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ACC Weekly Recap

After the dust settled in the ACC this week, we discovered a couple of new contenders, some nice surprises and some disappointing finishes that dismissed some notable teams from the ACC title conversation this season. In case you missed this week’s heated ACC battles, here’s a brief recap and a little of what we can expect next week, as well as down the road.

Florida State continued its winning ways this week against interstate foe South Florida 30-17, staying unbeaten, while climbing one spot in the AP Poll this week to #3. FSU remains the ACC title frontrunner after the win and due to the fact that they already have a win against other contender, Clemson.

FSU has had a lot to celebrate so far in 2012

The offense was not overly impressive, but was efficient for the Noles. Eli Manuel threw for just 242 yards and one score, but managed to complete 19 and 26 passes and did not have a turnover. South Florida on the other hand, coughed up the ball three times, one of which, a fumble, was returned for a Seminoles touchdown.

Even after a couple of tests against Clemson and South Florida, FSU is still ranked in the top 10 in both points for and against. The Seminoles next game will be a road bout with NC State and they should be highly favored again. Look for FSU to cover anything lower than 20 points this week.

The Miami Hurricanes kept their good mojo going against NC State on Saturday, winning 44-37 on an unbelievable effort from quarterback Stephen Morris. Morris helped the Canes improve to 4-1 on the season by throwing for an ACC-record 566 yards. Miami also benefited from six Wolf Pack turnovers and 14 NC State penalties.

Morris lit up the Wolf Pack for an ACC-record in passing yards

The Canes emerged as a contender in the conference with the win, as they improved to 3-0 in conference play so far this season, but they still have yet to play the ACC’s toughest teams including FSU and Clemson.
This week, we will see what Miami is really made of as they take on Notre Dame on the road. Morris surely won’t be able to duplicate this week’s performance against the ninth ranked Irish, who are allowing just nine points per game so far this year. This should be a close game, but with home-field, take Notre Dame to win a squeaker this week.

FSU and Miami certainly made the ACC proud on Saturday, but Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech failed to carry the torch, as both schools suffered tough upset losses.

The Yellow Jackets fell in embarrassing fashion, 49-28 to Middle Tennessee of the Sun Belt Conference. Not only did Middle Tennessee win in Atlanta, but they did it emphatically, gashing the Jackets on the ground for 264 yards. Blue Raiders running back Benny Cunningham rushed for five touchdowns in the surprising MTU victory.

Georgia Tech, who started the season as a hopeful in the ACC, is seeing the wheels fall off the wagon at 2-3. Unfortunately, things don’t get easier from here, as the Jackets take on Clemson this Saturday. Look for the Tigers to have similar success running the ball on Tech and to come away with a two-score victory.

Then there’s Virginia Tech. V Tech is used to starting slow, but with two losses already, the Hokies are not where they want to be five weeks into the season. Saturday marked a heartbreaking defeat to Cincinnati, 27-24. The good news is that the Hokies are still unbeaten in the conference (1-0) and if they can get it together, they can still make a push for an ACC title. They’ll have to get started this week in their road game against North Carolina, who is coming off a 66-0 shellacking of Idaho. Although the Heels crushed an inferior opponent last week, expect V Tech to bounce back with a win, albeit a close shave, against UNC.

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