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BATTLE FOR N.C.: Rough weekend for in-state teams

NC State Clemson Football
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North Carolina State quarterback Ryan Finley (15) works in the huddle during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Clemson Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

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The Daily Reflector

Monday, October 22, 2018

It was a forgettable weekend for North Carolina college football teams, mainly in N.C. State getting overwhelmed at Clemson in an Atlantic Coast Conference showdown. N.C. State lost 41-7, and even lowly North Carolina was leading at Syracuse until falling 40-37 in double overtime.

Here are The Daily Reflector’s updated in-state power rankings:

1. N.C. State

Record: 5-1.

Why No. 1? Clemson showed why it is an annual national championship contender in a rout of the Wolfpack. All it did for the ‘Pack was loosen its grip some as the top team in the state.

2. Appalachian State

Record: 5-1.

Why No. 2? The lone winner among North Carolina’s major teams was App. State, which beat Louisiana-Lafayette 27-17 in Boone. It was merely a tune-up for the Mountaineers’ most important game of the season to date, when it travels to co-Sun Belt East leader Georgia Southern on Thursday night.

3. Duke

Record: 5-2.

Why No. 3? Because like N.C. State, Duke let an important ACC opportunity slip away when it never led in a 28-14 home loss to Virginia. A win by the Blue Devils probably would have vaulted them to No. 1 in these rankings.

4. Wake Forest

Record: 3-4.

Why No. 4? Another week, another ACC loss for Wake. The Demon Deacons were expectedly defeated at Florida State, giving them a 1-4 record since a 2-0 start to the season.

5. East Carolina

Record: 2-5.

Why No. 5? Another week, another American Athletic Conference loss for ECU (37-10 to UCF). This one did have a more positive feel to it for the Pirates, who were within striking distance early in the fourth quarter before a few turnovers helped unbeaten UCF pull away at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

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