After another week of ACC action, the picture is starting to clear up. Four
teams are still in contention for the ACC Championship. Boston College and
Clemson are still alive in the Atlantic Division, and they’ll face each other
this weekend. Virginia Tech and Virginia will play in two weeks for the Coastal
Division crown. Basically, we’ll have a 4-team playoff for the ACC Championship,
with two semifinal games and then the ACC Championship Game in Jacksonville.
Current Standings and Remaining Games
@S. Carolina (11/24)
NC State (11/17)
@NC State (11/24)
@Notre Dame (11/17)
Boston College (8-2, 4-2)
Boston College lost for the second time in a row on Saturday night, falling
to 42-35 in College Park . The Eagles had to rally to make the score that close.
It was 42-21 at one point. BC has played approximately four minutes of good
football in their last three games: the last four minutes against Virginia Tech.
Matt Ryan’s arm may fall off if he throws anymore passes. For the third
consecutive game, the former Heisman Trophy candidate attempted over 50 passes.
BC is definitely going away from the running game. Senior tailbacks Andre
Callender and L.V. Whitworth combined for just 14 carries against Maryland .
BC’s pass defense is falling apart. After being abused by Drew Weatherford
and Florida State , they allowed 337 yards and three touchdowns to Maryland ‘s
BC can still win the Atlantic Division if they beat Clemson this Saturday.
- Offensive MVP: Ryan Purvis. 10 catches, 102 yards, 2 touchdowns
- Defensive MVP: Alex Albright. 6 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks
Clemson (8-2, 5-2)
Clemson eliminated Wake Forest from contention in the Atlantic Division with
a 44-10 whipping in Death Valley on Saturday. The Tigers got another huge game
from quarterback Cullen Harper, who needs to get at least some consideration for
First Team All-ACC honors ahead of Matt Ryan. He has certainly been playing
better as of late.
All Harper has done this year is complete 66.5% of his passes for 2,432
yards. He has thrown 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions. If he beats Ryan
head-to-head this Saturday, he’ll have my vote for the top signal caller in the
ACC. Well, if I had a vote, he’d have it.
Clemson’s defense is doing its part as well. They allow just 282.7 yards per
game. That’s first in the ACC and fifth nationally. If the Tigers beat Boston
College on Saturday, they’ll head to Jacksonville for the ACC Championship Game.
- Offensive MVP: Cullen Harper. 27-of-35, 266 yards, 3 touchdowns
- Defensive MVP: Phillip Merling. 7 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks
Duke (1-9, 0-7)
Duke gave a good effort at Georgia Tech on Saturday but ultimately fell
41-24. The Blue Devils trailed by just 10 points late in the game, but the
Yellow Jackets added a touchdown late to push up the margin of victory.
There’s not much you can say about Duke at this point. Their defensive front
seven, which is generally solid, is shredded by injury. Their secondary lacks
talent at every position. Their offense is bogging down.
The Blue Devils play at Notre Dame on Saturday. It actually has the potential
to be a great game.
- Offensive MVP: Re’Quan Boyette. 13 carries, 51 yards, 1 touchdown
- Defensive MVP: Michael Tauiliili. 13 tackles, 1 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 1
Florida State (6-4, 3-4)
Florida State couldn’t beat ranked teams on the road for two consecutive
weeks. After beating BC on November 3, FSU lost to Virginia Tech 40-21 in
Blacksburg . Seminole quarterback Drew Weatherford was knocked out of the game,
and the Hokies outscored FSU 20-0 in the fourth quarter to get the victory. It
was Bobby Bowden’s first loss to Virginia Tech.
Florida State ‘s defense has never been that effective against mobile
quarterbacks, and that was on display Saturday. Tyrod Taylor threw for 204 yards
and two touchdowns, while running for 92 yards and another score.
Overall, the Seminoles were beaten offensively and defensively by the Hokies.
They’ll take on Maryland at home in their next game. A win would guarantee a
middle-of-the road ACC bowl game.
- Offensive MVP: De’Cody Fagg. 4 catches, 63 yards, 1 touchdown
- Defensive MVP: Dekoda Watson. 6 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT returned
for a TD
Georgia Tech (6-4, 3-4)
The Yellow Jackets got themselves bowl eligible with a 41-24 win over Duke in
Atlanta on Saturday. Tashard Choice returned to action after missing the
Virginia Tech game with a knee injury. He ran for 170 yards and two scores
against Duke to lead a rushing attack that totaled 259 yards on the ground.
The Georgia Tech defense limited Duke to just 146 yards of total offense.
They sacked Duke quarterback Thad Lewis eight times.
The Yellow Jackets are now trying to play their way into a better bowl. They
aren’t likely to beat Georgia in the season finale, but if they knock off UNC
this weekend, they should avoid a Boise postseason.
- Offensive MVP: Tashard Choice. 24 carries, 170 yards, 2 touchdowns
- Defensive MVP: Adamm Oliver. 6 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks
Maryland (5-5, 2-4)
Everybody thought Maryland was done, but they knocked off Boston College
42-35 on Senior Day in College Park Saturday night. The Terp offense racked up
472 yards of total offense, including 337 yards through the air from Chris
Maryland led this game 42-21, but two late touchdown passes from Matt Ryan
made the score closer than the game actually was. The Maryland defense
intercepted Ryan twice. Ryan has thrown seven interceptions over the last three
Although Maryland still has a tough schedule remaining (at Florida State and
at NC State), one more win would make them bowl eligible.
