Around the ACC: Week 9 (Football)
Even with this year’s ACC being arguably the most competitive it has been in a long time, there’s no question that Clemson is the favorite. Even with an off game from quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the Tigers still earned a 26-point win over Syracuse.
Lawrence threw for 289 passing yards and two touchdowns while also throwing one interception. Running back Travis Etienne put up three touchdowns on the ground.
Clemson has won every game this season by at least 20 points including a dominant win over one of the top teams in the conference in Miami.
As of now, the biggest contender for Clemson’s crown is the newcomer to the conference in Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish put up arguably their best conference win of the season, beating Pittsburgh 45-3. Ian Book put up over 300 passing yards and three touchdowns, throwing two to Ben Skowronek. This was a much-needed win for the Irish after only scoring 12 points and winning by just five against Louisville the week before.
Despite the big win, Notre Dame fell one spot in the rankings to No. 4 with the return of the Big Ten and Ohio State.
The biggest game of the week for the ACC came in the battle of North Carolina, which was also a battle of two ranked teams.
North Carolina picked up a much-needed win against rising NC State 48-21. The Tar Heels were coming off a bad loss to a struggling Florida State team. They were ranked at No. 5 in the polls before that loss, and even after this win, the Tar Heels sit at No. 15.
Javonte Williams put up three touchdowns on the ground and was one of two Tar Heels running backs with over 100 yards. The big difference in the game came in the turnover battle, as the Wolfpack turned the ball over four times, three coming on interceptions.
Miami played in a somewhat surprisingly close game, winning by only five points against a Virginia team that has now lost four straight games.
Miami quarterback D’Eriq King found a new favorite target, as Mike Harley had 10 catches for 170 yards and a touchdown. Those 170 yards were 10 fewer than the total passing yards put up by Virginia in the game.
The Hurricanes struggled to develop much of a ground game, as no player had more than 50 rushing yards.
Miami, as well as North Carolina and Notre Dame, still has a chance to challenge Clemson in the ACC championship game. With a shortened season, any loss would likely kill any chances of making it into the College Football Playoff.
Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.