Athlon recaps the Week 2 action in the ACC.
With the top three teams playing non-conference opponents, it was a relatively quiet week in the ACC. NC State scored a key win at Connecticut, while Wake Forest opened conference play with a victory over North Carolina. Maryland matched its win total from last season by beating Temple, but Miami was whipped in a loss to Kansas State.
Post-Week 2 ACC Offensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson – Ellington wasn’t called upon much in Clemson’s blowout win over Ball State. Through two weeks, the senior has 269 yards, two scores and is averaging 7.1 yards per attempt.
2. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson – Hopkins followed up a stellar effort in the opener against Auburn with six catches for 105 yards and three scores against Ball State.
3. Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest – Campanaro delivered in a big way for Wake Forest’s offense against North Carolina, catching 13 passes for 164 yards.
Post-Week 2 ACC Defensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – Werner barely played against Savannah State but still notched two tackles, one sack and 1.5 tackles for a loss.
2. Joe Vellano, DL, Maryland – Vellano turned in another strong performance in Week 2, recording four tackles, one sack and one forced fumble against Temple.
3. Steve Greer, LB, Virginia – Greer has been a tackling machine through the first two weeks of the season, leading the team with 15 stops and two sacks in the narrow win over Penn State.
Post-Week 2 ACC Coach of the Year Standings
1. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State – The Seminoles haven’t been challenged through the first two games, but this team still looks like the one to beat in the ACC.
2. Dabo Swinney, Clemson – No letdown for the Tigers on Saturday, cruising to an easy 52-27 win over Ball State.
3. Jim Grobe, Wake Forest – The Demon Deacons looked sluggish in their Week 1 win over Liberty but rebounded with a key ACC victory over North Carolina in Week 2.
ACC Post-Week 2 Power Rankings
1. Florida State (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Last week’s Rank: 1
Week 2 result: Beat Savannah State 55-0
As expected, the Seminoles cruised to an easy 55-0 victory over Savannah State. Inclement weather forced the game to end early, but there was really nothing for Florida State to gain by playing out the second half. Although the competition will get tougher over the next two weeks, it’s a positive sign the Seminoles have allowed zero sacks through the first two games. Quarterback EJ Manuel has been steady as well, completing 27 of 35 passes for 349 yards and four scores. Florida State’s quest for an ACC title starts on Saturday against Wake Forest.
Next Game: Wake Forest
2. Clemson (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Last week’s Rank: 2
Week 2 result: Beat Ball State 52-27
After a big win over Auburn, Clemson’s coaching staff had to be worried about an early letdown against Ball State. However, those concerns were quickly erased with a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. The Tigers got another solid performance from quarterback Tajh Boyd, throwing for 229 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Andre Ellington chipped in two touchdowns, while receiver DeAndre Hopkins caught six passes for 105 yards and three scores. The Tigers have one more tune-up before taking on Florida State on Sept. 22. Although Clemson has been solid through the first two weeks, the offensive line still needs some work, and the defense has allowed 216 rushing yards per game.
Next Game: Furman
3. Virginia Tech (2-0, 1-0 ACC)
Last week’s Rank: 3
Week 2 result: Beat Austin Peay 42-7
No letdown. That’s the most important motto coming out of Week 2 for Virginia Tech. After playing Boise State on Labor Day and losing to James Madison the following week in 2010, the Hokies came out and easily handled Austin Peay. Quarterback Logan Thomas was an efficient 15 of 23 for 212 yards and two scores. The defense forced two turnovers and allowed the Governors to gain only 221 yards. Virginia Tech takes on future ACC rival Pittsburgh this Saturday and doesn’t play another conference game until Oct. 6 at North Carolina.
Next Game: at Pittsburgh
4. Georgia Tech (1-1, 0-1 ACC)
Last week’s Rank: 5
Week 2 result: Beat Presbyterian 59-3
Presbyterian was the perfect get-well opponent for Georgia Tech. After suffering an overtime loss to Virginia Tech in Week 1, the Yellow Jackets used the FCS opponent to take out some frustration. The offense recorded 712 yards, and the defense pitched a shutout until the final 10 seconds of the game. Considering Georgia Tech already has an ACC loss, Saturday’s game against Virginia is a must-win contest. Another conference defeat would make it tough for the Yellow Jackets to claim the ACC Coastal title this year.
Next Game: Virginia
5. Virginia (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Last week’s Rank: 6
Week 2 result: Beat Penn State 17-16
Despite being outgained (330 to 295) and losing the turnover battle, the Cavaliers knocked off Penn State 17-16. Virginia benefitted from the Nittany Lions struggling on field goals, as kicker Sam Ficken missed four attempts, including the game winner as time expired. Virginia’s rushing attack was grounded by Penn State, but quarterback Michael Rocco completed 21 of 33 passes for 258 yards and two scores to help pickup the offense. Although the Nittany Lions are down, it was a huge win for Virginia with games against Georgia Tech, TCU and Louisiana Tech upcoming.
