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ACC Football News & Notes

ACC Football

It would appear that with two weeks left in the regular season, we have a pretty good idea who could be playing in the ACC championship game on December 1.  The Clemson Tigers have punched their ticket by winning the Atlantic Division thanks to a 27-7 victory over Boston College last Saturday night.

The Pittsburgh Panthers can do the same thing in the Coastal with either a victory over Wake Forest on Saturday or by a loss from Virginia in their game against Georgia Tech.

We all know how good the Clemson Tigers have been in recent years. Here is just a sample of that success. Since Dabo Swinney became the head coach at the school, the Tigers have gone 25-18 vs AP Top 25 teams. They have won 16 of the last 18 meetings and their last four road game against the Top 25.

The Tiger’s program is also chasing 100 victories as well. If they can finish with twelve wins this season, they will reach the 100 win mark in a decade for the first time in program history. They will accomplish this with two years to spare.

With their victory over the Eagles last Saturday night, Clemson now has eight straight 10+plus win seasons. That mark ties them with the 1985-92 Miami Hurricanes and the 2004-11 Virginia Tech Hokies for the fourth-longest streak in FBS history.

Boston College return man extraordinaire, Michael Walker, returned his first punt for a touchdown (74 yards) in the loss to Clemson. This season, Walker is 10th in the nation with a 12.1 yards per punt return average. For the second straight year, Walker leads the nation in combined kick and punt return yards with 1,045.

College football, at the Power 5 level, is about wins and losses. That was made clear this past Sunday when Louisville announced, with two games left on their schedule, that head coach Bobby Petrino would not be on the sidelines for those games.  It has been a rough year for the Cardinal with a 0-7 conference record. No wins against other Power five schools and five losses where the defense has allowed at least 50 points.  That spelled doom for Petrino. This was his second stint as the head man going 36-26 this time, and 77-35 in his two tours of duty. He will not walk away completely empty-handed as the school still owes him $14 million dollars based on an extension signed in 2016.

Duke’s running back, Dean Jackson became just the third player in ACC history with 400 or more all-purpose yards in a single game. In Duke loss to Pittsburgh last weekend, Jackson ran for 182 yards, had 89 receiving yards, and 152 on kickoff returns.

Jackson’s QB, David Jones, had quite a day as well. In that same game, Jones totaled 547 yards of offense. He threw for 361, on 31-54 passing with three touchdowns and one interception. He also ran the ball 15 times for 186 yards and one score, a 61-yard touchdown run that was one of two 60+ runs on the day. The other went for 68. The totaled number of yards is the fifth highest in ACC history.

Not to be outdone, Pittsburgh’s running back Qadree Ollison ran for 235 yards and three touchdowns on just 16 carries. His touchdown runs were of eight, thirty-one, and one for 97. The last is a record setter and it’s the longest play from scrimmages in Panthers history, and longest in college football this season. Ollison now has over one thousand yards on the ground making him the sixth player in Pittsburgh history to have multiple thousand yard years.

The last two are from Clemson. First, Christian Williams is the Defensive lineman of the week. In the win at BC, Williams posted five tackles, one for a loss. Part of a defensive unit that held the Eagles very good running game to nine yards on thirty-three carries on the night.

And for the fourth straight week, QB Trevor Lawrence is the Rookie of the week. He set career highs in completions with 29, and in attempts with 40. Lawrence threw for 295 yards and his league-leading 19th touchdown pass in just his sixth start of the season.

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