Down to the wire we go in the ACC. For some, the final game of the regular season takes place this weekend. For others, one more week after this one will be needed. The two teams that may have a chance at the conference championship is starting to take shape. The date and time of the title game have been announced. As always, a busy past seven days in the league, so here is some of that action.
The date for the ACC championship game is now set. It will take place on December 12 at 4 PM. The site will once again be Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte North Carolina. The game will be nationally televised by ABC. The capacity for the title game has been set at ten thousand fans that are in accordance with the state guidelines. The total amount of fans is within the seven percent that the state of North Carolina will allow for outdoor events. You can visit the ACC website for more information on tickets and the guidelines in place.
Through the holiday weekend, the league has been able to play 74 of the 85 scheduled league games. That is 87.1 percent. As of this week, no conference has played more games than the ACC while several changes have taken place because of the ongoing health issues. The percentage of games played is very impressive when you factor in how difficult this fall has been for everyone. The league also leads all Power-5 conferences in wins vs teams with above .500 records. As of this week, the league has 18 such wins. The next closest league has 12. The league also boasts the nation’s two longest home winning streaks with Clemson at 28 and Notre Dame at 23. Miami is getting one started as well as they have won their last five home games.
The end of the regular season means post-season awards on a national scale. The ACC has three players that have made it to the semi-final of the Butkus Award. The award is giving out to the best linebacker in the country. The three players from this league are, North Carolina’s Chazz Surratti, the Fighting Irish’s Jeremiah Owusu- Koramoah, and Virginia’s Charles Snowden. The finalists for the award will be announced next week.
Two quarterbacks were named to awards this week. Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence returns to the #4 Tigers offense after missing the last five weeks because of health concerns and Irish QB Ian Book were both named to the Davey O’Brien Great 8 weekly list for their performances last weekend. Lawrence was also named to the Manning Award Star of the Week. The Clemson signal-caller looks like he did not miss a beat as he threw for 403 yards, two touchdowns, and zero picks on 26-37 passing in the 52-17 win over Pittsburgh. Those numbers earned Lawrence the Conference’s QB of the Week honor for the fourth time this season.
Book’s performance came on the road last Friday at North Carolina. In the win over the Tar Heels, Book was 23-33 for 279 yards in the second-ranked ND win over then #19 Tar Heels, 31-17. Book also threw for a score and ran the ball eight times for 48 yards. As the starting quarterback for the Fighting Irish, Book’s record is now 29-3 with two games left on the schedule, home to Syracuse and on the road at Wake Forest. Book has a very good chance to finish his Irish career with at least thirty wins. ND heads into Saturday’s home finale with the nation’s longest winning streak at 15.
North Carolina State wide receiver/kick returner Thayer Thomas was named to the Paul Hornung Award list for his outing vs Syracuse. Thomas had nine catches for 102 yards and three scores of 31, 15, and 9 yards. He also had a kick return of 44 yards which led to a Wolfpack score. Thomas had one punt return of four yards. As mentioned, some teams will be ending their season this weekend. Boston College (6-4, 5-4) will finish their season at Virginia. In the head-to-head meeting between the two, the Eagles are a perfect 6-0. Clemson (8-1, 7-1) ended their season on Saturday night vs Virginia Tech (4-5, 4-4). The Tigers have the edge in the series at 22-12-1 and Duke (2-6, 1-6) wraps up their season with a game at home vs #10 Miami (7-1,6-1). The Canes have won 13 of the 17 meetings.
Next week we finish the regular season and look forward to championship week in the Atlantic Coast Conference.