With Oregon’s loss to Stanford on Thursday night, Florida State is officially in the driver’s seat to play for the national title. And the Seminoles continued to win in impressive fashion, handling Wake Forest 59-3.
North Carolina and Syracuse picked up key wins for bowl eligibility on Saturday, while Boston College survived a strange late-season road trip to New Mexico State.
Virginia Tech knocked off Miami 42-24 to add another twist in the race to win the Coastal Division. The Hokies need some help from the Hurricanes in Week 12, as they travel to Durham to take on a Duke team that controls its destiny in the Coastal Division.
Pittsburgh picked up a 28-21 upset win over Notre Dame, which moved the Panthers one step closer to bowl eligibility.
ACC Week 11 Awards and Recap
Offensive Player of the Week: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
Thomas was on the hot seat after subpar performances against Duke and Boston College. However, with a Coastal Division title potentially on the line at Miami, the senior delivered one of his best performances of 2013. Thomas threw for 366 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 42 yards on the ground against the Hurricanes. Thomas completed 80.6 percent of his throws on Saturday night, which is the second highest mark in his career, ranking just behind a 23 of 25 performance against Miami in 2011. While the 408 total yards was impressive, Thomas’ biggest contribution to the victory was a zero in the interception column.
Defensive Player of the Week: Ray Vinopal, S, Pittsburgh
Vinopal was a key cog in Pittsburgh’s upset victory over Notre Dame. The junior tied for the team lead with seven tackles, forced one fumble and picked off two passes. Vinopal’s interceptions came at key moments for Pittsburgh’s defense, with the first pick coming while Notre Dame was in the redzone, and the second led to the winning score for the Panthers.
Team of the Week: Virginia Tech
This award could go to a couple of different teams, but Virginia Tech gets the honor for Week 11. The Hokies rebounded after back-to-back losses with a 42-24 victory at Miami to stay alive in the Coastal Division. Virginia Tech forced two fumbles on special teams, which resulted in two scores and a 28-14 lead by halftime. The offense struggled in losses to Duke and Boston College, but quarterback Logan Thomas completed 25 of 31 throws for 366 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Trey Edmunds also had a solid performance, recording 74 yards and four scores on 14 rushing attempts. The Hokies’ defense limited Miami to only 28 rushing yards and sacked quarterback Stephen Morris three times. Virginia Tech needs some help to win the Coastal, but with games against Maryland and Virginia, a 9-3 final record is likely.
Coordinator of the Week: Jeremy Pruitt, Florida State
The Seminoles have a clear edge in talent against Wake Forest. However, even with a significant edge, it’s hard to ignore the performance of Florida State’s defense on Saturday. The Seminoles simply suffocated the Demon Deacons, allowing only 166 yards on 65 plays. Wake Forest averaged just 2.6 yards per play and lost seven turnovers. Quarterbacks Tyler Cameron and Tanner Price combined to throw six interceptions and only one drive for the Demon Deacons traveled into the redzone. With Florida State’s huge lead, Pruitt was able to empty the bench and gain valuable reps for some of the younger players, including linebackers Reggie Northrup and E.J. Levenberry. Since allowing 34 points to Boston College on Sept. 28, the Seminoles have allowed just 58 over their last five games. And with Pruitt and this defense getting more comfortable with each snap, Florida State can only get better on defense the rest of the season.
Freshman of the Week: DeVon Edwards, S, Duke
With Duke struggling to get its offense on track, the defense had to deliver a few big plays to seal the victory against NC State. And with the Blue Devils holding a slim 24-20 lead late in the fourth quarter, Edwards made two key plays that kept Duke alive in the Coastal Division title picture. The redshirt freshman picked off a Brandon Mitchell pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown, giving Duke a 31-20 lead. But that wasn’t Edwards’ last trip to the endzone, as he intercepted NC State quarterback Pete Thomas on the next offensive play and returned the pick 45 yards for a score. Edwards also scored on a 100-yard kickoff return in the third quarter. The freshman became the first FBS player to score three non-offensive touchdowns in 10 years.
ACC Post-Week 11 Power Rankings
W, Wake Forest 59-3
Ga. Tech (Thursday)
W, NC State 38-20
at Clemson (Thursday)
W, Miami 42-24
L, Va. Tech 42-24
W, Notre Dame 28-21
W, Virginia 45-14
W, NMSU 48-34
W, Maryland 20-3
at Florida State
L, Florida State 59-3
L, Syracuse 20-3
at Virginia Tech
L, Duke 38-20
at Boston College
L, N. Carolina 45-14