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Athlon recaps the Week 10 action in the ACC.
The Coastal Division has been one of college football’s most difficult races to figure out this season but there could be some clarity after Miami’s win over Virginia Tech on Thursday night. The Hurricanes own a 4-2 record in ACC play and finish with matchups against Duke and Virginia. Florida State remains the conference’s No. 1 team, with Clemson a close second at 8-1 overall.
ACC Offensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina – Bernard and North Carolina were off in Week 10, but the sophomore continues to maintain a commanding lead for the No. 1 spot. Bernard needs 70 rushing yards to reach 1,000 and has 15 total scores this year.
2. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – Boyd has tossed 10 touchdowns over the last two weeks and ranks fourth nationally in pass efficiency.
3. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson – Hopkins is having an outstanding season so far, catching 62 passes for 1,037 yards and 13 scores through nine contests.
ACC Defensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – Werner had an off date in Week 10 but remains tied for the ACC lead in sacks and ranks second in tackles for a loss (12.5).
2. Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland – Vellano recorded only one tackle in Saturday’s loss to Georgia Tech.
3. Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke – Cockrell and Duke’s defensive backs have struggled the last two weeks, allowing 48 points to Florida State and 56 to Clemson.
ACC Coach of the Year Standings
1. David Cutcliffe, Duke – The Blue Devils have lost back-to-back games but remains on track to make their first bowl appearance since 1994.
2. Al Golden, Miami – Even though Miami’s overall record (5-4) isn’t particularly impressive, the Hurricanes are in position to win their first Coastal title.
3. Larry Fedora, North Carolina – Despite a bowl ban hanging over this team, Fedora has been able to keep the Tar Heels on track and should have the best record in the Coastal Division at the end of the year.
Post-Week 10 Power Rankings
1. Florida State (8-1, 5-1 ACC)
Last Week: 1
Week 10 Result: Bye Week
The Seminoles were off in Week 10 and return to action on Thursday night against Virginia Tech. Florida State still controls its destiny in the Atlantic Division but cannot afford another loss with Clemson also 5-1 in conference play. The Seminoles have to travel to Blacksburg this Thursday, a place they have not won at since 1989. Even though Virginia Tech is struggling, this is still a dangerous game for Florida State.
Next Game: at Virginia Tech (Thursday)
2. Clemson (8-1, 5-1 ACC)
Last Week: 2
Week 10 Result: Beat Duke 56-20
With 98 points in the last two weeks, it’s pretty clear the Tigers' offense is hitting on all cylinders. Clemson’s offense had its way against Duke, leading the team to a 56-20 win and improving its overall record to 8-1. Quarterback Tajh Boyd threw three picks but tossed five touchdown passes. Receiver DeAndre Hopkins was Boyd’s favorite target, catching four passes for 129 yards and three scores. Clemson has scored at least 40 points four times in ACC play this season and has a shot to make a BCS bowl if it wins its final three games.
Next Game: Maryland
3. North Carolina (6-3, 3-2 ACC)
Last Week: 3
Week 10 Result: Bye Week
The Tar Heels were off in Week 10, allowing them a little more time to celebrate last week’s 43-35 win over rival NC State. North Carolina should be favored to win its last three games – Georgia Tech, at Virginia and Maryland. However, the Tar Heels are ineligible to play in a bowl game, which has put a damper on a promising first season by new coach Larry Fedora.
Next Game: Georgia Tech
4. Miami (5-4, 4-2 ACC)
Last Week: 7
Week 10 Result: Beat Virginia Tech 30-12
The Hurricanes moved one step closer to an ACC Coastal title with a 30-12 victory over Virginia Tech on Thursday night. Miami struggled to move the ball at times, but the defense forced three turnovers and blocked a punt to setup a scoring drive. Freshman running back Duke Johnson had a huge performance, rushing for 100 yards and one touchdown, while adding an 81-yard kickoff return in the first quarter. The Hurricanes have two more conference games remaining – at Virginia and at Duke – and wins in both contests would send this team to its first appearance in the ACC Championship game.
Next Game: at Virginia
5. Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3 ACC)
Last Week: 5
Week 10 Result: Lost to Miami 30-12
A season that began with a lot of promise has quickly eroded into a battle just to get bowl eligible. The Hokies came off the bye week with a chance to gain control of the Coastal Division but lost 30-12 to Miami on Thursday night. Quarterback Logan Thomas had a few bright moments (a 73-yard touchdown run), but the junior also tossed two picks and completed only 19 of 37 throws. In addition to Thomas’ inconsistency, the Hokies didn’t get much production from their running backs. Virginia Tech needs two wins to get bowl eligible and should be able to beat Boston College and Virginia in the last two weeks of the season. However, a 6-6 record would be a major disappointment in Blacksburg.
