While it wasn’t perfect, it was a good start to the 2023 college football season for the ACC Conference.
One member team did suffer a disappointing loss, while two other teams recorded big wins over teams in the top conference in college football.
The two most impressive wins were no doubt No. 8 Florida State dominating No. 5 LSU and No. 21 North Carolina convincingly beat South Carolina.
For the most part, all other ACC teams played in games that they were heavily favored to win.
Here’s a quick recap of Week One and keep in mind that tonight Duke takes on No. 9 Clemson.
North Carolina State 24 UConn 14
New NC State quarterback Brennan Armstrong (who transferred from Virginia) threw for 155 yards, while also running for 96 yards on 19 carries and 2 touchdowns. The Wolfpack rushing attack was effective as they ran for 209 yards, after averaging just 114 yards a year ago. Senior Jordan Houston gained 57 yards on 13 carries. NC State will have their hands full this coming weekend as they host No. 13 Notre Dame.
Wake Forest 37 Elon 17
Wake Forest entered this game as 33-point favorites, so they didn’t cover but they did win. Wake Forest quarterback Mitch Griffis had a nice debut, completing 19 of 30 passes for 329 yards and 3 touchdowns. His main target was wide receiver Jahmal Banks, who caught 6 passes for 108 yards and 1 touchdown. Leading the way on the ground was Demond Claiborne with 70 yards on 13 carries. Next up for Wake Forest is a home matchup against Vanderbilt.
Miami (FL) 38 Miami (OH) 3
Mario Cristobal’s team turned in a dominating performance on both sides of the ball against Miami (OH). Offensively, the Canes were balanced as they rushed for 250 yards and passed for 243 yards. Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke completed 17 of 22 passes for 201 yards and 1 touchdown, while running back Henry Parrish led the Canes on the ground with 90 yards (9 carries) and 1 touchdown. Van Dyke spread things around, completing passes to 8 different receivers, with Jacolby George 6 catches, Xavier Restrepo 5 catches and Colbie Young 4 catches. Miami will find out about themselves this week as they host Texas A&M.
Louisville 39 Georgia Tech 35
Louisville fought back after trailing, 28-13, at halftime to defeat Georgia Tech. Transfer quarterback Jack Plummer led his team back throwing 3 touchdown passes. The Cardinal went ahead with 8:08 remaining as Plummer found Jamari Thrash for a 20-yard touchdown pass. Following a forced fumble by Dezmond Tell, Louisville put the game away on a 74-yard touchdown run by Jawhar Jordan. For the game, Plummer completed 18 of 31 passes for 247 yards, while Jordan rushed 7 times for 96 yards. For the Yellow Jackets, quarterback Haynes King completed 19 of 32 passes for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns. In Week 2, Louisville will host Murray State, while Georgia Tech will take on South Carolina State.
No. 12 Tennessee 49 Virginia 13
On an emotional day, the Cavs were never in this game as they were dominated by a good Tennessee team. Quarterback Tony Muskett took over for Brennan Armstrong, who transferred, and struggled, completing just 9 of 17 passes for 94 yards, before injuring his shoulder. The Cavs had their chances early as they started 3 of their first 6 possessions in Tennessee territory but when three and out on 5 of those six possessions. Virginia’s offense collected just 201 total yards and were just 5 of 18 on 3rd down conversions. Defensively, the Cavs allowed 499 total yards, 287 of which were on the ground.
Northern Illinois 27 Boston College 21 (OT)
Boston College fought back to send this game to overtime but ended up losing it anyway. BC scored two touchdowns in the last 6 minutes of the game, including one with 1:44 left, which sent the game to overtime. Northern Illinois quarterback Rocky Lombardi scored on a 1-yard quick-snap quarterback sneak to give Northern Illinois the win. This is the second win in the last three years by Northern Illinois over an ACC opponent, as they beat Georgia Tech 22-21 in the 2021 opener. Since 1983, this was Northern Illinois’s 18th win over a Power Five team. Boston College used two quarterbacks in this game, starter Emmett Morehead was just 4 for 10 for 30 yards and Thomas Castellanos was 13 for 28 for 138 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Syracuse 65 Colgate 0
Syracuse was expected to win easily as they were 40.5 favorites, and they did just that winning by 65 points. Team stats were obviously heavily in Syracuse’s favor: First downs 33-7, Rushing yards 271 to 54, Passing yards 406 to 52. Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader was 18 of 24 for 257 yards and 4 touchdowns, while LeQuint Allen led the ground attack with 16 carries for 107 yards and a touchdown. Next up for Syracuse is a match at home against Western Michigan.
No. 21 North Carolina 31 South Carolina 17
Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Drake Maye threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns leading the Tar Heels to the victory. The biggest story line of the game though was the performance of the Tar Heels defense as they sacked South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler 9 times. This is big when you consider the Tar Heels recorded just 17 sacks all of last season. UNC’s defense also stuffed the run allowing South Carolina just 11 rushing yards for the game. North Carolina’s ground game was also working as British Brooks ran for 103 yards and Omarion Hampton scored two short TD runs.
Virginia Tech 36 Old Dominion 17
A nice opening day win for the Hokies, who were coming off a disappointing 38-8 season in 2022. This was the first time in 14 games that Virginia Tech scored over 30 points. Virginia Tech added 11 transfers in the offseason and on Saturday, three of those transfers accounted for all the touchdowns. Quarterback Grant Wells threw for three touchdown passes and rushed for another. Wells, won the job over Baylor transfer Kyron Drones, completed 17 of 29 passes for 251 yards. Transfer wide receiver Ali Jennings caught 5 passes for 72 yards and two touchdowns. Jaylin Lane, who transferred from Marshall, caught four passes for 69 yards.
No. 8 Florida State 45 No. 5 LSU 24
After trailing 17-14 at the half, the Seminoles dominated LSU in the second half, outscoring Brian Kelly’s team 31-7. Quarterback Jordan Travis was talked about a lot in the offseason and last night he looked like a Heisman candidate. Travis completed 23 of 31 passes for 342 yards and 4 touchdowns. The star of the game though was Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman with 9 receptions for 122 yards and 3 touchdowns. Along with controlling this game, Florida State controlled time of possession: 35:23 to 24:37. Florida State will have two very winnable games (Southern Miss and Boston College) before taking on Clemson in Week 4.