ACC Round-Up: Week 8

With three weeks left in the regular season, the ACC had a major shift this past weekend when Notre Dame knocked off reigning ACC Champ Clemson in the best game of 2020 so far. In this week’s ACC Round-Up, we look ahead to this week’s action, and take a look at some bowl projections that look to be taking shape.

Last week’s ACC action saw some successes and failures across the conference. Notre Dame’s 2OT win over Clemson was an instant classic, and it was one of the best regular-season games in a long time. Miami came back to win a tight one on the road, and Liberty went 2-0 on the season versus the ACC in a win against Virginia Tech. 

This week Clemson, Duke and Syracuse are off. Let’s take a quick look at the standings heading into Week 8:

Notre Dame 7-0 (6-0)

Clemson 7-1 (6-1)

Miami 6-1 (5-1)

North Carolina 5-2 (5-2)

Virginia Tech 4-3 (4-2)

Wake Forest 4-2 (3-2)

Boston College 5-3 (4-3)

N.C. State 4-3 (4-3)

Pittsburgh 4-4 (3-4)

Georgia Tech 2-5 (2-4)

Virginia 2-4 (2-4)

Louisville 2-5 (1-5)

Florida State 2-5 (1-5)

Duke 2-6 (1-6)

Syracuse 1-7 (1-6)

The six conference games are headlined by now #2 Notre Dame and how they respond to last week’s win against a tough Boston College team on the road. #9 Miami, still with an outside shot at making the ACC Championship game, battle a Virginia Tech team coming off of an embarrassing loss. 

  • #9 Miami @ Virginia Tech – D’Eriq King was phenomenal in the Hurricanes late game rally to beat N.C.State 44-41 last Thursday. The Canes travel to Blacksburg to play a Hokie team that has been all over the place this season. While they can score the ball, their defense continues to struggle. That won’t be a recipe for success against a Miami team that has overachieved year 1 under Rhett Lashlee.
  • Wake Forest @ North Carolina – This has a chance to be the best game in the ACC this week. Wake’s been very good on offense this season, as Dave Clawson has his team competing. North Carolina has bounced back since its loss to FSU. With a chance to still make the ACC Championship game, they will have to get a great defensive effort as Wake is putting up over 40 points per game this season. 
  • #2 Notre Dame @ Boston College – Let me take you back to 1993…Notre Dame beats #1 FSU in an all-time classic, then they lose the next week to Boston College. Will we see a repeat this week? Kylen Williams is the breakout running back in the conference this season, and Ian Book continues to manage an offense that is finding its groove. As important as last week was to the Irish and their quest for a playoff berth, they have to be ready against a well coached Eagles squad.
  • Louisville @ Virginia – Two teams with hope to play in a bowl game, this game frankly could go either way. The Cards offense can keep them competitive in any game, and a new game brings a different Cavs team. The big-play ability of the Cards should be the difference this week.
  • Pittsburgh @ Georgia Tech – Pitt’s offense is simply better with Kenny Pickett under center. When he went out with injury he was the leading passer in the nation. Against FSU this past weekend he was efficient and kept the offense moving. Georgia Tech, while their record is similar to last year, has been a better team. This should be a tough game for the Jackets as they face one of the nation’s best defenses against the run in Pitt. Can Jeff Sims make enough plays in the air and not turn the ball over?
  • FSU @ N.C. State – FSU is in trouble. James Blackman has opted out despite not being the quarterback, Tamorrion Terry is no longer a part of the program, and Marvin Wilson and Devontay Love-Taylor are out for the season with injuries. They look lethargic the past two weeks and are getting worse each game. N.C. State, on the other hand, gave away to game against Miami and has rebounded from last season. FSU struggles in Raleigh and this game could get ugly. 

Bleacher Report listed their projected bowl match-ups. Looks like the ACC has a real shot at two teams making the playoff. 

  • Montgomery Bowl – Tulsa vs Virginia
  • Military Bowl – SMU vs Pittsburgh
  • Cheez It Bowl (really?) – Kansas State vs Wake Forest
  • Pinstripe Bowl – Boston College vs Minnesota
  • Duke’s Mayo (really?) – N.C. State vs Maryland
  • Sun Bowl – Arizona State vs Virginia Tech
  • Gator Bowl – LSU vs North Carolina
  • Orange Bowl – Miami vs Texas A&M
  • Rose Bowl (Playoff) – Ohio State vs Clemson
  • Sugar Bowl (Playoff) – Alabama vs Notre Dame

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