This was an interesting weekend, to be sure, in the ACC with games being rescheduled and in one case canceled. These are the times we are in based on health issues that for now, do not seem interested in going away. The conference is doing everything it can to allow the teams to play their full schedule. Or at the very least, play as many as they can. Here is the latest on some of the games that have been moved.
The Louisville vs Boston College game, which had been moved to December 12, will be played this Saturday at 4 PM. The Wake Forest at Louisville game will take place on Saturday, December 19. It was slated to be played on November 28. The Wake Forest at Duke game, scheduled for last Saturday was canceled and there will be no makeup date for that game. The Clemson at Florida State game was postponed and that game is expected to be rescheduled. These changes came about because of positive cases at Wake. It is hoped that Wake Forest can finish their season, however, if they can not, then the league will allow another non-conference game if needed.
The conference has four teams ranked in the Top 25 of the AP poll heading into the holiday weekend. Notre Dame is at # 2, Clemson still at # 4, Miami is at # 10, and North Carolina is at # 25. This will be the fifth time this season that the league will have three teams in the top-10 of the poll. In the Amway Coaches Poll, the same four teams are ranked just as they are in the A.P. poll. Two more teams are getting some attention in Boston College and North Carolina State.
The big matchup of the weekend will take place on Friday as the Fighting Irish (8-0, 7-0) will play their final road game of the season at North Carolina (6-2, 6-2). This is the seventh league game that will feature two teams that are ranked with the Irish at #2 and the Tar Heels at # 25. This will tie a mark for the second-most games between ranked ACC teams in league history, and the most since 2006 when there was seven. The only year with more was 1992 when the conference had nine. It will be the twenty match up between the two schools. This will be just the second time that both programs will be ranked. The last time took place back in 1950 when #1 ND won 14-7 over then # 20 UNC in South Bend. This game will feature two very good QB’s in Ian Book of ND and Sam Howell of North Carolina. The Irish will enter this game with the nation’s longest winning streak at 14.
The ACC continues to lead all Power 5 conferences on both sides of the ball. On offense, the league leads in points per game (31.0) and in total offense (417.5) On the defensive side, they lead in sacks per game (2.82) and in tackles for losses per game (7.2). The Tar Heels are fourth in the country and number one in the ACC with 563.4 total yards of offense per game. The league record for most yards per game is held by Florida State who in 1995 averaged 551.5 yards.
Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett had himself quite a day last Saturday. In the 47-14 win over Virginia, Pickett was 35-of- 52 for 404 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for one as well. His performance earned him a spot on Davey O’Brien Great 8 weekly list. He was also named ACC Quarterback of the Week for the first time this season. The ACC Running Back of the Week is Zonovan Knight of North Carolina State. In the hard-fought win over then # 21 Liberty, Knight ran 14 times for 96 yards and two scores including the go-ahead four-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. He also caught two balls for 34 yards and returned two kickoffs. His outing was also worthy of being named to the Paul Hornung Award weekly honor roll.
The Tar Heels are well known for being able to throw the ball around the field this season. However, they also have a strong running game. The running back pair of Javonte Williams (868 yards) and Michael Carter (807) are on pace to gain 1,000 yards for the season. The last time a pair of running backs from the same backfield rushed for one thousand yards was from Pittsburgh in 2018. Qadree Ollison (1,213) and Darrin Hall (1,144).
We hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving weekend and we will be back next week with more from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
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