BATTLE FOR N.C.: App. State first in state, No. 2 in Carolinas
By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector
Monday, November 11, 2019
Let's expand this exercise, for one week, to include South Carolina. The Battle for The Carolinas.
Clemson, obviously, would be No. 1. South Carolina would be fourth thanks to its win over Georgia.
No. 2? Appalachian State, which would own road victories over No. 3 North Carolina and fourth-ranked SC.
App. State regained its footing as the best team in North Carolina with a thorough 20-15 win at South Carolina on Saturday night. It came on the same day that Wake Forest looked overmatched in Blacksburg, Va., losing 36-17 to Virginia Tech.
Here are the updated (North Carolina-only) rankings:
1. Appalachian State
Why No. 1? The Mountaineers are known for their skill players on offense, but their defense stifled a Southeastern Conference team in the defeat of the Gamecocks. A pick-six late in the second quarter was the biggest play in the game, and App. State's defense also made a final stand in the red zone as time expired.
2. Wake Forest
Why No. 2? Wake was No. 1 last week for a brief stay at the top. The Demon Deacons were out-rushed 228-63 at Va. Tech. Now they have to play at Clemson, and then they host Duke for an important in-state matchup on Nov. 23.
3. North Carolina
Why No. 3? After a gauntlet of a first month to the season, UNC has had a favorable second-half slate. The Tar Heels enjoyed a bye week before their huge matchup this Thursday at Pittsburgh, then games versus Mercer and N.C. State are ideal for momentum heading into the postseason.
Why No. 4? The Blue Devils have been predictable, winning the games they should and losing their most difficult matchups. The runaway victory at Virginia Tech was the lone exception. Saturday's 38-7 defeat to Notre Dame followed losses at Virginia and at North Carolina.
5. N.C. State
Why No. 5? N.C. State was in the inauspicious position as the team to play Clemson during the week of the first College Football Playoff rankings. Clemson was ranked No. 5, outside of the coveted top four spots, and proceeded to roll in Raleigh with an easy 55-10 victory. It's not fun facing a motivated Clemson.
Contact Ronnie Woodward at firstname.lastname@example.org, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.