Week 10 ACC Review
CC is back from a 1 week hiatus to bring you the level of content that I want to deliver to the people. From a thrilling Friday night contest in Raleigh to a #4 vs #1 showdown on Saturday night, the ACC had a great weekend of action. Lets dive right into it.
#11 Miami (6-1) 44 @ N.C. State (4-3) 41
D’Eriq King put on a show in the Friday night primetime lights. 31/43 for 430 yards and 5 TDs. He also added 107 yards on 17 carries. This was a career game for the QB, throwing with accuracy and touch at all three levels of the field. Back to back big games for WR Mike Harley posting his second straight 150 yard game, showing himself as a dynamic player out of the slot with big play ability. Jaelan Phillps had himself another great game, effective in both phases of the game.
State played a hell of a game Friday night. The offense was clicking, giving up minimal pressures and playing to the southpaw Hockman’s strengths with moving pockets and rollouts. Emeka Emezie and Cary Angeline continue to impress, both reeling in 4 catches on the day and leading pass catchers in YAC. NT Alim McNeill made an impact in the run game, fulfilling his role adequately. His value is going to be capped if he doesn’t show some effectiveness in pass rushing.
North Carolina (4-2) 56 @ Duke (2-6) 24
Javonte Williams has been one of my favorite players in the conference to watch this season. He had 12 carries for 151 yards with 75 yards after contact. He also added 4 catches for 24 more yards and finished with 4 total touchdowns. All of these came in the first half. UNC scored touchdowns on each of their last 6 drives. They cruised through the 2nd half after jumping out to a 42-10 lead in the first. Surratt continues to be a stud at the 2nd level. Tying for the team lead in total tackles and coming up with a fumble recovery as well.
I’ll skip the Chase Brice slander for the week. Mataeo Durant showed up to ball, totalling 161 yards on 13 touches, winning with his explosive sling speed and home run play ability. Chris Rumph II had a good game with a couple of pressures and 6 tackles in run support. Really hope the man bulks up when the draft cycle comes.
#25 Liberty (7-0) 38 @ Virginia Tech (4-3) 35
This game had a lot of drama. Running back Khalil Herbert left the contest due to injury after returning the opening kickoff. Hendon Hooker led the team with 20 carries for 156 yards. He added 217 passing yards and three touchdowns as well. The defense got gashed on the ground all game, being bailed out by Malik Willis and his love for fumbling footballs. Amare Barno had a great game rushing the passer, highlighted by a strip sack and a couple of batted balls. He batted a ball in an important late game situation that really left an impression on me showing good awareness, well done.
If you missed the late game shenanigans I’ll run it down for you. A tie game with 1:41 left on the clock and Liberty has the ball a 1st and goal scenario. Va Tech only has 1 timeout. A knee or run tackled in bounds takes a couple seconds off the clock before the timeout. Then two more of the same taking about 43 seconds off the clock each time and you have 4th and goal with about :12 left on the clock. You kick a field goal to win the game with marginal time for Hooker to come back on the field. Well Liberty scores on first down, going up 7 but leaving 1:41 on the clock for Hendon Hooker and company to drive down the field and score and tie it up, which is exactly what ended up happening. Va Tech scores with :52 left on the clock. Leaving Liberty a chance to get into field goal range. The drive ends up in this scenario: 3rd and 6, :11 on the clock, no timeouts for Liberty, 41 yard line, making it a 58 yard FG. This is that late game awareness I referenced earlier by Barno. We expect a quick pass from Willis to the sideline to give his kicker more space and Barno stifles his own rush and bats the ball down on the quick out route to the near side of the field. Brilliant play. 8 seconds left, 4th and 6. You give up a 1st down and the clock stops giving them a chance at a field goal from about 52 yards, so what does VA Tech do? THEY LINE UP 4 PASS RUSHERS AND PLAY EVERYONE ELSE AT LEAST 11 YARDS OFF THE BALL! That made zero sense. Liberty throws an easy curl to the sideline and stops the clock with 6 seconds left giving the Flames a shot at a 51 yard field goal attempt. You guys saw the final score in the header for this game. Atrocious coaching and I’m upset.
Boston College (5-3) 16 – Syracuse (1-7) 13
Zay Flowers made his fantastic TD catch that we’ve come to expect every week. Outside of that, this game was a snoozefest. That was the only real TD scored in this game outside of a garbage time TD for Syracuse. I’m not going to spend much time on this game because nothing of note really happened. Slightly disappointed in BC for struggling against a Syracuse team without its best player on both sides of the ball.
Pittsburgh (4-4) 41 – Florida State (2-5) 17
Kenny Pickett is back and the Pitt offense, who needed that boost, responded accordingly. He wasted no time reestablishing his connection with Jordan Addison, targeting him 12 out of his 25 attempts, with 11 completions for 127 yards. After Paris Ford has opted out, the strength of this defense rests solely on the horses they have on this defensive line. These thre dominated FSU up front, Jones in particular. He was disruptive all afternoon, that first step is something vicious when he’s dialed in.
Asante Samuel Jr. on the day? 5 targets, 3 catches, 5 yards. Pretty good day at the office for Jr. IDL Robert Cooper also made some splash plays in the run game. Outside of this FSU really didn’t do much of anything. The offense was overwhelmed outside of an 88 yard TD run by Jordan Travis. It all started in the trenches. They need to change the way they look at offensive linemen from a philosophical standpoint, they have been terrible at the position for the last 5 years.
#1 Clemson (7-1) 40 – #4 Notre Dame (7-0)
Let me get on my best Bruce Buffer impersonation. Iiiiiit’s TIIIME (I really hope thats not trademarked) for the main event of the evening. A showdown of top 4 teams that went into overtime, how could you not love that? It’s not like anything else was going on Live on Saturday Night that people would have wanted the game to end so they could watch. Jokes aside, lets get to covering the action.
Notre Dame came out swinging, scoring on a 65 yard home run from Kyren Williams early. After a ND field goal, Cornell Powell’s 53 yard TD reception gave Clemson what was essentially their only offense of the 1st quarter. After another ND field goal, Amari Rodgers took over Clemson’s first drive in the second quarter and led them to another 3 points. Etienne had a game to forget, fumbling an exchange that led to a defensive touchdown for the second week in a row. After more field goals from each team, Clemson got back into the endzone late in the 3rd quarter to tie it up. After trading field goals again they took the lead with 3 and a half minutes left in the 4th quarter, Etienne scored a rushing TD to put Clemson up 7. Aided by Clemson’s putrid pass rush, Ian Book delivered a strike to Avery Davis who took it 53 yards to the 5 yard line. In overtime, Clemson scored basically immediately, but Notre Dame punched back with another Williams rushing TD. Clemson let Ian Book scramble free with poor QB spy play all game, and they paid for it in 2OT as it helped them drive down for the TD. Back to back sacks on 1st and 2nd down for Uiagaleilei spelled doom as they couldn’t overcome 4th and 24 as number 1 Clemson goes down.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Daelin Hayes, and Kyren Williams get the game balls from me. You need big time plays to beat big time teams, and you need big time players to make big time plays. These three did it over and over again this game, and that’s why they handed Clemson an L.
Clemson had nothing to be ashamed of. They were down Trevor Lawrence, which is kind of a big deal. They were also down James Skalski, one of their better coverage LB. At the end of the day, they were in position to win the game. You have to give credit where credit is due, and it was Notre Dame’s night.
P.s. Notre Dame I get it, you beat the #1 team, you’re excited. Rushing the field during a Panny is stupid. Don’t be stupid