With 10 weeks in the books, Florida State has clearly separated itself from the rest of the ACC. The Seminoles have dominated the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in Athlon’s weekly ACC power rankings and jumped into the No. 2 spot in the release of the latest BCS standings.
After Florida State, Clemson and Miami are entrenched as the next two teams. The Tigers have an edge over the Hurricanes.
Georgia Tech and Duke are set as the No. 4 and No. 5 teams, but after that is anyone’s guess.
Boston College was dominated by North Carolina last Saturday, but the Eagles rebounded with a win over Virginia Tech in Week 10. Despite Boston College’s loss to the Tar Heels, we give a slight nod to the Eagles for the No. 6 spot over North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Syracuse makes a small jump in the rankings after beating Wake Forest 13-0.
ACC Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
Florida State (8-0, 6-0): The Seminoles continued to distance themselves from the rest of the ACC with an impressive 41-14 victory over Miami. Quarterback Jameis Winston tossed two picks, which led to the Hurricanes only scores of the night. However, Winston finished with 325 passing yards and one touchdown, while running back Devonta Freeman recorded 176 total yards and three touchdowns. Florida State limited Miami’s offense to just 4.8 yards per play and only 120 yards in the second half. Both sides of the ball were impressive for coach Jimbo Fisher, and there’s a good chance these two teams rematch in Charlotte for the ACC title in early December. The Seminoles have an easy path to 11-0 with Wake Forest, Syracuse and Idaho up next. And then there’s the rivalry game against Florida on Nov. 30 which is the biggest obstacle left in the regular season. Next Week: at Wake Forest
Clemson (8-1, 6-1): As expected, the Tigers had little trouble in a 59-10 win over Virginia. The offense gashed the Cavaliers for 610 yards, and the defense held a struggling Virginia offense to 277 yards. Clemson averaged 6.9 yards per play, with quarterback Tajh Boyd throwing for 377 yards and three touchdowns. The Tigers’ defense held the Cavaliers to 10 three and outs and forced three turnovers. Overall, it was a complete performance for Clemson, and coach Dabo Swinney has his team playing at a high level entering the bye week. After the bye, the Tigers host Georgia Tech and Citadel, then play rival South Carolina in the finale. Next Week: Bye Week
Miami (7-1, 3-1): The Hurricanes dropped their first game of the year, losing 41-14 in Tallahassee to Florida State. Miami held its own (sort of) for a half, but the offense managed its only scores after picking up two turnovers. The Hurricanes’ offense never sustained a drive for a score in the second half and was limited to 4.8 yards per play. Miami’s defense forced only one punt and recorded only one sack on Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. Despite the loss, the Hurricanes are in the driver’s seat to win the Coastal Division. However, they will have to do it without running back Duke Johnson, who suffered a broken ankle against the Seminoles and is out for the rest of the season. Next Week: Virginia Tech
Georgia Tech (6-3, 5-2): The Yellow Jackets earned their third consecutive victory with an efficient 21-10 win over Pittsburgh. Georgia Tech’s offense generated 360 yards, with 276 coming on the ground. Running back David Sims led the team with 94 yards, while Robert Godhigh was the big-play threat, averaging 14.8 yards per carry. The Yellow Jackets held the Panthers to 228 total yards and sacked quarterback Tom Savage five times. Georgia Tech’s win over Pittsburgh ensured the Yellow Jackets would be bowl eligible for the 17th consecutive season. Next Week: Bye Week
Duke (6-2, 2-2): The Blue Devils had a bye in Week 10 and return to action next Saturday against NC State. Duke has two ACC losses, but coach David Cutcliffe’s team is still alive in the Coastal Division, especially with a game against Miami remaining on Nov. 16. Next Week: NC State
Boston College (4-4, 2-3): After Duke, the next three spots in the power rankings are up for grabs. Boston College lost one week ago to North Carolina, but the Eagles deserve a bump after beating Virginia Tech. First-year coach Steve Addazio continued his impressive debut with the Eagles’ 34-27 victory over Virginia Tech. Boston College’s offense recorded only 289 yards, but the Eagles scored 17 points off four Hokies’ turnovers, which was just enough for Addazio’s team. Running back Andre Williams posted another strong effort, gashing one of the ACC’s best defenses for 166 yards and two scores on 33 attempts. The Eagles need just two wins to get bowl eligible, which should be attainable with New Mexico State, NC State, Maryland and Syracuse remaining. Next Week: at New Mexico State
Virginia Tech (6-3, 3-2): The blame for back-to-back losses for the Hokies has to fall on the offense. In Saturday’s loss against Boston College, Virginia Tech had no trouble moving the ball (446 yards, 6.4 yards per play). However, the Hokies had four turnovers and managed only 55 yards on the ground. Quarterback Logan Thomas has six interceptions in his last two games, which is problematic for an offense that isn’t built to score 30 points a game. The Hokies aren’t out of the Coastal Division title mix, but Thomas and the offense has to quickly figure things out with a trip to Miami on Saturday night. Next Week: at Miami
