We are now through week eight of the college football season. The Atlantic Coast Conference had a very exciting weekend of football. Lets recap how teams in the ACC performed and see who earned my player of the week honors.
No. 23 Duke (6-1) 45-43 Virginia Tech (3-5): I wrote a few weeks prior that it must be hard to be a Tennessee Volunteer fan. Boy I would totally change places with one of them right now. This Virginia Tech team gives you just enough to build hope and then rips your heart out. The Hokies played well at some points and at other times looked completely incompetent. Frank Beamer and his squad fought back from a 21-10 deficit to force overtime, but it wasn't enough. Quarterback Michael Brewer made his first start since week one and finished with 270 yards in the air and three touchdowns. Travon McMillian ran for 142 yards and two scores himself. The Hokies defense, which was supposed to be the backbone of this team, couldn't get a stop when it counted. Duke is a very consistent team. They play hard on defense and on offense they will wear you down. Quarterback Thomas Sirk threw four touchdown passes and had over 300 yards of total offense by himself. Virginia Tech just can't handle dual threat signal callers. Beamer is a legend, but his seat is on fire right now in Blacksburg.
No.6 Clemson (7-0) 58-0 Miami (4-3): Clemson handed Miami its worse defeat in program history. It was an embarrassment to the program and resulted in the firing of Al Golden. The Tigers defense forced a total of four turnovers and limited Miami to just six first downs. On offense, Clemson had very little trouble moving the ball against the Hurricanes. Miami gave up over 500 total yards on Saturday, including 416 on the ground. To add insult to injury, quarterback Brad Kaaya left the game in the second quarter with a head injury and his status is unknown for this week. Tight ends coach Larry Scott will take over for Golden as Miami will attempt to finish the year strong. Clemson looks to be the creme of the crop in the ACC and Miami is back to the bottom of the standings.
No. 25 Pittsburgh (6-1) 23-20 Syracuse (3-4): The Pittsburgh Panthers are a 57-yard field goal away from being undefeated. First year head coach Pat Narduzzi has done one heck of a job. With time winding down, and the game tied at 20, Narduzzi called for a fake punt near midfield. Pitt was successful in converting and the drive resulted in a 25-yard game winning field goal. The Panthers have played five of their past six games on the road. They will face North Carolina this Thursday with first place in the coastal division on the line. Syracuse fought hard, but just couldn't finish. Freshman quarterback Eric Dungey threw for two touchdowns and two interceptions. Head coach Scott Shafer has a very talented team, but they might just be a year away.
No. 9 Florida State (6-1) 16-22 Georgia Tech (3-5): Florida States loss snapped a 28 game winning streak against teams in the ACC. With six seconds remaining, kicker Robert Aguayo lined up for a 56-yard game winning field goal. Instead of missing wide left or wide right, Georgia Tech blocked the attempt and returned it 78-yards for the game winning touchdown. The Yellow Jackets came back from a 13-3 deficit and snapped their five game losing streak. FSU is one dimensional and could not get much going on offense. Georgia Tech limited the exploisvie plays we are use to seeing from sophomore running back Dalvin Cook. FSU still controls their own destiny in the ACC, but they better figure out their issues on offense before its to late. 16 points won't cut it when the face Clemson on November 7th.
Boston College (3-5) 14-17 Louisville (3-4): It is truly a shame that Boston College can't score any points. Steve Addazio and his team were only able to muster 79 yards of total offense. They finished with negative (-)14 yards rushing and just four first downs. Those stats are absolutely horrible and they still only lost by three. That is insane. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson threw two interceptions and had to use his legs most of the afternoon to escape pressure. The Cardinals are doing their best to rebound from a disappointing start of the year. Boston College will have a tough time winning any more games on their schedule.
Virginia (2-5) 13-26 North Carolina (6-1): It feels like Mike London's team either gets blown out or they lose a close battle every week. This game was tied at halftime before North Carolina shut out Virginia in the second half. Virginia quarterback Matt Johns threw four interceptions and also had a fumble. You can't turn the ball over that many times and expect to win the game. North Carolina quarterback, Marquise Williams, filled the stat sheet with 226 yards in the air, 101 rushing yards, and two touchdowns. North Carolina could easily be undefeated if it wasn't for a collapse week one against South Carolina. Larry Fedora's will have the most important game of his coaching career this Thursday against Pittsburgh. The winner will have the inside track on the ACC coastal division.
N.C. State (5-2) 35-17 Wake Forest (3-5): North Carolina State snapped a two game losing streak and finally got a victory over a school from one of the power five conferences. The Wolfpack put up 28 points on offense in just the first quarter. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Matthew Dayes ran for 206 yards and two scores. Wake Forest couldn't finish drives and score any points. They passed for just 122 yards in the air. The Demon Deacons are another team that will be lucky to win another game before the season ends. They finish with Louisville, at Notre Dame, at Clemson, and against Duke.
Most Impressive ACC Win: Clemson over Miami - The Tigers are out to prove they are the best team in the ACC. Dabo Swinney has had some impressive teams down in Death Valley, but this might be his best yet. Deshaun Watson is a future NFL first rounder just waiting to happen and this defense is very talented. November 7th against FSU will tell us everything we need to know about Clemson.
Least Impressive ACC Team: Miami - It's an obvious choice isn't it. The Hurricanes were horrible on Saturday. So bad, that the head coach was fired. Miami hasn't been good since the early 2000's and the program just doesn't have the respect it once had. It will be interesting to see how the team performs the rest of season.
MY ACC Player of the Week: Duke QB Thomas Sirk - The Blue Devil signal caller had himself a day. He was easily the best offensive player in the ACC this past week. Sirk took some big hits against Virginia Tech and completed passes when it counted. He also threw for four touchdowns and helped lead his team to a big road victory.