Hard to believe, but we have reached the final month of the regular season. The two spots in the season-ending conference championship game are still up for grabs. Everyone is in action this weekend with some interesting games on tap. The mad scramble is on for the trip to Charlotte, NC the first Saturday in December, and a chance to play for the ACC Championship. Let’s see what is in store for this weekend.
It will begin on Friday night as the Duke Blue Devils (5-3, 2-2) go on the road to Chestnut Hill to take on a struggling Boston College (2-6, 1-4) team. Last weekend in non-conference play at Connecticut, the Eagles once again had issues on offense. They committed five turnovers on the day, and could only manage a field goal in a 13-3 loss to the Huskies. With a win on Friday night, the Blue Devils would become bowl eligible for the first time since 2018. This has been a tight series with the Eagles holding a 5-3 advantage. The outcome in five of the six games beginning five points or less. Duke is the team BC head coach Jeff Haffey made his ACC debut against in 2020, a game the Eagles were winners. The Blue Devils like to pound the football as they are second in the league and 21st in the country in rushing yards per game.
Winners of four in a row and leading the Coastal Division by two games, the North Carolina Tar Heels (7-1, 4-0) head to Virginia (3-5, 1-4). This will be the 127th meeting between the two, with Virginia holding a 36-31-1 advantage in league play. This is a classic game featuring a very good offense in UNC which is averaging 41.8 points per game, an ACC best. The Cavaliers have a good defense holding their opponents to 21.5 points per game. That defense will have to contend with Tar Heel QB Derek Maye who once again was named Quarterback of the Week. It is the fourth time this season that he has won the award. Carolina is one of five conference teams that have already secured a bowl appearance.
Georgia Tech (3-5, 2-3) is at Virginia Tech (2-6, 1-4). Both teams will be trying to stop losing streaks. The Yellow Jackets have lost two in a row, while the Hokies have lost five in a row. This series has been dominated by the home team with With GT having won the last three at Lane Stadium. The Hokies have won the last two games overall and are 4-4 at home vs Georgia Tech. Last Thursday night, VT wide receiver Kaleb Smith put together his second 100-yard game of the year. His three receptions for 141 yards included an 85-yard touchdown vs NC State. It was his career-long, and the longest play from scrimmage this year.
Clemson (8-0) is heading to Notre Dame (5-3) for the third time on Saturday night. This is the first game since the 2020 covid-season. In that season the two teams split a pair of games. ND won at home during the regular season, and Clemson won in Charlotte to claim the league title, as the Irish were allowed to play for the championship that year. As this weekend game approaches, the Tigers are in good shape to be part of another college football playoff. The Tigers are at #2.
The game of the week could be #22 Wake Forest (6-2, 2-2) at #21 North Carolina State (6-2, 2-2). Wake has won four of the last five meetings. This will be just the third time that this game will be played with both teams ranked. The Demon Deacons are second in the league and 13th in the country averaging 38.9 points per contest. Backup QB MJ Morris came off the bench and led his team to a comeback 22-21 win over Virginia Tech. Morris was 20-of-29 for 265 yards and three touchdowns.
#20 Syracuse (6-2, 3-1), losers of two in a row, are at Pittsburgh (4-4, 1-3). The Panthers have won the last four meetings with Syracuse and eight of nine in the league. Syracuse LB Milkei Jones recorded 15 tackles in last week’s home loss to the Fighting Irish. The 15 tackles are the most by any player in a single game in the ACC this season. Pittsburgh’s running game is rock solid behind Israel Abanikanda who is fifth in the country averaging 135.8 yards a game. He has run for 100-yards in six of Pittsburgh’s eight games.
Florida State (5-3, 3-3) can become a bowl team for the first time since 2019 with a win on the road at Miami (4-4, 2-2). The Seminoles’ offense is starting to kick it up a notch leading the league in yards per rush at 5.65, yards per completions at 14.05, rushing offense at 209.6, and fewest sacks allowed at 10. Miami PlaceKicker Andres Borregales was named Specialist of the Week after making four field goals in last week’s four-overtime win over Virginia 14-12. The field goals were all made as time expired, in the first half, second half, first overtime, and second overtime.
Louisville (5-3) plays host to James Madison (5-2). For James Madison, this is their first game vs an FBS school this year. The Cardinals are looking for their first four-game winning streak since 2018. JMU is hoping to stop a two-game losing streak after winning their first five games of the season. The Cardinals come into this game after having beaten an AP Top-10 team for the first time since 2016.
That’s all for this week. We will be back next week with more from the ACC.
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