Top ACC QBs 2022: NC State QB Devin Leary leads a star-studded group

Which quarterback tops the ACC this season, and which QB matchups should you be most excited for once the 2022 season is upon us?

The ACC quarterback class for the 2022 college football season may be one of the more stacked units in all of CFB. Most importantly, most of these ACC QBs aren’t ushering in any new eras, but rather establishing what a terrific and sustainable path of growth can be for some programs as they look to reach the upper echelon of the conference. Where does each program land in the race to the top of the ACC ahead of the 2022 college football season?

Top ACC QBs in 2022 | 1-14

Hailing from our preseason top quarterback rankings at the FBS level, the starting quarterbacks from the ACC landed as follows:

1) Devin Leary, NC State
2) Malik Cunningham, Louisville
3) Tyler Van Dyke, Miami (FL)
4) Brennan Armstrong, Virginia
5) Sam Hartman, Wake Forest
6) Phil Jurkovec, Boston College
7) Kedon Slovis, Pittsburgh
8) Grant Wells, Virginia Tech
9) Jordan Travis, Florida State
10) Garrett Shrader, Syracuse
11) Jeff Sims & Zach Gibson, Georgia Tech
12) DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson
13) Jacolby Criswell & Drake Maye, North Carolina
14) Riley Leonard & Jordan Moore, Duke

And here’s how they ranked nationally among all their peers:

4) Devin Leary, NC State
5) Malik Cunningham, Louisville
11) Tyler Van Dyke, Miami
16) Brennan Armstrong, Virginia
19) Sam Hartman, Wake Forest
20) Phil Jurkovec, Boston College
28) Kedon Slovis, Pittsburgh
44) Grant Wells, Virginia Tech
53) Jordan Travis, Florida State
68) Garrett Shrader, Syracuse
82) Jeff Sims & Zach Gibson, Georgia Tech
111) DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson
121) Jacolby Criswell & Drake Maye, North Carolina
122) Riley Leonard & Jordan Moore, Duke

With this information at hand, we can take a great look at which matchups may bring the most excitement to the 2022 ACC schedule. Which games should we be most excited for, and why should you be sure to tune in this fall? Let’s take it week by week.

Week 1: Clemson vs. Georgia Tech

This one may not seem like it on paper, but this is where we really get to see if DJ Uiagalelei is going to last as the starter for the Clemson Tigers. It’s also a game that will give us insight into who the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are going to run with in 2022. Is it the incumbent in Jeff Sims or will Akron-transfer Zach Gibson unseat him? A lot of questions will be answered on Monday night when the first week of the college season comes to a close in Atlanta.

Week 2: Louisville vs. UCF + Boston College vs. Virginia Tech

A double dose of action as Malik Cunningham takes on UCF on Friday night and Boston College travels to Virginia Tech on Saturday. Cunningham brings with him the top dual-threat ability in the country and may have to use his legs against a pretty stout UCF secondary.

Can Phil Jurkovec and the Eagles pass for 300+ yards against a new defense at Virginia Tech? And just how well will Grant Wells fare in his first conference game as the Hokies’ starter?

Week 3: Miami (FL) vs. Texas A&M + Texas Tech vs. NC State

The Miami Hurricanes have a chance to rewrite their history books with Tyler Van Dyke at the helm. He has to travel to one of the notoriously difficult places to play in all of sports when they head to College Station against Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies.

Meanwhile, the Wolfpack host Texas Tech and top-30 QB Tyler Shough against the ACC’s top quarterback. In out-of-conference games last year, Devin Leary threw eight touchdowns and averaged 261.2 yards per game.

Week 4: West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech

West Virginia and Virginia Tech will both be breaking in transfer quarterbacks. However, the Mountaineers have the baked-in nature of familiarity between JT Daniels and his former offensive coordinator Graham Harrell now both in Morgantown. Can Brent Pry’s defense limit the Air Raid offense, and how will Wells be faring come four weeks of action through September?

Week 5: Louisville vs. Boston College

A big midseason test for both ACC QBs as each defense spots some talented players. Will Cunningham and Co. be able to run up the score in Chestnut Hill as those Lamar-Jackson-era teams did? How many yards will the Jurkovec-led Eagles have to throw to keep pace with the nation’s top dual-threat quarterback?

Week 6: Army vs. Wake Forest

Sure, it’s an out-of-conference game here during the height of conference play, but remember the last time these two teams played? Sam Hartman threw for five touchdowns and 458 yards against the Black Knights last season. It wasn’t because Army was poor on defense, it was because the Demon Deacs had to put up 70 points as Army ran for 56 points of their own. A barnburner to every extent, Hartman could put up video-game numbers yet again in Week 6.

Week 7: North Carolina vs. Duke

We’ll have to have answers as to who is starting for each program by Week 7. And when these two rivals take center stage during most ACC teams’ bye week, they’ll have the chance to climb the conference rankings.

Whether it’s Riley Leonard or Jordan Moore for Duke and Jacolby Criswell or Drake Maye for North Carolina isn’t the biggest question here. It’s who can beat their rival to potentially salvage some moral victories for their team in 2022?

Week 8: Pittsburgh vs. Louisville

Yet another must-see Louisville game — are you sensing a theme here? Cunningham will draw tons of eyes, but the man for Pittsburgh this year can do the same. Kedon Slovis has elite ability in his right arm. In 2021, with USC, Slovis’ strongest suit was being forced to play from behind, and there’s a good chance he’ll do the same in this game with Cunningham running the score up.

Week 9: Miami (FL) vs. Virginia

This game last year was an incredible matchup as Brennan Armstrong got the better of Van Dyke and the ‘Canes. Will Van Dyke exact some revenge, or will the powerful left-hander continue his dominance against the conference? One thing is for sure, with these two teams playing, there will be plenty of fireworks.

Week 10: Wake Forest vs. NC State

In what will likely have big ACC Atlantic implications, the conference’s top quarterback takes on Hartman and the Demon Deacs in early November. Again, expect fireworks, but expect to also see the cream of the crop start to pull away from the rest of the pack. The only problem here is the fact that both Hartman and Leary are the cream of the crop.

Week 11: Pittsburgh vs. Virginia

Two polar opposite quarterbacks who have the chance to each throw for 400 yards. This game writes itself as a fun one to watch, but will the Panthers be up for stopping Armstrong and Co.? Or will Slovis have to throw for season-highs against a Cavs team that can put up points in a hurry. It’s an interesting matchup that also has big-time conference implications.

Week 12: NC State vs. Louisville

It’s out-of-conference week for most in the ACC here in Week 12, but not for the top two QBs. Ranking No. 4 and No. 5 nationally, Leary and Cunningham, respectively, could give us the game of the year in mid-November.

Both players rank first and second, respectively, in our preseason top quarterbacks list, and if all goes to plan, they should stay there for most of the season. This one is as exciting as they come on paper this early.

Week 13: Rivalry Week

Rivalry Week comes for Week 13 and gives the ACC fans a closer look at some of the top matchups. Rather than pick just one or two, take note of the interesting quarterback matchups that Rivalry Week brings in 2022.

FSU vs. No. 22 Anthony Richardson and Florida

Georgia Tech vs. No. 46 Stetson Bennett and Georgia

Clemson hosts No. 13 Spencer Rattler and South Carolina

 

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