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Around the ACC: Week 7

The ACC wasn’t exempt from a crazy week 7 in college football.

Clemson v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Let’s stop a second to take our minds off of yesterday’s game and see what else happened around the ACC in week 7.

#2 Clemson 24 (6-1, 4-1), Syracuse 27 (4-3, 2-1)

Clemson and Syracuse got the fun started on Friday with one of the biggest upsets we’ll see all year. Clemson, who had looked unstoppable this season was dominated in nearly every facet of the game, including total yards, time of possession, and first downs. Syracuse’s up-tempo motion heavy offense kept the Clemson defense on their heels the entire night, as they allowed the most yards they have all season. Syracuse Quarterback Eric Dungey had a fantastic performance, going 20-32 for 278 yards and a trio of touchdowns. Meanwhile for Clemson, quarterback Kelly Bryant, who was already hobbling with an ankle injury, left the game after being slammed to the ground on a tackle. If he misses significant time, that could end up being the bigger story from this game than the loss itself. Clemson has a week off before they return home to face your Yellow Jackets while Syracuse hits the road to take on Miami next week.

Last, watch this if you haven’t yet. You won’t regret it. College football is great, isn’t it?

#20 NC State 35 (6-1, 4-0), Pittsburgh 17 (2-5, 0-3)

This game was the tale of two teams having very different seasons. Pitt hung in for a while, with the score 14-14 near the end of the third quarter, but three unanswered touchdowns put things away for NC State. With the Clemson loss, the Wolfpack now stand alone at the top of the Atlantic division with a huge matchup against Clemson looming in three weeks. Meanwhile for Pitt, they drop to just 2-5 and bowl eligibility is now very much in question with games against VT and Miami remaining. Jaylen Samuels, NC States electrifying playmaker continues to be a difference making, picking up nearly 100 all purpose yards and a pair of touchdowns, however the highlight of the day was an 83 yard touchdown run by junior Nyheim Hines. The Panthers are still trying to find a quarterback, playing their third quarterback of the season when freshman Kenny Pickett entered the game in the third quarter, however Pickett went just 5-13. The quarterback carousel will continue next week when Pittsburgh heads to Durham to take on Duke, who are coming off three losses in a row. The Wolfpack will have a week off before hitting the road for South Bend and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

Florida State 17 (2-3, 2-2), Duke 10 (4-3, 1-3)

A desperate Florida State team got things done on Saturday against a reeling Duke squad. The Blue Devils, who have now lost three in a row, had a chance to send the game to overtime on their final drive, but were not able to get any farther than the FSU 30 and Florida State held on for a 17-10 win. With the win, FSU improved their record against the Blue Devils to 20-0 all-time. The Noles, who started the season ranked in the top 5, now sit at 2-3 after starting 0-2. Quarterback James Blackman continues to develop each week and learn the FSU system. Saturday, he went 18-21, however two of his three incompletions resulted in interceptions. The Seminoles complimented their passing attack with a season high rushing total of 228 yards, 115 coming from Cam Akers. Duke has a good chance to regroup and stop their slide with Pitt (2-5) coming to town next weekend. Florida State will welcome Louisville to Tallahassee next weekend.

Boston College 45 (3-4, 1-3), Louisville 42 (4-3, 1-3)

Despite the Louisville offense racking up over 600 yards of offense, they fell to 4-3 on the year, losing to Boston College in a shootout . The Louisville defense continued their season long struggle, allowing 555 yards to an Eagles offense that came in averaging just 322 yards per game. The star for the Eagles was freshman running back AJ Dillon who rushed for an mind-boggling 272 yards on 39 carries. Last year’s Heisman winner Lamar Jackson did not want to be outdone, rushing for 180 yards himself and throwing for 332 through the air. Jackson accounted for five of the Cardinals six touchdowns. Now sitting at 1-3 in conference play, Louisville is going to have to turn things around quick and it will all start with the defense, which is allowing 522 yards per game in conference play. The win was big one for BC head coach Steve Addazio, who is fighting to keep his job. Since arriving at Boston College, the Eagles have yet to finish better than 7-6. Next up for BC is a trip to UVA while Louisville heads to Florida State for a battle of two teams dealing with disappointing seasons.

Virginia 20 (5-1, 2-0), North Carolina 14 (1-6, 0-4)

Virginia continues to be one of the best stories in the ACC this season and at 5-1, have their best start to a season since 2007. On the other side, North Carolina is in major trouble and will almost certainly miss a bowl game this season and may even reach double digit losses. UVA quarterback Kurt Benkert had another steady game, tallying 249 yards on 19-31 passing and a pair of touchdowns. Junior running back Jordan Ellis added 136 yards on the ground. A strong 157 yard rushing performance by UNC freshman running back Michael Carter was wasted by a dreadful day through the air, as Tar Heel quarterback Brandon Harris went just 7-18 for 46 yards and three interceptions. While Virginia has a tough remaining schedule, they look likely to make their first bowl game since 2011. Next up for them is Boston College . For the Tar Heels, things don’t look any brighter with a trip to Virginia Tech up next.