NGSC Sports

The ACC: A look ahead

With two weeks left in the conference season one division is all wrap up, while the other one is still up for grabs. Florida State has secured the Atlantic division with their perfect record in the ACC. The Coastal division is another matter, Duke holds the top spot as of right now and can win the division if they win their remaining two games both of which are on the road. It’s going to make for an exciting finish to the regular season.

Duke (8-2, 4-2) begins the two game road trips with a visit to Wake Forest (4-6, 2-5) as a ranked team for the first time since 1971. The Blue Devils cracked the AP top 25 poll at number #25 on the strength of beating two nationally ranked teams at home in Virginia Tech and Miami. It is the first time since 1994 that the Blue Devils have victories over two ranked teams in the same season. Wake Forest still has something to play for themselves, needing to win both of their reaming games to become bowl eligibility. The offense has struggled of late, they are averaging only 17.8 points per game good for 116th in the nation, and there running attack is not much better at 89.4 yards per game ranked 117th in the country.

Senior day was a great one for Boston College (6-4, 3-3), they became bowl eligible with there win over North Carolina State. The six wins matches the win totals for the past two seasons, the day belong to senior running back Andre Williams who set a single game rushing record with his 339 yards on 42 carries. It represents the highest single game performance in FBS this season. It also earned Williams the Walter Camp Football Foundation Nations Player of the Week Honors. Through 10 games, Williams has 288 carries for a school record 1,810 yards. Williams is the fourth player in Boston College history to earn the award, the first since Montel Harris did back on Oct.18, 2009 by running for 264 yards vs. North Carolina State. Maryland (6-4, 2-4) is also going bowling this year thanks to a 27-24 overtime win at Virginia Tech. Quarterback C.J. Brown was the man, going 12 for 25, 135 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. He ran the ball 23 times for 122 yards and 2 TD, including the game winner in overtime that gave Maryland the bowl bid.

Pittsburgh (5-5, 2-4) heads to Syracuse (5-5, 3-3) for a game that has a bowl bid on the line for both teams. The Panthers got 359 yards of total offense in their loss to North Carolina, quarterback Tom Savage had a good day throwing the football going for 313 yards on 23 of 38 passing. The Panthers passing attack is ranked 64th in the country avg. 234.3 yards per game. Pittsburgh receive a 100 yard game from running back James Connor on the ground, but it was special teams that did them in giving up two punt returns for touchdowns. The Orangemen ran into a buzz saw named Florida State, giving up 59 points to them is no shame considering other have done it as well.

The Miami Hurricanes (7-3, 3-3) have lost three in a row, during that stretch the defense has giving up 40 plus points to their opponents. The offense is still putting up numbers, in their loss to Duke quarterback Steven Morris was 30 of 49 good for 379 yards 2 TD, 1 INT. Ever since running back Duke Johnson went down with a season ending injury things have gone downhill for the Canes. They will get the chance to right the ship against a Virginia squad (2-8, 0-6) that has lost seven in a row. Nothing has gone the way the Cavaliers had hope, their defense has sprung some major holes that don’t seems to be fixable. In the seven game losing streak, the defense has allowed on average at least 30 points.

There are three non-conference games on the schedule this week, first East Carolina (8-2, 6-1) take a break from Conference-USA play, to take on North Carolina State (3-7, 0-7). East Carolina offense has been on a roll as of late, they ranked 8th in the country in passing yardage with an average of 341.2 yards a game. They are also riding a four game winning streak. With their loss to Boston College last Saturday, the Wolfpack have been eliminated from bowl consideration for 2013. Jumichael Ramos caught 5 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in the losing effort. Defense had a difficulty time stopping BC’s rushing attack namely Andre Williams.

The Idaho Vandals (1-9) have the tall order of trying to find a way to stop or slow down the Florida State Seminoles (10-0, 8-0). Florida State ran rough shot over Syracuse last weekend scoring 59 points, and finishing with 523 total yards. The offense is ranked second in the country in points for averaging 52.7 points pre game, the defense is just as good giving up only 11,1 point’s pre game which ranks them third in the nation. On top of that quarterback Jamieus Winston is second in the country in quarterback rating with a 92.9 mark. The Vandals arrived at Florida State haven lost five in a row, the defense is allowing 35 points pre game during this streak. Good Luck Idaho.

Clemson (8-2, 7-1) has their senior day this Saturday taking on the Citadel. The Tigers took care of business against Georgia Tech, as they acclimated 551 yards of total offense. Quarterback Tajh Boyd was 20 of 26, 340 yards 4 TD, 1 INT. before leaving the game with an injury in the fourth quarter. The injury has been described as a collarbone injury though Boyd is not excepted to miss any game action. Senior wide out Sammy Watkins went over the thousand yard mark with his 5 catches for 104 yards and 2 TD performances vs. the Yellow Jackets. His partner in crime also had a good night, Martovis Bryant had a 176 yard receiving on 5 receptions with 1 TD.

Both North Carolina and Georgia Tech have this weekend off.

By John Doucette

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