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Monday, October 17, 2011
Weekend rewind: ACC

By Heather Dinich

Here’s a look back at the highlights and lowlights of Week 7 and a sneak peek at Week 8:

Perry Jones
Virginia running back Perry Jones rushed for 149 yards on 18 carries against Georgia Tech.
The good: Virginia’s running game. Tailback Perry Jones rushed for a career-high 149 yards on 18 carries, and the Cavaliers rushed for a season-high 272 yards in the upset win against Georgia Tech. Kevin Parks had a career-best 17 carries, and tied the freshman school record for touchdowns in a season.

The bad: Clemson and Georgia Tech’s defense. If the Tigers are going to remain undefeated, they can’t be giving up almost 500 yards and 45 points. It seemed like Clemson’s defense made strides in wins against Florida State and Virginia Tech, but it looked like it regressed against the Terps. Maryland, of course, deserves some credit for that. And Georgia Tech? It rolled out the red carpet for Virginia’s running game. The Hoos hung onto the ball for six minutes on their final possession. That’s getting beat at your own game.

The ugly: Duke’s performance against Florida State. Two turnovers, 63 rushing yards, and three points through three quarters. Not the formula to get to a bowl game.

Top three games of Week 8:

North Carolina at Clemson: The Tigers are coming off a road win at Maryland, but it was a game in which their defense allowed 468 total yards and 291 rushing yards. UNC tailback Giovani Bernard should have another 100-yard rushing performance if Clemson gives a similar effort against the ground game, but will it be enough to overcome Clemson’s fast-paced offense?

Georgia Tech at Miami: The Yellow Jackets are trying to rebound from their upset loss to Virginia, and Miami suddenly has new life in the Coastal Division race thanks to the Cavaliers. Miami has played some of its best football of the season in the past six quarters, while Georgia Tech’s passing game seems to have taken a step back. Can Georgia Tech improve defensively and execute better on offense against a Miami team on the rise?

NC State at Virginia: This one could be interesting. NC State is still looking for its first conference win, and the Wolfpack is coming off a much-needed bye week and has had a chance to heal. Injuries have hit the defense hard, particularly up front, but key players are beginning to make their comebacks right when NC State needs it most. Virginia is looking to build off of its upset win against Georgia Tech, and with only one conference loss, the Hoos are just as much in the race as the Hokies are right now. That would change, though, with a loss this weekend.