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We are halfway through the month and for some teams, a break is in the schedule. However, that does not mean this will be a weak Saturday of conference football in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Yes, only four games and six schools have the weekend off. But one big league matchup highlights this week’s action. #15 North Carolina State makes a trip to the upstate New York area to take on #18 Syracuse. While #4 Clemson makes it back-to-back weekends on the road as the Tigers head to Florida State. Here is some of what is happening in the ACC.

 

While it may not match its ACC basketball counterparts for attention, North Carolina (5-1, 2-0) heads to Duke (4-2, 1-1) for an important game on Saturday. Bowl teams have a really good shot at becoming bowl eligible. The Tar Heels are looking for their four straight wins in this series. Head coach Mack Brown of the Tar heels owns 11 straight wins over Duke. He is 11-2 overall against the Blue Devils. This game is known as “The Victory Bell.” The Tar Heels offense has been productive so far averaging 42.3 points per game. That leads the league and is eighth in the country. UNC has won the last three in a row on the road since 2016. They will be looking to make it four in a row to match what the 2016 team did when they won four straight on the road. For the third week in a row, QB Derrick Maye was named Conference Rookie of the Week. It is the fourth time overall. Blue Devils QB Riley Lenoard accounted for three touchdowns and was 18-24, as Duke defeated Virginia last week for the first time since 2014. With a win, UNC becomes bowl eligible

 

Miami (2-3, 0-1) is on the road at Virginia Tech (2-4, 1-2). This will be the 31st straight game between these two. The Hurricanes have won three straight and four of their last five. The two teams have split 18 conference meetings since 2004. Hurricane QB Taylor Van Dyke was named Quarterback of the Week, after completing 42-57 for 486 yards in the win over North Carolina. Virginia Tech WR Kaleb Smith notched career highs in both catches with nine, and in yards with 152 in the loss to Pittsburgh, He is the first Hokie wide receiver in ten games to have a 100-yard receiving day.

 

#4 Clemson (6-0, 4-0) is back on the road at Florida State (4-2, 2-2). The Tigers will take with them the longest active winning streak at 12. They also ranked second in the country in rushing defense allowing just 63.7 yards a game. They will get tested by Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis who ran for 108 yards last week. Travis already holds the school record for rushing touchdowns. Florida State is 17-12 vs Clemson and 12-6 at home. This ends a two-game road swing by Clemson. It is the first of two straight at home for FSU.

 

The marquee matchup of the week is #15 North Carolina State (5-1,1-1) and #18 Syracuse (5-0, 2-0). The Wolfpack are looking for their eighth win in the last 10 games. Overall, they have won 13 of 15. State is 6-1 at Syracuse. Orange QB Garrett Sirader was a perfect 17-17 vs Wagner. He completed passes to eight different receivers, the second straight game this has taken place. The Wolfpack ranked second in the league and 15th in the nation allowing 15.7 points per game. They are also second in the league and 17th in the nation allowing 297.8 yards per game. This may be the best defense Syracuse has seen all year to this point. The Orange defense is the best in the league in both total defense (176.6 yards per game) and in scoring defense at 14 a game. They are second in rushing defense at 95 yards a game and in passing defense at 176.6 a game. The same can be said for the NC State offense.

 

Everyone else is off this week but will be back in action next weekend. That’s all for this week in the ACC. Next week we will be back with more from the ACC.

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