North Carolina (3-5, 2-3): For the first time since 2005-06, the Tar Heels have a two-game winning streak over their in-state rival. Saturday’s victory over NC State didn’t start out according to plan, as North Carolina fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter. But the Tar Heels battled and took the lead for good with just under 10 minutes to go in the second quarter. The two-quarterback system of Bryn Renner and Marquise Williams combined to complete 23 of 37 passes, with tight end Eric Ebron serving as the main target (nine caches for 70 yards). The Tar Heels’ defense stepped up in the second half, holding NC State to three possessions of three yards or fewer in the final two quarters. Next Week: Virginia
Pittsburgh (4-4, 2-3): The Panthers lost 21-10 to Georgia Tech on Saturday, giving Pittsburgh its first losing streak of 2013. Pittsburgh’s offense has struggled in recent weeks, scoring only 20 points once in its last four games. Quarterback Tom Savage completed 25 of 37 throws for 233 yards against the Yellow Jackets, but the senior was sacked five times and tossed one pick. The rushing attack never got on track, as Georgia Tech held the Panthers to -5 yards on 21 attempts. One bright spot for Pittsburgh was defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who recorded 11 tackles (six for a loss) and two forced fumbles. Next Week: Notre Dame
Syracuse (4-4, 2-2): The Orange scored a key victory for their bowl hopes, defeating Wake Forest 13-0 on Saturday. Quarterback Terrel Hunt guided an efficient offense (4.6 yards per play), as he completed 18 of 30 throws for 144 yards. Syracuse averaged 4.1 yards per carry, with Prince-Tyson Gulley leading the way with 85 yards on 13 attempts. The Orange defense pitched their second shutout of the year and held Wake Forest to just 213 yards. After a 56-0 loss to Georgia Tech two weeks ago, Saturday’s 13-0 win was a solid rebound effort by Syracuse. Next Week: at Maryland
Wake Forest (4-5, 2-4): The Demon Deacons’ bowl hopes took a hit with a 13-0 loss at Syracuse. And the loss was costly from the injury department, as receiver Michael Campanaro suffered a broken collarbone against the Orange and is likely to miss the rest of the regular season. With Campanaro sidelined, Wake Forest struggled to get anything going on offense. The Demon Deacons finished with just 213 yards (three yards per play) and only one drive in the second half went longer than 20 yards (23). Next Week: Florida State
Maryland (5-3, 1-3): The Terrapins had a much-needed off date in Week 10. After a 4-0 start, Maryland is just 1-3 in its last four games. The Terrapins have been outscored 74-37 in their last two contests. Injuries have ravaged the offense, including top receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long. Maryland should be able to get to a bowl, but it certainly won’t be easy with the injuries on both sides of the ball. Next Week: Syracuse
NC State (3-5, 0-5): The Wolfpack jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but North Carolina rallied to take home a 27-19 victory and bragging rights within the state until next year’s game. NC State’s offense got a spark from quarterback Brandon Mitchell on the ground (105 yards), but the senior struggled through the air (two interceptions, 130 yards). Momentum in the first half also shifted after NC State had a fake punt that was stopped for a loss of a yard on the 30-yard line, which allowed the Tar Heels a short field on a touchdown drive. The Wolfpack has lost four out of their last five games and still need three wins to get bowl eligible. With matchups against Duke, Boston College, East Carolina and Maryland remaining, the postseason isn’t out of the question for NC State. However, this team has to get more from Mitchell in the passing game in future weeks. Next Week: at Duke
Virginia (2-7, 0-5): The Cavaliers dropped their six consecutive game with a 59-10 defeat against Clemson. With a struggling offense, Virginia couldn’t afford to fall behind early. The Tigers jumped out to a 35-7 lead by halftime, which was simply too much for coach Mike London’s team to overcome. The final stat sheet wasn’t pretty for Virginia, as the Cavaliers’ offense managed only 277 total yards (3.3 yards per play), and the defense allowed 610 to Clemson. After recording 16 plays on its first two drives, Virginia had nine straight possessions of five plays or less. The Cavaliers are still looking for their first win in ACC action, and with North Carolina, Miami and Virginia Tech remaining, coach Mike London’s team is staring at a 2-10 final record. Next Week: at North Carolina
ACC Week 10 Recap and Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State
Florida State’s offense had its way with Miami’s defense on Saturday night, as the Seminoles gashed the Hurricanes for 517 yards and punted only once. Quarterback Jameis Winston was steady as usual, but Freeman was the catalyst for Florida State’s high-powered attack. The Miami native rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns on 23 attempts, and the senior caught six passes for 98 yards and one score. In three career games against the Hurricanes, Freeman has 224 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Defensive Player of the Week: Kasim Edebali, DE, Boston College
The Eagles’ defense led the way in the 34-27 victory over Virginia Tech. The Hokies recorded 446 yards, but Boston College created four turnovers and sacked quarterback Logan Thomas four times. Edebali wrecked havoc against Virginia Tech’s line, recording eight tackles (three for a loss), two sacks and one pass breakup. Edebali also forced three fumbles, with the final turnover sealing the victory with just over a minute to go. Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald also had a huge effort on Saturday, but Edebali gets the edge in a winning effort.
