There were some big games over the weekend that will help decide the race to
Jacksonville for the ACC Championship Game. Georgia Tech was all but eliminated
from contention after losing to Maryland, and the Hokies proved that they are
still very much in the hunt.
Boston College (6-0, 3-0)
Boston College improved to 6-0 on the season with a 55-24 victory over
Bowling Green on Saturday. The Eagles are still undefeated and are now ranked #4
in the country in the A.P. Poll and Coaches’ Poll. Assuming they defeat Notre
Dame in their next game, they will be undefeated when they head into Lane
Stadium later this month.
Matt Ryan threw for 312 yards and four touchdowns, and the defense
intercepted six passes, returning two of them for touchdowns. BC allowed 401
passing yards, but Bowling Green attempted 58 passes. In that way, it was
similar to Virginia Tech’s game with Clemson on Saturday night.
- Offensive MVP: Andre Callender. 15 carries, 74 yards, 1 touchdown. 5 catches,
84 yards, 2 touchdowns.
- Defensive MVP: Jamie Silva. 6 tackles, 3 interceptions, 1 touchdown.
Up Next: Notre Dame in South Bend
Clemson (4-2, 2-2)
Clemson was defeated at home 41-23 by Virginia Tech. The Tigers’ defense
played well, and quarterback Cullen Harper threw for 372 yards on a school
record 66 attempts, but their special teams melted down. They allowed a punt
return for a touchdown, a kickoff return for a touchdown, and a long punt return
that set up a field goal. A second punt return for a touchdown was called back
for a block in the back.
Clemson’s vaunted rushing game was shut down for the second week in a row.
James Davis and C.J. Spiller only combined for 12 yards on carries against
Virginia Tech. The good news for the Tigers is that they’ve now faced the
toughest ACC defenses that they’ll play this season.
- Offensive MVP: Aaron Kelly. 11 catches, 174 yards, 1 touchdown
- Defensive MVP: Tramaine Billie. 11 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 quarterback hurry
Up Next: Bye
Duke (1-5, 0-3)
Duke was close yet again, but ultimately fell at home to defending ACC
Champion Wake Forest 41-36. The Blue Devils actually outgained Wake Forest 386
to 336, but they couldn’t get it done on the scoreboard.
Duke quarterback Thad Lewis passed for 291 yards and four touchdowns.
Although he only completed 21-of-47 passes this time, he is quickly developing
into perhaps the most underrated quarterback in the ACC. The Blue Devils don’t
have much, but they do throw and catch the football very well, even against
solid competition. Lewis is averaging 248.5 yards per game, with 15 touchdowns
and seven interceptions.
- Offensive MVP: Eron Riley. 8 catches, 143 yards, 2 touchdowns
- Defensive MVP: Vincent Rey. 12 tackles, 2 TFL, 0.5 sacks
Up Next: Virginia Tech in Durham
Florida State (4-1, 1-1)
Florida State forced four NC State turnovers and coasted to a relatively easy
27-10 victory over the Wolfpack on Saturday. The Seminoles intercepted Daniel
Evans three times and returned one for a touchdown in the win.
FSU quarterback Xavier Lee is playing pretty well, and if he continues to
perform, he could make the Seminoles a force to be reckoned with in the second
half of the season. The running game isn’t there, but FSU is playing very good
defense, as usual.
The ‘Noles face a tough test this week. They must play at Wake Forest on
Thursday night. Many road teams don’t fare well on Thursday nights after playing
just five days earlier. The best examples of this are Clemson at Virginia Tech
in 2006, and Texas A&M at Miami earlier this season.
- Offensive MVP: Xavier Lee. 16-of-28, 257 yards, 1 touchdown. 11 carries, 14
yards, 1 touchdown
- Defensive MVP: Geno Hayes. 10 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks
Up Next: Wake Forest in Winston-Salem.
Georgia Tech (3-3, 1-3)
Georgia Tech’s dreams of winning the Coastal Division for the second year in
a row are basically shattered. Their 28-26 loss to Maryland on Saturday gives
them three ACC losses, and the Yellow Jackets just have to concentrate on
getting to a bowl game at this point.
Georgia Tech dominated the stat sheet against Maryland. They outgained the
Terps 484 to 343 and even scored a defensive touchdown, but they still couldn’t
come up with the win. Physically, they appeared to be the better team. However
that wasn’t enough to get the job done.
The Yellow Jackets still have to play Miami, Virginia Tech, UNC and Georgia
later this year.
- Offensive MVP: Taylor Bennett. 22-of-34, 309 yards, 1 touchdown
- Defensive MVP: Vance Walker. 4 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble
Up Next: Miami in Coral Gables
Maryland (4-2, 1-1)
As they did many times last year, Maryland was thoroughly dominated in the
box score, but managed to pull out a 28-26 win over Georgia Tech in College
Park. The Terps defense didn’t play well, allowing Tashard Choice to run for 135
yards, and the usually ineffective Taylor Bennett had a good game throwing the
ball. Still, Maryland somehow managed to win the game.
Maryland didn’t get consistency from their passing game, but they did get big
plays. Chris Turner was 10-of-17 for 255 yards and a touchdown. Lance Ball added
three touchdowns on the ground for Maryland.
