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Oct
14
2015

#ACC Football: What Did We Learn? Week 6 Edition

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Another week, more analysis. I’m certainly enjoying these and I hope you are too as the points get a bit more touchy! Here goes nothing…

1) Clemson is the ACC’s College Football Playoff Darling

Like it or not, at 5-0 (2-0 ACC), the Clemson Tigers are a strong favorite to make the College Football Playoff this season. Dabo Swinney and the Tigers have looked good so far, especially last week in a convincing 43-24 win against Georgia Tech.

Deshaun Watson didn’t need to use his feet as much against the Yellow Jackets this week, going 21-30 with 265 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Although Watson is the leader, look no further than Wayne Gallman if you need a reliable running back. The Tigers got 115 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns out of Gallman last week. It was Gallman’s third consecutive game with at least 100 rushing yards, who is currently ranked third in the ACC in rushing yards so far this season with 536 yards

The Tigers face a tough BC Eagles defense this week in a late Saturday night match up. If the Tigers can make quick work of this defense, the Tigers should start getting mentioned in the College Football Playoff.

2) Florida State Seminoles still has some tests to pass

No, FSU Twitter, I didn’t forget about the Seminoles. The Seminoles remained undefeated on the season last week as well at 5-0 (3-0 ACC). . Relying heavily on Dalvin Cook’s 222 rushing yards and 3 total touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 TD reception), the Seminoles escaped with a 29-24 victory over the Miami Hurricanes.

Everett Golson was 25-33 with 291 passing yards and 1 passing touchdown and he did well enough to win the game. However, you can’t ignore Brad Kaaya’s 405 passing yards and 3 passing touchdowns. Granted, Kaaya threw the ball 49 times and completed 29, but, the Canes ultimately lost relying on Kaaya’s passing, who threw an incomplete pass on 4th and 4.

The Seminoles test gets a little harder this week as they’ve got the Louisville Cardinals on the schedule. Yes, the Cardinals are 2-3 (1-1 ACC), but if they have solved their offensive woes with Lamar Jackson at quarterback, they could be a problem for the Seminoles this week.

3) The Hokies Played Like Jekyll (Which means Good)

The Hokies have been an emotional rollercoaster for fans this season. Last week, the Hokies put on their best Jekyll performance possible, scoring 21 points in the second quarter on their way to a 28-13 victory over the NC State Wolfpack.

It was the “Brenden Motley to Isaiah Ford” Show in the first half. Motley finished the game 14-28 with 158 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. Ford accounted for all 3 passing touchdowns for the Hokies, he finished with 39 receiving yards. Travon McMillian lead the way rushing for the Hokies with 96 yards and scored a rushing touchdown.

It was a step in the right direction for the Hokies who are now 3-3 (1-1 ACC). It was a balanced attack and everybody looked in sync on both ends. However, the Hokies can’t celebrate too long. They face a Miami Hurricanes team who is desperate for a win. The Canes have lost their last 2 games since starting the season 3-0.

4) Don’t look now, but here comes Pittsburgh!

The Pittsburgh Panthers are 4-1 (2-0 ACC) and they may be a threat to take the ACC Coastal Division. Despite losing senior running back James Conner for the season to injury, the Panthers are still playing with a chip on their shoulder; they’ve beat UVA and Virginia Tech so far in ACC play.

Next week, they’ve got Georgia Tech on the road and I wouldn’t overlook this team if I was the Yellow Jackets. The Panthers lead the ACC in sacks with 21 and tackle yards for loss with 169. If the Panthers can get in the backfield early and disrupt the Yellow Jackets Triple Option, they may be an ACC Coastal division champion in no time.

5) Duke is Righting the Ship

Since their 19-10 loss to Northwestern, Duke has won 3 straight games. Last week, they won 44-3 against Army. Jela Duncan had 78 rushing yards on 8 carries and 2 touchdown and quarterback Thomas Sirk looked improved going 17-27 with 197 passing yards and a touchdown.

Balance is the name of the game for the Blue Devils and they certain maintained that against Army. They had 458 total yards on offense, 243 passing, 215 rushing. They were also disciplined, committing zero turnovers while forcing 3 turnovers of their own (2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception).

The Blue Devils have a bye week this week, which is fitting as they’ve got Virginia Tech, Miami, UNC, and Pittsburgh consecutively coming up.

 

Comments? Questions? Feedback? Let me know on Twitter at @AllSportsDACC or @HereGoJayAgain, feedback is always welcome!

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