- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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A win is a win, but a lot of the teams in the ACC just aren’t earning many style points these days. Virginia Tech’s D finally came through, but four field goals? And Miami’s D looked spectacular, but two more interceptions? NC State played one of the more complete games but still missed two field goals and had two turnovers. Florida State has rebounded, but against whom? All of that adds up to a lot of status quo in the league, and there was no movement in the top four spots.
Here’s a look at how the ACC stacks up heading into Week 5:
1. Miami (2-1, LW: No. 1) -- The Hurricanes rebounded from their loss at No. 2 Ohio State with a win at Pittsburgh, and while the defense looked capable of winning an ACC title, the offense was again overshadowed by Jacory Harris’ interceptions. The Hurricanes will face an even tougher road test on Saturday at …
2. Clemson (2-1, LW: No. 2) -- The Tigers had the bye week to rest and heal from a physical loss at Auburn. Auburn’s win over South Carolina this past weekend further validated Clemson’s performance on the road. The Tigers weren’t penalized this week for not playing, despite the impressive performance of …
3. NC State (4-0, 1-0 ACC; LW: No. 3) -- The Wolfpack is the hottest team in the ACC right now and will have home field advantage this weekend against Virginia Tech. NC State is off to its first 4-0 start since 2002 and should have a lot of confidence after knocking off the defending ACC champs on Georgia Tech’s home field.
4. Florida State (3-1, 1-0 ACC; LW: No. 4) -- The Seminoles have won back-to-back games after losing at Oklahoma, and the defense has shown significant improvement in both of them. Quarterback Christian Ponder looked more like his old self against Wake Forest after suffering a bruised triceps against BYU.
5. Virginia Tech (2-2, 1-0 ACC; LW: No. 7) -- The Hokies’ offense still looks average at best. The 19-0 win at Boston College was a coming out party for Bud Foster’s defense. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech’s offense struggled in the red zone and had to rely on four field goals. That won’t suffice against Russell Wilson & Co. this weekend.
6. Virginia (2-1; LW: No. 9) -- Marc Verica looked like the quarterback Virginia fans have been waiting for in a romp of VMI, but can he keep it up against Florida State’s defense? The Seminoles haven’t allowed a touchdown in six quarters. Virginia still has something to prove, as its two wins are both over FCS opponents, but if it plays the way it did at USC, it will have a chance to win.
7. Maryland (3-1; LW: No. 11) -- The Terps might have found a new quarterback in freshman Danny O’Brien, but coach Ralph Friedgen isn’t ready to say yet who will start against Duke. Maryland has finished its nonconference schedule as well as expected and is catching Duke at the right time.
8. Georgia Tech (2-2, 1-1 ACC; LW: No. 5) -- The Jackets didn’t look like the defending ACC champs, as there were two lost fumbles, a blocked punt for a touchdown, and the defense allowed 527 yards. They should be able to rebound this weekend against …
9. Wake Forest (2-2, 1-1 ACC; LW: No. 8) -- The Deacs played better on defense, but this time the offense couldn’t get anything going. FSU’s defense deserves a lot of credit for that, but Wake lost starting quarterback Tanner Price to a possible concussion.
10. North Carolina (1-2, 0-1 ACC; LW: No. 10) -- The Tar Heels started to climb out of their hole with a win at Rutgers and will have home field advantage against East Carolina on Saturday. Nothing is a given for this team, though, and UNC can’t afford to continue to turn the ball over, especially when it’s undermanned.
11. Boston College (2-1, 0-1 ACC; LW: No. 6) -- The Eagles’ offensive struggles were exposed in their first ACC game, and quarterback Dave Shinskie was benched as a result of it. Mike Marscovetra and Chase Rettig will compete for the starting job against Notre Dame this week. BC was shut out for the first time in 12 years.
12. Duke (1-3, 0-1 ACC; LW: No. 12) -- Not only did the Blue Devils’ defense struggle against Army, but so did quarterback Sean Renfree, throwing an uncharacteristic three interceptions. Duke had five total turnovers and seemed to have taken a step back from last year’s progress.
A win is a win, but a lot of the teams in the ACC just aren’t earning many style points these days. Virginia Tech’s D finally came through, but four field goals?