|Clemson QB Tajh Boyd led his team to a hard fought win over Auburn Saturday. (Getty Images)|
Clemson 26, Auburn 19: With WR Sammy Watkins serving a two game suspension, Clemson saw its other stars step up to get itself and the ACC a much needed win over Auburn. RB Andre Ellington had 27 carries for 240 yards while WR DeAndre Hopkins had a school-record 13 receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown reception came with 9:17 to play and gave Clemson a 23-19 lead it would not relinquish.
Duke 46, Florida International 26: Duke QB Sean Renfree completed 21 of 30 passes for 290 yards with two touchdowns and an interception as the Blue Devils rolled in their opener. The Blue Devils led 44-14 after the third quarter. With such a tough schedule, Duke needed to win this game to feel good about its chances to reach bowl eligibility.
Wake Forest 20, Liberty 17: The Demon Deacons avoided the upset in Liberty coach Turner Gill's first game with the Flames. Wake Forest RB Deandre Martin had a 2-yard touchdown run with 13:24 to play in the fourth quarter to put the Demon Deacons up 20-14. Liberty gained 363 yards compared to just 293 for Wake Forest.
Florida State 69, Murray State 3: The Seminoles outscored the Racers 41-0 after halftime. Florida State outgained its FCS opponent 606-156. Florida State RB James Wilder, Jr. had 12 carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns. DE Bjoern Werner had four sacks.
Miami 41, Boston College 32: The Hurricanes fell behind 14-0 early but recovered to pick up a conference road victory. Miami true freshman RB Duke Johnson had seven carries for 135 yards and two touchdown runs of 54 and 56 yards. Boston College had 542 yards of offense but turned the ball over three times.
Virginia 43, Richmond 19: The Cavaliers scored the game's first 22 points and cruised to a victory in their opener over Richmond. QB Michael Rocco threw for 311 yards and a touchdown while Alabama transfer QB Phillip Sims made his debut in the fourth quarter, completing 5 of 6 passes for 50 yards.
North Carolina 62, Elon 0: It was a good debut for first-year coach Larry Fedora. His Tar Heels led 41-0 at halftime, and RB Giovani Bernard had a rushing, receiving, and punt return touchdown in the first 17:44 of the game. It was the first shutout for North Carolina since 1999, when it beat Duke 38-0.
Maryland 7, William & Mary 6: It wasn’t pretty, but at least it was a win. Maryland turned the ball over four times, but RB Justus Pickett had a six-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to give the Terrapins the lead. Maryland had just 236 yards of offense but only allowed 229 yards.
Tennessee 35, NC State 21 (Friday): NC State gave up 16 points in 38 seconds, and Tennessee piled up 524 yards of total offense. Wolfpack QB Mike Glennon threw for 288 yards, but he also had four interceptions in a disappointing opener.
Still to come
Play of the week: Miami true freshman RB Randy “Duke” Johnson arrived on campus as a highly touted recruit, and the Hurricanes got him involved in a variety of ways early on against Boston College. Johnson really announced his arrival in the second quarter on a 54-yard touchdown run that gave Miami its first lead of the game, 21-17. Johnson showed good speed and elusiveness, breaking tackles and even making a couple Eagle defenders run into one another. It prompted longtime Miami supporter Luther Campbell to tweet, “Duke Johnson will best be the best RB in the history of UM.”
He said what? North Carolina coach Larry Fedora on his team’s 62-0 win over Elon: "I know from the naked eye, it looked like 'Wow!' but there were plenty of mistakes out there. There'll be plenty of butt-chewing, I assure you."
RapidReports defensive star of the day: LB Demetrius Hartsfield, Maryland. Hartsfield led the team with 13 tackles with one for a loss, as the defense allowed just 229 yards to William & Mary. Hartsfield also recovered a fumble late in the fourth quarter after William & Mary QB Raphael Ortiz was sacked and stripped. The recovery sealed the game for the Terrapins.
RapidReports offensive star of the day: QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson. Boyd's stats weren't eye-popping in his team's 26-19 win over Auburn. He completed 24 of 35 passes for 208 yards with a touchdown and an interception and also ran for 58 yards on 19 carries. However, he made big play after big play down the stretch for Clemson, picking up crucial third downs with his legs and throwing the winning touchdown pass to WR DeAndre Hopkins on a perfectly thrown fade in the fourth quarter. Boyd was patient, dumping the ball off when he didn't have time to throw the ball downfield. His leadership and poise were invaluable as the ACC snapped its four game losing streak to the SEC in Chick-fil-A Kickoff games.
His seat is getting uncomfortable: Randy Edsall, Maryland. Edsall was 2-10 in his first season at Maryland. He had to change coordinators and deal with player attrition in the offseason, and his margin for error is very slim in College Park. The Terrapins did not give an encouraging performance on Saturday, beating FCS opponent William & Mary 7-6. To be fair to Edsall, the Terrapins have dealt with a multitude of preseason injuries, including a torn ACL for starting QB C.J. Brown. However, it looks like it might be another long year for Maryland.
A possible spot on the bench for: CB David Amerson, NC State: Obviously, Amerson won’t be benched, but he had a miserable night Friday against Tennessee. He was burned for two touchdowns in the first quarter and tweeted after the game he played “the worst game of my life.” NC State coach Tom O’Brien said of Amerson after the loss, “He just got ran by.”
Why you care about these three stat lines:
- North Carolina ran 74 plays against Elon on Saturday. Fedora has said that his goal is to run upward of 80 plays in a game. Certainly, North Carolina took its foot off the gas in the fourth quarter, but ACC fans can expect that pace to just get faster as the team adapts more to Fedora’s up-tempo offense.
- Maryland true freshman QB Perry Hills threw three interceptions in his first college game on Saturday in his team’s 7-6 win over William & Mary. Hills finished 16 of 24 for 145 yards and ran the ball five times for 20 yards. The Terrapins had just 236 yards on the day, and the offense could struggle mightily this year.
- NC State’s defense allowed Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray to throw for 333 yards Friday night. The secondary was supposed to be a strength of the team for the Wolfpack. However, the team did have to replace all three of its starting linebackers off a defense that had 40 sacks last year. Maybe the pass rush had more to do with NC State’s success on the back end than previously thought.
Key number: 208. Duke WR Conner Vernon caught 10 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown in the team's 46-26 win over Florida International. Vernon is now Duke's all-time receptions leader with 208 in his career.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ACC bloggers Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski, follow @CBSSportsACC.