Demon Deacons remain optimistic at 4-1

Demon Deacons remain optimistic at 4-1

The conversation surrounding this week in the ACC was dominated by one game: Clemson vs. Louisville.

The battle of the two unbeatens in Death Valley didn’t shake up the ACC, but it may have sewn up the Atlantic Division title for Clemson, who defeated the Louisville Cardinals 42-36. The team was led by Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Deshaun Watson, who threw for five touchdowns, 306 yards and ran for 91 more on the way to conquering a Louisville team that — up until they met the Tigers — had been deemed unstoppable.

Louisville’s do-everything quarterback Lamar Jackson had himself a game as well, tacking on another three touchdowns, 295 passing yards and 162 rushing yards to his already stellar season. Clemson moved to No. 3 in the AP Poll up from No. 5, while Louisville fell to No. 7. Both teams will still undoubtedly contend for a spot in the College Football Playoff at the end of the season.

Elsewhere in the ACC, Wake Forest’s magical 4-0 unbeaten start came to a close at NC State, as they fell 16-33 on the road. NC State got off to a hot start against the Demon Deacons, dropping 17 points and 204 yards on the Deacs in a first quarter that proved to be more than enough for the Wolfpack who rose to 3-1 on the year. It’s worth mentioning that Wake Forest was missing its starting quarterback and running back in Kendall Hinton and Cade Carney, two key playmakers in the improved Wake Forest offense this season.

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In Tallahassee, the nation’s longest home-winning streak came to an end this week as No. 17 UNC knocked off a previously No. 12 ranked Florida State team, 37-35. Florida State hadn’t lost at home in 22 games prior to last weekend, but the brilliance of North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky allowed Tar Heels to stay with the ever-threatening Seminoles. The Tar Heels clinched the upset in dramatic fashion, as senior kicker Nick Weiler punched a 54-yard field goal as time expired that split the uprights and Seminole fans’ hearts as they watched Florida State fall to 3-2 on the year. North Carolina rose to 4-1 on the year and to the top of the Coastal division.

With a much simpler game plan than they’ve had in past games, Virginia was able to defeat Duke in Durham, 34-20, for their second win on the year. Virginia was able to intercept five passes and force six total turnovers against the Blue Devils, effectively stifling the Duke offense whenever they gained momentum.

Duke may have a hard time notching the four wins it will need in order to be eligible for a bowl game this winter. Next week, look out for UNC-Miami to headline another unpredictable week in the ACC.

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