schedule not fretting about bowl eligibility. (LW: 9). 7. Florida State. (2-4): Despite their shortcomings, the. Seminol
THIS wEEk IN THE INSIDE ONE OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S PREMIER CONFERENCES | COmPILED BY PaTRICk STEVENS, SPECIaL TO GaTEHOUSE mEDIa
GamE OF THE wEEk GEORGIA TECH (4-2, 3-1 ACC) AT NO. 7 CLEMSON (6-1, 4-1)
BY THE NUmBERS STANDINGS (Through Oct. 21)
When: 8 p.m. EDT Saturday Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C. TV: ABC/ESPN2
ATLANTIC Team NC State Clemson Syracuse Boston College Louisville Florida State Wake Forest
Conf. 4-0 4-1 2-2 2-3 2-3 2-3 1-3
All 6-1 6-1 4-4 4-4 5-3 2-4 4-3
T25 1-0 2-0 1-3 0-3 0-2 0-3 0-1
COASTAL Team Miami Georgia Tech Virginia Tech Virginia Pittsburgh Duke North Carolina
Conf. 4-0 3-1 2-1 2-1 1-3 1-4 0-5
All 6-0 4-2 6-1 5-2 3-5 4-4 1-7
T25 0-0 0-1 1-1 0-0 0-3 0-1 0-2
Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall (16) runs for a touchdown during the second half against Wake Forest Oct. 21 in Atlanta. [HYOSuB SHIN/ATLANTA JOuRNAL-CONSTITuTION]
PASSING TOUCHDOWNS Player 1. Lamar Jackson, LOU 2. Josh Jackson, VT 3. Kurt Benkert, UVA 4. Malik Rosier, MIAMI 5. Eric Dungey, SYR
No. 17 16 15 14 12
RUSHING YARDS Player 1. Lamar Jackson, LOU 2. TaQuon Marshall, GT 3. AJ Dillon, BC 4. KirVonte Benson, GT 5. Nyheim Hines, NCST
Yds. 868 704 694 652 648
RECEIVING YARDS Player 1. Steve Ishmael, SYR 2. Cam Phillips, VT 3. Ervin Philips, SYR 4. T.J. Rahming, DUKE 5. Greg Dortch, WAKE
Yds. 843 657 626 567 555
SCORING Player 1. Cole Murphy, PK, SYR 2. Lamar Jackson, QB, LOU 2. TaQuon Marshall, QB, GT 4. Joey Slye, PK, VT 5. Blanton Creque, PK, LOU
Pts. 71 66 66 65 64
TEAM STATISTICS (Through Oct. 21) TOTAL OFFENSE Team Louisville Syracuse NC State Virginia Tech Duke Clemson Boston College Pittsburgh Miami Wake Forest Virginia Georgia Tech North Carolina Florida State
Yds./G 553 455 467 455 395 449 375 371 475 399 385 449 334 356
Pts./G 37.3 29.8 35.4 37.0 27.0 33.4 23.0 23.4 33.3 29.7 26.1 34.7 21.6 19.8
PASSING OFFENSE LEADERS Team Yds. Louisville 2,668 Syracuse 2,363 NC State 2,030 Virginia Tech 1,932 Pittsburgh 1,832
Yds./G 333.5 295.4 290.0 276.0 229.0
RUSHING OFFENSE LEADERS Team Yds. Georgia Tech 2,237 Louisville 1,753 Boston College 1,550 Clemson 1,537 Duke 1,409
Yds./G 372.8 219.1 193.8 219.6 176.1
STaRS OF THE wEEk • QB Anthony Brown, Boston College: Torched Virginia for 275 yards and three TDs as the Eagles rolled to a 41-10 victory on the road. • TB Darrin Hall, Pittsburgh: Rushed for 254 yards and three TDs on 24 carries to lead the Panthers past Duke for their ﬁrst ACC triumph of the year. • QB Malik Rosier, Miami: Threw for 344 yards and two TDs to help the Hurricanes survive Syracuse.
STaT OF THE wEEk
Record for Florida State at home, its worst start in Tallahassee since 1974. The Seminoles have just two home games left — against Syracuse (Nov. 4) and Delaware State (Nov. 18).
1. Miami (6-0): No one seems to be under the illusion that the Hurricanes are dominant. But they keep winning. (Last week: 1)
3. Virginia Tech (6-1): Managed to score via punt return, interception return and fumble return in a blowout of North Carolina. (LW: 3)
(Through Oct. 21) Yds. 2,478 2,217 1,968 1,832 1,806
Breaking down the ACC
2. Clemson (6-1): They had two weeks for QB Kelly Bryant to get healthy after suffering a concussion in a loss to Syracuse. (LW: 2)
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS PASSING YARDS Player 1. Lamar Jackson, LOU 2. Eric Dungey, SYR 3. Ryan Finley, NCST 4. Josh Jackson, VT 5. Kurt Benkert, UVA
4. N.C. State (6-1): It’s a huge twoweek stretch for the Wolfpack, who visit Notre Dame before playing host to Clemson. (LW: 4)
GEORGIA TECH LOOKS TO END CLEMSON’S FADING CFP HOPES KEYS FOR GEORGIA TECH No wasted chances. It’s no secret that Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson will try to shorten the game to as few possessions as possible. Georgia Tech will string together long series — such as the 15-play, 70-yard march that consumed more than eight minutes at the start of last week’s defeat of Wake Forest. Force Clemson to pass. There were quite a few reasons the Tigers stumbled in their last outing against Syracuse, but one of the most striking was that Syracuse stacked the box and dared Clemson to throw the ball. Georgia Tech needs to do something similar, and it could be a more manageable task if QB Kelly Bryant can’t play.
