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Clemson's Tajh Boyd had a solid debut against Troy.
1. Florida State – The Seminoles weren’t flashy in their 34-0 win over UL Monroe in Week 1. With a huge non-conference showdown against Oklahoma upcoming, the Florida State offense was very basic, with quarterback EJ Manuel leading the way with 274 passing yards. The Seminoles have another tune-up on the schedule this Saturday, hosting FCS opponent Charleston Southern.
2. Virginia Tech – The Hokies' revamped backfield of quarterback Logan Thomas and David Wilson got high marks for Saturday’s performance against Appalachian State. Sure, the competition will get tougher, but it was a good start for both players. Virginia Tech has a favorable non-conference schedule in September, continuing with Saturday’s game at East Carolina.
3. Maryland – Randy Edsall had a solid debut as Maryland’s new head coach, beating Miami 32-24 on Monday night. The Terrapins got a key performance from quarterback Danny O’Brien, who completed 31 of 44 passes for 348 yards and one score. Maryland has Week 2 off, before hosting West Virginia in Week 3.
4. Miami – You never want to begin your coaching tenure at a new school with a loss, but considering the circumstances at Miami, it wasn’t all bad for Al Golden. The Hurricanes were without a handful of key players, yet nearly found a way to beat Maryland. With reinforcements like linebacker Sean Spence, safety Ray-Ray Armstrong and quarterback Jacory Harris rejoining the lineup in the coming weeks, the Hurricanes will be a threat to win the ACC Coastal.
5. NC State – All eyes were on Mike Glennon on Saturday night and NC State’s new quarterback turned in a so-so performance. The junior completed 18 of 31 passes for 156 yards and one score. Glennon will get better with more snaps, but the Wolfpack will have a challenge from what appears to be a much-improved Wake Forest team this Saturday.
6. North Carolina – Everett Withers’ debut as North Carolina’s head coach was a success. The Tar Heels handled James Madison, led by quarterback Bryn Renner, who completed 22 of 23 passes for 277 yards and two scores. The Tar Heels will get a better test in Week 2, as they host Rutgers.
7. Clemson – The Tigers needed a second-half rally to knock off Troy, eventually pulling away for a 43-19 victory. Quarterback Tajh Boyd struggled to find his rhythm early, but finished with 264 yards and three scores. The Tigers will get another game to work out the offensive kinks, as they take on Wofford this Saturday.
8. Georgia Tech – After last season’s disappointment, the Yellow Jackets needed a good start to 2011. So far, so good. Quarterback Tevin Washington threw for 271 yards and three scores, while running back Orwin Smith rushed for 84 yards and two scores. Georgia Tech should be one of the top rushing teams in the ACC, so it’s a good sign the passing attack came to life.
9. Boston College – If there was one positive for coach Frank Spaziani to take away from Saturday’s loss to Northwestern, it was the play of quarterback Chase Rettig. The sophomore completed 24 of 44 passes for 351 yards. However, the passing attack suffered a blow with the loss of receiver Ifeanyi Momah, who will miss the rest of the year with a torn ACL. The Eagles won’t have a breather in Week 2, as they will travel to Florida to take on UCF.
10. Wake Forest – Even though Thursday night’s game against Syracuse didn’t produce the outcome coach Jim Grobe wanted, there were positive signs for the Demon Deacons. The offense looked better, led by a solid performance from sophomore quarterback Tanner Price. It’s important for the momentum gained in the opener to carry into Week 2, as the Demon Deacons will host NC State.
11. Virginia – The Cavaliers were on upset watch going into Week 1, but easily handled William & Mary. A bright spot for the offense had to be the play of quarterback Michael Rocco, who completed 21 of 29 passes for 174 yards. Redshirt freshman back Kevin Parks also posted a strong performance, rushing for 114 yards and three scores.
12. Duke – The goal to get to a bowl game just became tougher for the Blue Devils. Losing to Richmond was a setback for coach David Cutcliffe and the hopes to get to six wins in 2011. The going won’t get any easier for Duke this week, as Stanford visits Durham.