• DUKE 28 – #17 NORTH CAROLINA 27
    • RECAP: ACC action kicked off on Thursday night, as the Duke Blue Devils hosted the #17 UNC Tar Heels in Wallace Wade Stadium. Although the common fan might associate this as a “Basketball-Rivalry”, the Battle for the Victory Bell Trophy continues to be a highly coveted achievement for both Tar Heels and Blue Devils alike. North Carolina entered the game as an 11.5 point favorite to win, but Duke wasn’t willing to let their arch-rival walk out of their stadium with a victory. The Tar Heels opened up to an early 14-0 lead in the 1st quarter, following two Mitch Trubisky touchdown passes, but the Blue Devils responded with two touchdowns of their own in the 2nd quarter. The 1st half proved to be a shootout, as each team responded each time their opponent scored, resulting in a 21 point deadlock on both sides as halftime began. UNC responded first in the 2nd half, in the form of a 36 yard field goal. Duke was able to 1-up UNC’s 3 points, though, in the form of a 2 yard Daniel Jones touchdown pass to give the Blue Devils a 28-24 lead in the 3rd quarter. That touchdown pass by Duke proved to be the difference maker in this matchup, as UNC was only able to muster 3 more points for the rest of the game. With Duke’s 28-27 win over #17 UNC, David Cutcliffe was able to pick up his first ACC win of the season, improving to 4-6 (1-5 ACC) on the season. The Tar Heels fell to 7-3 (5-2 ACC) after their stunning loss, which set an early tone for the ACC to be filled with chaos in Week 11.
  • #18 FLORIDA STATE 45 – BOSTON COLLEGE 7
    • RECAP: ACC action continued on Friday night, this time in Tallahassee, FL as the 18th ranked Florida State Seminoles hosted the Boston College Eagles. FSU entered this contest as a whopping 20.5 point favorite, which the Seminoles had no trouble covering. The Seminoles defense had no trouble against the Eagles, as they were able to hold BC QB Patrick Towles to just 3 completions for 29 yards. FSU was able to get 2 QBs involved in the game plan, with Deondre Francois throwing for 3 touchdown passes and Sean Maguire throwing for 2 more. Seminoles WR Auden Tate had the best performance of his career, recording 6 receptions for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tate lead the team in each of those three categories. Boston College would fall to 4-6 (1-6 ACC), while Florida State would improve to 7-3 (4-3 ACC).

 

  • PITTSBURGH 43 – #2 CLEMSON 42
    • RECAP: The most shocking upset in the ACC, and perhaps in the country, took place Saturday evening in Clemson, SC. The then 5-4 Pittsburgh Panthers traveled to Death Valley to face the #2 Clemson Tigers, who had not lost at home since 2013. The game was a shoutout for the majority of the evening, with each team trading leads back-and-forth. Pitt would score first, in the form of a 15 yard touchdown pass to fullback George Aston from Nathan Peterman. Clemson would respond to each Pittsburgh touchdown in the 1st half, and thanks to a shanked extra-point attempt, the Tigers would hold a 28-27 lead entering halftime. Clemson blazed to a 42-34 lead by the end of the 3rd quarter, as Deshaun Watson threw a touchdown pass to WR Deon Cain, and RB Wayne Gallman II ran for his third rushing touchdown of the evening. Unfortunately for the Tigers, it was all Pitt in the 4th quarter. James Conner scored a touchdown with 5 minutes remaining, but a failed 2 point conversion would leave Clemson with a slim 2-point lead. Clemson would eventually control the football on Pittsburgh’s 35 yard line, but failure to convert on both 3rd-and-1 and 4th-and-1 would give possession back to the Panthers, with 1:02 remaining. Pitt eventually drove down the field, which ended in a 48 yard field goal by Chris Blewitt to give the Panthers a 43-42 lead with 6 seconds remaining. Pitt QB Nathan Peterman threw for 5 TD passes in their win over Clemson, but buried beneath Clemson’s heartbreaking loss was Deshaun Watson’s record-setting performance. Watson completed a school-record 52 passes, while throwing for 580 yards, an ACC single-game record. Unfortunately for Watson and the Tigers, his 580 yards and 52 completions were coupled with 3 critical interceptions. Pittsburgh became bowl-eligible with their win, improving to 6-4 (3-3 ACC) on the year. Clemson’s loss would be their first since their National Championship loss against Alabama last season, falling to 9-1 (6-1 ACC) for this season.

