Atlantic Coast Conference News and Notes
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
BOSTON COLLEGE: Rolandan Finch rushed for 133 yards and Nate Freese connected on three field goals, but it wasn't enough in the end, as Boston College dropped a heart-breaker at home to Virginia Tech in overtime, 30-23. The Eagles managed just 296 yards of total offense, as Finch's production on the ground was pretty much negated by a poor effort from quarterback Chase Rettig, who completed just 13-of-30 passes, for 129 yards, with one TD and one INT. Finch was also the top receiver in the game for BC with five catches for 53 yards. BC led 13-3 at the half, but allowed the Hokies back in it and ultimately lost in the extra session. With the loss, Boston College falls to 2-9 overall and 1-6 in conference play, good for last place in the Atlantic Division standings. The Eagles will close out their season this weekend when the team takes on NC State in Raleigh.
CLEMSON: The Tigers trailed at one point 24-13, but scored 42 unanswered points to seize control and eventually posted a 62-48 shootout win over NC State in Death Valley last weekend. With the win, Clemson (10-1) posted its first 10-win regular season since winning the national title in 1981. Despite the big win over the Wolfpack, the Tigers lost their opportunity to defend their ACC crown in the ACC title game, as Florida State earned the Atlantic Division title with its win. Still, as one of the most explosive teams in the nation, the Tigers amassed a whopping 754 yards of offense, led by quarterback Tajh Boyd's big day. The junior QB threw for 426 yards and five TDs, while rushing for three more scores on 103 yards on the ground. Tailback Andre Ellington had a big day as well (124 yards rushing), as did Sammy Watkins (11 catches, 110 yards, one TD) and Brandon Ford (five catches, 101 yards, two TDs). The Tigers will close out the regular season this weekend with their annual showdown with instate rival South Carolina.
FLORIDA STATE: What seemed like a forgone conclusion heading into last weekend's clash with the undermanned Maryland Terrapins, the Seminoles (10-1, 7-1 ACC) made it official, capturing the ACC's Atlantic Division title with a 41-14 rout of the Terps in College Park. FSU, which has won 12 league titles, has only participated in the ACC Championship Game twice since it was formed in 2005. Tailback Devonta Freeman had a bid day in the win, rushing for a career-high 148 yards and two TDs. Quarterback EJ Manuel wasn't needed to do much, completing 17-of-23 passes, for 144 yards and two touchdowns. The Seminoles, who await their opponent in the ACC Championship game, still have some unfinished business left in the regular season, as they get set to play host to instate rival Florida to close out the year.
MARYLAND: Not much went right for the Terrapins this past weekend in College Park, as they were overwhelmed by the Florida State Seminoles, 41-14. With the loss, Maryland fell to 4-7 overall, ending the team's bowl aspirations for the year. The Terrapins, still with converted linebacker Shawn Petty under center, were ravaged by the FSU defense, finishing the game with a meager 170 total yards of offense, including just 34 yards on 34 carries. Petty completed just 8-of-19 passes, for 36 yards, although he did throw two TD passes to Kevin Dorsey, who played his last collegiate game in College Park. The Terps will attempt to end a five-game skein and end the season on a high note next weekend when they take on North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
NC STATE: Senior Tobias Palmer set the NC State and ACC record with 496 all- purpose yards, but it wasn't enough, as the Wolfpack fell to the Clemson Tigers in a shootout, 62-48. Quarterback Mike Glennon completed 29-of-53 passes, for a career-high 493 yards and five TDs, while palmer hauled in seven passes for 219 yards and three scores, while adding 277 yards on kickoff returns. Shadrach Thornton got into the act in terms of racking up the yards, rushing for 114 yards and a touchdown in the loss. The 48 points scored by NC State were the most in a loss in school history. Senior safety Earl Wolff tied his career-high with 18 tackles in the game, highlighting an otherwise ugly performance by the NC State defense. Already bowl eligible at 6-5, the Wolfpack close out the regular season this weekend at home against Boston College.
WAKE FOREST: Already done with their ACC slate, the Demon Deacons (5-6, 3-5 ACC) traveled to South Bend this past weekend to take on then third-ranked Notre Dame. Wake Forest was no match for the now top-ranked Irish, who completed a shutout with a 38-0 rout at Notre Dame Stadium. Not much went right for the Demon Deacons in the loss, as the team generated just nine first downs and 209 yards of total offense against one of the nation's premier defensive units. Quarterback Tanner Price was ineffective to say the least, completing 22-of-33 passes, for 153 yards. The defensive effort wasn't all that impressive either for Wake, which allowed 584 yards of offense to the hometown team. Wake Forest has one more chance to earn bowl eligibility in its regular-season finale against Vanderbilt in Winston-Salem this weekend.
