ACC Week 12 Wrap Up

#9 Virginia Tech (10-1, 6-1) hosted UNC (6-5, 2-5) Thursday night in Lane Stadium and outlasted the Heels and their formidable defense, 24-21, to keep their Coastal Division title hopes alive. Hokie QB Logan Thomas threw for 195 yards and two scores while running just effectively enough to balance out RB David Wilson and the rest of the offense. The VT defense was equally as stout when it needed it most, bottling-up Tarheel RB Giovani Bernard (knocked out in the first half with a mild concussion) for just 45 yards. Heel QB Bryn Renner made it interesting in the fourth quarter trying everything to get his team back in it. He finished 14 of 26 for 224 yards and a score. The Hokie win was their 6th in a row and provided coach Frank Beamer another 10-win season – the only team in the country to win at least 10 games in each of the past eight seasons. 

It was close to the end but visiting Georgia Tech (8-3, 5-3) held on to beat Duke (3-8, 1-6), 38-31, Saturday afternoon in Wallace Wade Stadium. Devil QB Sean Renfree matched a career-high with 4 TD passes as he finished 26 of 42 for 250 yards with one pick which was costly coming as his team was driving in the final minutes. Jackets tosser (and runner) Tevin Washington engineered a long, late scoring drive that sealed the deal. He was only 6 of 13 for 185 yards but added 136 yards rushing with a long dash of 39 late. Duke totaled 351 yards (250 pass/101 run) to GT’s 549 (185 pass/364 rush) – opposites in production. 

Wake Forest (6-5, 5-3) hosted Maryland (2-9, 1-6) Saturday afternoon at Groves Stadium and took the game over in the second half winning, 31-10. The Deacs snapped a 3-game losing streak and became bowl-eligible on the arm of QB Tanner Price who threw for 320 yards and three scores. RB Brandon Pendergrass who had 26 carries for 125 yards and a TD enhanced the Demon Deacons’ O. But the star of the show was WR Chris Givens who had a career-best eight catches for 191 yards and a score as he broke a 22-year old WF single season receiving record with 1, 207 (to date) surpassing the old mark of 1,053 set by Ricky Proehl in 1989. Terp QB C.J. Brown tried to make things interesting, especially in the first half but the offense managed only a FG in the final two periods. He went 20 of 42 for 186 yards with a TD and ran for 110 more.

Visiting Miami (6-5, 3-4) became bowl-eligible by besting in-state rival USF, 6-3, Saturday afternoon in Raymond James Stadium. The game was decided as time expired when Canes’ kicker, Jake Wieclaw nailed a 36-yard FG. The winning boot capped off a clutch drive by Hurricane QB Jacory Harris who orchestrated several crucial 3rd down conversions (8 of 19). He finished 27 of 35 for 259 yards but was sacked six times. The Bulls run defense was determined limiting Miami sprinter, Lamar Miller, to 50 yards on 20 touches.

A smothering defense and good production from the QB was a winning formula for host NC State (6-5, 3-4) who steam-rolled then #7 Clemson (9-2, 6-2), 37-13, Saturday afternoon in Carter-Finley Stadium. The must-win game for the Pack saw hurler, Mike Glennon take control completing 19 of 29 for 253 yards and three scores. It was NC State’s first win against a top-10 team in five seasons under coach Tom O’Brien and ended a seven-year losing streak to the Tigers. The Wolfpack defense has really stepped-up holding their last two opponents to fewer than 200 total yards. Clemson, who averages a league-best 37 points and 478 yards per game, didn’t score until the final minute and a half. State defenders caused 4 Tiger miscues and the offense dominated the time of possession 36:29 to 23:31. Glennon & Co. must win their final game to become bowl-eligible. As for Clemson, they must lick their wounds and get Sammy Watkins healthy to face archrival South Carolina in Columbia Saturday night. 

Visiting Boston College (3-8, 2-5) was competitive but didn’t quite have enough pop falling to #24 Notre Dame, 16-14 Saturday afternoon in South Bend. The Irish had to recover an onside kick with two minutes left to secure the win. The Eagles’ offense struggled as QB Chase Rettig went 18 of 38 for 170 yards but threw 10 incompletions in a row at one point. BC ended with just 250 total yards to ND’s 417 and converted just 3 of 13 3rd downs. They would get it close, advancing to the Irish 44 or beyond; three times but came away with just one score. The stud of the show once again was Eagles’ LB Luke Kuechly who finished with 14 tackles giving him 523 for his career – one shy of the BC mark set by Steven Boyd from 1991-94. There’s a lot of fight in this BC team!

It wasn’t decided until the final seconds but visiting UVA (8-3, 5-2) won their fourth straight upsetting Florida State (7-4, 5-3), 14-13, Saturday night in Doak Campbell Stadium. The win sets-up a showdown with Virginia Tech in Charlottesville on Saturday with the winner taking the Coastal Division title and heading to Charlotte. The Seminoles missed a 42-yard FG with three seconds left after a convoluted set of circumstances involving penalties and clock adjustments gave the hosts the final shot. The Wahoos took the lead when Kevin Parks ran for 10 yards and a TD with 1:16 left. Penalties (11 for 94 yards) and missed 3rd down conversions (3 of 13) didn’t help the Noles. QB E.J. Manuel was limited finishing 18 of 31 for 200 yards but was sacked three times. By contrast, UVA QB Mike Rocco was very effective driving 75 yards on five plays in just 37 seconds for the winning touchdown, capping a Wahoo surge of six wins in their last seven games.