Miami football part of rough weekend for ACC ranked teams

Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

The 44-13 loss by the Miami football team to Alabama on Saturday was part of a weekend of three losses in as many games by the ranked teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Number 10 North Carolina was shaky on offense in a 17-10 loss at Virginia Tech. Clemson lost 10-3 to Georgia in Charlotte on Saturday night.

As head coach Manny Diaz stated college football is famous for overreactions after week one. The combined 26 points by the three ranked ACC teams was not a good look for the conference in the opening weekend. The proliferation of social media will create an explosion of overreaction from all three fanbases.

The Hurricanes, Tigers and Tar Heels will likely rebound with all three playing their home openers on Saturday. Miami hosts Appalachian State, South Carolina State is at Clemson and Georgia State travel to Chapel Hill to play North Carolina. Miami, Clemson and North Carolina will all fall when the rankings are released this week.

The question will be how far. Clemson and Georgia were in an old-fashioned defensive struggle in Charlotte. North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell had possibly the worst game of his Tar Heels career against Virginia Tech. Howell set career lows with three interceptions and a 99.3 passer rating in the loss to the Hokies.

Howell was 17-32 for 208 yards, one touchdown and the three ints against VA Tech. Neither offense produced in Charlotte on Saturday night. Georgia had 256 yards of offense to 180 for Clemson. The only TD of the game came on a 74-yard Christopher Smith interception return for the Bulldogs.

Miami is not scheduled to play Clemson this season. D.J. Uiagalelei the successor to Clemson legend Trevor Lawrence was 19-37 for 178 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. The toughest game for Clemson for the remainder of the 2021 season is expected to be at North Carolina State on September 25.

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The Miami football team plays at North Carolina on October 16. That game is expected to be the de facto ACC Coastal Division Championship Game. With Virginia Tech defeating North Carolina on Friday, the race to win the Coastal is more open. Miami hosting Virginia Tech on November 20 becomes more critical.

Although the Miami loss was more decisive, with a loss in the ACC, North Carolina is in a bigger hole to being the season. Miami can bury North Carolina next month with a victory at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Clemson, Miami and North Carolina all need to focus on each game ahead of them.

With high hopes entering the 2021 season, all three teams were exposed this weekend. Clemson and North Carolina at least had productive performances from their defense in the opening weekend. Miami has a lot to fix offensively and defensively. Appalachian State will test Miami on Saturday.

Next. Miami football response to Alabama loss will determine season. dark

The mountaineers had good balance gaining 485 total yards on offense in its 31-19 season-opening victory over East Carolina. Miami won the games they were expected to in 2020. If the Hurricanes are going to at least equal the season they had in 2020, Miami has to continue winning games as decisive favorites.