What happened this weekend? Here’s everything you need to know about Week 9 of the ACC season.
ACC Week 9 Roundup, Rankings, Bowl Projections & What You Need To Know
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ACC Week 9 Rankings
1. Clemson (8-0)
2. Louisville (7-1)
3. Virginia Tech (6-2)
4. North Carolina (6-2)
5. Florida State (5-3)
6. Pitt (5-3)
7. Miami (4-4)
8. Georgia Tech (5-3)
9. North Carolina State (4-4)
10. Wake Forest (5-3)
11. Virginia (2-6)
12. Duke (3-5)
13. Syracuse (4-4)
14. Boston College (4-4)
ACC Week 9 Roundup
Clemson 37, Florida State 34
Prediction: Florida State 23, Clemson 20, Clemson -4.5
Quick Take: Everyone will talk about how amazing Dalvin Cook was in defeat – running 19 times for 169 yards and four scores – and about the beating Deondre Francois took behind a porous offensive line. The Clemson defensive front will get its share of love, too, but even with two picks, Deshaun Watson was the star. He might have made some bad mistakes, but he threw for 378 yards and two scores and ran for 52 more. Every time it seemed like FSU had the momentum, Watson came through and turned it right back around.
Notre Dame 30, Miami 27
Prediction: Notre Dame 31, Miami 27, Miami -2.5
Quick Take: It was supposed to be the moment when NFL scouts to take a hard look at DeShone Kizer and Brad Kaaya, and each were okay, not amazing. Kaaya threw for 288 yards and a score with a pick, while Kizer threw for 263 yards and two scores, ran for 31 yards, and came up with one massive fumble recovery leading to the game-winning field goal. The Canes got back in the game after getting down 17-0, but ten penalties and not enough key stops helped keep the rough slide going with four straight losses.
Virginia Tech 39, Pitt 36
Prediction: Virginia Tech 34, Pitt 27, VT -4
Quick Take: Jerod Evans toughed it out. The Hokie quarterback threw for 406 yards and two scores, and ran for 33 more yards, fighting through an apparent ankle injury late to help Virginia Tech survive and advance. The Pitt running game rolled behind James Connor – running for 141 yards and three scores on just 19 carries – and Nathan Peterman gutted out a 267-yard passing day with 33 rushing yards, but Evans was too good, too effective, and got too much help. The Virginia Tech pass protection was great, and the receivers made play after play – especially on the back-shoulder fades – with Isaiah Ford, Cam Phillips and Bucky Hodges all rolling for over 100 yards.
Boston College 21, NC State 14
Prediction: NC State 24, Boston College 13, NC State -15
Quick Take: It’s over, it’s all over. The Boston College long, dark nightmare is done, finally getting an ACC win for the first time since 2014 with a terrific defensive performance and a shockingly great day from QB Patrick Towles. The run D stuffed NC State for 31 yards on 23 carries, while Towles was terrific completing 18-of-33 passes for 204 yards with a pick. BC wasn’t perfect, but it controlled the clock – holding it for well over 36 minutes, and made fewer mistakes. For the Wolfpack, this was a complete and utter disaster – the team still hasn’t recovered from the near-miss loss to Clemson.
Louisville 32, Virginia 25
Prediction: Louisville 50, Virginia 17, Louisville -31.5
Quick Take: The dude is simply terrific. Louisville might have sputtered and coughed way too much, but it exploded late when it had to thanks to the Heisman heroics of Lamar Jackson. The game-winning touchdown pass in the final moments pulled the team out of the fire, but he was great all throughout the comeback, completing 24-of-41 passes for 361 yards and four scores with a pick while running for a team-high 90 yards. Virginia was able to get up early and get in a position to pull off the upset with some key plays on third and fourth downs, but the D couldn’t handle Jackson in crunch time. However, as good as this was for Louisville, it’ll be tough in the one-loss-no-ACC-title argument for the playoff types.
Georgia Tech 38, Duke 35
Prediction: Georgia Tech 23, Duke 14, Georgia Tech -6.5
Quick Take: Georgia Tech might have come really, really close to gagging away a massive lead, but it got the win thanks to the heroics of Justin Thomas. He ran for 195 yards and two scores, with an 82-yard dash along the way and a brilliant 50-yard run to save the day on a key third down play. Throw in the 10-of-14 passing day for 264 yards and two scores, and he did everything for the Yellow Jackets. But the D collapsed in the second half as Duke’s Daniel Jones threw for 305 yards and two scores with 73 rushing yards.
Army 21, Wake Forest 13
Prediction: Wake Forest 23, Army 13, Wake Forest -6
Quick Take: Really, Wake Forest? You couldn’t stop the Army passing game? Ahmad Bradshaw ran for just 65 yards for the Black Knights, but he hit 6-of-8 throws for 145 yards and a score. Three turnovers and stall after stall were the problem in a frustrating game that should’ve been perfect for the Demon Deacons. Instead, they suffered a painful loss – they just couldn’t do anything right in the fourth quarter.
ACC Week 9 Bowl Projections
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Capital One Orange Bowl
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
Russell Athletic Bowl
Hyundai Sun Bowl
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Military Bowl Presented By Northrup Grumman
Camping World Independence Bowl