As we reach the Columbus holiday weekend, the good news in the Atlantic Coast Conference is league games are aplenty. The non-conference portion of the schedules are, for the most part, over. It is now all about how you do in this conference week to week and where that gets you come the end of November. Four of this week’s fives games are league matchups. This will be the first weekend where some teams in the league have this Saturday off. This will also be the first time that all games will be played on Saturday. With that said, let’s take a look at what went on last weekend in the ACC.
The two ACC teams that are ranked this week in the AP-Top 25 poll, had quite the battles on their hands last weekend. #19 Wake Forest (5-0, 3-0) had its hands full with Louisville (3-2, 1-1). The 37-34 win by the Demon Deacons was their fifth win in a row. QB Sam Hartman went 23-of-40 for 324 yards and two TDs. He also rushed for 35 yards and another score. The 300-yard day was his first of the season and the seventh of his career. Going back to last year, Hartman has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in nine straight games. He is now tied for fifth all-time in Wake Forest history with 44 career TD passes. Wake is now second in the league in scoring averaging 38.4 points per game. Their defense, which has been good so far, struggled somewhat with the Cardinals. Louisville set season-highs in total yards with 540, passing yards with 332, and rushing yards at 208. Quarterback Malik Cunningham had a productive day throwing for 309 yards and two scores while rushing for 46 yards and two more touchdowns. Heading into their road contest with Syracuse (3-2, 0-1) the defense has allowed 18.2 points a game.
North Carolina State (4-1, 1-0) has this weekend off after running their home winning streak to seven with a 34-27 non-conference win over Louisiana Tech. This was the third straight win at home. The defense has been a calling card of this team so far as they ranked second in the league in total defense giving up 295.4 yards a game, and only nine touchdowns in five games. They are also the best rushing defense in the ACC allowing only 92 yards per contest. The Wolfpack also lead the league in yards punted with an averaged of 40.5 yards per punt. (1198 yards).
Florida State (1-4, 1-2) is coming off their first win of the season vs Syracuse. They will face the best quarterback in the league, and maybe the country in Sam Howell of North Carolina (3-2, 2-2). In the win over Duke last Saturday, Howell was 18-of-32 for 321 yards and three touchdowns. It was the fourth straight game of 300 yards passing for Howell. He has also thrown at least one TD pass in all thirty games for the Tar Heels which is the longest active streak in the country. For his career, Howell has passed for 13,000 yards. The Seminoles defense will have their hands full to be sure. They rank next to last in pass defense efficiency at 144.3. They are also dead last in scoring defense allowing 31.4 points per game. On the plus side, quarterback Jordan Travis passed for 131 yards and two scores while rushing for another 113 yards in the win over the Orange.
Miami running back Cam’Ron Harris ran for 100-plus yards for the second straight week in last Thursday night’s loss to Virginia. He also had his fifth-multi rushing touchdown performance. He is eighth in rushing averaging 76.60 yards and in rushing touchdowns with five after five games
That is all for this week. We will be back next week with more from the ACC.