There were a lot of people who wanted to bury Virginia Tech after their ugly loss at Old Dominion last week. We feel vindicated with our decision to keep them in the No. 4 slot. This team is just better than they played in Norfolk.
If you want proof, just ask Duke. Backup quarterback Ryan Willis stepped into the Hokies’ lineup and put on a show against the Blue Devils secondary. He carved Cutcliffe’s crew up to the rune of 332 yards and three touchdowns. The Hokies miss Josh Jackson, but his injury won’t cost this team any chances of having a special season.
Winning an ACC game is never a disappointment, but NC State fans might be a little concerned they didn’t beat Virginia by a wider margin. Their inability to dominate the Cavaliers opened the door for Notre Dame to move past them in this week’s power rankings.
Ryan Finley was good for Dave Doeren on Saturday, but Ricky Person, Jr. was even better. He racked up 108 yards on just 14 carries to give this offense some real balance. If the Wolfpack can show opponents they have to respect the run, it’s going to make this attack really hard to stop moving forward.
Credit Brian Kelly’s offense for absolutely dominating a good Stanford defense. They trounced the Cardinal for 278 yards passing and 272 yards on the ground. That kind of balance makes the Notre Dame offense almost impossible to stop.
Kelly deserves particularly high marks for transitioning his offense into Ian Book’s hands. The talented signal caller took over against Wake Forest and he’s been lights out ever since. We could look back at this decision as the move that gets the Fighting Irish into the College Football Playoff.
The Tigers deserve a ton of credit for roaring back to win this game in the second half without Trevor Lawrence. Travis Etienne was an absolute beast. Dabo Swinney would not have won this game if his running back hadn’t exploded for 203 yards on 27 carries.
The question for Clemson is whether or not they won the battle, but lost the war. Losing Lawrence due to injury is obviously a huge concern. Maybe Kelly Bryant decides to come back, but even if he does, this offense becomes a lot more manageable for opposing defenses with him at the helm. There’s a reason Lawrence was named the starter. He turns this offense from very good, to great. The Tigers need him back soon if they want to win a national championship.