After massive Coastal and Atlantic matchups this week, let’s take a look at how things shook out around the ACC.
Syracuse 24 (4-5, 2-3) @ Florida State 27 (3-5, 3-4)
Saturday afternoon, Florida State used a Cam Akers coming out party to pick up a much needed win to try and extend their 35 year bowl streak. The freshman running back ran for 199 yards and a pair of touchdowns, leading the Seminoles to a 27-24 victory. Statistically, Syracuse dominated the Seminoles, holding them to just 1-13 on third downs and racking up over 100 more total yards. A pair of missed field goals and a decision to go for a touchdown over a field goal at the end of the first half ended up costing the Orange. After their upset of Clemson, Syracuse has dropped a pair of games, but still has a chance to make their first bowl game since 2013 with a pair of home games and a trip to Louisville remaining. The Seminoles will still need to win out in order to extend their bowl streak, a feat that appears unlikely with a trip to Clemson on tap next weekend.
Wake Forest 37 (5-4, 2-3) @ #3 Notre Dame 48 (8-1)
The Demon Deacons put up a good fight, but the third ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish ended up being too much on Saturday afternoon. The Wake offense had their way for most of the day, racking up nearly 600 yards, but their defense looked helpless for most of the day, allowing Notre Dame to total over 700 yards, even with both quarterback Brandon Wimbush and running back Josh Adams leaving the game. With just one more win needed for bowl eligibility, Wake will head to Syracuse next weekend before hosting #20 NC State.
#4 Clemson 38 (8-1, 6-1) @ #20 NC State 31 (6-3, 4-1)
The first of two massive ACC matchups this weekend gave Clemson control of the ACC Atlantic division after a 38-31 win over NC State. The Tigers didn’t get their first lead of the game until the end of the third quarter, but after going ahead, they never gave it up. Ryan Finley had a big day through the air for the Wolfpack, going 31-50 for 338 yards and a trio of touchdowns. However, he also had a pair of interceptions, one of which was deep in their own territory and led to a Clemson touchdown. With the win, Clemson now just needs a win over Florida State next weekend to clinch a trip to the ACC championship. NC State travels to Boston College next weekend.
#13 Virginia Tech 10 (7-2, 3-2) @ #10 Miami 28 (8-0, 6-0)
Lastly, the primetime ACC game of the weekend. Despite the hype, the game ended up being completely one-sided, with Miami blowing out Virginia Tech 28-10. The Hokies were held to under 300 yards and turned the ball over four times. Without a true test yet, the legitimacy of the Hurricanes was still doubted by many, but there will certainly be no doubt anymore. The win puts the Hurricanes in prime position to make the ACC championship, highlights them up as a legitimate playoff contender, and sets up a massive matchup next weekend against Notre Dame, which has already been announced as the College Gameday game. Virginia Tech will certainly drop in the rankings, but should still be ranked in the top 25 with a trip to Atlanta on tap next weekend to take on Georgia Tech.