Around the ACC Week Nine Recap

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North Carolina 26
#23 Pittsburgh 19

The Tar Heels (7-1, 4-0) won their seventh consecutive game largely thanks to some big plays in the passing game from Marquise Williams. Williams completed 14-of-23 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns, and he also added 52 yards on nine carries. The two touchdowns were big plays. The first came on a brilliant 71-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Switzer and Mack Hollins brought in a 32-yard TD catch to blow the game wide open in the second quarter. Switzer finished with five catches for 126 yards, and running back Elijah Hood pitched in 98 yards in the ground. The 7-1 record marks the best start for Carolina since 1997 under Mack Brown.

Pitt controlled the ball most of the game, running 79 plays to UNC’s 58 and possessing the ball for nearly 11 more minutes. The Panthers (6-2, 4-1) passed far more than they would like with Nate Peterman completing 27-of-42 passes for 262 yards with a touchdown. Tyler Boyd hauled in 10 of those passes for 89 yards. The carries were split evenly between Qadree Ollison who picked up 54 yards, Chris James who had 44 yards, and quarterback Nate Peterman who gained 41 yards on 12 runs. Getting behind in the first half forced them to throw more which was somewhat effective. Pitt outscored the Tar Heels 16-6 in the second half, but it wasn’t quite enough.

Up next for North Carolina: Duke

Up next for Pittsburgh: Notre Dame

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Louisville 20
Wake Forest 19

Louisville (4-4, 3-2) forced five turnovers in the second half to avoid a pseudo-upset under the Friday night lights in Winston-Salem. John Wallace nailed a 39-yard field goal late in the third quarter to give the Cardinals a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. It was a sloppy game all around with neither team playing particularly crisp football. Lamar Jackson had one of his better passing games for the Cardinals with 207 yards and two touchdowns but his running was limited to just 2 yards with sacks included. Jamari Staples secured 10 of those passes for 133 yards and both touchdowns in a breakout performance.

The Demon Deacons (3-6, 1-5) led 19-17 at halftime but were shutout in the second half thanks to all those turnovers. Kendall Hinton threw a 78-yard touchdown pass and John Wolford tossed a 58-yarder, but the two quarterbacks combined for four interceptions with Wolford accounting for three. The ground game fizzled against the Cardinal defense and the UL defensive line sealed the game late. Defensive end Trevon Young had 2.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and sealed the game with a forced fumble against Hinton.

Up next for Louisville: Syracuse

Up next for Wake Forest: @ Notre Dame

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Syracuse 21
#17 Florida State 45

The Seminoles (7-1, 5-1) showed off their depth Saturday, with starting quarterback Everett Golson and running back Dalvin Cook both out with injuries. Sean McGuire passed for 348 yards and three touchdowns while Jacques Patrick carried the ball 24 times for 162 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start. McGuire passed for 302 yards in the first half alone, making him the first FSU quarterback to do since Chris Weinke in 2000.

The Orange got out to an early 7-0 lead on a short Eric Dungey run, but the ‘Noles were simply too much for Syracuse (3-5, 1-3) after that. Dungey added another rushing touchdown in the second quarter, but only completed 11-of-24 passes for 120 yards, half of which came on a 62-yard hookup with Dontae Strickland. The Orange managed 173 yards rushing as a team, but were outgained 575-303 in total yardage.

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Virginia Tech 26
Boston College 10

The Hokies (4-5, 2-3) took control early with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Michael Brewer to Cam Phillips and slowly built a big enough lead to withstand a late comeback effort from BC. Travon McMillian once again powered the Hokie offense with 105 yards on a career-high 33 carries. It was the Tech defense that really won the day however, scoring one touchdown on a 43-yard Andrew Motuapuaka fumble return and limiting the Eagles to 218 total yards. Joey Slye added four field goals to give Tech its first win over BC since 2012.

