ACC
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They have been practicing and playing games since the first weekend in August. All that hard work and time spent has finally reached its end. The Atlantic Coast Conference along with the rest of college football has reached the final weekend of games. In the ACC, there is nothing left to play for. The conference championship game is set. There are nine schools that are bowl eligible and two more that could be by the weekend’s conclusion. The final weekend will see three league games and three non-league matchups. One game has been canceled, as Virginia vs Virginia Tech will not be played by mutual consent. Let’s take a look at the final six games of the regular season.

 

On Friday, there will be a conference game and a non-conference meeting. The conference matchup features N.C. State (7-4, 3-4) at North Carolina (9-2, 6-1). For the Tar Heels, this should be no more than a tune-up for the league championship game that will take place in two weeks. North Carolina is coming off a loss, so coach Mac Brown and his team would not like to take a two-game losing streak into that title game. A win on Friday by UNC will give them their ninth 10-win season and first since 2015. UNC was perfect on the road this year going 6-0 in league play for the first time since going 8-0 in 2015. The Wolfpack is also coming off a loss last weekend at home vs Louisville. Their placekicker Christopher Dunn made one FG last weekend to stay perfect on the season at 21-for-21. He now holds the league record for field goals at 90. Of Dunn’s 21 makes this year, 10 have been from 40 yards or longer.

 

The non-league game on Friday is Florida (6-5) vs Florida State (8-3) The Seminoles are looking to take back control of the rivalry. Florida has won the last three meetings after the Seminoles had won five straight and seven of eight. Florida State will be looking to finish with a nine-win season for the first time since 2016.  Florida State’s defense has been a big reason why this team is playing as well as they have. They are one of 13 defenses across the nation, and the only ACC team to hold their opponents to less than 300 yards of offense. FSU is allowing 293.4 yards a game which is 11th best in the country.

 

On Saturday, Clemson (10-1) hosts South Carolina (7-4). These two will meet for the 113th time on Saturday. For the most part, this game has been played in Columbia. When the game is contested in Death Valley, the Tigers have a 19-10-1 record. Clemson has won 10 games for a program record 12th straight year. Like UNC, they are looking ahead to the title game in Charlotte, NC in two weeks.

 

Georgia Tech (5-6) heads to Georgia (11-0) to meet the defending national champions. This will be the 116th meeting between these schools. This year the game will be played in Athens, GA. For the Bulldogs, an undefeated season is at stake, along with a spot in the college football playoffs. The Yellow Jackets are 2-0 vs ranked teams and 4-3 under interim head coach Brent Key. A win on Saturday by GT should go a long way toward Key becoming the full-time coach. 

 

Louisville (7-4) heads to Kentucky (6-5). The Cardinals had won five of six until the Wildcats reeled off the last three in a row. Louisville’s victory last week over N.C. State came about via a rushing game that was led by Jawhar Jordan who gained 105 yards and a touchdown in the win. It was his second career 100-yard game. QB Malik Cunningham is sixth overall in career offense in the league at 12,822 yards.

 

Wake Forest (7-4, 3-4) is at Duke (7-4, 4-3). Wake has won the last three games vs Duke. Demon Deacon QB Sam Hartman ranks second in the league with 104 career touchdown passes. He’s just three behind the all-time leader Tajh Boyd of Clemson who finished his career with 107. Duke’s WR Jordan Moore had a big game in last week’s loss to Pittsburgh. He caught 14 passes for 199 yards and the receiving yards are the highest this season in ACC action. It’s the ninth-best in Duke football history. The catches are the third-highest in Blue Devils’ history.

 

Pittsburgh (7-4, 4-3) is at Miami (5-6, 3-4). For the Hurricanes, this is a big game since this will be the final chance to become bowl eligible. Jacurri Brown has taken over as the Hurricane quarterback and has a chance to lead them to a bowl game. Pittsburgh’s running game has been a feature of their offense all season long. Running back Israel Abanikanda has recorded eight 100-yard games this year. On Saturday, he will be looking to tie Dion Lewis for most 100-yard games in a year (10). 

 

Boston College (3-8, 2-5) will host Syracuse (6-5, 3-4).  The Orange will be looking to crack the win column since mid-October. They have lost five in a row after being a nationally ranked-team. In last Saturday’s loss to Wake, RB Sean Tucker ran for 106 yards and two scores. He became the fourth running back in Syracuse history to run for 3,000 yards. In his first two ACC starts, BC freshman QB Emmett Morehead threw for over 300 yards in a loss to Duke and a win over N.C.State.

 

Hope you enjoy the regular season version of the ACC notes. We will look ahead to the championship game next week.

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