Here are the top three storylines in the ACC heading into Week 5:
1. How will Clemson respond? The loss to Florida State on Saturday was devastating for the Tigers’ hopes of winning the Atlantic Division and defending their ACC title, but coach Dabo Swinney has delivered the right message that there is still plenty to play for. The Tigers have strong leadership in quarterback Tajh Boyd, but Clemson is notorious for its letdowns. The loss to FSU was not a letdown; it was a setback. A loss to Boston College would all but eliminate the ACC’s hopes of having an at-large BCS bid for the second straight season.
2. Can Virginia Tech rebound against the Big East? Pitt is a common opponent for the Hokies and Bearcats, and the results were stunningly different, with Cincy beating Pitt, 34-10, and Virginia Tech losing to Pitt, 35-17. The Hokies are well aware of the fact that Cincinnati has a veteran defense, and they remember how the Bearcats beat up on NC State last year, 44-14. There should be a lot of Virginia Tech fans at FedEx Field, but the Hokies are going to need to get it going on offense to leave with a win.
3. Let the games begin. This is finally a week in which we’re seeing several league matchups, with Miami hosting NC State, Wake Forest hosting Duke and Clemson at Boston College. NC State and Duke will be playing their first ACC games. It’s time to find out what these teams are really about. NC State is on a three-game winning streak, but will face a surprising Miami team that is already 2-0 in league play. Duke is halfway to a bowl game but needs to snap a 12-game losing streak to Wake Forest. While FSU steps out of the spotlight momentarily, several teams have a chance to take a step forward in the ACC race.