An eventful week of ACC play, including a shocking upset and yet another impressive performance by the North Carolina State offense, has left the Wolfpack—not preseason favorites Clemson or Florida State—in sole control of the Atlantic, with Miami and Virginia still atop the Coastal.
Florida State 17, Duke 10
After a promising 4-0 start, the Blue Devils dropped their third straight to an embattled Florida State team that is slowly regaining its confidence. A familiar storyline emerged in this one, as the Blue Devil defense did all they could, but woeful offensive execution ended up being too costly to overcome. Mark Gilbert and Jeremy McDuffie each picked off Florida State quarterback, James Blackman, but a late comeback bid fell short.
Syracuse 27, No. 2 Clemson 24
As a twenty-plus point underdog, the Orange pulled off a miracle Friday night, not only shaking up the ACC standings, but completely reshaping the College Football Playoff picture. It was a back-and-forth affair in which Clemson tied the game four separate times, only to drop their first game since November of last year. Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns while his counterpart, Kelly Bryant, was forced to exit the game early with a concussion. With this blow, the reigning national champions will likely need a perfect rest of the season to get to the Playoff for a third consecutive season.
No. 11 Miami 25, Georgia Tech 24
A miraculous fourth down grab by Miami receiver Darrell Langham, paired with a game-winning 24-yard field goal with five seconds remaining, kept Miami’s undefeated season alive in a tight win against Georgia Tech. The Hurricanes racked up 481 yards of total offense without turning the ball over, including 170 rushing yards and a touchdown from running back Travis Homer. The Yellow Jacket triple option will look to bounce back next week against Wake Forest.
No. 20 NC State 35, Pittsburgh 17
It was a great day in more ways than one for the Wolfpack, as they were able to secure their sixth straight victory and claim first place in the ACC's Atlantic Division after Clemson’s loss to Syracuse. North Carolina State’s domination of Pittsburgh was powered by 248 yards on the ground, 135 of which coming from running back Nyheim Hines. Wolfpack quarterback Ryan Finley recorded his eighth consecutive game with at least one touchdown and no interceptions, keeping Pittsburgh winless in ACC play.
Boston College 45, Louisville 42
Boston College grabbed a quality win in a thrilling shootout featuring 52 first downs and over 1,000 yards of offense. Despite another stellar performance by Heisman quarterback Lamar Jackson, who accumulated over 500 yards of total offense, the Cardinals dropped their second consecutive ACC contest. Workhorse running back AJ Dillon led the way for the Eagles, carrying the ball 39 times for 272 yards and four touchdowns.
Virginia 20, North Carolina 14
Another sound performance by the Virginia defense allowed the Cavaliers to escape Chapel Hill with a victory and keep North Carolina winless in conference play. The Virginia secondary forced three interceptions and held the Tar Heels to only 46 yards through the air. North Carolina running back Michael Carter scored both of the Tar Heels' touchdowns and accounted for 161 of North Carolina’s 257 total yards. While the Cavaliers look to crack the top-25 for the first time in years, UNC will search for their first ACC win next week in a challenging matchup at No. 15 Virginia Tech.