Each Monday morning, we compile our top five takeaways from the weekend’s action. Here’s what we got out of Week 6 of the ACC football season:
1. Miami and Virginia Tech own the Coastal this year: With all due respect to Pittsburgh (also 2-0 in the Coastal), this division is a two-horse race between the Hokies and Hurricanes. Virginia Tech’s showed itself to have one of the conference’s — if not the country’s — top defenses, while also defeating two of the top four teams (according to preseason expectations) in the Coastal. Miami’s been tested as well, and has also passed with flying colors. They’re the division’s top two teams, and despite recent perceptions of the Coastal, are also legitimate conference title contenders as well. But…
2. Florida State and Clemson continue to impress: Regardless of how well Virginia Tech and Miami have been playing though, the story has been and will continue to be FSU and Clemson. The two teams have been among the nation’s most dominant teams all season, winning by impressive margins in impressive environments, while putting up staggering numbers. Both schools average over 44 points per game, are in the top 20 in passing offense, and also in the top 20 in scoring defense. Last weekend, they outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 112-14. They’re on a collision course for October 19 (when they meet in Clemson) to possibly decide the division, ACC title and possibly even a national title game bid.
3. Maryland‘s not ready to contend just yet: Prior to Saturday’s game against Florida State, all the buzz was about Maryland’s obvious improvement, increased stature as a football program and how well they were set up to join the Big Ten next year. Now? They appear to be the beneficiaries of a cupcake schedule and not much else following a 63-0 drubbing. Yes, C.J. Brown was injured, but the rout was on even before that happened. This ‘Noles team is built on offense, not defense, and the Terps’ defense simply couldn’t stop anything FSU and Jameis Winston threw at them.
4. Andre Williams‘s dream season continues: Boston College‘s running game was a huge question mark heading into 2013. Five games in, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Senior running back Andre Williams has been on an absolute tear, carrying the load en route to 768 rushing yards and seven scores. He’s already eclipsed his career highs in yardage, carries and touchdowns. Last weekend, he put on one of the best rushing performances in ACC history, with 263 yards and five scores. At this point, Williams is virtually unstoppable, and that spells good news for BC’s chances of returning to the postseason.
5. North Carolina‘s season is over: There’s simply no recovering now. With four losses in five games, and a matchup with Miami coming up next week, there’s little hope for the Heels this season. As a team, they’re absolutely demoralized and their chances of even reaching six wins are a longshot. Even without the preseason hype, there’s no way to see 2013 as anything but an incredible disappointment. Can they recover? I’m not holding my breath.