While Clemson continues to casually steamroll through regular season play, The ACC Coastal race has come fully into focus.
Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh will play a Coastal Division semifinal game next week in Blacksburg. The Panthers don’t make it look pretty very often, but they continue to play great defense and piece things together on offense.
Pitt ranks 11th in the nation in total defense and leads the nation in total sacks with 45. The defensive line is a force to be reckoned with, though coach Pat Narduzzi expects more.
“We’ll have a better outing this weekend. I promise you,” he told the media this week.
The Hokies are clicking on offense since switching quarterbacks and finding a ground game. Hendon Hooker has played efficiently and limited mistakes while also opening up the running game.
Tech has also improved dramatically on defense currently sitting at 44th in total defense after a brutal start to the season. This game is shaping up to be a classic.
Meanwhile, Virginia will await another crack at the Hokies and ending that streak everyone knows about. They have an interesting match up with Liberty (6-4 overall) which is a game they have no business losing, but might prove to be a challenge.
The Flames are pretty solid this year, though they did lose to Rutgers. Yikes.
At any rate, it looks like a pretty solid team is going to earn the right to get waxed by play Clemson in Charlotte at season’s end. That’s a far cry from where things were just a few weeks ago.
Odds & Ends
- Four and Odell Haggins has righted the ship in Tallahassee by winning two straight games his team had to have. They’re bowl eligible with a game coming up against a No.11 Florida team that looked pretty bad against Missouri last week. FSU has absolutely no business hiring Odell full time, but if he beats Florida things are going to get real weird.
- Wake Forest is still good. Trust me. They’ve hit a rough patch with losses to Virginia Tech and Clemson, but those aren’t shocking defeats. There’s no reason why Wake shouldn’t beat Duke and Syracuse to finish with nine regular season victories. I really wish they’d quite running that weird walk up to the line option play though. It freaks me out every time.
Wake Forest's mesh points give me anxiety pic.twitter.com/jwH1909qmN
— Richard??Johnson (@RJ_Writes) September 16, 2019
- AJ Dillon and Travis Etienne continue to remain locked in a battle for the conference lead in rushing yards. Dillon ranks third in the nation with 1,451 yards while Etienne is fourth overall with 1,335. Their teams are having very different seasons, but these two future pros are putting on a show.
- There’s some movement this week in the rankings. I bumped Florida State up a level after they qualified for a bowl game. Carolina drops to the bad place after yet another close loss, but man they’re gonna be good next season. Boston College followed them because they’re so very “BC” this season. They aren’t likely to make a bowl game (unless they finish 6-6 and qualify for some bowl with an obscure sponsor and a gift package that includes underwear and a AAA membership) and I can’t stand to look at them. Georgia Tech probably deserves a lower level entirely.
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