NGSC Sports

ACC: The Week Ahead in the

The conference season has just three weekends left until the ACC championship game in Charlotte N.C. and while Florida State looks like a shoot in to be a part of that game, several teams are still jockeying for chance to be on the marquee with the Seminoles.

The ACC best matchup of the weekend will take place on tobacco road, as the Duke Blue Devils will play host to the Miami Hurricanes. The Blue Devils (7-2, 3-2 in conference play) secured their first winning season since 1994 with their win last Saturday over North Carolina State 38-20. Defense Back DeVon Edwards had a monster game for Duke. First, he returned a kickoff 100 for a touchdown, then in the final 3:21 of the game, Edwards pick off two passes and return them both for touchdowns helping the Blue Devils get the win at home. The victory moves Duke one step closer toward playing in their first conference championship game in school history. Miami (7-2, 3-2 in conference) loser of two straight needs to right the ship and fast, in their lost to Virginia Tech turnovers on special teams as well as giving up 549 yards of total offense did them in.

Don’t look now but the North Carolina Tar Heels are making a late season run at a bowl game. The Tar Heels winners of three in a row take on a Pittsburgh Panther squad that coming off a big win of their own vs. Notre Dame. Freshmen quarterback Marquise Williams taking over for the injured Bryn Renner out for the season with a shoulder injury, did a superb job of running the Tar Heel offense. North Carolina (4-5, 3-3) will need to stay away from making mistakes against a Panther (5-4, 2-3) defense that use two Tommy Rees interceptions to help get the win over the Irish and move to within one win of bowl eligibility.

The Syracuse Orangemen (5-4, 3-2) have the difficult task of trying to find a way to stay with Florida State. The Seminoles (9-0, 7-0) destroyed Wake Forest last Saturday 59-3, scoring 42 points in the first half. Florida State is putting up pinball like numbers, for the year their red zone efficiency is over 76%. While scoring touchdowns on over 50% of their drives this season. Syracuse’s defense has played very well the last two games giving up only three point’s combine in their wins over Wake Forest and Maryland. To beat Florida State they will have to play near perfect football on both offense and defense.

It will be senior day at Chesnutt Hill as the Boston College Eagles (5-4, 2-3) will play host to North Carolina State (3-6, 0-6). The Eagles recorded their first win on the road since November 25, 2011 with the win over New Mexico State 48-34 last Saturday. With the win Boston College is now one win shy of a bowl game. Andre Williams the conference leading rusher averaging 147.0 yards pre game, had his third 200 yard game of the season this past weekend vs. the Aggies. He finishes with 295 yards on 30 carriers that included two touchdowns runs of 80 and 47 yards. North Carolina State is still searching for their first conference win, turnovers are just killing them. In their loss at Duke two late fourth quarter pick-six’s turn what was a close game into a rout.

Virginia Tech (7-3, 4-2) will take on Maryland (5-4, 1-4), The Hokies show what kind of a football team they can be when they do not turn the football over. Quarterback Logan Thomas was outstanding in the win over Miami throwing for 366 yards and 2 touchdowns. Virginia Tech took advantage of special team’s mistakes by Miami as well as going 8-14 on third down efficiency. Maryland meanwhile still needs one more win to make it to a bowl game, turnovers three in all in the first half was their undoing in the loss to Syracuse 20 to 3.

Georgia Tech heads to Clemson this weekend, The Yellow Jackets (6-3, 5-2 in the Acc) still find themselves alive for a division championship thanks to the recent hiccups of Virginia Tech and Miami. The triple options run by head coach Paul Johnson is a difficult offense for any defense to prepare to play against. Quarterback Vad Lee is a threat running the football, the Yellow Jackets are 5th in the nation with an average of 311.2 yards pre game. Throwing it is a different story, Georgia Tech is 119th in the country in passing yardage at 119.6 a game. Look for Clemson to stacked the box and try to make Lee beat them through the air . The Tigers (8-1, 6-1) had last week off after getting back on track with consecutive wins over Maryland and Virginia on the road. Quarterback Tajh Boyd is putting together a solid year throwing for over 2600 yards with 20 touchdowns. His favorite target senior wide receiver Sammy Watkins is closing in on a thousand yards receiving. There chances of winning their division and getting to the ACC championship game appear to be slim at best. But there is still plenty to play for as the season winds down, the ACC championship may not be in the cards but a BCS bowl game still is.


By John Doucette

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