- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Let's take a quick look back at the final week of the regular season in the ACC.
The good, QB-style: North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner and NC State quarterback Mike Glennon outdid themselves this year. Renner finished 28-for-39 for 305 yards and five touchdowns in a 45-38 win over Maryland, setting a single-season school record with 28 touchdown passes. That tops his previous mark of 26 in 2011. Glennon had three touchdown passes in a 27-10 win over Boston College, and became the first quarterback in school history to throw for 30 or more touchdowns in a season twice in his career. Philip Rivers had 34 in 2003 and Russell Wilson had 31 in 2009. Glennon had 31 in 2011 and now has 30 in 2012. Miami quarterback Stephen Morris finished the season with 3,415 yards of total offense, the most in the history of the program, edging out Bernie Kosar’s 1984 total of 3,412.
The bad: We'll get to the SEC/ACC matchups in a minute. First, let's take a look at what Virginia did in a 17-14 loss to Virginia Tech. The Hoos hit season lows with 217 yards of total offense and 30 yards rushing, and managed just seven first downs against a Hokies defense that went into the game without a real signature moment on the season. Duke gave it the ol' college try in a 52-45 loss to Miami, but the Blue Devils close the season on a four-game losing streak. They beat one team with a winning record all season, and it is a BIG one -- in-state rival North Carolina. That game was the difference between bowl eligibility and sitting at home eating popcorn during the postseason.
The ugly: I know that folks probably want to ignore the ugly 0-4 record against the SEC on Saturday, but it's hard to gloss over the facts here. The ACC was simply outclassed as Florida State lost to Florida; Georgia Tech lost to Georgia; Clemson lost to South Carolina and Wake Forest lost to Vanderbilt. The Tigers and Jackets were held to season lows for points. Florida State was gashed for 244 yards rushing, after going into the game with the No. 1 defense in the nation. Consider its previous four opponents had combined for 253 yards on the ground. That didn't impress Florida coach Will Muschamp, who said afterward, "We had a lot of confidence coming in here being able to run the football. We’ve run it well versus everybody. We’ve run it well versus better defenses." And Wake Forest gave up a season-high 55 points with bowl hopes on the line. Not even Florida State scored that many on the Deacs.
The news: NC State coach Tom O'Brien and Boston College coach Frank Spaziani were fired Sunday but for different reasons. O'Brien took the Wolfpack to three straight bowl games, but he didn't win enough in ACC play. What BC wouldn't give for three straight bowl trips right now. The Eagles are in much worse shape after finishing up a 2-10 season, and Spaziani was let go for not winning enough, period.
The eligible: Virginia Tech sweated out a very looooooooong season, but the Hokies are going to their 20th straight bowl game after their record ninth straight win over Commonwealth of Virginia. Only Florida State (31) and Florida (23) have longer bowl streaks.
The record: The Tar Heels finished the season with 487 points, the most in school history. The previous mark was 421 in 1993. Carolina finished the year with 5,817 yards of total offense, a school record (previous was 5,256 in 1993). The Tar Heels averaged 484.4 yards, breaking the previous school record of 441.8 in 1983. Clemson also set the school-season record for total offense with 6,220 yards on the year and one game remaining.
The record, II: Dustin Hopkins made two field goals in a loss to Florida, putting him into a tie with Billy Bennett of Georgia for the NCAA career record with 87 field goals made. Hopkins nailed two field goals of 50 or more yards against the Gators, becoming the first Seminole to do that since Derek Schmidt made two 51-yard field goals against Memphis in 1985. Hopkins now has nine field goals of 50 yards or more, giving him the school record for the most career field goals from that distance.
The rookies: Maryland super freshman Stefon Diggs returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown -- his second scoring return of the season -- to tie him with Torrey Smith (2009), Richard Jennings (1975) and Dennis Condie (1960) for the most in a season. Diggs also threw a touchdown pass and finished with eight catches for 82 yards, and ran for 20 yards. Diggs is now second on the Maryland all-time single-season all-purpose yards list with 1,896 yards. Not to be outdone, Miami freshman running back Duke Johnson had a career-high 176 yards rushing to bring his season total to 947, setting a program freshman rushing record. Johnson finished with 2,060 all-purpose yards on the year, the second most in school history behind Willis McGahee (2,108 yards in 2002).
The trio: For just the second time in school history, three Duke players have topped 600 receiving yards in a season: Conner Vernon (955), Jamison Crowder (1,025) and Desmond Scott (606) all reached the mark in 2012. The previous trio to accomplish the feat included Vernon (746), Donovan Varner (1,047) and Austin Kelly (625) in 2009.
The quote: "This grip right here? Whoever can pry this kung-fu grip away from this cup can have it. And I don't see that happening." -- Virginia Tech linebacker Bruce Taylor, clutching the Commonwealth Cup during postgame interviews.