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The final month of the ACC season is upon us, with plenty to still be decided. Neither division has a clear front-runner, and several teams are closing in on becoming bowl eligible. Life in the Atlantic Coast Conference can be confusing and exciting all at the same time. Let’s see if we can set up the last month before conference championship Saturday in December.
Heading into last weekend’s schedule, there were six Power 5 teams that were an undefeated. Only one in the ACC, the Miami Hurricanes, travel to North Carolina with the hope of staying unbeaten. It was not easy, but Miami escaped with the win. They are #8 in the rankings heading into that road contest. It is their highest since they were ranked seventh in October of 2013. Miami is averaging 33 points a game which is good for sixth place in the conference stat sheet. They are second in the league in total offense, with 474 yards a game. That total is boosted by a passing and running game that are both ranked in the top five in the ACC. Placekicker Michael Badgley has contributed to the scoring average of the team. He has made 11 of 12 field goals and is fourth nationally in percentage at .917. For his career, he has made 71 field goals, third most active and tied for the fifth-best career total in league history.
It has been a difficult year for the Florida State Seminoles. It started with the loss of their starting quarterback DeAndre Francois on opening night vs Alabama. Still, the Seminoles have produced some solid numbers despite the down year. They ranked 3rd in the conference in the red zone, touchdown percentage defense with a mark of .421 and they have thrown at least one touchdown pass in 14 straight games. Florida State has won their last six road games. However, all of these marks came to a crashing end last Friday night at Boston College, as the Eagles beat up on the Seminoles 35-3.
Speaking of those Eagles, a three-game win streak has people around the program thinking bowl game again. At 5-4 with a bye week to rest and get ready for the final three games of the year, things are looking good for a team that ended September 1-3.
Special teams have played a role in the upswing for Boston College. Michael Walker leads the nation in combined return yards with 814. He is tenth in punt return average at 15.5.
Louisville quarterback Lamer Jackson has been responsible for 102 career touchdowns, 43 of them on the ground, 59 through the air. He is fourth on the ACC career list trailing only Clemson’s Tajh Boyd (133), Deshawn Watson (116), and NC State’s Phillip Rivers (112).
Clemson has won 10 or more games in each of the last six years and the only other team that can make that claim is Alabama. The Tigers are only the 11th team to have 10 wins in consecutive years.