DUKE: It was a solid performance by the Duke receiving corps, as Conner Vernon became the ACC's all-time leader in receiving yards, while Desmond Scott hauled in 10 balls, for 124 yards and one TD, but it wasn't enough, as the Blue Devils fell on the road at Georgia Tech, 42-24. Vernon now has 3,521 career receiving yards, passing former Florida State star Peter Warrick atop the ACC's annals. Quarterback Sean Renfree completed 24-of-36 passes, for 198 yards and two TDs, but the team managed just 275 total yards in the loss, which dropped the team to 6-5 overall and 3-4 in ACC play. The Blue Devils will attempt to close out the regular season on a high note, when they take on the Miami-Florida Hurricanes in Durham next weekend.
GEORGIA TECH: Tevin Washington had a record-setting performance in the last home game of his career, leading the Yellow Jackets to a 42-24 victory over Duke this past weekend, and in turn made Georgia Tech bowl eligible for the 16th straight season. The Yellow Jackets (6-5, 5-3 ACC) hold a half-game lead over Miami-Florida, but the Hurricanes declared themselves ineligible to win the Coastal Division crown or participate in the postseason due to alleged NCAA violations, thus giving the Yellow Jackets the division title and a spot in the upcoming ACC Championship Game. Back to the Duke game, Washington threw three TD passes and rushed for a fourth in the win. With the rushing TD in the first quarter, he became the school's and ACC's all-time leader in career rushing TDs by a quarterback with 36. The Yellow Jackets amassed 449 yards of total offense on the day, including 330 on the ground, all while holding the explosive Blue Devils to just 275 total yards. Georgia Tech wraps up the regular season this week against arch rival Georgia.
MIAMI-FLORIDA: The Hurricanes celebrated Senior Day in fine fashion this past weekend, taking a break from conference action and routing instate foe USF in Miami Gardens 40-9. With the win, Miami improved to 6-5 overall and 4-3 in conference. Quarterback Stephen Morris played a big part in the win, throwing for 413 yards and three TDs, while three receivers went over the century mark in yards in Clive Walford (135 yards), Herb Waters (130) and Phillip Dorsett (104). Although Al Golden's team is bowl eligible, the school has imposed a postseason ban on itself for alleged NCAA violations, thus keeping it from winning the Coastal Division crown or going to a bowl game. The Hurricanes close out the regular season at Duke this week.
NORTH CAROLINA: The Tar Heels were involved in a Thursday night affair with the Virginia Cavaliers last week and thanks to some strong play in the fourth quarter, were able to secure a 37-13 victory to move to 7-4 overall and 4-3 in ACC play. Quarterback Bryn Renner led the way with an impressive and efficient performance, completing 29-of-36 passes, for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Renner's top target on the night was Quinshad Davis, who caught 16 balls, for 178 yards, setting the UNC freshman records for both. Davis also set a new school record receptions in a season by a freshman with 52. The Tar Heels close out the regular season at home this weekend against the hapless Maryland Terrapins and a win could create a logjam atop the Coastal Division standings.
VIRGINIA: For the fourth time in five seasons, the Cavaliers will finish with a losing record, courtesy of last Thursday's 37-13 loss at the hands of North Carolina. Virginia mustered only 350 yards of total offense in the game, while allowing the Tar Heels to rally in the fourth quarter, finishing with 446 total yards in the contest. With the loss, Virginia falls to 4-7 overall and just 2-5 in ACC play. Neither quarterback Phillip Sims or Michael Rocco were particularly effective and there really wasn't an offensive star to speak of on the Virginia side of things. The Cavs also struggled in pass defense in the game, allowing UNC's Bryn Renner to put up big numbers (315 yards, three TDs). Virginia will close out its season this weekend in Blacksburg with its annual showdown with instate rival Virginia Tech. The Cavs have not won a game in Blacksburg since 1998.
VIRGINIA TECH: Like much of the season, last weekend's clash with Boston College wasn't pretty, but the Hokies were able to keep their postseason hopes alive with a 30-23 overtime win in Chestnut Hill. A seven-yard TD pass from Logan Thomas to tight end Randall Dunn proved to be the difference in the extra session, as Virginia Tech moved to 5-6 overall and 3-4 in the ACC. Virginia Tech churned out 401 yards of total offense, while limiting the Eagles to just 296. Thomas completed 16-of-33 passes, for 247 yards and two TDs in the win. Marcus Davis was the top target, catching five balls for 104 yards and one score. With a win this weekend in Blacksburg in the annual season-finale against rival Virginia, the Hokies will become bowl eligible for the 20th straight season.
11/19 13:20:38 ET