The demise of Virginia Tech was greatly exaggerated. The Hokies crushed Duke to stabilize their position in this week’s ACC Power Rankings.
When Virginia Tech fell victim to the biggest upset of the college football season last week, many people expected the Hokies to engage in a spectacular free fall. Instead, they followed up their loss at Old Dominion with an impressive 31-14 victory at undefeated Duke. It’s safe to say Justin Fuente’s program is doing just fine.
That wasn’t the only impressive ACC win of the week. Affiliate member Notre Dame scorched Stanford 38-17 at home. That victory puts the Fighting Irish squarely in contention to move back into the No. 2 spot in the power rankings. You’ll have to read on to figure out exactly where Brian Kelly’s troops land.
Let’s get this week’s rankings started at the bottom. A familiar team has fallen back into the ACC basement.
Larry Fedora continues to look like a likely candidate to be the first coach fired this season. His team simply wasn’t competitive at home against the Hurricanes. Looking that inept on national television isn’t good for a coach’s job security.
Nathan Elliott put on one of the worst quarterback displays we’ve seen in recent memory against Miami. He only threw for 104 yards on 16 completions. Those were his best stats of the night. Losing three fumbles cost his team any chance of pulling off a big upset. If you’re wondering why Chaz Surratt didn’t see more time, he threw three interceptions in his 10 passing attempts. It was ugly for the Heels.
Bobby Petrino has to be kicking himself today. His questionable clock management almost certainly cost his team the chance to knock off Florida State at home. That doesn’t mean as much as it used to this season, but any win would be valuable for the Cardinals this year.
Once again, Jawon Pass was asked to shoulder the majority of the team’s offensive load. He threw for 306 yards, but it took him 45 passing attempts to get there. Add in his two interceptions and it was a pretty mediocre performance from a guy the Cardinals need to be great every week.
We’ve talked a lot this season about how much pressure Virginia puts on Bryce Perkins every week. In this game, that cost the Cavaliers. He threw for 258 yards in Raleigh, but his two interceptions were very costly for his team.
The team’s complete inability to run the football was a real issue against the Wolfpack. Virginia won’t win many games where they can’t run for over 100 yards as a team. This wasn’t a bad loss for Virginia, but it shows them exactly what they need to do to move up the ACC standings.