ACC & Big 12 Week 5 Preview: Virginia Tech Seeks Redemption in Rematch of 2016 ACC Championship
In the fifth week of the college football season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are making visits throughout ACC and Big 12 country, meeting with fans across both conferences in advance of the Camping World Bowl on December 28.
No. 2 Clemson at No. 12 Virginia Tech– 8:00 p.m. on ABC
The Clemson Tigers (4-0, 2-0 ACC) will travel to Virginia Tech (4-0, 0-0 ACC) on Saturday for the first Top-12 matchup at Lane Stadium since 2009. Clemson is coming off of a 34-7 win over Boston College that saw the Eagles keep up with the defending national champions until the fourth quarter. Clemson and Boston College entered the fourth tied at 7-7, but Adam Choice’s 6-yard touchdown run ended the stalemate, setting the stage for freshman Travis Etienne to add two more rushing touchdowns in the final six minutes. Overall, the Tigers gained 342 of their 482 total yards scored all five of their touchdowns on the ground.
You ready, Blacksburg?
We're coming for @ClemsonFB vs @VT_Football! pic.twitter.com/cdUDfGnjqU
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 24, 2017
The Hokies have maintained their undefeated season fairly easy so far, with wins over West Virginia, Delaware, East Carolina and, most recently, Old Dominion, whom Virginia Tech shut out 38-0 last weekend. (The Hokies’ Week 2 win over Delaware also came via shutout.) Last week against Old Dominion, freshman quarterback Josh Jackson completed 20 of 30 passes for 298 yards, while running back Steven Peoples scored the third touchdown of his career.
The Hokies’ and Tigers’ last meeting came in December at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, with the ACC title on the line. Behind five touchdowns (three passing and two rushing) by Heisman candidate Deshaun Watson, the Tigers walked out with a 42-35 victory. It was the second time the two met face-to-face for the conference title, with Clemson winning it in both 2016 and 2011. The Hokies are coming in on a four-game losing streak to the Tigers and have not been victorious in the series since 2007.
Florida State at Wake Forest– 3:30 PM on ABC
The Seminoles (0-2, 0-1 ACC) are looking for their first win of the season as they play the undefeated Demon Deacons (4-0, 1-0 ACC) for the 36th time in series history this weekend. Florida State is coming off a 27-21 loss to NC State, which dropped the ‘Noles out of the AP Top 25 for the first time in nearly six years. True freshman quarterback James Blackman made his debut and completed 22 of his 38 passes for 278 yards and the only Florida State touchdown of the game, a 4-yard pass to receiver Auden Tate.
Wake Forest is entering Saturday’s game with a 4-0 record — the program’s first 4-0 start since its 2006 ACC championship season — after squeezing past Appalachian State 20-19 last week. Wide receiver Scotty Washington blocked what would have been a game-winning 39-yard field goal for the Mountaineers with five seconds left in the game. Freshman receiver Greg Dortch also continued a hot start to his Wake Forest career, as he caught a 10-yard toss from quarterback John Wolford for a touchdown, making Dortch the only freshman in school history to score in his first four games.
Florida State has a five-game winning streak over Wake Forest and, with the wins coming by an average margin of 33.4 points. Last season, Wake Forest went without a touchdown as Florida State won at home, 17-6. The Demon Deacons have not scored an offensive touchdown in five straight games played in Tallahassee, but they do have a 2011 win over the ‘Noles at BB&T Field, the site of Saturday’s game.
Here are the rest of the ACC and Big 12 games our selection committee members will attend:
North Carolina (1-3, 0-2 ACC) at Georgia Tech (2-1, 1-0 ACC) – 12:00 p.m. on ESPN 2
Syracuse (2-2, 0-0 ACC) at NC State (3-1, 1-0 ACC) – 12:20 p.m on ACC Network
Baylor (0-4, 0-1 Big 12) at Kansas State (2-1, 0-0 Big 12) – 3:30 p.m on ESPN 2
Miami (OH) (2-2, 1-0 Mid-American) at Notre Dame (3-1) – 5:00 p.m on NBC
Other ACC and Big 12 games being played this week:
Texas (21-2, 0-0 Big 12) defeated Iowa State (2-2, 0-0 Big 12), 17-7 on Thursday evening
No. 14 Miami (2-0, 0-0 ACC) at Duke (4-0, 1-0 ACC) – 7:00 p.m (Friday) on ESPN
Rice (1-3, 1-1 USA) at Pittsburgh (1-3, 0-1 ACC) – 12:00 p.m on ACC Network
Central Michigan (2-2, 0-1 Mid-American) at Boston College (1-3, 0-2 ACC) – 1:00 p.m on ACC Network
Murray State (1-3, 0-1 Ohio Valley) at No. 17 Louisville (3-1, 1-1 ACC) – 3:30 p.m on ACC Network
No. 15 Oklahoma State (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) at Texas Tech (3-0, 0-0 Big 12) – 8:00 p.m on FOX