Around the ACC Week 12 Recap


#17 North Carolina 30
Virginia Tech 27

The storybook comeback by the Hokies fell just short of success in an overtime loss to North Carolina Saturday. The contest marked the final home game in the illustrious career of Frank Beamer and the emotions ran high throughout the afternoon. The stakes were high for the Tar Heels (10-1, 7-0) as well but after an early Marquise Williams rushing touchdown, the Hokie defense held Carolina scoreless in the second quarter. The Heels rebounded behind a strong ground game led by Elijah Hood’s 115 yards and two touchdowns. Marquise Williams had an off afternoon completing just 50% of his passes and losing two fumbles that allowed Tech to tie the game and force overtime.

The Virginia Tech (5-6, 3-4) offense faltered until the final minutes of the fourth quarter when Michael Brewer tossed a touchdown pass to Isaiah Ford and scored on a quarterback draw to tie the game at 24. Ford had a huge afternoon with eight catches for 155 yards and the score. The Tech defense played well, but was gouged for 240 rushing yards and 445 total yards. The Hokies now have just a 5-10 mark in Lane Stadium in the last 15 home games. With the win, North Carolina assured itself of the Coastal Division title and the program’s first berth in the ACC Championship.

Up next for North Carolina: @ N.C. State

Up next for Virginia Tech: @ Virginia


Georgia Tech 21
Miami 38

Miami had a strong performance at home to send its seniors off with a win in front of dozens of fans at Sun Life Stadium. Brad Kaaya passed for 300 yards and a 25-yard touchdown pass to running back Mark Walton. On the ground, Walton only gained 36 yards but scored two more touchdowns. The defense got on the board as well when Jermaine Grace recovered a fumble in the endzone. The Canes (7-4, 4-3) won comfortably despite committing nine penalties for 76 yards. Miami is the worst team in the nation when it comes to penalties with an average of 9.5 per game.

Georgia Tech (3-8, 1-7) is mired in the program’s worst season since 1994 when the Yellow Jackets finished 1-10. Quarterback Justin Thomas left the game early with an undisclosed injury and things only got worse from there. Despite having four running backs gain at least 60 yards, Tech fumbled the ball nine times, losing two. Backup quarterback Matthew Jordan and receiver Brad Stewart both tossed interceptions as well. This is the first time in 20 seasons that Georgia Tech finished with a losing record in conference play.

Up next for Georgia Tech: Georgia

Up next for Miami: @ Pittsburgh


Syracuse 29
N.C. State 42

Six different players scored touchdowns for N.C. State in the win over Syracuse. Jacoby Brissett threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns while leading the Wolfpack (7-4, 3-4) offense to 511 total yards. 276 of those came in the running game with Nyheim Hines, Dakwa Nichols, and Reggie Gallaspy II all picking up at least 70 yards and a touchdown. The balance was impressive and simply too much for the struggling Orange.

Syracuse (3-8, 1-6) has now lost eight consecutive games after a fast start to the season against poor competition. This marks the sixth loss by double digits during that stretch. To its credit, ‘Cuse was down 42-16 before a late rally that included a fumble return for touchdown followed by a recovered onside kick. Frustrations boiled over with receivers Steve Ishmael and Brisly Estime were ejected in separate incidents. Head coach Scott Shafer was fired Monday and it comes as little surprise as his team has floundered and shown little hope of a turnaround. Athletic director Mark Coyle also didn’t hire Shafer and probably wants to put his own stamp on the program.

Up next for Syracuse: Boston College

Up next for N.C. State: North Carolina


Chattanooga 13
#14 Florida State 52

Florida State led just 7-6 in the second quarter before some timely scoring before halftime and a 21-point outburst in the third quarter put the game out of reach. Sean Maguire only played a touch over two quarters, but still completed 12 of 17 for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Kermit Whitfield caught both of those touchdowns and had five catches for 91 yards in total. Dalvin Cook finished with his seventh 100-yard performance this season with 106 yards and two scores on just 15 carries. Jacques Patrick added 71 yards and two touchdowns of his own on the ground. The Seminoles now turn their attention to rival Florida in the regular season finale as Jimbo Fisher and company look for the program’s fourth consecutive season of double-digit wins.

