ACC QB power rankings entering Week 2: Drake Maye, Jordan Travis battle for top spot
ACC quarterbacks had a strong showing in Week 1.
Florida State’s Jordan Travis, North Carolina’s Drake Maye and Duke’s Riley Leonard all led their teams to big upset victories over the weekend.
Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke and Syracuse’s Garret Shrader also stood out against below-average competition. On the other side of the coin, Virginia and Boston College both had to turn to their backups in Week 1.
Here’s Saturday Road’s updated ACC QB power rankings entering Week 2:
14. Tony Muskett, Virginia (Last week: 14)
Tony Muskett’s status is up in the air for Saturday against James Madison. Muskett was decent — relative to expectations — against Tennessee before going out with an injury that will make him a game-time decision in Week 2. If Muskett can’t go, it will be true freshman Anthony Colandrea getting the start. Either way, Virginia’s QB situation ranks last in the ACC entering Week 2.
13. Grant Wells, Virginia Tech (Last week: 13)
Grant Wells was solid in Week 1 as Virginia Tech beat Old Dominion. But after last season’s struggles, I’m not so eager to move him up leaderboard quite yet. Let’s see what he does against Purdue.
12. Thomas Castellanos, Boston College (Last week: 11)
Boston College’s QB situation is a bit uncertain after Thomas Castellanos replaced Emmett Morehead in last week’s loss to Northern Illinois. Morehead was probably the most disappointing ACC QB of the weekend last week, but Castellanos looked like he had some juice. At the very least, he’s an electric runner. I’d like to see Boston College give him some runway here to see what they have in him.
11. Haynes King, Georgia Tech (Last week: 12)
Haynes King threw for 313 yards and 3 touchdowns in his Georgia Tech debut, which ended in a frustrating loss to Louisville. King wasn’t close to perfect, but he was more than serviceable.
10. Cade Klubnik, Clemson (Last week: 4)
Big drop for Cade Klubnik this week. Clemson’s offense was OK in the 2nd half against Duke, minus the red zone woes. The Tigers did move the ball pretty well and Klubnik was part of that effort. But this is a quarterback who has 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions on 148 career pass attempts. That will need to improve drastically, and quickly.
9. Phil Jurkovec, Pitt (Last week: 10)
Phil Jurkovec showed off the full skillset in Pitt’s first game against Wofford. When healthy, he’s a threat as a passer and can be a powerful runner. The trick will be staying healthy and remaining efficient against tougher competition.
8. Mitch Griffis, Wake Forest (Last week: 9)
This wasn’t Mitch Griffis’ first career start with the Demon Deacons, but it was a big one. He mostly passed the test — 329 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception vs. Elon. Vanderbilt could pose more problems for him, but for now, it looks like Wake Forest will be OK in the post-Sam Hartman era.
7. Jack Plummer, Louisville (Last week: 8)
Jack Plummer did a nice job in his Louisville debut in Week 1. He threw for 3 touchdowns and even rushed for 51 yards in the win. If he can maintain his average of 8 yards per attempt all season, it would be a big win for the Cardinals.
6. Brennan Armstrong, NC State (Last week: 6)
It was a bit of a mixed bag in Brennan Armstrong’s NC State debut vs. UConn. The passing game never got going, but Armstrong did score twice on the ground. Armstrong will have a much tougher test vs. Notre Dame in Week 2.
5. Garrett Shrader, Syracuse (Last week: 7)
Garrett Shrader moves up 2 spots after leading the ACC in passer efficiency this week. Syracuse played Colgate, so take it with somewhat of a grain of salt. But it was good to see Shrader play well again.
4. Tyler Van Dyke, Miami (Last week: 5)
Tyler Van Dyke didn’t put up big numbers against Miami (Ohio) in Week 1, but that was mostly due to how efficient the Canes’ rushing attack was. I’m still buying Van Dyke’s potential in Shannon Dawson’s offense.
3. Riley Leonard, Duke (Last week: 3)
The numbers don’t really show how good Riley Leonard was in Week 1 vs. Clemson. His low completion percentage was largely due to a high number of throw-away attempts — it’s no surprise that Duke’s receivers often struggled to break free from Clemson’s secondary. Leonard is an elite QB.
2. Jordan Travis, Florida State (Last week: 2)
Jordan Travis stays at No. 2, but he did close the gap a bit on Drake Maye after his 5-touchdown performance vs. LSU. Travis will soon become Florida State’s all-time leader in total touchdowns responsible for. In most conferences, Travis would be the clear top choice entering Week 2.
1. Drake Maye, North Carolina (Last week: 1)
Drake Maye did throw 2 interceptions in Week 1, but he keeps the top spot based on past performance and how comfortable he looked for much of the night vs. South Carolina. There’s not a QB in the country you should feel more confident in on 3rd down. His best games in 2023 are still ahead of him.