ACC QB power rankings entering Week 2: Drake Maye enters the elite tier
Week 1 is in the books, and several of the ACC’s top quarterbacks put on a show.
Players like Tyler Van Dyke and Drake Maye dominated lower-level competition, which resulted in a big rise up in the rankings for Maye. Jordan Travis got a bump, too, after his excellent performance vs. LSU on Sunday night.
There were also a few quarterbacks who disappointed — 3 passers moved down 5 spots due to subpar performances in Week 1.
Here’s Saturday Road’s updated QB power rankings entering Week 2:
14. Grant Wells, Virginia Tech (Last week: 9)
The first of 3 quarterbacks to fall 5 spots in this week’s rankings. Wells was horrible in Virginia Tech’s road loss to Old Dominion this week, throwing 4 interceptions in his Hokies debut. Interceptions were a problem during his Marshall days, too, suggesting this might not be an isolated incident.
13. Mitch Griffis, Wake Forest (Last week: 13)
Griffis was solid in Wake Forest’s season-opening win over VMI. He’s someone with potential to rise up these rankings if he continues to play well against tougher competition.
12. Phil Jurkovec, Boston College (Last week: 7)
Jurkovec slips 5 spots after Boston College’s tough home loss to Rutgers over the weekend. He threw 2 interceptions and couldn’t get anything going on the ground.
11. Riley Leonard, Duke (Last week: 14)
Not much was known about Leonard prior to Duke’s 30-0 win over Temple in Week 1, but he’s firmly on the radar now. Leonard was exceptional, throwing for 328 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win. He’ll move up more next week if he’s impressive against Northwestern in Week 2.
10. Jeff Sims, Georgia Tech (Last week: 11)
Sims acquitted himself well against Clemson’s vaunted defense on Monday night. He threw a touchdown pass and led multiple scoring drives while also making plays with his feet. Sims doesn’t have enough help on offense, but he is fun to watch.
9. Malik Cunningham, Louisville (Last week: 4)
Cunningham is tied for the biggest faller of the week after he threw 2 interceptions in an embarrassing 31-7 loss to Syracuse. This was supposed to be Cunningham’s year to break out on a national stage, and it’s not off to a good start.
8. DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson (Last week: 8)
Uiagelelei held serve this week, scoring 2 total touchdowns (1 passing, 1 throwing) in Clemson’s win over Georgia Tech on Monday night. But it wasn’t without drama — Uiagalelei struggled early on as Clemson was shutout in the first quarter. True freshman Cade Klubnik looked good in his one drive, but Uiagalelei will remain the starter for now.
7. Garret Shrader, Syracuse (Last week: 12)
Shrader was easily the biggest surprise of Week 1, leading Syracuse to a 31-7 upset over Louisville. The surprise was how efficient he was as a passer under new offensive coordinator Robert Anae: 18-of-25 for 237 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also rushed for 95 yards and a score. To do that in your first start in a new system is eye-opening.
6. Brennan Armstrong, Virginia (Last week: 3)
It’s perhaps a bit unfair to Armstrong to slide him down 3 spots after Virginia took care of business vs. Richmond. But with Virginia’s more balanced offensive approach starting to come into focus, it looks like Armstrong won’t have as much opportunity to impact games as some of his ACC peers.
5. Kedon Slovis, Pittsburgh (Last week: 6)
Slovis helped Pittsburgh get past West Virginia in a heated Backyard Brawl in Week 1. Hew threw for 308 yards and 1 touchdown, but he did miss several reads and was inconsistent at times throughout the game. But for a first game in a new system in a high-pressure situation? Not bad at all.
4. Jordan Travis, Florida State (Last week: 5)
Travis moves up a spot and is firmly in the elite tier of ACC quarterbacks after he led FSU to a win over LSU in New Orleans on Sunday night. His 2 touchdown passes were impressive, but he was excellent in virtually every respect. Underestimate him at your own risk.
3. Drake Maye, North Carolina (Last week: 11)
Maye jumps 8 spots this week after putting together back-to-back spectacular performances to start his college career. He’s at 9 touchdowns to 0 interceptions through 2 games. His most recent performance came on the road in a hostile environment at Boone, and the Tar Heels needed every one of his 352 passing yards and 76 rushing yards. He’s elite.
2. Tyler Van Dyke, Miami (Last week: 2)
Van Dyke retains the No. 2 spot after a solid game against Bethune-Cookman in Week 1. He played “winning football according to coach Mario Cristobal as the Canes cruised to a 70-13 victory.
1. Devin Leary, NC State (Last week: 1)
One bad game doesn’t knock Leary from the top spot — but another one might. Leary was uncharacteristically erratic in NC State’s “reality check” win over East Carolina in Week 1. He threw a crucial interception that nearly swung the game. He’ll need to return to 2021 form quickly for NC State to be as good as expected.