- Heather Dinich, College Football Reporter
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Here’s one last look at what’s going on in ACC country:
Pitt at No. 24 Virginia Tech (Noon ET, ESPNU/WatchESPN): The Panthers have won four in a row in the series, and this is arguably the most interesting game on the slate because of the implications in the Coastal Division standings. Right now the Hokies and Miami are the frontrunners, but if Pitt can earn the win, the Panthers still will control their own destiny. The matchup to watch in this game is Pitt’s top two receivers, Devin Street and Tyler Boyd, against the Hokies’ talented secondary. Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum, who is still making his way back from a torn ACL, is listed as “out” on this week’s injury report.
Navy at Duke (12:30 p.m. ET, GamePlan/ESPN3): The Blue Devils had a bye week to prepare for the option offense, and they also had the added benefit of playing a similar offense, Georgia Tech, last month. With two league losses, the Blue Devils will need some help to get back into the Coastal Division race, but this game will be key to keeping their bowl hopes alive. Quarterback Anthony Boone was listed as questionable on this week’s injury report, but the bigger challenge will be on Duke’s defense to slow down the No. 8 rushing offense in the country. Duke’s rushing defense is allowing 167.6 yards per game.
Virginia at Maryland (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU/WatchESPN): These teams have met every year since 1957, but with Maryland’s move to the Big Ten next year, the series comes to an end today. Maryland and UVa have split the last 12 meetings, and both teams are trying to rebound from embarrassing losses last week. Virginia’s offense has been abysmal this year, ranking No. 101 in scoring offense at 21.6 points per game. Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown was knocked out of last week’s loss at Florida State with a concussion and is listed as doubtful for today’s game. Caleb Rowe is expected to start in his place.
Syracuse at NC State (3:30 p.m. ET, GamePlan/ESPN3): This is an Atlantic Division matchup in which both teams are trying to rebound from tough losses last week. This will be Syracuse’s first road game as a member of the ACC, and NC State’s No. 17 rushing defense will be tested. The Orange just racked up a season-high 323 rushing yards last week against Clemson, and the Pack is holding opponents to 107.6 rushing yards per game. NC State quarterback Brandon Mitchell, who has missed the past four games with a broken foot, told the Raleigh News & Observer this week that there’s a “50-50 chance” he’ll play today.
Boston College at No. 3 Clemson (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN2): This is Clemson’s final test before next week’s showdown against Florida State, but the Tigers can’t get caught looking ahead. Boston College has the nation’s leading rusher in Andre Williams, and, as seen above, Clemson’s rushing defense has been friendly lately. “We're leading the country in sacks,” Dabo Swinney said. “We're one of the top five teams in three-and-outs. But in particular our rush defense, we've given up a few big plays. We had a couple the other night, but things that are very correctable that we've got to improve from.”
Georgia Tech at BYU (7 p.m. ET, ESPNU/WatchESPN): BYU embarrassed Georgia Tech last year in Atlanta, 41-17, and the Yellow Jackets are coming off back-to-back losses to Virginia Tech and Miami. The Jackets have fizzled after a hot start, and quarterback play has been called into question. This is going to be a tough road trip for Georgia Tech, but keep an eye on turnovers, which could be the difference in the game. Georgia Tech has had six turnovers in the past two games combined, and BYU is tied for 107th in the country in turnover margin.
Here’s one last look at what’s going on in ACC country:Pitt at No. 24 Virginia Tech (Noon ET, ESPNU/WatchESPN): The Panthers have won four in a row in the series, and this is arguably the most interesting game on the slate because of the implications in the Coastal Division standings.