Around the ACC: Week 15 (Football)

Story posted December 9, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

Even with the rematch of Clemson and Notre Dame set for the ACC conference championship game, there are still some great matchups to finish out the season.

Two of the other ranked teams that play in the ACC face off, as North Carolina takes on Miami. North Carolina comes into the matchup ranked 17th in the country, as the Tar Heels have signature wins against NC State and Virginia Tech. The Tar Heels won their last game, as they destroyed Western Carolina 49-9. Sam Howell threw only three incompletions all game. The defense also allowed just 116 passing yards.

On the other side, Miami is the only non-Clemson/non-Notre Dame team in the ACC to be ranked in the top 10. The Hurricanes’ only loss on the year was actually against Clemson, as they lost that game 42-17. In the last game, Miami got a shutout win over Duke 48-0. A major reason why was that the Canes defense forced five turnovers in the game. On the offensive side, D’Eriq King scored four total touchdowns while throwing for 248 yards.

While that game is definitely the best matchup in the ACC this week, there are some other interesting games to look at as well.

Wake Forest is set to take on Louisville after missing most of the past month due to COVID-19 concerns. The Demon Deacons last played on Nov. 14, when they narrowly lost to North Carolina. That game was an offensive showdown, as the final score was 59-53. Sam Hartman threw for 429 yards and four touchdowns in the loss but was outmatched by Howell and his six touchdown passes.

Louisville comes into the game off of a close loss to Boston College. Malik Cunningham turned into a star, as he had 294 passing yards and 133 rushing yards. The Cardinals started the season ranked before losing two close games against Miami and Pitt. After those two losses, the Cardinals haven’t been able to recover, as they now sit with a 3-7 record.

An in-state matchup sees Virginia taking on Virginia Tech. While neither team is near the top of the conference, they both have been decent all year. Virginia does have a quality win over North Carolina but has been smoked by almost every other team in the ACC. In the Cavaliers’ last game, they beat Boston College with a great all-around performance from Brennan Armstrong, as he had 287 passing yards and 130 rushing yards with two total touchdowns.

Virginia Tech, meanwhile, hasn’t won since Halloween, as the Hokies are on a four-game losing streak. Two of those losses included a 35-point drubbing to Clemson and a one-point loss to Miami. The Hokies do have quality wins against Louisville and NC State, though. In last week’s game against Clemson, Virginia Tech did a decent job pressuring Trevor Lawrence, as he had less than 200 passing yards. However, the Hokies gave up 238 rushing yards while also turning the ball over three times.

 

Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.