- Offensive MVP: Lance Ball. 16 carries, 86 yards, 3 touchdowns
- Defensive MVP: Dave Philistin. 21 tackles
Up Next: Bye
Miami (4-2, 1-1)
Miami continued their run of poor play, this time losing to UNC and former
coach Butch Davis 33-27 in Chapel Hill. The Hurricanes trailed 27-0 at halftime,
though they eventually threatened to make a game of it. In the end, Kyle
Wright’s four interceptions played a big part in Miami’s loss.
Miami has a struggling offense right now. They can’t get the running game
going against good competition, and Kyle Wright has a 1 to 1
touchdown-to-interception ratio. Also, the Canes’ defense isn’t quite as good as
it normally is. Quarterbacks are averaging almost 200 yards per game against
Miami, and have a 141.25 efficiency rating.
- Offensive MVP: Graig Cooper. 13 carries, 77 yards
- Defensive MVP: Teraz McCray. 6 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 sacks
Up Next: Georgia Tech in Coral Gables
North Carolina (2-4, 1-2)
The Tar Heels recorded the first big win of the Butch Davis era, knocking off
visiting Miami 33-27 in Chapel Hill. UNC jumped out to a big 27-0 halftime lead
and then held on for the win. They racked up 401 yards of total offense against
Miami and picked off four passes.
T.J. Yates, UNC’s r-freshman quarterback, played very well. He was 15-of-23
for 218 yards. The Tar Heels’ running game is also coming around, with Anthony
Elzy running for 95 yards.
UNC has another big game coming up. They host South Carolina on Saturday.
Butch Davis vs. Steve Spurrier. It should be fun to watch.
- Offensive MVP: Brandon Tate. 2 carries, 64 yards, 1 touchdown. 3 catches, 54
- Defensive MVP: Durell Mapp. 8 tackles, 1 interception
Up Next: South Carolina in Chapel Hill
NC State (1-5, 0-3)
NC State continued to look like the worst team in the ACC, losing 27-10 to
Florida State in Tallahassee. Quarterback Daniel Evans threw three
interceptions, and although the Seminoles seemed to give them an opening, the
Wolfpack couldn’t take advantage.
NC State is dead last in the nation in turnover margin, and 114th out of 119
teams in pass efficiency. Defensively, they are 114th in rushing defense and
85th in total defense. It’s easy to see why they are as bad as they are.
The remainder of their games are against East Carolina, Virginia, Miami, UNC,
Wake Forest and Maryland. NC State may not win another game all season.
- Offensive MVP: Jamelle Eugene. 14 carries, 101 yards. 5 catches, 30 yards
- Defensive MVP: Martrel Brown. 4 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack
Up Next: Bye
Virginia (5-1, 3-0)
Nothing comes easy for Virginia on the road. Chris Gould kicked a 34 yard
field goal with eight seconds remaining to knock off Middle Tennessee State
23-21 on Saturday night. Picking up the win is important, but the Hoos didn’t
look good doing it.
The Cavaliers lost Cedric Peerman, who was the ACC’s leading rushing heading
into the game, to injury. Their top cornerback, Chris Cook, also went down with
an apparent knee injury. Their status isn’t known at this point, but they did
not return to the game.
The good news for UVA is that they are still in first place in the Coastal
Division, and they have plenty of winnable games left on their schedule.
- Offensive MVP: Andrew Pearman. 5 carries, 45 yards, 2 touchdowns. 5 catches,
- Defensive MVP: Chris Long. 5 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack
Up Next: UConn in Charlottesville
Virginia Tech (5-1, 2-0)
Virginia Tech left Death Valley with a critical ACC victory, knocking off the
Clemson Tigers 41-23 on Saturday night. The Hokies played Beamerball, scoring
two special teams touchdowns and a defensive touchdown, while shutting down
Clemson’s much-hyped ground game.
James Davis and C.J. Spiller were limited to 12 yards on 12 carries. Eddie
Royal returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown, and had another return to set up
a field goal. Macho Harris had a 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and
D.J. Parker got the ball rolling with a 32 yard interception return for a
If Virginia Tech defeats Duke this week, and BC knocks off Notre Dame, we’ll
have a matchup of two teams ranked in the top 10 on October 25 in Blacksburg,
under the lights.
- Offensive MVP: Tyrod Taylor. 7-of-14, 65 yards, 1 touchdown. 15 carries for
- Defensive MVP: Xavier Adibi. 10 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 pass defended
Up Next: Duke in Durham
Wake Forest (3-2, 2-1)
Wake Forest knocked off Duke 41-36 in Durham last Saturday. The Demon Deacons
didn’t play their best football, but it was enough to get the job done. Riley
Skinner was back to being efficient, and Wake has one of the most underrated
players in the conference in wide receiver Kenneth Moore.
Moore caught 11 passes for 100 yards against Duke. He also had four carries
for 84 yards and two touchdowns. He is Wake Forest’s most dangerous player on
offense. With Skinner starting to come around, the Demon Deacons could be a
dangerous team down the stretch.
They have a huge game at home on Thursday night against Florida State.
- Offensive MVP: Kenneth Moore. 11 catches for 100 yards. 4 carries, 84 yards,
- Defensive MVP: Alphonso Smith. 3 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT for a
touchdown, 1 forced fumble, 1 quarterback hurry
Up Next: Florida State in Winston-Salem