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ACC Football News and Notes

Another great weekend of ACC football this past weekend, and plenty more to look forward to this weekend as well. Here’s a peek at what we mean.

The big game of the weekend pits two undefeated teams against one another, Clemson vs North Carolina State. Both teams are ranked in the polls and a lot is at stake in this game. For the winner, it means a leg up in the Coastal Division standings with a clear path to the ACC Championship game. For the loser, they would need some help getting to Charlotte.

Clemson, (6-0, 3-0 in the ACC) has scored 253 points in the six games so far this year. However, the Tigers have shown a willingness to get off to slow starts in these games scoring only 38 points in the first quarter of those contests. Running back Travis Etienne leads the conference in rushing yards with 761 and has found the end zone eleven times. The Wolfpack’s front seven will be tested by Etienne and the Tigers offensive line.

Through the air is how North Carolina State (5-0, 2-0) moves the football. Quarterback Ryan Finley leads the league with 324 yards passing per game. That ranks him sixth in the nation in passing yards, and eighth in total offense. Getting pressure on Finley will be huge for the Tigers defense.

There is a new member of the 200 reception club. His name is T.J.  Rahming and he plays for the Duke Blue Devils. Rahming joined this club last Saturday in Duke’s win over Georgia Tech. He now has 202 for his career. Congrats to T.J. Rahming.

Virginia safety, Juan Thornhill, was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defense Player of the Week for games played through October 13. In last week’s upset win over then #16 Miami, Thornhill made six tackles and picked off two passes to help the Cavaliers to victory. It was Virginia’s first win over a ranked team since 2014 when they defeated Louisville.

The Boston College Eagles picked up a big win last Saturday vs Louisville. Three players played significant roles in the victory. Quarterback Anthony Brown earned QB of the Week honors for the second time this season. He went 16-22 for 179 yards. Brown also threw his conference-leading 14th touchdown in the win.

Giving Brown a chance to look downfield and make those throws earned Offense Lineman of the Week honors for Chris Lindstrom. It was also his second time winning the award. He not only helped the passing game but he also opened up big holes for a running game that produced two 100 yards rushers on the afternoon. David Bailey and Ben Glines were the recipients of Lindstrom’s good work.

On defense, Zack Allen was a “Beast” in this game. He recorded seven tackles, three for losses, and a sack last Saturday. Allen spearheaded a defensive unit that was on top of their game. They held the Cardinals to a season-low 217 yards of total offense and just 47 yards on the ground on 32 attempts. It was the fewest yards on the ground this year for Louisville. The Eagles defense finished the day with seven sacks, and 12 tackles-for-loss in the win.

Rookie of the Week is Chris Rumph II of Duke. In their win over the Yellow Jackets, Rumph II recorded four tackles including four for loss. He also registered a sack in the game and a late third quarter fumble recovery that led to the go-ahead touchdown by the Blue Devils. In the fourth quarter, Rumph II also collected two big tackles that resulted in changes of possession.  He matched Duke’s single-game record for TFL by a freshman. Not bad for a guy making his first career start for the Blue Devils.

Special teams player of the Week is Pittsburgh’s, Maurice FFrench. On the opening kickoff of the second half vs #5 Notre Dame FFrench returned it 99 yards for a score. It was the second time this season FFrench did this (the other time was against Albany). He is the first Panther player to have multiple kick returns for TD in a single-season. FFrench is tied for the national lead in kickoff returns for touchdowns and is second in the country with a 33.8 yards kickoff return average. This marks the second time this season that FFrench has been named specialist of the week.

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