The ACC had a lot of question marks heading into Week 5. A lot of those questions were answered this weekend, as Saturday proved just how tough it is to win games against conference opponents. Here’s a quick recap of what took place in the ACC this week:
Clemson survives UNC, 21-20
Before Saturday, the Tigers had won 14 straight games by 14+ points. The last team to reach that feat were the Georgia Bulldogs in 1946; therefore, maybe Clemson was overdue for a nail-biter. Trevor Lawrence didn’t have his best stuff against UNC, but still threw for 206 yards and a touchdown, and ran for a touchdown as well, all without turning the ball over.
Give the Tar Heels credit for challenging Clemson, as Mack Brown’s team was a two-point conversion away from taking a one-point lead with a minute left. Freshman Sam Howell played well against one of the best defenses in the country, throwing for two touchdowns and managing the game like a fourth-year starter. A close call may be just what this Tiger team needed, as they now have a week off before hosting Florida State. The Tar Heels travel to Atlanta on Saturday to face Georgia Tech, who scored 2 points against Temple.
Wake Forest, Florida State pick up big conference wins
The Demon Deacons find themselves ranked in the AP Poll for the first time since 2008 after defeating Boston College 27-24 in Chestnut Hill. Wake quarterback Jamie Newman completed 21 passes for 243 yards, two TDs and an interception. Newman had a big day on the ground, too, rushing 23 times for 102 yards, including a 50-yard scamper. BC’s Anthony Brown accounted for 285 yards of offense and two touchdowns, but coughed up the ball on three separate occasions. RB AJ Dillon ran 23 times for 159 yards, but didn’t sniff the endzone. Wake Forest has a bye week next before hosting Louisville, while Boston College travels to Louisville this weekend.
The Seminoles have seemed to hit their stride in the last two weeks with home wins over Louisville and NC State. Graduate transfer from Wisconsin, Alex Hornibrook, made his first career start at FSU and didn’t disappoint. He threw for 316 yards and three TDs in the win, with RB Cam Akers contributing 83 yards on the ground and a touchdown. The Seminoles get a bye week before traveling to second-ranked Clemson. The NC State Wolfpack are also off this week before hosting Syracuse next Thursday night.
What’s wrong with Virginia Tech?
After a tumultuous 2018 season that saw the Hokies finish 6-7, this year’s Virginia Tech team may be headed down that same road. An opening-season loss to a conference opponent on the road shouldn’t cause any reason for concern, but the Hokies’ last three games are puzzling. In Week 2, they led by only seven in the fourth quarter against Old Dominion, eventually pulling away 31-17. Week 2 saw VT escape FCS Furman by seven points before getting ran off the field by Duke on Friday night, 45-10. Justin Fuente better figure out the problem soon or he may be looking for another job. The Hokies’ are in need of a must-win game this weekend as they hope to avoid falling to 0-3 in ACC play when they travel to Miami on Saturday.
- Notre Dame: 35, Virginia: 20
- Syracuse: 41, Holy Cross: 3
- Pittsburgh: 17, Delaware: 14
- Temple: 24, Georgia Tech: 2