 receiving TDs). The Seminoles will want to get to six wins before the Florida game; games against NC State, at Boston College, and home to Miami (FL) can guarantee bowl eligibility.

Wins: Louisiana-Monroe (34-0); Charleston Southern (62-10); @ Duke* (41-16); Maryland* (41-16)

Losses: #1 Oklahoma (13-23); @ #21 Clemson* (30-35); @ Wake Forest* (30-35)

Current Grade: B-.

Georgia Tech – Projected Record: (6-2); Actual Record: (6-2)

Total Offense: 478.50 yards/game; 17th.

Run Offense: 321.13 yards/game; 5th. Pass Offense: 157.40 yards/game; 108th.

Total Defense: 341.00 yards/game; 33rd.

Run Defense: 170.50 yards/game; 77th. Pass Defense: 170.50 yards/game; 8th.

Notes: The Yellow Jackets started off 6-0, with aspirations of an ACC Title. Now with two losses in conference play, they will need to win out until the Georgia game in order to make the ACC Title. QB Tevin Washington (1599 total yards, 48.4% completion, and 19 total TDs), RB Orwin Smith (516 rushing yards, 12.3/carry, and 9 total TDs), RB David Sims (496 rushing yards, 5.7/carry, and 3 rushing TDs), and WR Stephen Hill (561 receiving yards, 31.2/catch, and 4 receiving TDs) lead the Jackets. Georgia Tech has key home games against Clemson and Virginia Tech coming up, before ending the ACC schedule at Duke.

Wins: Western Carolina (63-21); @ Middle Tennessee (49-21); Kansas (66-24); North Carolina* (35-28); @ NC State* (45-35); Maryland* (21-16)

Losses: @ Virginia* (21-24); @ Miami (FL)* (7-24)

Current Grade: B.

Maryland – Projected Record: (3-4); Actual Record: (2-5)

Total Offense: 383.29 yards/game; 73rd.

Run Offense: 168.29 yards/game; 51st. Pass Offense: 215.00 yards/game; 75th.

Total Defense: 442.00 yards/game; 109th.

Run Defense: 215.14 yards/game; 110th. Pass Defense: 226.86 yards/game; 64th.

Notes: Maryland is in the midst of a rebuilding year, but based on a relatively soft schedule down the stretch, the Terps can still make a bowl game. Maryland’s first six opponents, excluding Towson, are a combined 32-13. The remaining five teams have a combined record of 18-17. C.J. Brown (361 passing yards, 48.7% completion, 4 passing TDs, but 2 INTs) has now taken over at QB. RB Davin Meggett (526 rushing yards, 4.8/carry, and 3 rushing TDs), and WR Kevin Dorsey (361 receiving yards, 12.4/catch, and 2 receiving TDs) lead the Terps. Games against Boston College, Virginia, and vs. Notre Dame will go a long way towards determining if this team can make a bowl game.

Wins: Miami (FL)* (32-24); Towson (28-3)

Losses: #18 West Virginia (31-37); Temple (7-38); @ #13 Georgia Tech (16-21); #8 Clemson (45-56); @ Florida State (16-41)

Current Grade: D.

Miami (FL) – Projected Record: (4-3); Actual Record: (4-3)

Total Offense: 266.86 yards/game; 81st.

Run Offense: 154.14 yards/game; 62nd. Pass Offense: 212.70 yards/game; 79th.

Total Defense: 378.57 yards/game; 61st.

Run Defense: 179.43 yards/game; 83rd. Pass Defense: 199.14 yards/game; 31st.

Notes: Four wins to date for Miami (FL) has been a pleasant surprise so far, as the Hurricanes are under investigation by the NCAA. Miami (FL) has been wildly inconsistent, soundly defeating then #17 Ohio State in Coral Gables. The ‘Canes have also knocked off Georgia Tech at home and North Carolina on the road, but has lost to Maryland. The Hurricanes are led offensively by QB Jacory Harris (1244 passing yards, 62.1% completion, and 12 passing TDs), RB Lamar Miller (799 rushing yards, 5.8/carry, and 6 rushing TDs), and WRs Travis Benjamin (350 receiving yards, 13.5/catch, and 3 receiving TDs) and Tommy Streeter (428 receiving yards, 20.4/catch, and 5 receiving TDs). The next three games, against Virginia, Duke, and at Florida State, should leave Miami (FL) bowl eligible.

