ACC Week Eight Preview
No. 5 Florida State (5-0, 3-0 ACC) travels to No. 3 Clemson (6-0, 4-0 ACC) for a crucial matchup between the two undefeated teams in the Atlantic division. The Seminoles had a bye week to prepare for the matchup after blasting Maryland at home, 63-0, while Clemson started slowly but recovered to beat Boston College, 24-14. The home team has won the past six meetings between the rivals and Florida State has not won in Death Valley since 2001. Florida State has the better overall stats, ranking third nationally in both points for (53.6 ppg) and points against (12.0), but Clemson is no stranger to big games, defeating Georgia under the lights at home in week one.
Coastal division rivals No. 11 Miami (5-0, 1-0 ACC) and North Carolina (1-4, 0-2 ACC) face off in Chapel Hill on Thursday night. Miami is the lone undefeated team in the division, and would be one of two undefeated teams in the ACC after this weekend if they can get past the Tar Heels. Miami has shined on both sides of the ball, ranking ninth in points for (45.2 ppg) and points against (16.0) among FBS teams. North Carolina has dropped three-straight, but did beat the Hurricanes on the road, 18-14, last season.
Syracuse (3-3, 1-1 ACC) travels to Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-2 ACC) for the first meeting between the squads since the 2004 Champs Sports Bowl (GT won 51-14). The Orange earned their first ACC conference win with a 24-10 win at NC State last weekend, while Georgia Tech lost a non-conference game at BYU. Both teams have found success on the ground with Syracuse rushing for 220.7 yards per game and the Yellow Jackets accumulating 290.3 rushing yards per game.
Wake Forest (3-3, 1-2 ACC) welcomes Maryland (5-1, 1-1 ACC) to Winston-Salem. The Demon Deacons sat idle in week seven after a 28-13 win against NC State for their first conference win of the season. Maryland comes in following a one-point win over rival Virginia and sits one game back of the Atlantic Division leaders. Wake Forest and Maryland have held serve at home over the last six meetings with the last road win coming by Wake Forest in 2006.
Virginia (2-4, 0-2 ACC) opens up a stretch of three-consecutive ACC home games, hosting Duke (4-2, 0-2 ACC). The Cavaliers missed a field goal in the final minute, falling one point shy of upsetting Maryland on the road in week six, while Duke eased past Navy to complete a perfect non-conference slate. The Blue Devils have won four of the last five over Virginia dating to 2008 and have not won five of six since 1974-1979.
Pittsburgh (3-2, 2-2 ACC) plays its second non-conference game of the season, hosting FCS foe Old Dominion (4-2).