2007 Around the ACC: Week 12

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The ACC Atlantic Division has been decided. BC will represent that side of
the conference in Jacksonville, where they will face either Virginia or Virginia
Tech. Overall, seven ACC teams already have seven or more wins. Three other
teams will try to get bowl eligible this weekend.

Current Standings and Remaining Games

ATLANTIC DIVISION
School Conference Overall Remaining
Game
Boston College * 5-2 9-2
Miami
Clemson 5-3 8-3
@S. Carolina
Wake Forest 5-3 7-4
@Vandy
Florida State 4-4 7-4
@Florida
NC State 3-4 5-6
MD
Maryland 2-5 5-6
@NC State
COASTAL DIVISION
School Conference Overall Remaining
Game
Virginia Tech ** 6-1 9-2
@UVa
Virginia ** 6-1 9-2
VT
Georgia Tech 4-4 7-4
Georgia
North Carolina 2-5 3-8
Duke
Miami 2-5 5-6
@BC
Duke 0-7 1-10
@UNC
* Clinched division title
** Will play for division title


Boston College (9-2, 5-2)

Most people expected Boston College to continue their slide and lose to
Clemson on Saturday night, but Matt Ryan threw the game-winning touchdown pass
with 1:46 remaining to give the Eagles the 20-17 win. With the victory, BC has
clinched the Atlantic Division regardless of what happens in their final game
against Miami.

Clemson led for the entire game until Ryan hit Rich Gunnell for a 43 yard
touchdown with 1:46 left in the game. Ryan rolled right, then threw back across
his body for a deep touchdown to Gunnell. Clemson had a chance to win the game,
but Aaron Kelly dropped a potential game-winning touchdown catch inside the five
yard line, and a long field goal attempt to tie the game came up short.

  • Offensive MVP: Matt Ryan. 31-of-47, 315 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception
  • Defensive MVP: Mark Herzlich. 7 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack


Clemson (8-3, 5-3)

Yet again, Clemson found a way to lose. They were the hottest team in the
conference, playing at home against a team that had gotten thrashed two weeks in
a row, yet somehow they managed to lose to BC, 20-17, with the ACC Atlantic
Division on the line.

The Tigers controlled the game until the final minutes. BC went up by three
with 1:46 remaining, but Clemson still had a chance. Cullen Harper hit Aaron
Kelly with a perfectly thrown deep pass that would have at least put the ball
inside the BC 5. However, Kelly dropped it, and the Tigers dropped yet another
statement game.

Clemson must not let BC beat them twice. They will play in-state rival South
Carolina this weekend.

  • Offensive MVP: Tyler Grisham. 10 catches, 89 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Phillip Merling. 6 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks


Duke (1-10, 0-7)

Duke missed their best chance for another win by falling 28-7 to Notre Dame
in South Bend on Saturday. Only the Blue Devil defense could allow the Fighting
Irish offense, ranked last in NCAA Division 1-A, to gain 414 yards. Combine that
with the fact that the once-good Duke passing game has fallen flat on its face,
and you have the recipe for losing football games.

Duke has one more shot at a win this year, and that’s against North Carolina
on Saturday. Look for the Blue Devils to finish 1-11.

  • Offensive MVP: Justin Boyle. 8 carries, 45 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Michael Tauiliili. 12 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack


Florida State (7-4, 4-4)

FSU knocked off Maryland 24-16 on Saturday, giving the Noles their 31st
consecutive winning season. They have one game remaining against in-state rival
Florida, and then they’ll learn their bowl destination.

The Noles were desperate for healthy running backs, so they decided to move
their top receiver, Preston Parker, to tailback for Saturday’s game. It was a
huge success. Parker had 20 carries for 133 and a touchdown against the Terps,
giving FSU the offensive spark in the running game that they’ve been sorely
lacking.

  • Offensive MVP: Preston Parker. 20 carries, 133 yards, 1 touchdown. 1 catch
    for 21 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Patrick Robinson. 4 tackles, 1 interception, 1 pass defenses


Georgia Tech (7-4, 4-4)

Georgia Tech downed North Carolina 27-25 on a 27 yard Travis Bell field goal
with 16 seconds remaining in the game. The win propelled the Yellow Jackets to a
seven-win season, which has been par for the course during the Chan Gailey era.

Georgia Tech racked up 438 yards of total offense. It was a very balanced
performance, with 178 on the ground and 260 through the air. Tashard Choice and
Greg Smith had huge games for the Yellow Jackets, who are looking at a
middle-of-the-pack ACC bowl at this point.

The Jackets will play in-state rival Georgia this Saturday.

