Clemson kicker rejoins team as grad student, makes first career FG

What a wild story in college football.

Clemson kicker Jonathan Weitz made a routine 30-yard field goal for the first points of Saturday’s game against Florida State.

The distance doesn’t convey how unlikely the kick was.

Weitz served as Clemson’s backup kicker for four years and graduated this past year. With a job waiting for him in New York, he left the program — but he remained a Clemson student as he pursued his Master’s degree.

Last week, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney asked him to rejoin the team. When he trotted out against the Seminoles, it was his first career field-goal attempt for the Tigers. He drilled it through the uprights with his family in attendance.

For more Clemson news, analysis, and opinions, go to Clemson Wire.

Louisville dynamic duo leads ACC in rushing, receiving

Louisville’s offense is 13th in the country in total yards so far this season. Jawhar Jordan and Jamari Thrash alone account for 47% of that total.

The most electric duo in college football this season might not be from the program you’d expect.

Through three games, Louisville running back Jawhar Jordan and wide receiver Jamari Thrash have been an unsolvable puzzle for opposing defenses. The Cardinals have 1,586 yards of total offense, the 13th-most in the NCAA, and 15 touchdowns in their first three games.

Jordan and Thrash have combined for 743 yards and eight of those touchdowns, just between the two of them. Yes, two players have combined for 47% of the production of the nation’s 13th-most prolific offense.

Jordan ran for 231 yards on just 14 carries across his first two games, a clip of 16.5 yards per carry, with a trio of touchdowns. He came down to Earth in Week 3 with a measly 113 yards on 18 carries, only good enough for 6.3 yards per attempt, and a single touchdown, giving him 344 yards for the season.

There are 14 running backs with at least 300 yards on the ground this season. All of the other 13 have at least 40 carries. Four of them have more than 60 carries. Jordan has 32.

The junior running back also has 58 receiving yards on five catches, bringing his average to 10.9 yards per touch. A first down every time he gets his hands on the ball.

As staggering as Jordan’s numbers are, Thrash might be even more explosive. The junior wide receiver leads the ACC with 329 receiving yards on just 14 catches, an average of more than 23 yards per reception. He’s surpassed 80 yards in each of his three games this season, including 159 yards against Indiana in Week 3, despite never catching more than seven passes in a single game.

The duo have combined for eight touchdowns, 16 more first downs, and 10 plays of 20 or more yards this season on just 52 total touches.

Louisville hasn’t played the most cupcake of schedules either, with wins over Georgia Tech and Indiana in its first three games. If Jordan and Thrash can keep the pace during conference play, they could provide a nightmare 1-2 punch for ACC defensive coordinators.

Five quarterbacks vying for ACC QBR crown

Five ACC quarterbacks sit between 83 and 90 for their QBR this season, including superstars Jordan Travis and Drake Maye.

Heading into the 2023 season, the ACC teased a level of quarterback talent matched only by the Pac-12.

North Carolina‘s Drake Maye is a consensus top-2 prospect. Clemson‘s Cade Klubnik, an elite high school prospect, showed promise at the end of 2022. Florida State’s Jordan Travis generated some Heisman buzz.

Sure enough, the conference has highlighted elite quarterback play left and right this season. Are the best passers who we expect?

Here’s our Week 3 recap of the ACC’s QBR standings.

UNC vs. Pitt: Game preview, info, prediction and more

The UNC and Pitt football teams open up ACC play against each other on Saturday night. What does each team need to do for its first ACC win?

UNC is one of six ACC football teams to start its season 3-0 – and the Tar Heels are being rewarded with a primetime game.

The Tar Heels open up conference play against Pitt on Saturday night, traveling up to Pennsylvania for an 8 p.m. start. Each team’s respective season is trending in opposite directions – UNC sits at 3-0 after holding Minnesota to 13 points in last weekend’s victory, while Pitt dropped to 1-2 by losing the 106th annual Backyard Brawl to West Virginia.

Both teams have different playing styles.

Carolina is an offensive juggernaut that can either torture you with Drake Maye’s arm or Omarion Hampton’s legs. The Heels have reached 31 points in two of their first three games, including a season-high 40 in the back-and-forth triumph over App State.

Pitt is a team built on its defensive identity. The Panthers sport the nation’s third-best passing defense, allowing just 114 yards per game to opponents. Cincinnati beat Pitt 27-21 in Week 2, but that’s the highest point totaled Pitt’s given up through three weeks.

A strong passing defense didn’t stop Maye last week, as he torched Minnesota for 414 yards and two touchdowns. Maye should certainly win the quarterback battle against Boston College transfer Phil Jurkovec, who carries a 474-yard, 4-touchdown, 3-interception statline into Saturday’s battle.

Hampton is the best running back on either team – he is joined by another 100-yard rusher in British Brooks. Carter Daniel leads the Pitt rushing room with 103 yards, but three separate players have scores.