- Offensive MVP: Chris Turner. 21-of-27, 337 yards, 3 touchdowns
- Defensive MVP: Erin Henderson. 13 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack
Miami (5-5, 2-4)
Playing their last game ever in the Orange Bowl in front of 62,000 fans and
dozens of famous alums, the Miami Hurricanes embarrassed themselves on Saturday
night. The Canes were spanked 48-0 by Virginia in what was supposed to be a
memorable last game in their famous stadium.
Quarterback Kyle Wright was terrible, throwing three interceptions and
passing for just 94 yards. Over the last three games, Miami quarterbacks have
combined for nine interceptions and just two touchdown passes. Ouch.
The Hurricanes have lost four of their last five games. Their only win was an
arguably fluke victory at Florida State in which Xavier Lee tossed them the
game. Miami is playing their worst football in years. Their last two games are
on the road against Virginia Tech and Boston College . They have to win one of
them to become bowl eligible.
- Offensive MVP: Graig Cooper. 8 carries, 42 yards
- Defensive MVP: Calais Campbell . 9 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack
North Carolina (3-7, 2-4)
UNC’s slim bowl hopes were eliminated with a 31-27 loss to NC State in
Raleigh on Saturday. The Tar Heels played a good game, but allowed the game
winning touchdown with 1:41 remaining, and couldn’t get a rally from their
offense on their final drive.
T.J. Yates put up 242 yards passing but struggled with turnovers, as usual.
The r-freshman threw two interceptions. He’s talented, but he’s not quite there
as a quarterback as of yet. UNC abandoned the run on Saturday. Tailbacks Anthony
Elzy and Johnny White combined for just 12 carries, despite the fact that they
were facing an NC State team that is 86th nationally against the run.
UNC now has to focus on trying to win out and end the season on a good note.
- Offensive MVP: Hakeem Nicks. 5 catches, 56 yards
- Defensive MVP: Durell Mapp. 23 tackles (not a typo), 1 TFL, 1 sack
NC State (5-5, 3-3)
NC State was 1-5 as late as October 19, with no wins over a 1-A opponent.
Since then the Wolfpack have run off four straight victories. Their latest was a
31-27 win over in-state rival UNC at home. With two games remaining, one more
win would get NC State bowl eligible.
NC State’s top two running backs, Toney Baker and Andre Brown, are out with
injuries. However, that didn’t stop third stringer Jamelle Euguene from having a
big game on Saturday. The sophomore ran for 159 yards on 32 carries and scored
three touchdowns. His touchdown with 1:41 remaining in the game propelled NC
State to the win.
NC State is at Wake Forest this Saturday, and then home against Maryland in
the season finale. They should be able to pull out at least one more win to get
themselves bowl eligible. It has been a remarkable turnaround for Tom O’Brien
and his team.
- Offensive MVP: Jamelle Euguene. 32 carries, 159 yards, 3 touchdowns. 6
catches, 33 yards
- Defensive MVP: DeMario Pressley. 5 tackles, 1 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 1
Virginia (9-2, 6-1)
The surprising Virginia Cavaliers set an NCAA record earlier this season with
five victories by two points or less. They didn’t need any drama on Saturday
night, drubbing the hapless Miami Hurricanes 48-0 in the Orange Bowl.
Virginia dominated this game in all phases. They scored a touchdown after
blocking a punt, they converted interceptions into points, and they returned a
fumble for a touchdown. Jameel Sewell, who has steadily improved as the season
has progressed, hurt Miami with his arm and his legs.
Virginia has the week off and will face Virginia Tech in the last game of the
season. The game will decide the ACC Coastal Division.
- Offensive MVP: Jameel Sewell. 20-of-25, 288 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 INT. 8
carries, 28 yards, 1 TD
- Defensive MVP: Everybody. The entire defense was dominant.
Virginia Tech (8-2, 5-1)
Virginia Tech defeated Florida State for the first time since 1975, and Frank
Beamer got his first win over Bobby Bowden. The Hokies knocked off FSU 40-21 in
Lane Stadium on Saturday, outscoring the Noles 20-0 in the fourth quarter to
secure the win.
True freshman quarterback Tyrod Taylor was the star of the game. He dominated
FSU through the air and on the ground, finishing with 296 yards of total
offense. His favorite target was Justin Harper, who had 166 receiving yards and
Tech’s defense beat FSU up front and knocked quarterback Drew Weatherford out
of the game. They forced a fumble and intercepted two passes, all in the fourth
quarter. After holding the Noles to 267 yards of total offense, Tech’s defense
is ranked #8 nationally in total defense.
- Offensive MVP: Tyrod Taylor. 10-of-15, 204 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 INT. 17
carries, 92 yards, 1 TD
- Defensive MVP: Chris Ellis. 5 tackles, 1 interception return for a TD, 7
Wake Forest (6-4, 4-3)
Wake Forest was eliminated from ACC Championship contention after their 44-10
loss to Clemson on Saturday. The Demon Deacons were simply dominated by a more
talented team that is on a roll. Clemson is a talented team that has not lost
since their defeat at the hands of Virginia Tech, and they took it out on Wake
over the weekend.
The Demon Deacons couldn’t get anything going on the ground, averaging just
2.2 yards per rush. Meanwhile Clemson racked up 411 yards of total offense,
including 266 through the air from Cullen Harper.
Wake is already bowl eligible, but they would like to defeat NC State this
week to improve their ACC standings.
- Offensive MVP: Kenneth Moore. 5 catches, 62 yards
- Defensive MVP: Matt Robinson. 3 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack