It may be time to re-evaluate just how good No. 7 Clemson is.
"Maybe we found out that maybe we're not as good as we think we may be," Clemson Coach Danny Ford said after the Tigers struggled past Duke, 17-10, Saturday at Clemson, S.C.
It was the Tigers' second straight sub-par performance.
"We sure think we're good, and we're not very good right now."
Fullback Tracy Johnson, whose four-yard run with 6:46 left put Clemson ahead to stay, agreed with his coach.
"I just think that we sort of overestimated ourselves," Johnson said, "and underestimated Duke, and that can get you beat. . . . I guess we figured that Duke was going to come in and just lay down, and they didn't."
Steve Spurrier, Duke's first-year coach, said the Blue Devils had their chances.
"We caught Clemson at a good time in winning fairly easy, and they took us lightly I'm sure. But we didn't play very smart. If we could have been a little bit smarter and executed a big play here and there, then we could have had a good chance to win the game."
The Tigers were coming off a 38-21 victory over Virginia in which they had trailed by a touchdown twice in the first half. Against the Blue Devils, a 21-point underdog, the Tigers had to put together a late drive to remain undefeated.
Johnson finished with 93 yards in 13 carries.
The victory left Clemson 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the ACC. Duke fell to 3-3 and 0-2 with its third straight loss.
Florida St. 32, Louisville 9--Florida State's tailback trio of Sammie Smith, Dexter Carter and Victor Floyd each scored a touchdown as the fourth-ranked Seminoles shook off a sluggish start at Tallahassee, Fla.
Florida State (6-1) kept Louisville (2-4-1) out of the end zone until the final seconds, despite quarterback Jay Gruden, who completed 23 of 53 passes for 339 yards.
Smith, the nation's fifth-leading rusher, gained 119 yards in 17 carries. Carter finished with 26 yards in 4 attempts, and Floyd led the way with 124 yards in 12 carries.
Maryland 14, Wake Forest 0--At Winston-Salem, N.C., Dan Henning directed two second-quarter touchdown drives to lead the Terrapins over the previously unbeaten Demon Deacons.
All the scoring came in the second quarter, when Henning passed 3 yards to split end Abdur Ra-oof for one touchdown and running back Mick Anderson went 18 yards for another.
The Demon Deacons moved inside the Maryland 10-yard line three times in the second half, but came up empty. Mike Elkins was intercepted four times, twice by strong safety J.B. Brown.
Elkins completed 23 of 45 passes for 173 yards, and Henning was 9 of 14 for 97 yards.
Wake Forest fell to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the ACC. The Terrapins improved to 3-3 and 2-1.
South Carolina 58, Virginia 10--At Columbia, S.C., the Gamecocks set aside their run-and-shoot offense in favor of the I-formation, balancing its attack and giving Harold Green a runner's field day.
Wide receiver Sterling Sharpe, who set a school record with 2,169 yards in career receptions, added to the balance with two touchdowns--one on a 59-yard pass play and the other a punt return that went the same distance.
While the Gamecocks (4-2) didn't totally abandon their pass-oriented run-and-shoot, the I-formation carried the day with Green setting a personal record of 132 yards in 23 carries against the Cavaliers (3-4).
N. Carolina 17, N. Carolina St. 14--Kenny Miller kicked three field goals and defensive back Norris Davis recovered a bad snap for a touchdown as the Tar Heels defeated the Wolfpack in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Raleigh, N.C.
The victory broke the Tar Heels' two-game losing streak and raised their record to 4-3 overall, 2-1 in the ACC. The loss ended a two-game winning streak for the Wolfpack (2-4 and 2-2).
Memphis St. 45, Tulane 36--Gerald White rushed for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Tigers (3-3) to a nonconference victory over the Green Wave at Memphis, Tenn.
All of White's yardage came before he tore ligaments in his right knee and limped off the field in the first half. Memphis State officials said he will be out for the season.
White's first-half performance and a 23-point second half by Memphis State thwarted a Tulane comeback led by quarterback Terrence Jones, who finished with 23 completions in 36 attempts for 266 yards and 4 touchdowns. He scored the other touchdown for the Green Wave (3-3) on a two-yard run.
East Carolina 32, Virginia Tech 23--Sophomore quarterback Travis Hunter ran for three touchdowns and threw for a fourth at Blacksburg, Va., to enable the Pirates to spoil the Hokies' homecoming before a crowd of 38,300.
Hunter set a school record for total offense by carrying 12 times for 85 yards and completing 10 of 18 passes for 228 yards. He had scoring runs of 1, 35 and 6 yards and teamed with fullback Tim Lewis on a 74-yard touchdown pass play.
East Carolina is 4-3, and Virginia Tech 1-5.