Duke grabbed the No. 16 spot in the AP poll after a runaway victory against N.C. State. The Blue Zone breaks down the movement in the poll after a weekend of dynamic games:
Duke inches up
The Blue Devils put away the Wolfpack 24-3, giving fans in Wallace Wade Stadium cause for celebration once again. Junior quarterback Riley Leonard’s absence allowed Henry Belin IV to make his first start, and the redshirt freshman managed to complete two touchdown passes. Graduate running back Jordan Waters also rounded out an impressive game with a season-long 83-yard touchdown run. With the victory against N.C. State, Duke inched up to No. 16 in the AP poll. This fifth straight week in the top 20 also marks Duke’s highest ranking since 1994, and the Blue Devils will look to climb even higher as they face a tough game against No. 4 Florida State Oct. 21.
The Irish fight back
Following a devastating loss to Louisville last week, Notre Dame was determined to prove itself against Southern California. With the help of safety Xavier Watts, who recorded two interceptions and a touchdown, the Fighting Irish blew out the Trojans 48-20. They also climbed six spots to No. 15, making it clear that they look to regain their former top-10 glory. USC, meanwhile, suffered the largest drop of the week, falling eight spots to No. 18. North Carolina took advantage of the shakeup to seize the No. 10 spot in the poll.
A new No. 5
Washington entered the top 5 with a tight 36-33 triumph over Oregon. The Huskies started off strong and continued to lead through most of the second half, securing a win over the Ducks with a touchdown pass in the final minutes by quarterback Michael Penix Jr. The defeat was also Oregon’s first of the season, causing the Ducks to slip down one spot to No. 9. The rest of the top 5 remained unchanged after dealing a series of crushing blows to their opponents. Georgia overpowered Vanderbilt to hold on to the No. 1 spot, while Michigan, Ohio State and Florida State each triumphed by margins of more than 30 points. Each of the teams remain undefeated as Week 9 approaches.
- Ohio State
- Florida State
- Penn State
- North Carolina
- Oregon State
- Ole Miss
- Notre Dame
- Air Force
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