Team of the Week: Florida State
Boston College scored an upset win over Virginia Tech, and North Carolina’s road victory over rival NC State was noteworthy, but Florida State gets the nod as the ACC’s team of the week. The Seminoles continued to establish their dominance over the rest of the conference with a 41-14 victory over Miami. Florida State scored over 40 points for the eighth consecutive time this year, and the offense averaged 7.1 yards per play against the Hurricanes. Quarterback Jameis Winston’s two picks resulted in Miami’s touchdowns, but the Seminoles limited the Hurricanes to just 275 overall yards. Winston’s supporting cast stepped up, as Devonta Freeman rushed for 78 yards and caught six passes for 98 yards and one score. Florida State is one of the top teams in the nation and should cruise to 11-0, with a date against Florida and then the Coastal Division champion the two biggest remaining obstacles on the schedule.
Coordinator of the Week: Jeremy Pruitt, Florida State
In his first year calling the plays for Florida State, Pruitt continues to push all of the right buttons. The Seminoles allowed 115 yards in Miami’s first two possessions, but the Hurricanes managed only 144 yards in its next six drives. Miami’s only points were scored off turnovers by Florida State’s offense, and the Hurricanes failed to have a drive longer than six plays in the second half. Pruitt’s defense held Miami to 4.8 yards per play and limited its offense to just 4 of 11 on third-down conversions. Considering all of the starters Florida State had to replace coming into this year and hasn’t missed a beat, Pruitt has been one of the top assistant hires for 2013.
Freshman of the Week: Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
Florida State’s Jameis Winson had another strong performance against Miami, but we’ll give the Week 10 honor to Boyd. In a losing effort against Georgia Tech, Boyd caught 11 passes for 118 yards and one score. The freshman’s longest catch went for just 15 yards, but his 12-yard catch in the third quarter helped Pittsburgh pull within four in the second half.
• Wake Forest receiver Michael Campanaro is out four to six weeks with a collarbone injury. Campanaro suffered the injury during the first half of Saturday’s loss to Syracuse.
• Miami running back Duke Johnson suffered a broken ankle against Florida State and will miss the rest of the season.
• Boston College running back Andre Williams rushed for 166 yards in the 34-27 win over Virginia Tech. Williams has at least 166 yards in three out of his last four games.
• Florida State punted only one time against Miami.
• Georgia Tech held Pittsburgh to -5 rushing yards on Saturday night.
• After throwing six interceptions through the first seven games, Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas has six in his last two contests.
• NC State quarterback Brandon Mitchell accounted for 235 of the Wolfpack’s 388 yards against North Carolina.
• Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig has not thrown for more than 93 yards in each of his last two games.
• Georgia Tech defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu had four tackles (three for a loss) and two sacks against Pittsburgh.
• Syracuse defensive tackle Jay Bromley had a strong performance against Wake Forest, recording four tackles (one for a loss) and one sack.
• North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams led the Tar Heels with 51 rushing yards against NC State.
• NC State defensive end Darryl Cato-Bishop had a solid game against North Carolina, recording five tackles (two for a loss) and one forced fumble.
• Virginia freshman Keeon Johnson led the team with five receptions for 77 yards against Clemson.
• Wake Forest averaged just three yards per play against Syracuse.
• Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins has 30 receptions over his last three games.