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ACC Football Notebook: Week 11

acc footballNews and notes from across the world of ACC football heading into Week 11 of the 2017 season.


This Week’s Schedule

Thursday, November 9

  • North Carolina at Pitt, 7:30 p.m., ESPN, UNC leads series, 8-3

Saturday, November 11

  • Duke at Army West Point, Noon, CBSSN, noon, Duke leads series, 13-10-1
  • NC State at Boston College, Noon, ABC/ESPN2, BC leads series, 9-5
  • Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, 12:20 p.m., ACC Network, Virginia Tech leads series, 9-5
  • Wake Forest at Syracuse, 3 p.m., RSN, Wake Forest leads series, 4-2
  • Florida State at Clemson, 3:30 p.m., ESPN, Florida State leads series, 20-10
  • Virginia at Louisville, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU, Louisville leads series, 3-2
  • Notre Dame at Miami, 8 p.m., ABC, Notre Dame leads series, 18-7-1


ACC Football Notes

  • Clinch Scenarios: Clemson and Miami, both listed in the top 10 of the most recent College Football Playoff rankings, could clinch spots in the 2017 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game this weekend. The Tigers, who are coming off a road win at NC State, can play their way into the title game with a victory over Florida State Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The Hurricanes play a non-conference game vs. Notre Dame on ABC at 8 p.m., and can only clinch the Coastal Division if Louisville beats Virginia.
  • ESPN College GameDay: Miami will host ESPN’s College GameDay show for the first time since a Labor Day Monday night contest vs. Florida State on Sept. 4, 2006. It’s also the first time GameDay has been to Coral Gables on a Saturday since 2001 vs. Syracuse. This is the sixth time Miami has hosted GameDay and the 19th time the show has been at the site of a Hurricanes’ football game. It’s also the second straight weekend Miami has been the site of ABC’s SaturdayNight Game of the Week.
  • Bowl Eligibility: The ACC has five bowl-eligible teams this week – Miami (8-0), Clemson (8-1), Virginia Tech (7-2), NC State (6-3) and Virginia (6-3). Three other teams need just one win this week to achieve postseason eligibility, including Boston College, Louisville and Wake Forest. Four other ACC teams – Duke, Georgia Tech, Pitt and Syracuse – need two wins to go bowling.
  • Wins Over .500 Teams: Led by Clemson with seven, the ACC leads all conferences in wins (32) vs. teams with a .500-or-better record. No other team in the AP Top 10 has played more .500-or-better teams than Clemson (7).
  • Florida State at Clemson: Clemson can win the Atlantic Division and earn a berth in the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game for the third straight year with a victory over the Seminoles. It is the first time in seven seasons in which both teams have not been nationally ranked. However, it is the 25th time in the 31-game series that at least one has been ranked among the AP Top 25.
  • NC State at Boston College: NC State travels to Boston College for a noon kickoff and must win to keep alive any chance for an Atlantic Division crown. The game will be televised regionally on ABC, and on ESPN2 to the rest of the country. BC has won three straight ACC games for the first time since 2013 and is coming off a bye week. The Eagles have won eight of 12 meetings against NC State since joining the conference.
  • Notre Dame at Miami: One of college football’s most significant rivalries resumes Saturdaynight when Miami and Notre Dame meet for the 27th time overall, but first at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Notre Dame holds an 18-7-1 advantage in a series which began in 1955. The Irish have won the last four meetings between the two teams and Miami’s last win was a 27-10 upset of the then No. 1-ranked Irish in 1989 at the old Orange Bowl. The series is tied 6-6-1 in the 13 games played in South Florida, including the last five meetings at the Orange Bowl. Notre Dame ranks fourth nationally in rushing offense (324.8), seventh in scoring offense (41.3) and 17th in scoring defense (17.1). Miami leads the nation in tackles for loss (8.8) and is 12th in scoring defense (17.6).
  • North Carolina at Pitt: For the second time in the last three years, North Carolina and Pitt will meet in an ESPN Thursday night contest. The Tar Heels took a 26-19 decision at Heinz Field in 2015. UNC has won all four ACC meetings between the two teams since 2013 but none have been by more than seven points with the average margin of victory just 5.0. In fact, the average margin of victory in the 11 games between the two teams is just 6.8 points with UNC holding an 8-3 advantage. The Panthers’ last win in Pittsburgh was a 7-6 decision in 1982 when they were ranked No. 1 nationally and the Tar Heels were No. 5. Pitt’s three wins in the series have been by a total of just seven points.
  • Wake Forest at Syracuse: The Demon Deacons and Orange meet for only the sixth time in a series which began in 2006 in Winston-Salem. Syracuse has won all three meetings in the Carrier Dome and holds an 4-2 overall advantage. The game pits two of the top quarterbacks in the ACC in Syracuse junior Eric Dungey, who is ranked seventh nationally in total offense (343.3), and Wake’s John Wolford, who ranks ninth nationally in pass efficiency (161.2).
  • Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech: Nine times in the last 13 years the winner of this game has either claimed the ACC title or represented the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship Game. The Hokies hold a 9-5 advantage in the series which began in 1990 in Atlanta and a 5-2 lead at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The Jackets are third nationally in rushing offense, averaging 331.9 yards per game, while the Hokies are 18th nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 122.8 yards per game and are fourth in third down defense (.248).
  • Virginia at Louisville: Louisville has won the last two meetings, but all five games in the series have been close with the largest margin of victory being seven points, and the average margin of victory just 3.8 points per game. The Cardinals are third nationally in total offense (549.3).
  • Duke at Army: The teams meet for the 25th time this weekend with the Blue Devils holding a 13-10-1 advantage in a series that began in 1944 in New York City. Duke has won the last two meetings and nine of the last 11. Under David Cutcliffe, Duke is 3-1 against the Cadets, including a 44-3 decision on the Blue Devils’ last trip to West Point in 2015. Army has won five in a row heading into Saturday’s game and have won six straight at Michie Stadium (5-0 this year). Duke, which began the season with four consecutive wins, is looking to snap a five-game losing streak. Army leads the nation in rushing offense, averaging 365.4 yards per game and is second in red zone defense (.619). Duke is 40th in defense against the run, allowing just 142.1 yards per game and is 14th in team tackles for loss (7.6).
  • Dabo Ranks Fifth: Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, who earned his 97th career victory last weekend, is now fifth on the all-time ACC coaching wins list. Former ACC coach Bill Dooley is next on the list, having won 98 games at North Carolina and Wake Forest.
  • Rushing QBs: The top two rushers in the ACC this year are Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson (114.3) and Georgia Tech QB TaQuon Marshall (108.8). In its 65 years, the ACC has never had a quarterback finish the season as its rushing leader.