Wins: #17 Ohio State (24-6); Bethune-Cookman (45-14); @ North Carolina* (30-24); #22 Georgia Tech (24-7)

Losses: @ Maryland* (24-32); Kansas State (24-28); @ #21 Virginia Tech* (35-38)

Current Grade: C+.

NC State – Projected Record: (4-3); Actual Record: (4-3)

Total Offense: 370.57 yards/game; 80th.

Run Offense: 115.86 yards/game; 99th. Pass Offense: 254.70 yards/game; 37th.

Total Defense: 388.86 yards/game; 67th.

Run Defense: 165.43 yards/game; 71st. Pass Defense: 223.43 yards/game; 57th.

Note: Because NC State has two of their four wins coming from FCS opponents, they will need a total of seven wins to be bowl eligible. With five games left, the Wolfpack are running out of opportunities to pick up three wins. NC State is led by QB Mike Glennon (1717 passing yards, 62.9% completion, 19 passing TDs, but 6 INTs), RB James Washington (491 rushing yards, 4.2/carry, and 5 rushing TDs), and WR T.J. Graham (492 receiving yards, 21.4/catch, and 4 receiving TDs). The next three games will go a long ways toward determining the Wolfpack bowl eligibility, with games at Florida State, home to North Carolina, and at Boston College. If NC State can win two out of those three, they will be in good shape to return to a bowl game for the third time in four years.

Wins: Liberty (43-21); South Alabama (35-13); Central Michigan (38-24); @ Virginia* (28-14)

Losses: @ Wake Forest* (27-34); @ Cincinnati (14-44); #21 Georgia Tech (35-45)

Current Grade: C.

North Carolina – Projected Record: (5-3); Actual Record: (5-3)

Total Offense: 395.75 yards/game; 59th.

Run Offense: 152.63 yards/game; 63rd. Pass Offense: 243.10 yards/game; 50th.

Total Defense: 367.88 yards/game; 52nd.

Run Defense: 104.50 yards/game; 23rd. Pass Defense: 263.38 yards/game; 101st.

Notes: Like Miami (FL), the Tar Heels have an NCAA investigation underway. Unlike Miami (FL), the Tar Heels do not have a coach for the foreseeable future, as interim head coach Everett Withers is fighting to have the interim tag removed. Three of the next four games will be within the state of North Carolina, as the Heels will host Wake Forest, travel to Raleigh, and host Duke in the season finale. The Tar Heels have struggled with their remaining opponents lately, losing two straight to Wake Forest, four straight to NC State, losing six of the last seven to Virginia Tech, but having beaten Duke in 20 of the last 21 meetings. The Heels won’t be able to win the Coastal division, but can do more than just win six games. With Wake Forest, at NC State, and at Virginia Tech on the schedule for the next three games, North Carolina could win two of the next three.

Wins: James Madison (42-10); Rutgers (24-22); Virginia* (28-17); @ East Carolina (35-20); Louisville (14-7)

Losses: @ #25 Georgia Tech (28-35); Miami (FL)* (24-30); @ #7 Clemson (38-59)

Current Grade: B.

Virginia – Projected Record: (6-1); Actual Record: (4-3)

Total Offense: 407.43 yards/game; 50th.

Run Offense: 183.43 yards/game; 34th. Pass Offense: 224.00 yards/game; 66th.

Total Defense: 314.29 yards/game; 19th.

Run Defense: 138.29 yards/game; 49th. Pass Defense: 176.00 yards/game; 12th.

