2 ACC Sleeper Football Teams Everyone Should Keep An Eye On - SCACCHoops.com

2 ACC Sleeper Football Teams Everyone Should Keep An Eye On

by WebMaster

Posted: 9/8/2021 1:10:04 PM

When we speak of ACC football, especially when thinking about college football odds, the first team that comes to mind for everybody is the Clemson Tigers. The reasons behind thinking of Clemson above all other ACC teams are quite obvious even to an untrained football eye. Their sheer dominance for the past few years not only in their conference but in NCAA football, in general, is almost unmatched, and with yet another stacked roster to face the 2021 season, not taking Clemson as the absolute favorite to win the ACC and even make their way to the College Football Playoffs once again would not be the wisest decision, to say the least.

Now, while there are other teams in the conference who are looking poised to try and give the Tigers a run for their money with North Carolina and Miami both looking like the strongest candidates here, what about the other teams in the conference? While there are schools that are far away from being in any sort of contention mode, here we bring you 2 ACC sleeper football teams that everyone should keep an eye on.

North Carolina State Wolfpack

Whoever still hasn’t taken full notice of what coach Dave Doeren and his North Carolina Wolfpack football team have been up to for the past few seasons should really think about the possibility of starting to catch the Wolfpack action this season. NC State has managed to go to their sixth bowl game in seven seasons with Doeren as their head coach and also managed to score eight wins last season, making that the fourth time in Doeren’s tenure. 

On offense, while NC State looks pretty well stacked, their accolades will end up coming from what QB Devin Leary can do. If Leary is able to find his best form, with four of his offensive line starters from last season all coming back, and with the help of receivers Emeka Emezie, Thayer Thomas, and Devin Carter, who while not explosive, are big, strong, and athletic players NC State should have a pretty solid passing attack. If you add to that that both of the team’s top rushers, RB Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person will also both be back then you can automatically feel that this offense will be just fine.

On defense, the Wolfpack’s defense needs some improvement, especially after losing some key pieces in the offseason, but they have enough players on the roster to make a difference. Guys like Payton Wilson, Isaiah Moore, Daniel Joseph, and Shyheim Battle have what it takes to become stars and leaders of this defense if they step up their game. While NC State might be able to put on yet another stellar season, battling Clemson for the title is kind of a stretch, but don’t sleep on the Wolfpack, because they will surely be bowling at the end of the season.

Florida State Seminoles

If this was a few years ago we wouldn’t be talking about the Florida State Seminoles as a sleeper team to keep an eye on, but time has not been gentle on FSU and after last season, which could be considered one of the worst, if not the worst season in recent times for the school, it’s time to turn the ship around for head coach Mike Norvell and his Seminoles team. One of the main keys to finding success here will be to revamp an offense that has looked anything but good in the past couple of seasons, thus enter newly transferred QB McKenzie Milton. 

If Milton can play as he did in CFU before injuring his leg, then Florida State will have a true stud at QB. For Milton to succeed though he’ll need two major things. One will be for his offensive line to show up and dominate, something that has been an issue for FSU in the past couple of seasons, but with all five of their starters coming back, who knows, we can give them the benefit of the doubt. The other key will be for his receiver core, which lacks true playmakers to step up in a big way. Guys like Ontaria Wilson, Keyshawn Helton, Malik McClain, and Jordan Wilson at tight end will all have to put in extra work to help Milton carry the passing offense. Jashaun Corbin and Lawrance Toafili will have to turn on the volts for FSU’s rushing offense to truly do some damage too.

On defense, it’s clear that FSU needs to return to the times where their defensive core was feared throughout all of college football, not looked like if it was an afterthought. FSU took great advantage of the transfer portal to bring in a total of five new players to strengthen the defense. Standing out above the pack are former Georgia pass rusher Jermaine Johnson and former South Carolina pass rusher Keir Thomas. With Robert Cooper and Dennis Briggs Jr. playing in the inside of the line, this defense should be looking way better than before. Add to that the power that returning LB’s Amari Gainer and Emmett Rice will be bringing as well as Stephen Dix Jr. and this line is starting to become better as we continue. At corner and safety, FSU has enough talents to truly put on a great secondary unit.

With all this said, while FSU might be in for a great bounce-back year, their schedule, especially the second part is brutal, but that doesn’t mean that if this team gets going from early on that we won’t be seeing great things. This team will be an exciting one to watch and if they get rolling well then they will also be bowling late in the season.

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