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10 Best ACC College Football Games of 2015


It was quite a wild ride through the ACC in the 2015 college football season. The conference had its fair share of some wild endings and thrillers and stunners. The conference also placed one team in the College Football Playoff with Clemson managing to run the table this fall, but it was not a walk through the park at times for the Tigers. There were some close calls along the way. Last year's Playoff representative, Florida State, was on the wrong end of a special teams miracle while Miami put together some of the crazier finishes in the ACC this season.

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Cutting down the top 10 games in the ACC this season was no small task with all there was to consider, but here are the 10 that made the final cut, and a few that just missed.

Honorable Mentions

Houston 34, Louisville 31: A loss for the ACC, but Louisville made what would turn out to be a very good Houston team earn the victory, forcing the Cougars to come from behind twice in the fourth quarter.

Iowa 27, Pittsburgh 24: Nobody knew what was going to happen with Iowa, but Pat Narduzzi's Panthers gave the Hawkeyes all they could handle before falling on a last-second field goal.

Boston College 76, Howard 0: If for no other reason, it is worth mentioning because Boston College actually showed some offense.

Florida State 27, Florida 2: Florida State manhandled rival Florida and Dalvin Cook put on a show against the Gators' defense in the second half.

Virginia Tech 23, Virginia 20: The Hokies edged their in-state rivals for the 11th straight time, but this one was a little sweeter since it gave Frank Beamer one final bowl game before he retires.

10. Notre Dame 34, Virginia 27 — Sept. 12

The ACC may have taken a loss, but the Virginia Cavaliers pushed Notre Dame to the limit. The game is more notable for being the moment when Deshone Kizer stepped in for the Irish and led them to victory after Malik Zaire left with a fractured ankle. The game was a true back-and-forth affair with Notre Dame dominating one quarter, Virginia responding the next, the Irish swinging back in the third and Virginia fighting back in the fourth before failing to finish.

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Will Fuller hauled in a 39-yard pass from Kizer with just 12 seconds to play in the game. Kizer picked up a key four-yard run on a 4th-and-2 from the Notre Dame 28-yard line and then completed his next two passes for first downs to set up the game-winning touchdown play.

9. North Carolina 30, Virginia Tech 27 — Nov. 21

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North Carolina looked like an easy favorite to wrap up the ACC Coastal after blowing away Duke and Miami with big point totals, but the Hokies brought plenty of fight and never quit in the final home game under Frank Beamer. UNC took a seemingly commanding 24-10 lead midway through the fourth quarter but Virginia Tech scored twice in the final three minutes to force overtime. Two lost fumbles by UNC led to those two Virginia Tech touchdowns in storybook fashion, but Quinshad Davis caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Marquise Williams to push past the Hokies in overtime.

8. Clemson 20, Louisville 17 — Sept. 17

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One of the early tests for Clemson came in Week 3 with a Thursday night road trip to Louisville, which figured to be one of the tougher defensive tests for the Tigers. Louisville losing its first two games of the season took some steam out of the matchup's notoriety, but the Cardinals lived up to the hype of presenting a tough challenge for Clemson.

Deshaun Watson and Louisville's Kyle Bolin were each picked off twice, but Wayne Gallman put together a 139-yard performance on the ground for Clemson and Watson completed two touchdown passes. Clemson put up 401 yards of offense and held on for a close win in the fourth quarter despite giving up a 100-yard kickoff return touchdown to Traveon Samuel.

7. Duke 45, Virginia Tech 43 (4OT) — Oct. 24

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Duke and Virginia Tech traded scores all afternoon in Blacksburg and went to overtime tied 24-24. Then things got really crazy. The Blue Devils and Hokies played four overtimes, first exchanging field goals and then swapping touchdowns before matching field goals in the third overtime (Virginia Tech needed a 40-yard field goal to force a fourth overtime).

The Hokies scored a touchdown in the fourth overtime when Travon McMillian pushed across from the goal line, but a mandatory two-point try failed. Duke capitalized on their two-point opportunity following a 25-yard pass from Thomas Sirk to Erich Schneider on its first play of the fourth overtime. The game lifted Duke to 6-1 at the time and dropped Virginia Tech to 3-5.

6. Clemson 23, Florida State 13 — Nov. 7

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It seems mandatory that the Clemson-Florida State game has to be on this list every year. This year's game lost some steam once Florida State was upset two weeks prior (we'll get to that one soon, I promise), and the Seminoles were a bit banged up outside of Dalvin Cook. As good as Cook was this season, he could not do it all against a well-equipped Clemson team. Deshaun Watson passed for 297 yards and ran for 107 yards and Wayne Gallman rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown to provide too much offense for Florida State to clamp down. Cook was great though, rushing for 194 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort.

5. Miami 36, Nebraska 33 (OT) — Sept. 19