A team-by-team breakdown of the ACC – The Denver Post


Boston College

Last year’s record: 6-6, 2-6 ACC

  • The return of QB Phil Jurkovec, following an injury-shortened season, and WR Zay Flowers should help a BC offense that ranked last in the ACC.
  • The Eagles showed improvement on defense, particularly in a secondary that ranked No. 3 in the nation, thanks to All-ACC DB Josh DeBerry (53 tackles).
  • Coach Jeff Hafley must replace four all-conference offensive linemen, including C Alec Lindstrom and G Zion Johnson.


Last year’s record: 10-3, 6-2 ACC

  • QB DJ Uiagalelei put together such a forgettable sophomore campaign critics question his status as the No. 1 starter heading into this season.
  • Clemson suffered significant attrition on its coaching staff with the departures of longtime coordinators Tony Elliott (offense) and Brent Venables (defense).
  • The Tigers may have the best defensive front in the ACC with four all-conference selections in Myles Murphy, Bryan Bresee, Tyler Davis and Xavier Thomas.


Last year’s record: 3-9, 0-8 ACC

  • First-year coach Mike Elko takes over for David Cutcliffe, who parted ways with the school after 14 seasons following a third consecutive losing season.
  • The Blue Devils are one of the conference’s least experienced teams, with four seniors listed on their two-deep depth chart.
  • Freshman DE Vincent Anthony (Durham, N.C.) was the first 4-star signee by Duke since cornerback Tony Davis (2019).

Florida State

Last year’s record: 5-7, 4-4 ACC

  • The Seminoles will benefit from a healthy QB Jordan Travis, who takes over as the No. 1 starter after sharing the role with McKenzie Milton.
  • FSU continues to supplement its roster through the transfer portal, adding 13 players including DE Jared Verse (UAlbany), RB Trey Benson (Oregon), WR Mycah Pittman (Oregon) and LB Tatum Bethune (UCF).
  • The offensive line returns four starters who have a combined 67 career starts and benefits from the addition of four transfers in Kayden Lyles (Wisconsin), Bless Harris (Lamar), D’Mitri Emmanuel (Charlotte) and Jazston Turnetine (South Carolina).

Georgia Tech

Last year’s record: 3-9, 2-6 ACC

  • This could be a make-or-break season for fourth-year coach Geoff Collins, who is 9-25 with a Yellow Jackets program that is riding a six-game losing streak entering this season.
  • Attrition hit Georgia Tech hard with more than a dozen players transferring, including RB Jahmyr Gibbs (Alabama) and DLs Jared Ivey (Ole Miss) and Jordan Domineck (Arkansas).
  • The quarterback battle could come down to incumbent Jeff Sims (1,468 yards, 12 TDs) or transfer Zach Gibson (1,262 yards, 10 TDs), who started five games for Akron last season.


Last year’s record: 6-7, 4-4 ACC

  • The multitalented Malik Cunningham looks to capitalize on a 2021 season in which he was the only quarterback in the nation to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000.
  • The Cardinals added 11 transfers in the offseason, led by WRs Tyler Hudson (Central Arkansas) and Dee Wiggins (Miami) and CB Kei’Trel Clark (Liberty).
  • UL coach Scott Satterfield enters his fourth season, facing an uncertain future after consecutive losing seasons and a new athletics director.


Last year’s record: 7-5, 5-3 ACC

  • New coach Mario Cristobal faces a mountain of expectations from fans and boosters eager to see the Hurricanes return to the glory days of national relevance.
  • QB Tyler Van Dyke went from third-stringer to ACC Rookie of the Year after throwing for 2,931 yards and 25 touchdowns in nine starts.
  • The Hurricanes travel to College Station to face Texas A&M on Sept. 17, hoping to snap a 4-game losing streak against SEC opponents.

North Carolina

Last year’s record: 6-7, 3-5 ACC

  • QB Sam Howell set school passing records before leaving early for the NFL, leaving Drake Maye and Jacolby Criswell to battle for the starting job.
  • The Tar Heels need to replace three starters on an offensive line that allowed a league-worst 49 sacks, the most by a Power 5 program last season.
  • Gene Chizik rejoins Mack Brown’s coaching staff as defensive coordinator, hoping to revive a unit ranked near the bottom of the conference in defensive scoring, rushing defense and total defense.

N.C. State

Last year’s record: 9-3, 6-2 ACC

  • The Wolfpack return a conference-best nine senior starters, including five from a defense that allowed 19.7 points and 331 yards per game.
  • Devin Leary is one of three returning quarterbacks in the league to pass for more than 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.
  • N.C. State’s only two conference losses were by a combined four points to Miami (31-30) and Wake Forest (45-42).


Last year’s record: 11-3, 7-1 ACC

  • USC transfer Kedon Slovis steps into the QB role vacated by Kenny Pickett, who was a Heisman Trophy finalist after passing for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns.
  • The loss of Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison (1,593 yards, 17 TDs), who transferred to USC in late spring, leaves Pitt without one of the biggest playmakers in college football.
  • The Panthers return an experienced group on the offensive line with five seniors, led by all-conference selections Carter Warren, Gabe Houy and Marcus Minor.


Last year’s record: 5-7, 2-6 ACC

  • Garrett Shrader was the fourth-leading rushing quarterback in the nation with 781 yards and his 14 rushing touchdowns were the second-most behind Louisville’s Malik Cunningham.
  • No team in the ACC has allowed more sacks since 2018 than Syracuse (158), ahead of Florida State (149) and Miami (138).
  • Syracuse faces one of the most demanding schedules in the nation, with nine games against teams who appeared in bowl games last season.


Last year’s record: 6-6, 4-4 ACC

  • Tony Elliott was one of the most sought-after coaches in the country when he was co-offensive coordinator at Clemson under Dabo Swinney.
  • QB Brennan Armstrong led the ACC in passing yards (4,449) and is 679 yards shy of becoming the school’s all-time in passing yards and passing touchdowns.
  • The Cavaliers must deal with losing their entire offensive line, most of whom left via the transfer portal.

Virginia Tech

Last year’s record: 6-7, 4-4 ACC

  • The Hokies were one of four ACC schools to have a coaching change, with Brent Pry replacing Justin Fuente.
  • Virginia Tech returns most of its defensive production from last season, led by senior LB Dax Hollifield (92 tackles, 4.5 sacks).
  • Marshall transfer Grant Wells is the frontrunner to take over as the starting QB, leading a rebuilt offense that ranked next-to-last in the ACC in passing offense.

Wake Forest

Last year’s record: 11-3, 7-1 ACC

  • WR A.T. Perry, who earned first-team all-conference honors after totaling a team-high 1,293 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, could be a first-round NFL draft candidate.
  • Redshirt junior QB Sam Hartman, who already holds the school record for career touchdown passes (72), is out indefinitely as he deals with a non-football injury. He’s expected to return sometime this season.
  • New DC Brad Lambert inherits a unit that allowed more than 30 points per game seven times last season and 40 or more points five times.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Matt Murschel at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.



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