ACC Week Nine Preview
No. 2 Florida State (6-0, 4-0 ACC) welcomes NC State (3-3, 0-3 ACC) into Tallahassee for an ACC Atlantic Division matchup. The Wolfpack upset the Seminoles at home last season and have won two of the last three games in the series. Florida State has bolted out to a 4-0 start in ACC play, outscoring opponents by an average of 35.5 points. QB Jameis Winston passed for 444 yards and three touchdowns in the Seminoles’ 51-14 blowout win at Clemson last weekend.
No. 9 Clemson (6-1, 4-1 ACC) travels to Maryland (5-2, 1-2 ACC) for a matchup between two squads looking to rebound from tough ACC losses. The Tigers fell behind early in a 51-14 home loss to Florida State, while Maryland suffered key injuries in a 34-10 road loss at Wake Forest. Clemson has won three-straight over the Terps, although the teams have split the last 12 meetings overall.
No. 7 Miami (6-0, 2-0 ACC) hosts Wake Forest (4-3, 2-2 ACC) in its final game before a showdown with Florida State in two weeks. The Demon Deacons are not to be overlooked, however, winning two-straight ACC games over NC State and Maryland. Wake Forest QB Tanner Price tossed for 231 yards and scored touchdowns via pass, catch and run in the win over the Terrapins. Miami jumped into the top 10 of the rankings after a midweek road win at North Carolina. Backup running back Dallas Crawford rushed for 137 yards and the game-winning touchdown with 16 seconds remaining. Miami has not lost to Wake Forest since joining the ACC (4-0).
No. 14 Virginia Tech (6-1, 3-0 ACC) returns from a bye week to host Duke (5-2, 1-2 ACC). Both teams are playing well recently as the Hokies have won six-straight following an opening week loss to top-ranked Alabama and Duke has won three-straight. The Blue Devils have the opportunity to reach bowl eligibility in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1988-1989. Virginia Tech has won 12-straight against Duke dating back to 1982.
Georgia Tech (4-3, 3-2 ACC) travels to Virginia (2-5, 0-3 ACC) for an ACC Coastal Division matchup. The Yellow Jackets snapped a three-game skid last weekend with a 56-0 shutout at home against Syracuse. The Yellow Jackets rushed for 394 yards, increasing their average rushing yards per game to 304.4, good for fifth nationally among FBS teams. Virginia held the lead at the half in its last two conference games, but lost both games to Maryland and Duke. The Cavaliers face an uphill battle to gain bowl eligibility, facing three ranked teams in four games following this weekend.
North Carolina (1-5, 0-3 ACC) hosts Boston College (3-3, 1-2 ACC) for the first time since 2008. The Eagles had a bye in week eight following a narrow 10-point loss on the road against Clemson, while UNC lost to Miami at home on Thursday night. Boston College running back Andre Williams leads the ACC in rushing yards with 838 yards on 157 carries. North Carolina is 3-0 all-time at home against Boston College.
Pittsburgh (4-2, 2-2 ACC) plays its second-straight non-conference game, visiting Navy (3-3). Panthers’ running back Isaac Bennett rushed for 240 yards and three touchdowns in the team’s 35-24 win over Old Dominion in week seven. Navy ranks sixth nationally in rushing yards, averaging over 300 yards per game on the ground. The Midshipmen lost a heartbreaker last weekend, falling 45-44 to Toledo in double overtime.