Up next for Florida State: @ Florida


Wake Forest 13
#1 Clemson 33

Everything went right for Clemson Saturday en route to the 700th win in program history. The Tigers raced out to a 20-0 first quarter lead and never looked back. DeShaun Watson completed 24 of 35 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns. He also scored on a 3-yard run to open the scoring. Clemson (11-0, 8-0) outgained Wake 552-152 and was still throwing the ball late including deep passes and unusual schemes that split Watson out wide and had backup Kelly Bryant in at quarterback. Needless to say, that rankled Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson.

“They tried to do it and we stopped them, so that was a win at the end, because everyone knows what was going on,” Clawson said. He was perhaps implying that Clemson was simply garnering more favor with the College Football Playoff selection committee, but that kind of grandstanding is hardly needed at this point given the impressive nature of the Tiger victories. Wake Forest (3-8, 1-6) once again got its only offensive spark from quarterback Kendall Hinton who gained 51 yards on the ground with a touchdown.

Up next for Wake Forest: Duke

Up next for Clemson: @ South Carolina


Duke 34
Virginia 42

Duke coach David Cutcliffe nicely summarized Duke’s four-game slide. “If it can kind of go wrong, it has gone wrong,” he said after falling to Virginia. Quarterback Thomas Sirk returned to the lineup after missing last week with a somewhat mysterious injury. He threw for 207 yards, a touchdown and an interception, but was replaced by backup Parker Boehme because Duke (6-5, 3-4) wasn’t scoring with Sirk in. Boehme passed for a score of his own and ran for another, though the comeback bid fell short. T.J. Rahming had 12 catches for 190 yards and a touchdown while Anthony Nash caught five passes for 104 yards.

Matt Johns led the way for Virginia (4-7, 3-4) a career-high 344 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Taquan Mizzell had 104 total yards and three touchdowns while setting the school’s record for receptions by a running back in a season. Virginia has been playing much better down the stretch and now looks like a serious threat to end Frank Beamer’s career in the regular season finale. A win by the Cavaliers would leave their rivals at 5-7 overall and most likely outside of the bowl picture. A win there would make two straight over teams that have dominated the series with the Cavaliers lately. Before Saturday’s win, Duke had won six of the last seven meetings in that series.

Up next for Duke: @ Wake Forest

Up next for Virginia: Virginia Tech


Louisville 34
Pittsburgh 45

Well, this game largely lived up to my prediction that it would be good but it was hardly defensive. The teams combined for 79 points and over 800 total yards. This despite the fact that Louisville could muster just -1 rushing yard on 24 carries. Just when it had appeared that the Cardinals (6-5, 5-3) had finally settled on a quarterback, Kyle Bolin split time with Lamar Jackson after Bolin was ineffective in the first half. Jackson passed for 141 yards and a touchdown with another score on the ground.

Pittsburgh (8-3, 6-1) was eliminated from the ACC Championship picture earlier in the day by North Carolina, but Pat Narduzzi kept that information from his team and they focused on the task at hand. Nate Peterman had a great day and completed 22 of 34 passes for 232 yards and four touchdowns. Qadree Ollison had 28 carries for 152 yards and a touchdown while surpassing the 1,000-yard mark for the season.

Up next for Louisville: @ Kentucky

Up next for Pittsburgh: Miami


Boston College 16
#4 Notre Dame 19played at Fenway Park in Boston, MA.

Boston College played inspired football in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late for the Eagles. BC (3-8, 0-7) was held to just three points through three quarters, but the defense forced five turnovers including three inside the Eagles’ 5-yard line. That kept the game close long enough for quarterback Jeff Smith to spark the offense late with an 80-yard touchdown run and a 3-yard touchdown pass. Smith finished with 100 yards rushing on five carries and fellow quarterback John Fadule added 64 yards rushing, which unfortunately for the Eagles equaled his passing yardage for the evening.

Despite passing for 320 yards and two touchdowns, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer also tossed three interceptions including two in the redzone. Chris Brown had six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown and Amir Carlisle finished with seven catches for 97 yards and a score of his own. the Irish (10-1) remain firmly entrenched in the playoff picture with just a road game at Stanford remaining on their schedule.

Up next for Boston College: @ Syracuse

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