This may not be the best year overall for the ACC but it's by far the most entertaining season I have seen in ages. Every game almost seems unpredictable. Just when you think a team is about separate themselves from the rest of the conference they lose to the underdog.
It was much of the same this past week with several teams losing in the closing minutes. Florida State suffered another heart wrenching defeat, but this time to UNC after another wide-right episode. Miami was able to put together a rally and beat Maryland.
N.C. State had a chance to solidify themselves as the team to be in the Atlantic but blew that with a disappointing effort against Clemson in their 14-13 loss.
Virginia Tech was fortunate that Joshua Nesbitt was injured or they likely would have been upset too. Instead they got a little help on a kickoff return for touchdown to give them the 28-21 win over Georgia Tech.
Montel Harris engraved his name into the history books for one of the most prolific ACC running backs ever to play the game. He ran for 183 yards in their 23-13 road win over Wake Forest.
Let's not forget about the shootout in Durham between Duke and Virginia. They combined for a 41 point fourth quarter affair that ended in a 55-48 victory for Duke.
Like I have been saying all season long, this conference is so unprectible and you never know what's going to happen next. There are plenty of more key matchups this week but none bigger than Virginia Tech at North Carolina. A win by UNC will still give them hope of winning the ACC Coastal.
Anything is possible when this conference plays each other. So who knows what will happen this weekend, but it should be another crazy one.
Poor Wake Forest. I mean here was a team that was consistently competing with every team in the ACC, now they are struggling to stay in games until half.
They have now lost seven straight games and guaranteed themselves that they won't qualify for a bowl game this year. That will mark the second consecutive season without a bowl appearance.
Tanner Price finished 18 of 30 for 177 yards, one touchdown and four costly interceptions.
The defense was torched on the ground by Montel Harris who had 183 yards. They also missed a numerous amount of tackles and assignments throughout the game. Those problems aren't much of a shock considering they have struggled on defense all season long.
Next up is a road game against N.C. State who will be hungry after their late loss to Clemson last week. Nothing seems to get better for the Demon Deacons.
Next Game: at N.C. State 11/13
Marc Verica set a school-record with his 417 yard performance. He also added four touchdowns but threw three interceptions that led to 17 Blue Devil points.
This wasn't the type of defensive effort that Mike London had anticipated, especially after the way they played against Miami the week before.
"Sometimes you've got it and sometimes you don't," London said after their 55-48 shootout loss. "This was one of those times that we just didn't have it."
The Cavaliers will look to bounce back at home when Maryland pays them a visit. A win here would not only keep their bowl hopes alive but it may also dash the hopes of Maryland winning the ACC Atlantic.
Next Game: vs. Maryland 11/13
Look who was part of another high scoring affair in the ACC last week, none other than Duke. This time it was a battle against Virginia and they came out on top 55-48 unlike the game against Wake Forest earlier in the season.
They had a comfortable 47-35 lead in the fourth quarter, but squandered in after Keith Payne ran a 6-yarder in to take the lead at 48-47 with 2:26 remaining. It looked as if they were down to their final chance on a fourth and 20 when Sean Renfree completed a 32-yard pass to give them a first down and set up Desmond Scott's 35-yard game winning touchdown run.
This win snapped an eight-game losing streak in conference play, which ironically that last win came against Virginia also.
The Blue Devils get a confident Eagles team this week who have won two-straight and are looking to make it three in a row.
Next Game: vs. Boston College 11/13
Georgia Tech's season may have just ended right in front of their eyes on Thursday night against Virginia Tech.
With the lead Joshua Nesbitt tried squeezing a pass in a tight window and in return was intercepted. He attempted to make the tackle but in doing so he suffered a season ending injury that may have ended the Yellow Jackets season also.
Tevin Washington, the athletic sophomore that took over for Nesbitt will have his hands full for the remainder of the season. It's not easy to direct a triple-option offense and especially for someone that doesn't have that much experience with it.
It will be interesting to see how they come out against Miami this weekend. They need to come up with one big win to salvage this disappointing season.
Next Game: vs. Miami 11/13
Montel Harris has put his name on top of the ACC rushing leader board after his 183 yard and three touchdown performance against Wake Forest. He has rushed for 3,377 yards in three seasons with Boston College.
Not only did he make history but he also helped his team win back-to-back conference games.
They managed to beat Wake Forest on the road 23-13, leaving the Demon Deacons in last place of their division. The Eagles defense also showed up, holding the Deacs' to 69 yards rushing and intercepting Tanner Price on four separate occasions.
This weekend they will travel to take on Duke who is also on a two-game winning streak now. Their bowl hopes are still alive but they will need to take care of the Blue Devils in order to get one step closer to that feat.
Next Game: at Duke 11/13
They had a golden opportunity to take charge of the ACC Atlantic but let a late drive by Miami take that away from them. Instead of a 20-18 win they ended up with a 26-20 loss in the closing minute.
Truthfully, they are actually quite lucky that the game stayed this close as long as it did. Miami dominated them, outgaining them 504-254. It becomes very difficult to win a football game when a team almost doubles your offensive production. So congrats to them for keeping the game within winning reach.
