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Pitt Takes on Notre Dame, Florida State to Punch Ticket for ACC Championship Game?

On Saturday, Pittsburgh (4-4, 2-3) will take on #23 Notre Dame (7-2). The Fighting Irish have won 10 consecutive games by a touchown or less in points and historically against Pittsburgh, this is no different as they have won their last three matchups by 12 points.

In addition, in the last five games between these two schools, they have been determined by six points or less. In last year’s game, Notre Dame won 29-26 in triple overtime.

Tom Savage2 editsThese aren’t the same teams from last year and for Pittsburgh, they’ve just lost two consecutive games. Their offense has struggled lately and in last week’s 21-10 loss against Georgia Tech (6-3, 5-2), quarterback Tom Savage had been sacked five times. Pitt was held in rushing to minus-5 yards by the Yellow Jackets and in the second half, Georgia Tech stopped Pitt on three straight possessions that had been opportunities to take the lead.

Lately, this has been business as usual for Pitt in its four previous games versus FBS teams: they have only scored 54 points. Nationally Pitt’s offense has a No. 103 ranking for total yards. The silver lining for Pitt besides bragging rights, is they can get one game closer to a sixth straight bowling season. Remaining games for the Panthers after Notre Dame include North Carolina, Syracuse and #11 Miami FL.

One, maybe two of these games look winnable but Pitt needs to get back on track and more consistent. It won’t happen this week as Notre Dame again gets a tight win (-4, 51 o/u).

Florida On Path to Clinch ACC Championship Game Berth

On Saturday #2 Florida State (8-0, 6-0) will take on Wake Forest (4-5, 2-4). With a win, it will clinch a berth in the Dec. 7 ACC championship game. If Florida State then defeats Syracuse (4-4, 2-2) as well next week, it will win the Atlantic Division title.

Also weighing on the Seminoles for this week is winning a ninth straight game–a first since the team won the 1999 national championship. That was their last visit to the title game and now the team is just five wins away as it has its eye on the Jan. 6 Rose Bowl.

Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

Stealing headlines for the team is redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston. He sits at No. 2 in the country for his 201.1 passer rating and has 24 passing touchdowns with three running ones.

Winston is also a top Heisman contender. He sits behind Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota (2/3) in the second spot at 6/5 to win the prize next month.

Last week in the 41-14 rout of #11 Miami FL, Winston threw two picks. But he went 12 of 14 in the game’s second half and for the day, had 325 yards and one touchdown.

Florida State’s defense is also talented as its sits at No. 2 in the ACC, giving up 287.6 yards per game. Against three ranked opponents, it has outscored them 155-28 and forced seven turnovers. This has included a then #25 Maryland, a then #3 Clemson and Miami — 155-28 while forcing seven turnovers.

Seminoles coach Jimmbo Fisher likes his talented young quarterback and said of his team via STATS LLC, “This is a very good football team. I’ll say this, I love our football team. I love our football team.”

The team will need to stay focused against Wake Forest on Saturday. Unfortunately for the Demon Deacons, they’ll be playing without their top wide receiver, Michael Campanaro, who went down in last week’s game with a broken collarbone. He’ll be out for four to six weeks.

This will likely end his college career with his tied for No. 5 nationally with 67 receptions and No. 3 for conference history with his 227 career catches.

Fellow wide receiver Sherman Ragland stepped in for Campanaro last week and had 10 catches for 91 yards.

This should be a slam dunk for the Seminoles as they sit at -35, 54 o/u for Saturday’s win but they are 12/1 to win this year’s National Championship.



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