  • Offensive MVP: Greg Smith. 6 catches, 155 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Gary Guyton. 8 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks


Maryland (5-6, 2-5)

Maryland got knocked off 24-16 in Tallahassee by Florida State. The Terps
played pretty well, but in the end they didn’t have the horses on defense to
matchup up with a talented Seminole team.

Maryland generally relies on their running game, but the Terps were held to
just 92 yards as a team on Saturday. The general rule of football is that the
more physical team wins the game. FSU was the more physical team, out-rushing
Maryland 154-92. Maryland had some success through the air, but Chris Turner was
sacked five times by FSU.

The Terps need one more win to become bowl eligible. They’ll have their
chance on Saturday against NC State, who also must win to become bowl eligible.

  • Offensive MVP: Darrius Heyward-Bey. 5 catches, 82 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Moise Fokou. 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass
    defended


Miami (5-6, 2-5)

Miami continued their slide on Saturday, this time getting pummeled 44-14 by
Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The Canes just aren’t a very good football team
right now, and they’ll have to return to the road this weekend to take on
Atlantic Division Champion Boston College.

Miami was averaging 166 yards per game on the ground, but Virginia Tech held
them to -2 yards for the game. The Canes are a banged up football team right
now, and they are going to need an entire offseason to get healthy and regain
their confidence.

  • Offensive MVP: Kyle Wright. 21-of-36, 215 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 rushing
    touchdown, 1 interception
  • Defensive MVP: Colin McCarthy. 9 tackles, 3 TFL


North Carolina (3-8, 2-5)

UNC is similar to Virginia Tech’s 1992 squad. The Tar Heels have been in
every game they have played but two. Six of their losses have come by a combined
24 points. Their latest setback was a 27-25 loss at Georgia Tech on a field goal
in the closing seconds. The Heels have talent, but they haven’t learned how to
win.

T.J. Yates has proven himself to be a very talented quarterback, he just
needs experience and refinement. They have arguably the best wide receiver in
the ACC in Hakeem Nicks. The Tar Heels have a legit chance to be in a bowl game
next season.

As it stands, they have one game left. They play in-state rival Duke on
Saturday, and they should get their fourth win of the year.

  • Offensive MVP: Hakeem Nicks. 7 catches, 162 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Durell Mapp. 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery


NC State (5-6, 3-4)

NC State had their four game win streak snapped with a 38-18 loss at the
hands of Wake Forest on Saturday. The Wolfpack competed well, but turnovers
doomed them. Daniel Evans threw three interceptions, one of which was returned
for a touchdown.

NC State has proven this year that they are a capable team when they don’t
turn the ball over. They were -2 in turnover margin against Wake, and went on to
lose the game by 20.

The Wolfpack still has a chance for a bowl game. If they beat Maryland this
weekend, they’ll finish .500 overall and .500 in the ACC.

  • Offensive MVP: Darrell Blackman. 7 catches, 114 yards
  • Defensive MVP: DaJuan Morgan. 15 tackles, 1 forced fumble


Virginia (9-2, 6-1)

Bye


Virginia Tech (9-2, 6-1)

Virginia Tech crushed Miami 44-14 in Lane Stadium on Saturday. The Hokies
played well in all phases of the game. Tech held Miami to -2 rushing yards,
while Branden Ore looked the best that he has looked all season.

Overall, it was one of Virginia Tech’s most complete games of the season. The
Hokies moved the ball through the air and on the ground, the defense was up to
the task, and Jud Dunlevy hit three field goals, two of which were from 40 yards
or more. VT appears to be getting better and better each week.

The Hokies will take on UVA on Saturday. The winner will face Boston College
in the ACC Championship Game.

  • Offensive MVP: Branden Ore. 15 carries, 81 yards, 2 touchdowns. 3 catches, 21
    yards
  • Defensive MVP: Cam Martin. 11 tackles, 2 TFL, 1.5 sacks


Wake Forest (7-4, 5-3)

Riley Skinner threw two touchdown passes as Wake Forest knocked off NC State
38-18 in Winston-Salem on Saturday. The Demon Deacons are now assured of their
second straight bowl bid, their third of the Jim Grobe era.

The Wake Forest defense intercepted three passes, returning one for a
touchdown. They kept the Wolfpack at arms length as the offense gradually
increased the lead. Aaron Curry’s interception return in the fourth quarter
broke the game open.

The Demon Deacons have one game remaining, at dangerous Vanderbilt. The
Commodores need to win the game to become bowl eligible, so Wake will get their
best shot.

  • Offensive MVP: Riley Skinner. 20-of-29, 208 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Alphonso Smith. 7 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 passes defended
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