Two big upsets, North Carolina State's victory against No. 12 Florida State and Virginia's win against Boise State, shook up the picture in the ACC heading into the heart of the conference season.
Duke 27, North Carolina 17
The Victory Bell will remain in Durham after the Blue Devils held on to win against the rival Tar Heels in Chapel HIll on Saturday. The Duke offense was slow throughout the game, but got a big boost from its defense when Byron Fields Jr. picked off a bad throw from North Carolina quarterback Chazz Surratt and returned it for a touchdown to put the Blue Devils up 27-17 late in the fourth quarter. Duke's defense was stingy for most of the game but let Surratt break free for a few big plays, including a 45-yard touchdown pass at the end of the second half and a 56-yard run to give North Carolina the lead late in the third quarter. Duke quarterback Daniel Jones finished with 202 yards and one touchdown and the Blue Devils outrushed the Tar Heels 186-118 to help hold on for the victory. Duke now sits at 4-0 after its first conference win against its biggest rival while North Carolina falls to 1-3 and 0-2 in the ACC.
No 2. Clemson 34, Boston College 7
Clemson struggled early on against a weak Eagles team, only scoring seven points in the first half and being tied up late in the third. Deshaun Watson's replacement at quarterback, Kelly Bryant, threw for just 140 yards passing and two interceptions. But the Tigers bounced back in the fourth and put four touchdowns up on the board.
North Carolina State 27, No. 12 Florida State 21
The upset of the week in college football was the Wolfpack's dethroning of the Seminoles. North Carolina state quarterback Ryan Finley led the way for the Wolfpack with 22 completions on 32 attempts, 230 yards passing and two touchdowns. Saturday marked the first road win against a ranked team for North Carolina State since 2008. The Wolfpack moved to 3-1 while the Seminoles fell to 0-2 after having two games either postponed or cancelled due to Hurricane Irma.
No. 13 Virginia Tech 38, Old Dominion 0
Virginia Tech made easy work of Old Dominion this weekend, with quarterback Josh Jackson leading the way with 298 yards and three touchdowns. Old Dominion stood no chance against the No. 13 Hokies and looked overpowered, outgained 582-149. The Hokies now move to 4-0 and are tied for the best record in the ACC as they into conference play.
No. 14 Miami 52, Toledo 30
Toledo fought for all they could in the first half and even went into the break with a 16-10 lead. But Miami turned on the jets and pulled away, scoring 42 points in the second half alone. The Hurricane offense was led by star running back Mark Walton, who racked up 204 yards on just 11 carries. Quarterback Malik Rosier also shone with 333 yards passing and four total touchdowns, one of which came on the ground and put the game out of reach late.
No 19. Louisville 42, Kent State 3
In an easy win over the Golden Flashes, No. 19 Louisville and star quarterback Lamar Jackson flashed their potential. Jackson had 299 yards passing and two touchdowns through the air and added on 34 yards rushing and another touchdown. After Saturday’s game, Jackson set the Louisville career record for most touchdowns accounted for with eight games left in the regular season.
No. 25 LSU 35, Syracuse 26
As the only ACC team to lose to a nonconference opponent, Syracuse couldn’t complete the comeback and defeat the No. 25 Tigers. The Orange appeared to have a chance late in the game after pulling within two with just under six minutes left to play, but LSU's offense was too much for Syracuse—the Tigers ended up adding onto their lead with a late 20-yard touchdown run from running back D.J. Clark to seal the win. Syracuse now sits at 2-2 while the Tigers move up to 3-1 with the win on Saturday.
Georgia Tech 35, Pittsburgh 17
Georgia Tech cruised to its first conference win against Pittsburgh with the help of running back KirVonte Benson, who ran for a career-high 196 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback TaQuon Marchall also had an impressive game on the ground, with 112 yards and two touchdowns of his own. The Panthers' offense couldn’t really do much Saturday as starting quarterback, Ben Dinucci only had 110 yards before being replaced with backup quarterback Max Browne, who only threw for 88 yards.
Wake Forest 20, Appalachian State 19
Wake Forest barely escaped with a win against Appalachian State after an intense few seconds towards the end of the game. The Mountaineers had a last-second field goal try to win the game, but the Demon Deacons blocked it to hold on for the win. Appalachian State quarterback Taylor Lamb accounted for 372 yards passing and two touchdowns, outperforming Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford, who had just 176 yards passing and two touchdowns.
Virginia 42, Boise State 23
In the only ACC game played on Friday, the Cavaliers came away with a big win at Boise State, handing the Broncos their worst home loss in sixteen years. Quarterback Kurt Benkert threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns and running back Jordan Ellis ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns, helping Virginia move to 3-1.