Around the ACC: Week 8 (Football)

Story posted October 23, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Matthew McLaughlin

In a wild week for the ACC, there were a couple major upsets and Clemson kept rolling.

So, let’s take a look at some of the biggest takeaways from this week’s ACC action.

The UNC Tar Heels came into this week as the No. 5 team in the country, but the Florida State Seminoles put a halt to the Tar Heels’ playoff hopes with a 31-28 win in Tallahassee.

Sam Howell and the Tar Heels offense held up their end of the bargain by putting up 28 points, but the defense struggled to stop Seminoles running back La’Damian Webb and quarterback Jordan Travis, who combined for 216 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.

Although the Tar Heels still have a chance to make the playoff, their defense has to step up the rest of the season when they face teams such as Clemson and Notre Dame.

Meanwhile, Clemson beat up a Georgia Tech team that struggled to get anything going offensively, nor could the Yellow Jackets stop Clemson’s offense.

Trevor Lawrence sliced up Georgia Tech’s offense for over 400 passing yards and five touchdowns as Clemson dropped 73 on the Yellow Jackets to keep their No. 1 spot in the AP Poll.

In South Bend, Notre Dame scraped by Louisville in a close 12-7 win. Ian Book threw for only 106 yards for the Fighting Irish while Malik Cunningham outperformed him with 132 passing yards and a touchdown.

While both teams looked sloppy, Notre Dame needs to step up on both offense and defense against a Pitt team that boasts gunslinger Kenny Pickett under center if they want to keep their No. 3 position in the nation.

The last big moment from this past weekend’s games was Liberty University knocking off Syracuse in a massive upset.

Although Syracuse isn’t ranked and has played terrible football this season, the Orange are still in a major conference, but the Flames lived up to their name and torched Syracuse defense all day for 38 points.

Shedro Louis and Peytton Pickett combined for 285 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns to power the Flames to a major win that keeps their undefeated season alive.

Finally, the NC State Wolfpack broke through into the top-25 this week with an eleven-point win against Duke. Quarterback Devin Leary led a balanced game plan for the Wolfpack and finished with 205 passing yards and a touchdown before being carted off the field due to injury.

Now, the Wolfpack rank No. 23 in the nation going into a huge matchup against the No. 14 Tar Heels in a prove-it game for both teams.

While that game is kicking off, Syracuse will take on the aforementioned No. 1 Clemson Tigers at noon, and No. 3 Notre Dame will look to keep its top-five position against Pitt which will kick off at 3:30 p.m.

Matthew McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email mem6936@psu.edu.