After losing to Duke in six of seven seasons from 2008 to 2014, the Virginia Cavaliers took down the Blue Devils for the fourth straight time in a 28-14 victory. The win boosted the Hoos to 3-1 in the ACC and right into the thick of the conference race. Here’s how the ACC standings look today:
|No. 3 Clemson||4||0||7||0|
|No. 16 NC State||2||1||5||1|
At 3-1, Virginia sits a half-game behind undefeated Virginia Tech (the two matchup Thanksgiving weekend), and tied in the loss column with Miami (who UVA owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with) and Pittsburgh (who visits Charlottesville the weekend after next).
Virginia controls its own destiny in the race to the ACC title game, but plenty of season lies ahead. Outside of Virginia’s victory in Durham, here’s what happened during another relatively quiet (8 of 14 teams in action) week in the ACC.
#3 Clemson 41, #17 NC State 7
This week’s highly anticipated showdown of two teams atop the ACC Atlantic quickly turned into a blowout (and a coronation of Clemson into the driver’s seat of not just the ACC race, but the CFB Playoff race as well).
The game got out of hand quickly behind a big game for QB Trevor Lawrence (26-39, 308 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT) and two turnovers just before halftime that quickly stretched a manageable 14-0 deficit for NC State to 24-0. The back half of Clemson’s schedule features games against FSU, Louisville, BC, and Duke - Boston College is the only team of the group that doesn’t have an ACC record below .500.
Syracuse 40, North Carolina 37 (2OT)
For the second straight week, North Carolina coughed up a winnable game. Last week, they found a way to lose against Virginia Tech, fumbling on VT’s 2 yard line, leading to a game-winning Hokie drive. This time, UNC squandered a 13 point comeback when Syracuse scored the game-tying touchdown with 1:40 on the clock. The Tar Heels had a chance to take the lead in regulation, regaining the ball just outside of field goal range with 50 seconds to play, but fell short and lost in the second overtime.
UNC visits Charlottesville this week at 1-5 and 1-3 in ACC play; however, coming off two near-misses, they may be better than their dismal record reflects.
Florida State 38, Wake Forest 17
Not too much to discuss here. Wake Forest has won 3 out-of-conference games (Tulane, Towson, and Rice), but have lost its 3 ACC games to date by 7, 21, and 60, and lost to Notre Dame by 29. After a promising 2017 season culminating in a Belk Bowl victory, they are a new candidate for the worst team in the conference.
Against Florida State, Wake got off to a promising start, racing to a 10-0 lead and briefly quieting a large Homecoming crowd in Tallahassee. But the bottom quickly fell out, as FSU scored 38 unanswered points while Wake Forest failed to put together a drive of more than 35 yards until they scored in the game’s final minutes.