KEYS FOR CLEMSON Healthy Bryant. Bryant suffered an ankle injury in an Oct. 7 victory over Wake Forest, then was chased from an Oct. 13 loss at Syracuse with a concussion. Clemson assistant Tony Elliott emphasized to reporters this week that Bryant had cleared the Tigers’ concussion protocol but still wasn’t fully healthy. Patience on defense. One of the benefits of having Georgia Tech as a permanent scheduling partner is some familiarity with dealing with the Yellow Jackets’ tripleoption offense. Last year, for example, the Tigers allowed just 124 total yards and 11 first downs in a 26-7 triumph. Clemson
understands the patience needed against Georgia Tech, but can it summon it on an every-down basis with QB TaQuon Marshall and FB KirVonte Benson playing so well? pREDICTION Clemson 28-23. The Tigers had as good a September as anyone in the country, beating Auburn, Louisville and Virginia Tech. But the defending national champs’ aura of invincibility is gone after its stunning loss to Syracuse, and Johnson’s workmanlike Yellow Jackets weren’t likely to be impressed even without that setback. Clemson has the defense to outlast Georgia Tech, but this could be another scary game for Dabo Swinney’s bunch.
BEST OF THE REST THIS WEEK’S OTHER TOp GAMES
LOUISVILLE (5-3, 2-3) at WAKE FOREST (4-3, 1-3)
No. 14 N.C. STATE (6-1) at No. 9 NOTRE DAME (6-1)
DUKE (4-4, 1-4) at No. 13 VA. TECH (6-1, 2-1)
When: 12:20 p.m. EDT Saturday Where: BB&T Stadium, WinstonSalem, N.C. TV: ACC Network Notes: Louisville leads series 4-0 and won last year’s meeting 44-12. The Cardinals will try to become bowl-eligible with the help Wolford of QB Lamar Jackson, who has thrown for 2,478 yards, 17 TDs and ﬁve INTs. Wake Forest has dropped three in a row, and the connection of QB John Wolford and WR Greg Dortch will try to get the Deacons back on track to a bowl bid.
When: 3:30 p.m. EDT Saturday Where: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Ind. TV: NBC Notes: N.C. State leads series 2-0 and won last year’s meeting 10-3 in Raleigh. The Wolfpack stumbled in their opener against South Chubb Carolina, but have since rattled off six victories in a row thanks to a solid defense led by ACC defensive player of the year candidate Bradley Chubb. Notre Dame is coming off a 49-14 thrashing of Southern California.
When: 7:20 p.m. EDT Saturday Where: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Va. TV: ACC Network Notes: Virginia Tech leads series 15-9, and the road team has won the last four meetings. For now, though, Justin Fuente’s team Fuente must dispatch the reeling Blue Devils, who have lost four in a row since opening the season with four consecutive victories. Last week’s 24-17 setback against Pittsburgh was a lost opportunity for Duke.
ROUNDING IT OUT THE REST OF THE MATCHUpS
Time (EDT) FRIDAY 8 p.m.
Fla. St. at Boston College
SATuRDAY Noon 12:30 p.m.
No. 8 Miami at N. Carolina ESPN2 Virginia at Pittsburgh RSN
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5. Georgia Tech (4-2): The Yellow Jackets scooted past Wake Forest to bounce back from its lastminute loss to Miami. (LW: 5) 6. Louisville (5-3): The Cardinals at least head into the last third of their schedule not fretting about bowl eligibility. (LW: 9) 7. Florida State (2-4): Despite their shortcomings, the Seminoles are the best 2-4 team in the country. (LW: 6)
8. Syracuse (4-4): Playing Miami tough on the road a week later rather than crumbling means something. (LW: 8) 9. Virginia (5-2): The Cavaliers should have a decent chance to get to six victories when they visit Pittsburgh. (LW: 7) 10. Wake Forest (4-3): Are they capable of pulling a surprise against the best teams in the ACC? Probably not yet. (LW: 10) 11. Boston College (4-4): Anthony Brown became the ﬁrst Eagle QB since 2003 to throw for three TDs without a pick. (LW: 11) 12. Pittsburgh (3-5): The next two — Virginia and North Carolina — are winnable for Pat Narduzzi’s squad. (LW: 13) 13. Duke (4-4): From 4-0 to 4-4, things have gone in the wrong direction for the Blue Devils. (LW: 12)
14. North Carolina (1-7): What’s left to salvage from the season? Aside from beating N.C. State in the ﬁnale, not a whole lot. (LW: 14)