It's still possible for them to win the ACC Atlantic because they face FSU and N.C. State at home to close out the season. However, they need to take care of business at Virginia this weekend or they can almost kiss their chances good-bye.
Next Game: at Virginia 11/13
Here we go again. The Clemson Tigers never seize to amaze me. One week they look like the bad news bears and the next week they pull off a tough win. I just don't get them and I am not quite sure if their fans do either.
It wasn't the prettiest win, but they got the job down against N.C. State winning 14-13. They lost three fumbles, threw an interception and still managed to come out with a victory.
A large part of that would have to be credited to the defense that held the Wolfpack to 180 yards below their season average.
Dabo Swinney let Kyle Parker sit for several plays because of his inconstant play, and even his offensive coordinator figured he was done. But Parker got one more chance, coming back into the game and helped lead them to a late rally.
Jamie Harper scored the game winning touchdown with 6:18 remaining on a 4-yard rushing touchdown.
Next Game: at Florida State 11/13
Two weeks in a row the Seminoles have suffered last second heartbreak losses. Both in which they had a chance to take the lead and walk away with a win. They could be sitting at 6-0 in the conference instead their costly fumble against N.C. State and another wide-right this time against North Carolina cost them dearly.
T.J. Yates and the Tar Heels dominated the Noles' defense through the air, putting up 439 yards and three touchdowns. This wasn't something that anyone expected, considering they held the best passing QB in the ACC well under his season average.
Even though they lost another crucial conference game, hope is still there that they will win the ACC Atlantic.
"We made a lot of uncharacteristic mistakes today and they came back to haunt us," Christian Ponder said after they lost 37-35. "This is still a very good football team, so we need to get things back in order and take care of business against Clemson next week."
They better hope they do that or their chances could be diminished in one week.
Next Game: vs. Clemson 11/13
N.C. State was lucky that their late 14-13 loss to Clemson didn't cost them a shot at the ACC Atlantic. Fortunately for them FSU and Maryland both loss, so they're still in control of their own destiny. Win out the remaining ACC games and your in, falter one more time and you might not be so lucky again.
It could have been all the adreniline was gone after their impressive come from behind win over FSU the week before. Either way, they didn't take care of business when they needed too.
The Tigers defense held them to 275 total yards which is 180 yards below their season average. The Wolfpack's defense caused three turnovers, but were unable to capatalize on them.
They will get an opportunity to get back in the groove of things when Wake Forest comes to town. It's a good thing they get them now because they have to follow that game up with one at North Carolina. Things better start clicking for the Wolfpack again or they could lose that one on the road as well.
Next Game: vs. Wake Forest 11/13
True freshman Stephen Morris started in place of injured Jacory Harris in their 26-20 win over Maryland. He hit Leonard Hankerson for a 35-yard touchdown with 37 seconds remaining in the game.
It was the type of win that Miami desperately needed. One where they didn't give up and played their hearts out for an entire 60 minutes. They outgained Maryland 504-254, so it's a shock that it came down to the last drive of the game for the Hurricanes.
10 penalties, a negated defensive touchdown and two blown extra points are just a few of the reasons why the Hurricanes were unable to run away with this one when the opportunities presented themselves.
Morris finished the game with 286 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. His starting status is up in the air for the Georgia Tech game as the coaches are still uncertain about Harris.
They will be facing a Yellow Jackets team without their stinger, Joshua Nesbitt, who was injured against VT and will be out for the remainder of the season.
Next Game: at Georgia Tech 11/13
Tar Heel fans are praising T.J. Yates right about now and will continue to do so until this weekend against VT.
He had a record-setting performance at FSU with 439 yards and three touchdowns, leading them to a 37-35 upest victory. There is always a first time for everything and this was the first time they have ever won in Tallahassee.
FSU had their chance to win the game, but Dustin Hopkins missed a 40-yard field goal wide-right. As if that's something they aren't use to doing.
"Tonight was kind of somewhat to be honest with you a microcosm of the whole season," Davis said. "It seems like every week there's drama and adversity, challenges."
Realistically, UNC still has a shot at winning the ACC Coastal, all-beit a long shot there is still a slight chance they could reach their goal. A lot of things will have to go in their favor, starting with another huge win this weekend against VT.
Next Game: vs. Virginia Tech 11/13
After being down 14-0 early, Virginia Tech got a good break when Joshua Nesbitt injured himself trying to make a tackle after throwing an interception.
It wasn't their best effort of the season, in fact they were sloppy for most part of the game. They were tied at 21 a piece when David Wilson decided to give the Hokies the lead for good with his 90-yard kickoff return for touchdown.
"I was excited because they had been avoiding me all game [on kickoffs]," he said.
The Yellow Jackets drove down the field but were intercepted in the endzone allowing the Hokies to keep their perfect ACC record, winning 28-21.
Tyrod Taylor was a little sluggish to start the game but found his rhythm with his team behind. He finished the game completing 15 of 25 passes for 137 yards, one touchdown and one interception. It wasn't his best game but his elusiveness in the pocket allowed them to keep some drives alive.
They have a tough road test coming up next when they travel to Chapel Hill to take on a North Carolina team that just upset Florida State.
Next Game: at North Carolina 11/13