Around the ACC: Week 14 (Football)
The ACC has been up and down throughout the 2020 season. The conference has four teams ranked in the College Football Playoff rankings and two teams in contention.
The team leading the way in the ACC is Notre Dame. The Irish are the only undefeated team in the ACC and are on their way to the ACC title game.
The Irish have been led by a balanced offense and a stellar defense. They average 234.3 passing yards per game and 229.7 rushing yards per game.
Ian Book has been a great quarterback for the Irish with 2,097 passing yards, 412 rushing yards and 18 total touchdowns in the 2020 season. The Irish are led on the ground by sophomore running back Kyren Williams, who has 901 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
The Irish defense has also been stellar this year, holding five of their opponents under 20 points, including a high-powered North Carolina offense to only 17 points. The Irish are the undisputed team to beat in the ACC and look like a lock to make the College Football Playoff.
The Clemson Tigers are trying to chase down the Irish in the ACC. The Tigers lost to the Irish 47-40 in an overtime thriller in South Bend on Nov. 7. The Tigers were without quarterback Trevor Lawrence for that game.
Lawrence made his return to the field this past weekend when the Tigers hosted Pitt. Lawrence showed why he is one of the best players in the nation, throwing for 403 yards and two touchdowns in the Tigers 52-17 beatdown of the Panthers.
The Tigers also have superstar running back Travis Etienne who is having a phenomenal 2020 season. Etienne has 692 rushing yards, 511 receiving yards, and 14 total touchdowns.
Clemson is going to get a second chance at knocking off Notre Dame in the ACC Championship game at the end of the year. If the Tigers can win that game, they will be in the College Football Playoff. They do have a loss, but still control their own destiny in their hopes of winning a national championship this year.
The ACC has been hit with the COVID-19 pandemic hard over the last couple of weeks.
Florida State had to cancel its game this week against Duke, and Duke will play Miami instead this weekend. The Seminoles have cancelled their last three games due to COVID-19 protocols, including their game against Clemson a few weeks ago.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was very outspoken about his displeasure in the cancelling of the game. There has been a lot of tension between Clemson and Florida State since the incident. The ACC has had a lot of cancellations in 2020, and possibly more to come in the last two weeks of the regular season.
A game to watch for on the ACC slate this weekend is between Duke and Miami.
The Hurricanes have been led by star quarterback D’Eriq King, who is having a phenomenal 2020 season. King has been amazing for the Miami offense, keeping them in games all year and has the Canes sitting at 7-1. They do have a tendency to play in a lot of close games.
Duke took Notre Dame all the way to the fourth quarter and played Virginia Tech extremely close as well. Duke has competed a lot this year, and Miami has played a lot of close games. This game does not look great on paper, but watch out for this game as Duke might be able to pull the upset on Saturday night.
The ACC has been exciting all year and has a chance to send two teams to the College Football Playoffs. With the season winding down, expect the ACC to continue to excite and watch out for some upsets as teams are fighting for bowl eligibility and possible spots in the playoffs this year.
Adam Sheetz is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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