Virginia Tech, on its bye week, remains static until their Thursday night game against Georgia Tech. The ACC had a busy week with two teams qualifying for bowl eligibility, the ACC Coastal picture clearing up a bit, and of course FSU vs Clemson.
The post Al Golden era Hurricanes continued their winning ways with a victory over UVA. Hurricane QB, Brad Kaaya, returned to the starting lineup after missing last week’s game against Duke due to a concussion suffered against Clemson. Kaaya threw for 286 yards, two TDs, and one interception. Miami WR, Stacey Coley, had a fantastic game hauling in seven receptions for 132 yards. He had one touchdown and enjoyed an 18.9 yards per reception average. UVA fought valiantly, and were actually leading at the start of the second half, but that was short lived and the Hurricanes took over the game. Miami was able to hold off a late fourth quarter charge, by the Cavaliers, but in the end UVA suffered their 14th consecutive road loss. With the win Miami has improved to 6-3 and is mathematically still alive in the hunt for the Coastal. At 3-6 the Cavaliers must win out in order to earn bowl eligibility.
Boston College Eagles versus NC State Wolfpack:
After starting 3-1 and boasting one of the best defenses in the FBS Boston College’s offensive woes became too much for the defense to overcome. NCSU beat BC 24-8. Cracks in the Eagles’ defense started to show when Wolfpack QB, Jacoby Brissett hit Maurice Trowell for an 83 yard touchdown in the second quarter. The Eagles were shut out for most of the game until they were able to score a TD and convert for two points with 1:21 left in the fourth quarter. The Wolfpack handed the Eagles their sixth straight loss and simultaneously removed them from bowl contention while themselves qualifying. NC State improves to 6-3, and BC falls to 3-7on the season.
The Cardinals continued their recovery from an ignominious 0-3 start to the season by shellacking Syracuse 41-17. Louisville’s offense, which struggled earlier this year, came out firing on all cylinders. Cardinal’s QB, Kyle Bolin, did what he wanted in the air, throwing for 362 yards, three TDs, and one interception. Cardinal RB, Brandon Radcliff, also had a solid day, rushing for 117 yards on only ten carries. Louisville racked up 579 total yards of offense. The Cardinals were losing to start the second quarter, but took control of the remainder of the game. Louisville did allow four turnovers, but Syracuse was never able to capitalize on the Cardinals’ miscues – often answering with a turnover of their own. Syracuse falls to 3-6 and must win out to become bowl eligible. Louisville improved to 5-3, on the year, and needs only a singular victory to become bowl eligible.
Pitt lost their second game in a row as the No. 5 Fighting Irish won, 42-30. ND QB, DeShone Kizer, threw for 262 yards, five TDs, and also had one rushing TD. Will Fuller executed in his standard manner and dominated the game with seven receptions for 152 yards and three TDs. The Fighting Irish led the entire game, but Pitt stayed competitive until the fourth quarter when ND scored two TDs in seven minutes putting the game out of reach at 42-17 with only 5:47 left to play. The score actually wouldn’t have been as close if ND backup QB, Brandon Wimbush, did not have a fumble returned for a TD towards the end of regulation. The Irish improve to 8-1 as they carry on their efforts to make the College Football Playoff. Pitt regresses to 6-3, and though still alive, will have a difficult path to win the Coastal.
North Carolina made a pretty clear statement about who the class of the ACC Coastal is with their 66-31 devastation of Duke. UNC QB, Marquise Williams, was just six yards shy of 500 yards passing on 35 attempts. He also tossed four touchdowns, and with the yards provided by UNC’s backup QB, Mitch Trubisky, the Tar Heels tallied up 537 total yards in the air alone. They added another 167 yards on the ground for a mind blowing 704 total offensive yards. Duke’s offense was no joke either. The Blue Devil’s rushing attack gashed UNC’s defense for 327 yards and three TDs. They added 206 yards in the air for a respectable total offensive output of 533. But, Duke had three turnovers to UNC’s zero – two of which happened while Duke was driving and inside UNC territory. Duke has now dropped two games straight after a gutsy win over VT in 4OT and falls to 6-3. Like Pitt, Duke is still alive in the Coastal, but any hopes of winning it would require UNC to lose. The Tar Heels are on an eight game winning streak and playing their best football of the year. They improve to 8-1 and are in complete control of their fate in the Coastal.
There were several games with CFB implications this past Saturday and the ACC was no different. FSU, only two weeks removed from their stupefying defeat at the hands of Georgia Tech, entered South Carolina with a chip on their shoulder and an intention to show that they are still the dominant team in the ACC. The Seminoles did not disappoint, holding Clemson to a pair of FGs, while riding Dalvin Cook’s 157 first half yards and TD to a 10-6 halftime lead. The Tigers made some solid second half adjustments and held Cook to only 37 yards in the second half. Deshaun Watson also reminded everyone how talented he is. Watson threw for 297 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed 16 times for 107 yards. FSU also allowed Clemson RB, Wayne Gallman, a 103 yard game and a rushing TD. Clemson took care of the ball and committed zero turnovers, while FSU coughed it up twice, including the late fourth quarter fumble that sealed the game in Clemson’s favor. This is a signature win for Clemson. FSU is a solid football team and Clemson showed they have the ability to fight back and make adjustments, in order to win, after being outperformed in the first half of the game. The Tigers demonstrated that they deserve their No. 1 CFB ranking, defeating FSU 23-13. The Seminoles fall to 7-2 on the season. With the win Clemson continues their undefeated season, improving to 9-0, and clinching a berth in the ACC Championship game as the Coastal Division Champions.