Around the ACC: Week 2
The Blue Devils’ offense continued to fire on all cylinders in a win against Northwestern, while the rest of the conference combined to win four of its seven nonconference games.
Duke 41, Northwestern 17
After a blowout win against North Carolina Central, the Blue Devils offense remained potent, outgaining the Wildcats 538-191. Five different Blue Devils had at least 20 yards rushing, and sophomore quarterback Daniel Jones threw for 305 yards on 29 of 45 attempts to go with his career-high 108 rushing yards. Duke will look to continue its momentum going into its matchup against struggling Baylor next weekend.
No. 3 Clemson 14, No. 13 Auburn 6
In a clash of Top 25 teams, players named Bryant propelled Clemson on both ends of the field. Junior defensive end Austin Bryant hounded Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham, contributing four of Clemson’s 11 sacks. On the offensive end, Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant recovered from a scary hit in the first half to two rushing touchdowns to clinch the game for Clemson.
Auburn’s defense was stout, limiting Clemson’s prolific offense to just 284 yards, but the offense failed to get anything going. Stidham threw for just 79 yards on 13 of 24 attempts, while the team rushed for just 38 yards.
No. 17 Louisville 47, North Carolina 35
Despite trailing late and giving up 384 passing yards, Louisville pulled away late to earn a hard-fought victory on the back of 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson.
The junior quarterback scored six touchdowns and racked up 525 total yards, giving him over 1,000 yards of offense through only two games. The Cardinals trailed 28-27 entering the final quarter, but took the lead on Jackson’s three-yard touchdown run with 13:50 remaining and never looked back.
No. 18 Virginia Tech 27, Delaware 0
Following a last-second win against West Virginia last week, No. 18 Virginia Tech turned in a sufficient but underwhelming effort against Delaware. Although the Blue Hens were clearly overmatched, they held the Hokies to just 303 yards and only two offensive touchdowns. While the offense struggled, the defense did its part, however, keeping Delaware off the scoreboard.
Penn State 33, Pittsburgh 14
The story entering this game was whether Penn State could exact revenge for Pittsburgh’s role in keeping the team out of last year’s College Football Playoff. Although the Panthers dominated time of possession and outgained the Nittany Lions, Penn State managed to do just that. The Nittany Lions' explosive offense gained nearly twice as many yards per play and spent much of the second half playing to preserve the lead rather than attempt to put more points on the board. Quarterback Trace McSorley threw for three touchdowns and running back Saquon Barkley had 88 yards and a score on 14 carries to help Penn State move to 2-0.
Wake Forest 34, Boston College 10
The Demon Deacons routed the Eagles behind the performance of senior quarterback John Wolford, who was responsible for 243 total yards and two touchdowns. Boston College’s offense had only six fewer yards than Wake Forest, but lost the turnover battle 4-0 while still searching for an effective quarterback.
Georgia Tech 37, Jacksonville State 10
The Yellow Jackets bounced back strong just five days after losing in double overtime to Tennessee. After setting the conference record for quarterback rushing yards in a game last week, junior TaQuon Marshall showcased his arm by throwing for 112 yards and three touchdowns on just 5-of-7 passing attempts. Jacksonville State initially kept it close , trailing 10-3 going into halftime, but the Yellow Jackets got in a groove and scored 20 points in the third quarter to blow the game open.
North Carolina State 37, Marshall 20
Despite a slow start, North Carolina State emerged victorious in a shootout against Marshall. The Wolfpack trailed 13-3 in the second quarter before scoring passing touchdowns on three consecutive drives, ending the half leading 23-20. Once the Wolfpack reclaimed the lead, Marshall crumbled, and the Thundering Herd turned the ball over on both of its final two drives. Quarterback Ryan Finley had 341 passing yards and three touchdowns on 29 of 36 passing attempts to lead the Wolfpack.
Indiana 34, Virginia 17
After starting quarterback Richard Lagow began just 3 for 10 for 24 yards and one interception, Indiana head coach Tom Allen decided to mix things up and sent out redshirt freshman Peyton Ramsey. Ramsey finished the day completing 16 of 20 passes—including his first 11 in a row—for 173 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Hoosiers to victory. The Cavaliers failed to establish their running game early before being forced to throw. Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert threw 66 times for just 259 yards, and Indiana turned its early lead into a rout.
Middle Tennessee 30, Syracuse 23
In a matchup between the Orange and the team’s former head coach Scott Shafer, Shafer’s new team prevailed. Middle Tennessee overcame more than 100 penalty yards to put the game away in the fourth quarter. Junior quarterback Brent Stockstill threw for 269 yards and ran for 41 more, and his three passing touchdowns proved the difference maker in the matchup.
Note: No. 10 Florida State vs. Louisiana Monroe and No. 16 Miami vs. Arkansas State were both cancelled due to Hurricane Irma.