Looking back at the previous week, and looking ahead to next week in ACC Football:
Starting in the Atlantic Division, the teams at the top-Florida State, Maryland and North Carolina State were all in action on Saturday. The Seminoles started slowly, as if in a post-Miami hangover, but eventually woke up long enough to subdue a Boston College team that has issues at quarterback. With the win, the Seminoles have a five-game winning streak since the loss to Oklahoma. Maryland never quite got on track at Clemson, and suffered a 31-7 loss. With the loss, Maryland didn’t remove any of the doubters who expressed concern with whether the Terps were for real. The worst of all though, had to be N.C. State-falling to an East Carolina squad in a game where Russell Wilson had one of his worst performances in his college career. Perhaps finally getting a victory over Boston College for coach Tom O’Brien didn’t leave anything in the tank for the Wolfpack. The Seminoles and Wolfpack get Saturday off, and will match up the following Thursday in Raleigh in a very important divisional contest, one that could go a long way in deciding who gets the Atlantic division crown.
In a conference where the best team seems to change from week to week, Virginia Tech staked it’s claim as the conference’s #1 team by demolishing Wake Forest. That makes 5 straight wins for the Hokies, who were all but written off after losing to James Madison at home last month. Georgia Tech is still playing solid football and has won three straight games of its own after a victory over Middle Tennessee State. The Yellow Jackets are hanging around and hoping to get a chance to defend it’s conference title. Miami did what it was supposed to do in dispatching the Duke Blue Devils, and North Carolina got its first win in Charlottesville in 29 years with a thrashing of Virginia’s Cavaliers. Four teams in the Coastal division are separated by one game in the division standings.
Prior to the Thursday game between Florida State and North Carolina State, the biggest conference game on Saturday’s schedule is North Carolina taking on the Hurricanes. Despite all the off-field turmoil, the Tar Heels are hanging in there, and have a four-game winning streak going into the matchup with Miami. Both teams are 2-1 in conference and one game behind Virginia Tech in the Coastal division standings. A win keeps the victor in the hunt for the division crown; while the loser falls further from the top, but isn’t necessarily eliminated. Other conference games on the weekend finds Maryland facing Boston College in a game featuring two struggling offensive teams; Duke heading to Lane Stadium to take on the Hokies, who will be looking to extend the winning streak to six games; and Georgia Tech facing a Clemson team in need of some more conference wins to keep their Atlantic division hopes alive. Finally, Virginia, struggling of late, gets a non-conference game against Eastern Michigan.