ACC Football News and Notes

ACC Football News and Notes

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. In the ACC, the key was scoring and lots of it. Two games this past weekend saw teams go over the sixty point mark, while two teams, the Clemson Tigers and the North Carolina State Wolfpack, remained unbeaten and on a collision course to settle the winner of their division.

The two high-scoring games have familiar names, and maybe one not so familiar. First, the Clemson Tigers 63-3 win at Wake Forest was the largest margin of victory in a road conference game in ACC history. It was also the second-largest margin of victory in any road game in conference history. At 6-0, the Tigers are once again in great shape to play for the ACC Championship.

The team that maybe you would not think of as a squad that could generate this kind of offense explosion, but maybe you should, is the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Last Saturday at Louisville, the Yellow Jackets took care of the Cardinal 66-31. The 66 points tied for the third-most on the road in Atlantic Coast Conference history. It also tied for the second-most points on the road in league play in the history of the conference.

The Yellow Jackets also became the fourth team in league history to score 60 or more points in back-to-back games. A week earlier, Georgia Tech defeated Bowling Green by a 63-17 score.

North Carolina State is 5-0 for the first time since 2002. They are ranked at #20 in the AP Poll, and at #19 in the coaches poll. The Wolfpack’s seven-game win streak is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation. Only UCF, Ohio State, and Alabama have longer streaks than the Wolfpack.

One of the reasons for the winning at NC State may be the play at quarterback. Ryan Finley has been playing the position at a high level this season. He is fourth in the country in completions per game. Finley is fifth in passing yards per game and eighth in total offense.

It was also a big weekend for running the ball even if your name is not A.J Dillon, who did not play against the Wolfpack because of a high-ankle sprain. Still, eight ACC rushers ran for 100 or more yards in Week 6. The most of any single week this season.

One of those that ran for 100 yards was Pittsburgh running back, Qadree Ollison, who rushed for a career-high 192 yards on 24 carriers in the Panthers loss to Syracuse. His 192 yards are the third most by a player in the league this season. Ollison did have a rushing TD against the Orange, a 69-yard touchdown run. For his efforts, Ollison was named Running Back of the Week in the ACC.

In the same game, we find the Defensive Lineman of the week, Syracuse DL Alton Robinson. He had himself quite a game vs Pitt when he recorded a career-high eight tackles, two forced fumbles (both recover by Syracuse, which led to ten points by the Orange), two sacks, four tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and two QB hurries.

In 2018, U.S. News and World “Best Colleges Ranking” the Atlantic Coast Conference schools combine for an average rank of 54.7. This marks the 12th straight year that the ACC has led all Power 5 conferences.

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