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What We Learned: The ACC In Week 5


North Caorlina State improved to 3-1 and could actually be lined up for a 10-win season. No, really! Photo: USA Today Sports

No. 15 Miami 49, South Florida 21: Complete domiance for Miami, once again. The Hurricanes defense gave Steven Bench a rude welcome in his first college start and continues to play ery well. Miami obviously got a good showing from Duke Johnson and Stephen Morris, although each got roughed up a little bit. They should be OK moving forward. Watch out for Miami. The Hurricanes are playing very well and should be capable of giving Florida State and Clemson a game if they were to play today.

Virginia Tech 17, Georgia Tech 10: Virginia Tech is going to be relying on their defense to carry them through this season. Virginia Tech's offense still looks sluggish at times but they have found some big plays to help them win their last two games, including this Thursday night game in Atlanta. The Hokies defense may be the best in the conference, and that can be a difference against the right opponent. Georgia Tech was the right opponent. Will Miami?

North Carolina 31, East Carolina 55: North Carolina may be the most disapponting ACC team so far. Larry Fedora's team has dropped to 1-3 on the year and the defense was exposed in a big way against East Carolina. That's a bad loss for the Tar Heels, even if ECU is 3-1. UNC can no longer run the football or score points and that is a fatal combination. 

Pittsburgh 14, Virginia 3: So, was last week's offensive onslaught a mirage? Probably. A week after exploding for ove 50 points, Pittsburgh returned to their ugly style of play to win 14-3. I can't figure this team out.

No. 3 Clemson 56, Wake Forest 7: These teams I can figure out. Clemson is really good, and Wake Forest is not. Tajh Boyd turned in a very solid performance to help his Heisman case. The Tigers are rolling and should be feeling good. They remain the team to beat in the ACC in my book.

No. 8 Florida State 48, Boston College 34: I'm starting to buy in to the Jameis Winston hype. I wanted to give it a few weeks before hopping on board, but this kid can flat out play, and I can't wait to see what he does against teams like Miami and Clemson. Florida State's defense got tripped up by Boston College but the offense pulled through. I will say this, I have enjoyed watching Boston College more this season than I have in a while, so Steve Addazio has something working for him. Boston College won't be rolling over for anybody, but they just do not have enough dudes on the roster to be any serious threat.

North Carolina State 48, Central Michigan 14: I think I like this North Carolina State team. They are still down on my list of top ACC teams, but the Wolfpack look like a decent team to me. They played Clemson pretty well last week and dominated Central Michigan to move to 3-1. They may not do anything particularly well, but they don't really do much poorly. There are some favorable match-ups coming up, oter than a road trip to Florida State. Hard to believe, but 10 wins does not seem all that crazy to me. Eight wins should be a safe bet right now.

Duke 38, Troy 31: Unlike Pitt, Duke's offense picked up where they left off last weekend and they managed to hold off a Troy offense with a very talented quarterback that flies under everybody's radar. Like NC State, Duke does not do anything particularly well, but they also are not hurting themselves by lacking significantly in any particular area. Duke needs three wins to get back to the postseason. It's possible with Navy, at Virginia, at Wake Forest and at North Carolina all on the schedule, but it may still prove to be an uphill battle.

Top Performer: Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston continues to impress. After Florida State dug a little hole with a slow offensive start, Winston lit a fuse to spark a rally for the Seminoles. In the process Florida State's QB put together 330 passing yards and four touchdowns, including one ridiculous Hail Mary play.

Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Managing editor of Crystal Ball Run and contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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