Around the ACC: Week 10

November, 1, 2008
11/01/08
10:46
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

This weekend had enough drama to last the month of November. There were only four games and two went to overtime and one came down to a fumble in the end zone. Sounds like a typical Saturday in the ACC, no?

Here are a few bottom lines:

  • Miami single-handedly made the Coastal Division a mess with its win over Virginia. The Canes have now won three straight ACC games for the first time since 2005.
  • Wake Forest avoided a disasterous loss to Duke, but needs Maryland to lose in order to still be in it.
  • Florida State fumbled away its share of the Atlantic Division title.
  • Dabo Swinney avoided becoming the first Clemson coach ever to start off 0-2.

Here's a closer look at what happened outside Atlanta:

MIAMI 24, VIRGINIA 17 (OT)
This was such a thriller, and once again, backup quarterback Jacory Harris came off the bench to lead his team to an ACC win. Here's the thing: The quarterback you use in the clutch -- the one you want in there when the game is on the line -- should be your starting quarterback. Moving on, I thought it would be Virginia running back Cedric Peerman who would wear down the Miami defense, but it turned out that they were able to hold Peerman and check. But Miami running back Graig Cooper had 24 carries for 131 yards. It was a gritty effort by the Hurricanes, and one that kept them in the hunt for the Coastal Division title.

CLEMSON 27, BOSTON COLLEGE 21
Clemson running back C.J. Spiller had to fight with the doctors to let him back in the game after he took a nasty hit, but his return might have been the difference. He caught six passes for 105 yards -- the most for a running back in Clemson history -- and the Tigers finally got their offense going. It was a much needed win for a team running low on anything to celebrate, and barring something really crazy, it knocked Boston College out of the hunt for the ACC title. Somehow, though, Clemson won despite turning the ball over four times to BC's two -- and neither were interceptions by quarterback Chris Crane.

WAKE FOREST 33, DUKE 30 (OT)
Shane Popham can finally relax. This poor kid has had the weight of the world on his shoulders since taking over for injured superstar kicker Sam Swank. His 28-yard game-winning field goal was exactly the kind of confidence boost he needed. The Deacs never would have pulled this off, though, had Alphonso Smith not intercepted Thaddeus Lewis' last pass near the goal line to preserve the win. Wake Forest finally found its offense, as they were able to run and pass well enough to win. Smith blocked a punt for a safety, Popham hit his field goals, and it was finally a complete game for the Deacs.

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