The Boston College (3-6, 0-6) defense was impressive as well, allowing just the one touchdown. They held Tech to just 3-of-15 on third down conversions, intercepted a pass, and stripped a fumble which would have been returned for a score if the play had not been blown dead — the first of the egregious officiating errors around the ACC Saturday. Tory Flutie started the game but quickly proved ineffective, so walk-on quarterback John Fadule was inserted for his first collegiate action and played well, passing for 143 yards and rushing for 53.

Up next for Virginia Tech: @Georgia Tech

Up next for Boston College: N.C. State

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Georgia Tech 21
Virginia 27

Just one week after pulling off a thrilling victory over Florida State, the Yellow Jackets found themselves on the wrong end of this one against the Cavaliers. Virginia (3-5, 2-2) limited the Tech offense to two long Clinton Lynch touchdowns — one run and one reception — for most of the game and managed to hold them to an unusual 3 for 15 on third downs and O for 3 on fourth. Lynch added a third touchdown on a 22-yard pass from Justin Thomas with 1:41 remaining, and the Yellow Jackets (3-6, 1-5) were able to recover the ensuing onside kick. The final drive stalled out at the UVA 34 however and the Cavaliers were able to remain alive for a bowl bid and amazingly, even the Coastal Division crown.

Daniel Hamm and Albert Reid both scored touchdown runs while Taquan Mizzell gained 75 yards on the ground the lead the ‘Hoos. Matt Johns threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Canaan Severin and the Wahoos rolled up 408 yards of total offense with 233 of those yards coming on the ground. UVA has now won two of its last three games while Georgia Tech has won just once in its last seven games.

Up next for Georgia Tech: Virginia Tech

Up next for Virginia: @ Miami

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#3 Clemson 56
N.C. State 41

N.C. State played an excellent first half to trail just 26-20, but Clemson ultimately pulled away to win by more than two touchdowns. Both teams had outstanding quarterback play, with DeShaun Watson leading the way. He completed 23-of-30 passes for 383 yards and five touchdowns plus a 24-yard touchdown run to open the Tiger scoring. Wayne Gallman had 172 yards on 31 carries with a touchdown and Clemson (8-0, 5-0) ended the day with 623 total yards.

Jacoby Brissett had a fine effort as well, passing for 254 yards and three touchdowns plus a 13-yard rushing touchdown to give the Wolfpack (5-3, 1-3) the early lead. Matt Dayes had a team-high 72 yards rushing while Jaylen Samuels had 65 yards on the ground and 74 yards receiving. He scored two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving. Frehsman speedster Nyheim Hines scored on a 100-yard kickoff return. State finished with 213 kick return yards, but couldn’t quite match the firepower of Clemson.

Up next for Clemson: Florida State

Up next for N.C. State: @ Boston College

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Miami 30
#22 Duke 27

Sometimes, words simply can’t do justice to the absolute insanity of events. In this case, even the video fails to capture everything that happened on the 91-yard, eight-lateral, final play of the Miami-Duke contest.

Still confused? This should clear everything up.

It was confusing enough that officials reviewed the play for nearly 10 minutes and still got it wrong, enough that both the replay officials in the booth and the crew on the field have been suspended two games by the ACC.

But that all detracts from the standout performances of Malik Rosier and Thomas Sirk. Rosier rebounded from a dreadful game against Clemson to complete 20-of-29 passes for 272 yards and two touchdowns for the Hurricanes (5-3, 2-2). Sirk threw for 258 yards and a touchdown while adding 51 yards and another score rushing. Both teams battled spotty officiating throughout the game with Miami bearing the brunt of the calls to the tune of 23 penalties for 194 yards. Still, the Canes were able to win the debut of interim coach Larry Scott less than a week after the school fired Al Golden.

Duke (6-2, 4-1) is still very much in the Coastal division race — though to be fair, everyone is — but the home loss is a bitter pill to swallow for a team that gained more total yards, more first downs, and had the lead with just six seconds remaining in the game.

Up next for Miami: Virginia

Up next for Duke: @ North Carolina

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