With just four weeks left in the ACC regular season, the races in both divisions are tight. In the Atlantic, Clemson leads Wake Forest by a game in the loss column. While in the Coastal, three teams are bunched together and are tied in the loss column. Virginia, 4-2 in league play, Pittsburgh at 3-2 and Virginia Tech is at 2-2. It may come down to the final weekend before we know who will be the two teams playing for the league championship in December.
North Carolina has played eight games decided by one possession, the most in the country. Miami has played seven games decided by eight points or fewer. Pittsburgh has played six, while Wake and Virginia Tech have both played five. Florida State has played in four. The combined record of the five teams that the Tar Heels have lost to is a combined 34-8.
Speaking of Florida State, it was a rough weekend all the way around. First, they get beat by Miami by a score of 27-10. Hurricane freshman quarterback Jaren Williams threw for a season-best 313 yards and two touchdowns, while the Miami defense recorded nine sacks in the game. Defensive end Gregory Rousseau got four of them himself. The nine sacks were the most ever allowed by a Seminoles team. On Sunday, head coach Willie Taggart was fired by the school. His record in rivalry games dropped to 0-5 with four of those losses coming by ten or more points. The Seminoles are in danger of not making the post-season for the second straight year at 4-5 overall.
For the second time in their last three games, the Boston College Eagles ran through an opponent. This time it was Syracuse and it was done on the road as the running back duo of A.J. Dillon (242 yards on 35 carries) and David Bailey (172 yards on 16 rushes). They combined for five touchdowns on the afternoon as the Eagles got to within a win of being bowl eligible with a 58-27 win at the Carrier Dome. Boston College set a school record with 691 yards of offense and they averaged 9.2 yards per rush. The previous mark was 656 versus Penn State back in 1982. The 58 points were the most in an ACC game since they scored 52 back in 2009 in a victory over N.C. State. BC’s record for yards gained on the ground is 518 against UMass back in 1973.
For the Orange, stopping the Eagles ground game proved to be too much for them as they would allow 496 yards, of which 336 came in the first half alone. The total amount given up by Syracuse broke the previous mark of 457 by West Virginia back in 2006.
A.J. Dillon needs 17 yards in his final three games to become just the eighth Atlantic Coast Conference player to have reached 4,000 career rushing yards. If he reaches the milestone, he will join Dalvin Cook and Lamar Jackson as the only players to reach this mark in three years.
Syracuse punter Sterling Hofrichter has been named one of ten finalists for the 2019 Senior Class Award in collegiate football. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA division one FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence, Community, Classroom, Character, Competition.
Next week, more from the ACC.