1. Wake Forest Demon Deacons: In a weird game between conference opponents that didn’t count as a conference game, the Demon Deacons eight-game winning streak was closed by UNC. Sam Hartman threw for 398 yards and five touchdowns while also rushing for 78 yards and two additional scores. Entering the fourth quarter with a 48-34 lead, Wake seemed to be in control. That was before the WF defense gave up 24 points, including TDs of 21-yards and 50-yards. Hartman threw a devastating interception, that set up the Tar Heels’ tying TD. The Wake offense then sputtered, turning the ball over on downs twice, giving UNC advantageous field position which, they converted into ten points. The Demon Deacons’ defense allowed 546 yards, which is their fifth time allowing 500+ yards in the last six games. The sole exception was last week’s game against Duke. Barring some sort of insane collapse of many good teams, the loss will likely result in the ACC not being represented in the CFB Playoff for the first time in the playoff’s history. Saturday the Demon Deacons have a tough matchup against No. 16 NCST.
2. NC State Wolfpack: Devin Leary threw for 314 yards and four touchdowns on the way to defeating FSU, 28-14. The NCST defense held the Seminoles to a paltry 271 yards, 38-yards on 27 rushing attempt, and an abysmal 2 of 16 on third downs. A big Atlantic division showdown looms this Saturday when the ‘Pack heads over to Wake Forest.
3. Clemson Tigers: QB D.J. Uiagalelei had one of his best games of the season, throwing for 220 yards and two TDs. The defense struggled against big running plays, allowing rushing TDs of 23, 26, and 51-yards, but they held the Cards enough to secure a 30-24 victory. This weekend they face 1-8 Connecticut.
4. Syracuse Orange: Syracuse was idle. They play Louisville on Saturday.
5. Boston College Eagles: Phil Jurkovec returned to the field after an early season injury. Although he did not have a stellar game, he didn’t need to with the BC defense holding VT to 235 total yards, 73 passing yards, 3-11 on third down, and three entire points. The Eagles got their first ACC win in front of tens of people and will face off against GT on Saturday.
6. Louisville Cardinals: Louisville found success on the ground, rushing for 223 yards and three TDs, but lost to Clemson when their defense allowed 13 points in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals host the Orange this weekend.
7. Florida State Seminoles: FSU showed some life during the third quarter when they collected 14 points and were within one score of NCST but found no offensive life at any other time. The Seminoles need to win out for bowl qualification. That quest starts Saturday when they host a surging Miami team.
1. Pittsburgh Panthers: The Panthers shook off their loss to Miami with a recovery game against Duke. Pickett did Pickett things again, throwing for 416 yards, three TDs, and no INTs. He also found 57-yards on the earth and a rushing TD. This week finds Pitt visiting Chapel Hill to face a North Carolina team that just ended Wake Forest’s campaign for a College Football Playoff berth.
2. North Carolina Tar Heels: RB Ty Chandler had his best performance, this season, rushing for 213 yards and four TDs. It was only his third 100+ yard game and only 200+ yard game, but he is rocking a 6.2-yard average per carry on the year. Chandler’s fourth quarter performance was too much for the WF defense and UNC upset the undefeated Demon Deacons, 58-55. UNC will have their hands full at Pittsburgh tonight.
3. Virginia Cavaliers: UVA was idle this week. Head coach, Bronco Mendenhall, has been very quiet regarding the health status of the nation’s leading passer, Brennan Armstrong. The Cavaliers host the No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Saturday evening.
4. Miami Hurricanes: Tyler Van Dyke had his third consecutive 300+ yard game, throwing for 389 yards, three TDs, and zero INTs, allowing Miami to squeak by GT, 33-30. After starting the season 2-4, the Hurricanes are riding a three-game winning streak, including victories over No. 18 NCST and No. 17 Pitt. Saturday, they face bitter in-state rival FSU in Tallahassee.
5. Virginia Tech Hokies: ** Insert image of me beating the crap out of a dead horse. **
6. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: The Yellow Jackets won the turnover battle, which kept them in the game, but ultimately resulted in their fourth loss by a single score. GT needs to win out to be bowl eligible, which will be tough considering their last two games are against No. 9 Notre Dame and the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs. But first, they host Boston College this weekend.
7. Duke Blue Devils: In a game that saw three different QBs under center, the Blue Devils had their best performance against an ACC foe, scoring 29 points, but were never close to the Panthers. Duke remains the only ACC team without a conference win. Things are looking up for the Blue Devils though, who face off against VT this weekend, a squad that has established a trend of surrendering inaugural conference victories to winless ACC programs.
1. (No. 12 CFB Playoff / No. 13 AP / No. 13 Coaches) Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-1. 5-0 conf.) - Static
2. (No. 16 / No. 21 / No. 19) NC State Wolfpack (7-2, 4-1) – Static
3. (No. 21 / No. 25 / No. 22) Pittsburgh Panthers (7-2, 4-1) – Static
4. Clemson Tigers (6-3, 5-2) – Up Two
5. North Carolina Tar Heels (5-4, 3-3) – Up Five
6. Virginia Cavaliers (6-3, 3-3) – Down Two
7. Miami Hurricanes (5-4, 3-2) – Down Two
8. Syracuse Orange (5-4, 2-3) – Down One
9. Boston College Eagles (5-4, 1-4) – Up Two
10. Virginia Tech Hokies (4-5, 2-3) – Down Two
11. Louisville Cardinals (4-5, 2-4) – Down Two
12. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-6, 2-5) – Static
13. Florida State Seminoles (3-6, 2-4) – Static
14. Duke Blue Devils (3-6, 0-5) – Static