Next Game: Florida State (Thursday)
6. Duke (6-4, 3-3 ACC)
Last Week: 6
Week 10 Result: Lost to Clemson 56-20
The last two weeks have taken a toll on Duke’s defense. The Blue Devils gave up 48 points in a loss to Florida State and was gashed for 56 points by Clemson in Week 10. Duke’s offense was able to hang with the Tigers early on, but the Blue Devils simply didn’t have enough firepower to close the gap in the second half. Although Duke dropped to 3-3 in ACC play, the next two matchups – at Georgia Tech and Miami – will decide if this team can win the Coastal Division.
Next Game: Bye Week
7. NC State (5-4, 2-3 ACC)
Last Week: 4
Week 10 Result: Lost to Virginia 33-6
The Wolfpack’s 33-6 loss to Virginia has to be one of the year’s most puzzling scores. NC State was a double-digit favorite to the Cavaliers, yet suffered an embarrassing loss. The Wolfpack managed only 216 yards on offense and surrendered 446 on defense. The loss to Virginia essentially knocks NC State out of the mix for the ACC Atlantic title and casts doubt on the future of coach Tom O’Brien. Although the Wolfpack are 22-13 over the last three years, there’s plenty of unrest in the fanbase. NC State will likely finish 7-5 but Saturday’s loss to Virginia won’t sit well at the end of the season.
Next Game: Wake Forest
8. Georgia Tech (4-5, 3-3 ACC)
Last Week: 8
Week 10 Result: Beat Maryland 33-13
After an awful showing in last week’s 41-17 loss to BYU, the Yellow Jackets bounced back into the win column with a 33-13 victory over Maryland. Georgia Tech’s defense has struggled all year and the Terrapins’ 13 points was the fewest allowed against a FBS opponent. Of course, Maryland’s quarterback issues had something to do with the defensive performance but this should help the Yellow Jackets build some momentum for the next few games. Georgia Tech could make a bowl game but needs to win two out of its last three contests – at North Carolina, Duke and at Georgia.
Next Game: at North Carolina
9. Maryland (4-5, 2-3 ACC)
Last Week: 9
Week 10 Result: Lost to Georgia Tech 33-13
The Terrapins dropped their third game in a row, losing 33-13 to Maryland on Saturday. With the injuries mounting at quarterback, converted linebacker Shawn Petty made his first start. The freshman completed 9 of 18 attempts for 115 yards and two touchdowns but struggled to get into a rhythm in the first half. Maryland’s defense has had a good season but allowed nearly 400 rushing yards to Georgia Tech. The Terrapins’ bowl hopes are slipping away, as this team needs two wins in matchups against Clemson, Florida State and North Carolina to get eligible for the postseason.
Next Game: at Clemson
10. Wake Forest (5-4, 3-4 ACC)
Last Week: 10
Week 10 Result: Beat Boston College 28-14
The Demon Deacons moved one step closer to bowl eligibility with a 28-14 win over Boston College. Wake Forest’s passing attack was the difference in the game, with quarterback Tanner Price completing 39 of 57 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Michael Campanaro tied an ACC record with 16 receptions, with three catches going for scores. Wake Forest’s defense had a solid effort against the Eagles’ offense, recording three sacks and four turnovers. The Demon Deacons conclude ACC play with a game at NC State next Saturday.
Next Game: at NC State
11. Virginia (3-6, 1-4 ACC)
Last Week: 12
Week 10 Result: Beat NC State 33-6
The Cavaliers have been one of the ACC’s most disappointing teams so far this season but got a little redemption in Week 10. Virginia manhandled NC State 33-6 to snap a six-game losing streak and claim its first win in ACC play this year. The Cavaliers’ offense has struggled to find their rhythm all year but recorded over 400 yards and finally found a spark on the ground. Kevin Parks rushed for 115 yards and Perry Jones chipped in 67 on 11 carries. The defense also did its part on Saturday, forcing five turnovers and picking up five sacks. Virginia still has slim bowl hopes and needs to win its final three games to get to six victories.
Next Game: Miami
12. Boston College (2-7, 1-5 ACC)
Last Week: 11
Week 10 Result: Lost to Wake Forest 28-14
With Saturday’s 28-14 loss to Wake Forest, Boston College clinched back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1997-98. The Eagles trailed 21-7 at halftime but pulled within seven in the third quarter. However, Boston College could never get closer, largely due to four turnovers and an inability to find an answer for Wake Forest receiver Michael Campanaro. The Eagles could be looking at a 2-10 final record, especially with matchups against Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and NC State remaining.
Next Game: Notre Dame
by Steven Lassan
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