Let’s take a deeper dive into Saturday night’s ACC opener for both teams:

Week 4 Preview: Florida State and Clemson to battle in ACC headliner

Can the Seminoles keep the rest of the ACC at an arms length? Their battle with the Tigers is the highlight of Week 4.

The ACC’s two heavyweights will stand on opposing sidelines this week.

No. 3 Florida State and No. 23 Clemson, the only programs in the conference that have won a national championship in the past 20 years, will meet in South Carolina this week.

With three other ranked programs in the conference waiting for the Seminoles to slip, the ACC power structure could shift rapidly over the course of a few hours in Death Valley.

Five games will feature conference matchups while four ACC teams will face off in nonconference action.

Here are the teams and matchups to keep track of in the conference this week.

SMU raised $100 million in a week for ACC transition

With no ACC television money for nine years, SMU boosters will give $200 million to the program, The Athletic’s Chris Vannini reports.

After it was reported last month that SMU would not receive television money for an extended number of years in order to join the ACC, The Athletic’s Chris Vannini reported Monday that the Mustangs raised $100 million over the course of a week to help the move and account for the nine years of lost revenue.

The school said the staggering amount of money came from a group of about 30 donors.

Vannini’s story said the television revenue creates a difference of about $25 to $30 million a year.

“SMU has enough boosters to make up for that in a couple of hours,” entrepreneur Rogers Healy said in the story.

SMU accepted the invitation to join the ACC on Sept. 1. The move will go into effect next summer.

Contact/Follow us at the College Wire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of College Sports news, notes, and opinions.

College football’s top performers in the ACC during Week 3

From blowouts in Miami and Chapel Hill to a nail-biter in Tallahassee, who stood out in the ACC’s Week 3 slate?

The 2023 season may only be three weeks old, but the best teams in the ACC have already started separating themselves.

Half of the teams in the conference remain undefeated through Week 3, with five of those seven boasting a point differential north of +68. Florida State, North Carolina, Duke, Miami, and Clemson all sit in the Top 25 of the US LBM Coaches Poll, the second-highest number of ranked teams for any conference (Pac-12 leads with 8).

As the battle for ACC supremacy waged on, here’s a look at the conference’s best of the best in Week 3.

Van Dyke, Travis pace ACC in QBR through Week 2

The Miami quarterback holds a narrow lead over Florida State’s Heisman hopeful with Week 3 on the horizon.

The ACC has produced some of the best quarterbacks in recent history. Clemson obviously stands out, with first-round picks Trevor Lawrence and Deshaun Watson, but North Carolina‘s Mitchell Trubisky and Duke’s Daniel Jones also got drafted in the first six picks. Who’s ready to follow in their footsteps?

UNC’s Drake Maye is a favorite to be among the first few selections in the 2024 NFL Draft. Florida State’s Jordan Travis is on the short list of Heisman favorites through two weeks. But have they been the conference’s best quarterbacks through the first two weeks?

Here’s our first recap of the conference’s leaders in QBR.

Week 3 Preview: Minnesota-North Carolina is the ACC game of the week

No. 18 North Carolina welcomes fellow unbeaten Minnesota to town as Tar Heels, Drake Maye try to keep pace in the ACC arms race.

One week after Duke stunned the college football world by taking down conference juggernaut Clemson, the unranked Miami Hurricanes took down then-No. 23 Texas A&M on Saturday to jump into the Top 25 themselves.

Now, the Atlantic Coast Conference boasts five of the top 25 teams in the nation, including playoff-hopeful No. 3 Florida State. None of these five lock horns this week, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still storylines to be found within the ACC.

No. 18 North Carolina, led by star quarterback Drake Maye, will welcome fellow unbeaten Minnesota to town, and Georgia Tech will attempt to upset No. 19 Ole Miss.

Here are the conference’s Week 3 games to watch.

UNC football game vs. Pitt moved to primetime

The UNC football program will face off against Pitt in a primetime showdown for their ACC opener.

The North Carolina Tar Heels are off to a 2-0 start early on in the season with wins over South Carolina and Appalachian State. While they did get two wins, there are still some things to clean up as the schedule gets a little tougher.

Next up is a home game against Minnesota this week before they get into Atlantic Coast Conference play. And when they face off against Pitt in two weeks, they will do so in primetime.

The Tar Heels announced that the September 23rd matchup between North Carolina and Pitt will kick off at 8 p.m. ET and be aired on the ACC Network.

The Tar Heels will be on the road for this ACC matchup and it’s a tough place to play. Last time UNC played at Pitt, they had a tough overtime loss in the rain as Sam Howell and Kenny Pickett battled.

This game will be another tough test for UNC and a chance to get off to a good start in ACC play.

Follow us @TarHeelsWire on Twitter and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels news, notes and opinions.