Notes: The Cavs haven’t made a bowl game since 2007. When Virginia knocked off Georgia Tech two weeks ago to improve to 4-2, it looked as if Virginia would be bowl bound. Then the Cavs followed it up, laying an egg at home to lowly NC State. Now Virginia will be scrambling to win two more games to play a 13th. Virginia is led by QB Michael Rocco (1150 passing yards, 62.6% completion, 5 total TDs, but 8 INTs), RBs Perry Jones (514 rushing yards, 5.2/carry, and 2 rushing TDs) and Kevin Parks (368 rushing yards, 5.5/carry, and 7 rushing TDs). Virginia plays at Miami (FL) and Maryland before hosting Duke. Wins in two of the next three will assure Virginia of eligibility for the post-season. Unfortunately, winning less then two of the next three likely keeps Virginia home for the holidays, as their remaining games after Duke are at Florida State and home to Virginia Tech.

Wins: William & Mary (40-3); @ Indiana (34-31); Idaho (21-20 OT); #12 Georgia Tech* (24-21)

Losses: @ North Carolina* (17-28); Southern Miss (24-30); NC State* (14-28)

Current Grade: B-.

Virginia Tech – Projected Record: (8-0); Actual Record: (7-1)

Total Offense: 427.00 yards/game; 41st.

Run Offense: 194.88 yards/game; 27th. Pass Offense: 232.10 yards/game; 59th.

Total Defense: 294.88 yards/game; 13th.

Run Defense: 84.63 yards/game; 7th. Pass Defense: 210.25 yards/game; 44th.

Notes: Virginia Tech has dominated the ACC since entering, winning the league in 2004. In 2005, the ACC split into two divisions, with Virginia Tech finishing in the top two in the Coastal division in each of the six years since the split. They represented the Coastal division in the ACC Title four times out of six possible times (Georgia Tech in 2006 and 2009). The division will again, likely, be between Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. Virginia Tech will need better play from QB Logan Thomas (1744 passing yards, 60.9% completion, and 16 total TDs, but 5 INTs); RBs David Wilson (1037 rushing yards, 6.3/carry, and 7 rushing TDs) and Josh Oglesby (209 rushing yards, 3.6/carry, and 5 rushing TDs) have led the Hokie offense. Virginia Tech’s next three games are important to the Hokies returning to the ACC Title game, but none is more important than the Georgia Tech game.

Wins: Appalachian State (66-13); @ East Carolina (17-10); Arkansas State (26-7); @ Marshall (30-10); Miami (FL)* (38-35); @ Wake Forest* (38-17); Boston College* (30-14)

Losses: #13 Clemson (3-23)

Current Grade: A-.

Wake Forest – Projected Record: (2-5); Actual Record: (5-2)

Total Offense: 386.57 yards/game; 70th.

Run Offense: 101.57 yards/game; 109th. Pass Offense: 285.00 yards/game; 24th.

Total Defense: 352.57 yards/game; 40th.

Run Defense: 121.57 yards/game; 36th. Pass Defense: 231.00 yards/game; 70th.

Notes: Heading into this season, Coach Jim Grobe was known to be on the hot seat. Grobe as been at Wake Forest since 2001, and compiled a 95-93-1 record at Wake, heading into this season, leading the Demon Deacons to four bowl games in ten years, including an 11 win season in 2006. But since that time, Wake Forest has gone 25-25, including 8-16 in the past two years. With one more win, Wake is headed to another bowl game, its fourth in six years. QB Tanner Price (1821 passing yards, 61.4% completion, and 14 passing TDs), RB Josh Harris (412 rushing yards, 4.5/carry, and 2 rushing TDs), and WR Chris Givens (886 receiving yards, 19.3/catch, and 8 receiving TDs) have led the resurgent Demon Deacons. Wake Forest has five chances to pick up at least one win for bowl eligibility; however, the next three will be tough, as they are on the road in Chapel Hill, home to Notre Dame, and visiting Death Valley. A win in one of the next three games will allow Wake Forest to breathe easier.

Wins: NC State* (34-27); Gardner-Webb (48-5); @ Boston College* (27-19); #23 Florida State* (35-30); @ Duke* (24-23)

Losses: @ Syracuse (29-36 OT); #19 Virginia Tech* (17-38)

Current Grade: B+.


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