This past weekend in the ACC saw several matchups with national implications including, Clemson at N.C. State, Miami at Duke and North Carolina at Pittsburgh.
No. 3 Clemson traveled to Raleigh on Saturday to take on the N.C. State Wolfpack in a matchup that took place under the national spotlight.
Clemson brought its high-powered offense into Carter-Finley stadium and took very little time to get going, as the Tigers put up 26 points in the first half.
However, this was answered by a respectable 20 points put up by N.C. State’s underrated offense. Clemson ultimately ran away with this one, putting up 30 points in the second half to win with a final score of 56-41.
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson led the way by putting up 383 passing yards with five touchdowns. His efforts were helped by running back Wayne Gallman who added 172 yards and one touchdown. Next week, Clemson takes on Florida State in a battle of ACC Atlantic division supremacy while N.C. State prepares for Boston College.
North Carolina traveled to Pittsburgh this past Thursday night to take on the Pitt Panthers in a battle that sought to sort out the power struggle within the ACC Coastal division.
North Carolina’s offense jumped out to an early lead, as the Tarheels took a 20-3 advantage into the half. The game did tighten down the stretch, but UNC ultimately won by a final score of 26-19. The ‘Heels explosive offense was led by quarterback Marquise Williams, who threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns.
UNC now has a commanding lead in the ACC Coastal division following the win as they prepare to take on Duke next weekend while Pittsburgh prepares for Notre Dame.
In perhaps the most controversial result in all of college football this weekend, Miami beat Duke on a last second desperation kickoff return this past Saturday that has resulted in a heap of controversy.
Duke went up 27-24 with just several seconds to play in a game that was all but over until the Hurricanes had an eight lateral kickoff return for a touchdown that led them to victory with a final score of 30-27.
The controversy comes in the fact that the officials missed a Miami player actually being down on the play along with several block in the back penalties committed by the Hurricanes on the play.
The officials of the game have since been suspended indefinitely by the Atlantic Coast Conference. Duke prepares to take on North Carolina next week while Miami prepares for Virginia.
Two big games to look out for this next weekend are Duke at North Carolina and Florida State at Clemson.
Both of these games will most likely decide who goes on to win both the ACC Atlantic and Coastal divisions, as these matchups are between the top two teams in each division.
In a battle of the Tar Heel State, Duke makes the eight-mile trip to Chapel Hill to take on UNC in Kenan Memorial Stadium this Saturday.
Look for the Tarheel’s high-powered, tempo-based offensive attack, led by quarterback Marquise Williams and running back Elijah Hood to exploit an average Duke defense.
While this game may be close at the half, I fully expect UNC to take things into control and win by a reasonable margin, thus grabbing a commanding lead in the ACC Coastal.
This Saturday will see a matchup between two of the teams who have consistently been the best in the conference over the past several seasons: Clemson and Florida State. While Florida State isn’t as good as they have been in years past because of their transition in quarterback systems, Clemson is better than ever this season.
The Tigers’ juggernaut offense looks to exploit a stout Seminole defense. While this will be a great game, I expect Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson to lead the No. 3 Tigers to victory in Death Valley, continuing Clemson’s undefeated season and run towards the College Football Playoff.