 

  • #6 LOUISVILLE 44 – WAKE FOREST 12
    • RECAP: Following Clemson’s stunning loss to Pittsburgh, things appeared to be getting even more chaotic in the ACC, as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons jumped to a 12-0 lead over the #6 Louisville Cardinal with 1:00 remaining in the 2nd quarter. The Cardinals were able to score a late field goal as time expired in the 1st half, but would still trail the Demon Deacons 12-3 at the half. 3 consecutive touchdowns by Louisville running back Brandon Radcliff would give the Cardinals a 23-12 lead with 7:23 left in the game. Unfortunately for Wake Forest, 3 turnovers, 1 of which was returned for a touchdown, allowed Louisville to score 3 more touchdowns in the final 6 minutes of play. Heisman-favorite Lamar Jackson threw for just 145 yards and 1 TD, but added 153 yards rushing as well. This game was much closer than the final score would indicate, as Wake Forest put up a very tough fight against a Louisville team that seemed to lack motivation. Wake Forest would be eliminated from ACC Atlantic Division Champion contention, falling to 6-4 (3-3 ACC) on the year. Louisville, on the other hand, would improve to 9-1 (7-1 ACC), with increased hopes of sneaking into the College Football Playoff following the Clemson loss.
  • GEORGIA TECH 30 – #14 VIRGINIA TECH 20
    • RECAP: Despite Louisville’s 1st half struggles against Wake Forest, the Cardinals were able to avoid becoming the 3rd team victimized by upsets in the ACC. Unfortunately for #14 Virginia Tech, the same would not be true, as the Hokies fell to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 30-20 in Blacksburg, VA. Two Harrison Butker field goals and two Matthew Jordan touchdown runs in the 1st half would give the Yellow Jackets a 20-0 lead at halftime. The Hokies managed to score a touchdown to start the 3rd quarter after QB Jerod Evans hit WR Isaiah Ford, but the Yellow Jackets quickly responded with another Butker field goal and a 56 yard touchdown run from Marcus Marshall, leaving the score at 30-7 with 4:58 remaining in the game. Virginia Tech was able to score 2 garbage-time touchdowns late in the 4th quarter, which made the game appear closer than it actually was. With Virginia Tech becoming chaos’ 3rd Week 11 victim in the ACC, the projected winner of the Coastal Division remains an enigma. The Hokies fell to 7-3 (5-2 ACC), while the Yellow Jackets improved to 6-4 (3-4 ACC).
  • NC STATE 35 – SYRACUSE 20
    • Lost amongst all the drama of Week 11 was the matchup between the Syracuse Orange and the NC State Wolfpack. The Wolfpack traveled to the Carrier Dome as 7 point favorites against the Orange, which they were able to cover thanks to 2 late touchdowns by Matt Dayes in the 2nd half. The 1st half was a snoozer, as NC State entered halftime with a 14-10 lead thanks to a Jaylen Samuels and Matt Dayes touchdown. The pace picked up in the 2nd half, as Syracuse responded to a 68 yard touchdown pass from Ryan Finley to Kelvin Harmon, with an 81 yard pass to Amba Etta-Tawo from reserve QB Zack Mahoney. Etta-Tawo put up yet another impressive performance, with 3 catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. NC State improved to 5-5 (2-4 ACC), while Syracuse dropped to 4-6 (2-4 ACC).
  • MIAMI 34 – UVA 14
    • In what started out as a close game, Mark Richt’s Miami Hurricanes took control of the 2nd half, en route to a 34-14 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers. Entering the 3rd quarter with a slim 17-14 lead, the Canes managed to hold the Cavs offense completely scoreless in the 2nd half. Miami opened the 3rd quarter with a 40 yard field goal, and then followed it up with a 77 yard bomb from QB Brad Kaaya to Ahmmon Richards. Miami running back Mark Walton rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown, while fellow running back Joseph Yearby contributed 53 yards on the ground and a touchdown. Virginia fell to 2-8 (1-5 ACC) while Miami improved to 6-4 (3-3 ACC).

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Author Details
Clemson University B.A. ’17 Charlie Whitehurst for President. #BoltUp #RIPJoseFernandez
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Clemson University B.A. ’17 Charlie Whitehurst for President. #BoltUp #RIPJoseFernandez

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