Around The ACC Week Eight Recap


No. 5 Clemson 58
Miami 0

It was a thorough whoopin’ even before halftime and Clemson’s dominance was near perfect. The Tigers racked up 567 total yards while holding the Canes to just 146. 416 of the Tigers’ (7-0, 4-0) yards came on the ground led by 118 yards from Wayne Gallman and 98 from DeShaun Watson. Watson was extremely efficient passing completing 15-of-19 for 143 yards and a touchdown. Dabo Swinney wasn’t totally pleased with a 42-0 halftime lead and kept his team out on the field briefly to lament the importance of winning with class and avoiding unsportsmanlike penalties.

For Miami (4-3, 1-2), this was rock bottom. The few fans at Sun Life Stadium were restless to the point of fighting each other, and the loss was so bad that head coach Al Golden was out of a job just 24 hours later. Brad Kaaya was knocked out of the game early with an apparent concussion, and backup Malik Rosier was forced into the mix. Rosier managed to complete just 7-of-22 passes for 42 yards and two interceptions. It was the worst loss in the 90-year history of the Miami program and wholly representative of the current state of Hurricane football.

Up next for Clemson: @ NC State

Up next for Miami: @ Duke


#25 Pittsburgh 23
Syracuse 20

Pittsburgh repeated the same recipe for success that has them ranked this season, getting a 25-yard Chris Blewitt field goal as time expired to sneak out of the Carrier Dome with a win. The Panthers (6-1, 4-0) got another big performance from running back Qadree Ollison. He scored two touchdowns and gained 103 yards on 23 carries, including 26 yards on seven carries to set up the game-winning kick. That drive was prolonged by a beautifully executed fake punt at midfield.

Syracuse (3-4, 1-2) had some positive moments on offense including a standout showing from receiver Steve Ishmael who hauled in seven catches for 114 yards and a score. Quarterback Eric Dungey completed 21-of-30 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns, but also tossed two interceptions in the loss. The chances for the Orange to qualify for a bowl game now appear grim with match ups against Florida State, Louisville and Clemson in the next three.

Up next for Pittsburgh: North Carolina

Up next for Syracuse: @ Florida State


NC State 35
Wake Forest 17

The Wolfpack (5-2, 1-2) blew the game open with a 28-0 first quarter that included two long Matt Dayes touchdown runs. Dayes finished the day with 205 yards on just 16 carries to lead the offensive effort. Jacoby Brissett passed for 227 yards including a 59-yard touchdown completion to Maurice Trowell to open the scoring. One area where the Wolfpack struggled was on third down as they converted on just 4-of-13 attempts in an otherwise sterling effort. It marks the first Wolfpack win in Winston-Salem since 2001.

Wake was really ineffective all afternoon punting nine times and managing only 271 total yards, most of which came from quarterback Kendall Hinton. Hinton passed for 107 yards and ran for another 75 with tow scores including a 69-yard touchdown scamper in the second quarter. The Demon Deacons (3-5, 1-4) were even worse then State on third down, converting on just 4-of-16 tries.

Up next for NC State: Clemson

Up next for Wake Forest: Louisville


Boston College 14
Louisville 17

The BC offense continues to be an ongoing disaster that routinely squanders dominant defensive performances. The Eagles (3-5, 0-5) gained just 79 total yards against the Cardinals on 52 plays, and they were forced once again to play two quarterbacks, with neither Jeff Smith of Troy Flutie providing much help. The Eagle defense recorded seven sacks, forced four turnovers, and held Louisville (3-4, 2-2) scoreless in the second half. BC blocked a punt and returned it for one score and recovered another fumble to set up an 8-yard Jeff Smith touchdown run.

The Cardinals recorded eight sacks on the day and held BC to minus-14 yards rushing. Sheldon Rankins also scored on a 49-yard fumble return. Lamar Jackson didn’t have a great day, tossing two interceptions and his running was kept in check, though he did score on a short touchdown run. Interestingly, Quarterback/wide receiver Reggie Bonnafon led the Cardinals in rushing with 56 yards on ten carries.

Up next for Boston College: Virginia Tech

Up next for Louisville: @ Wake Forest


Virginia 13
North Carolina 26

The ‘Hoos gave Carolina all it could handle in the first half, but the strong running of Elijah Hood helped the Tar Heels pull away in the second half. Hood finished with 101 yards and two touchdowns and Marquise Williams rushed for 71 yards and passed for 226 more to help the Heels (6-1, 3-0) win their sixth consecutive contest. It wasn’t a disciplined performance however as UNC was penalized 13 times for 135 yards.

UVA (2-5, 1-2) finally got a strong performance from the ground game led by Taquan Mizzell’s 117 rushing yards and 57 receiving yards. Daniel Hamm added 70 yards on seven carries, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the worst performance of the season from quarterback Matt Johns. Johns completed just 17-of-30 attempts for 148 yards with four interceptions. The Cavaliers were also sloppy and were penalized 10 times for 62 yards.

Up next for Virginia: Georgia Tech

Up next for North Carolina: @ Pittsburgh


#23 Duke 45
Virginia Tech 43

That was the deciding play in the game’s fourth overtime above, a missed tackle by Andrew Motuapuaka as Duke QB Thomas Sirk converts on a two-point try. Sirk bedeviled the Hokies all afternoon, throwing for four touchdowns and rushing for 109 yards. The Blue Devils (6-1, 4-0) ran 100 total plays and possessed the ball for just under 37 total minutes. Max McCaffrey caught six passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns. It was a strong performance as the Blue Devils continue to keep pace with Pitt for first place in the Coastal division race.

Michael Brewer’s first start for the Hokies (3-5, 1-3) since the season-opener went well enough as he threw three touchdown passes, but he was forced to absorb some big hits as the offensive line allowed him to be pressured early and often. Travon McMillian continues to impress since being named the starter, carrying the ball 29 times for 142 yards and two touchdowns. He also converted on a two-point try. Tech had some head-scratching decisions including a 67-yard field goal attempt at the end of regulation and a very early two-point try that failed in the third quarter. The Hokies are in serious danger of missing a bowl for the first time in 22 seasons.

Up next for Duke: Miami

Up next for Virginia Tech: @ Boston College


#9 Florida State 16
Georgia Tech 22

This was one of the greatest finishes not only in ACC history, but in college football as a whole. Georgia Tech blocked the best kicker in the nation and returned the ball for a score at the end of regulation in what was instantly dubbed “The Miracle on Techwood”.

Neither team played particularly well, trading field goals for the bulk of the evening up until that last attempt. The Seminoles abandoned the run early gaining just 70 yards on 24 carries despite another strong effort from Dalvin Cook who rushed for 82 yards and a score, plus 50 yards receiving.

Justin Thomas threw two picks for the Yellow Jackets (3-5, 1-4) but he led the team with 88 rushing yards. Marcus Marshall chipped in 69 yards and Clinton Lynch added 52. This may appear to be a major upset, but don’t let Georgia Tech’s record this season fool you. Those five losses came to teams with a combined 31-4 overall record, and of those four combined losses, three came to ranked opponents. GT has had some problems this season, but they’ve also played on heck of a schedule.

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