Next Game: at Georgia Tech
6. NC State (1-1, 0-0 ACC)
Last week’s Rank: 7
Week 2 result: Beat Connecticut 10-7
It was a hard-fought win for the Wolfpack in Week 2. NC State’s offense was held in check through most of the day, as Connecticut registered seven sacks and forced one turnover. However, quarterback Mike Glennon did just enough (15 of 30, 204 yards), while the defense made a key stop with less than two minutes to go to seal the victory. Cornerback David Amerson struggled in the opener but picked off one pass and made a crucial pass breakup late in the fourth quarter.
Next Game: South Alabama
7. Wake Forest (2-0, 1-0 ACC)
Last week’s rank: 10
Week 2 result: Beat North Carolina 28-27
The Demon Deacons make a three-spot jump in the power rankings thanks to a 28-27 win over North Carolina. After struggling to beat Liberty in Week 1, Wake Forest looked much better in Saturday’s victory, largely due to quarterback Tanner Price and receiver Michael Campanaro. The duo hooked up 13 times for 164 yards, which was just enough for the Demon Deacons to beat the Tar Heels for the third time in the last four games.
Next Game: at Florida State
8. North Carolina (1-1, 0-1 ACC)
Last week’s rank: 4
Week 2 result: Lost to Wake Forest 28-27
A week after cruising to a 62-0 win over Elon, the Tar Heels suffered a 28-27 loss to Wake Forest in the ACC opener for both teams. North Carolina’s offense was hindered by the absence of running back Giovani Bernard, and the defense had no answer for the Demon Deacons’ passing combo of quarterback Tanner Price and receiver Michael Campanaro. Bernard’s availability is uncertain for Week 3, and a secondary that was torched by Wake Forest will be under fire from Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Next Game: at Louisville
9. Miami (1-1, 1-0 ACC)
Last week’s rank: 8
Week 2 result: Lost to Kansas State 52-13
After two games, it’s pretty clear Al Golden has a lot of work to do if Miami is going to finish with a winning record. The offense has shown signs of life, but the defense has allowed 84 points through two weeks and is allowing 517.5 yards per game. The Hurricanes had no chance in Saturday’s game and was easily blown out 52-13 by Kansas State. Miami’s struggling defense suffered another setback on Sunday, as linebacker Ramon Buchanan was lost for the year due to an injury. The Hurricanes should bounce back against Bethune-Cookman next Saturday, but the real test comes against Georgia Tech, NC State and Notre Dame in the next three games.
Next Game: Bethune-Cookman
10. Duke (1-1, 0-0 ACC)
Last week’s rank: 9
Week 2 result: Lost to Stanford 50-13
After the Blue Devils knocked off FIU 46-26 in Week 1 and Stanford struggled to beat San Jose State, some thought Duke had a shot to pull off the upset in Palo Alto. Not so fast. The Blue Devils quickly fell behind in the first quarter and trailed 23-3 at halftime. The defense allowed Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes to throw for 275 yards in his second start, while Duke’s offense turned the ball over four times. After a disappointing performance, the Blue Devils should get back into the win column with N.C. Central in Week 3.
Next Game: N.C. Central
11. Boston College (1-1, 0-1 ACC)
Last week’s rank: 11
Week 2 result: Beat Maine 34-3
The Eagles bounced back after a disappointing Week 1 loss to Miami, handling Maine for a 34-3 victory. Quarterback Chase Rettig misfired on half of his passes but finished with 219 yards and three scores. The rushing attack was steady, getting 90 yards from Deuce Finch and 61 from Andre Williams. Receiver Spiffy Evans did his part on special teams with an 82-yard punt return in the third quarter. After allowing Miami to gain 415 yards in the opener, Boston College’s defense stepped up and held Maine to 193 yards. However, the defense will be tested by a Northwestern offense that’s averaging 32.5 points a game next Saturday.
Next Game: at Northwestern
12. Maryland (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Last week’s Rank: 12
Week 2 result: Beat Temple 36-27
It hasn’t been pretty, but the Terrapins have already matched their win total from last season. True freshman quarterback Perry Hills rebounded after a sluggish performance in the opener to throw for 190 yards and two scores to beat Temple 36-27. Hills and the offense got a little help from the defense, which forced three turnovers and held the Owls to 52 rushing yards. The Terrapins are improved, but this team still has a ways to go before it can think about making bowl reservations in 2012.
Next Game: Connecticut
by Steven Lassan
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