ACC Week Five Preview
Two of the four FBS schools with “Tech” in their name go head-to-head as Virginia Tech (3-1) travels to Georgia Tech (3-0, 2-0 ACC) for a Thursday night showdown. The game has historically been pivotal to the conference race as the winner of the game has gone on to win the Coastal Division in seven of the last eight seasons. Virginia Tech’s sole loss came against No. 1 Alabama in week one, while Georgia Tech has already won two conference games, beating Duke and North Carolina. The Yellow Jackets have found success on the ground, averagine 349.8 rushing yards per game, while VT’s success has come in pass defense, ranking 2nd in the nation in both sacks and interceptions.
Pittsburgh (2-1, 1-1 ACC) returns home to face Virginia (2-1) after its first ACC conference win on the road at Duke. The Panthers defeated the Blue Devils, 58-55, behind QB Tom Savage’s 424 passing yards and six touchdown passes. Virginia sprinted by VMI, 49-0, in Charlottesville. Pittsburgh and UVA split their last two meetings (2006 and 2007).
No. 8 Florida State (3-0, 1-0 ACC) visits Boston College (2-1, 1-0 ACC) for each team’s second conference game of the season. The Seminoles face their second ACC road test after winning at Pittsburgh on Labor Day. Freshman QB Jameis Winston leads the nation in completion percentage, connecting on 78.1% of his passes for 718 yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception.
Wake Forest (2-2, 0-1 ACC) travels to No. 4 Clemson (3-0, 1-0 ACC) in search of its first win at Death Valley since 1998. The Tigers opened up conference play with a 26-14 win at NC State Thursday night. QB Tajh Boyd tossed three touchdowns as Clemson opened the season 3-0 for the third-straight season. Clemson is one of five FBS teams without an interception this season. Wake Forest improved to 2-2 with a 25-11 win on the road over Army in week four.
No. 15 Miami (3-0) visits South Florida (0-3) for the third time in five seasons. Miami took care of business in week four, posting a school-record 77 points against Savannah State, while USF was idle following a loss to Florida Atlantic. Miami has won four of five all-time meetings against the Bulls, with the lone stumble coming at home in 2010.
North Carolina (1-2, 0-1 ACC) hosts in-state foe East Carolina (2-1, 1-0 C-USA). The Tar Heels return home after suffering a 28-20 setback at Georgia Tech. Heels’ WR Eric Ebron had a breakout game against the Yellow Jackets, catching six balls for 108 yards and a touchdown. The Tar Heels have won four in a row and eight of their last nine against the Pirates.
Duke (2-2, 0-2 ACC) takes a break from conference play to host Troy (2-2, 0-1 Sun Belt). The Blue Devils and Trojans both started the season 2-0 before dropping their last two contests. Duke fell in a high-scoring affair, 58-55, to Pittsburgh on Saturday, while Troy fell behind early on the road at Mississippi State, losing 62-7. The ACC is 5-0 against Troy all-time, but the Trojans and Blue Devils have not previously met.
NC State (2-1, 0-1 ACC) stays at home to face MAC foe Central Michigan (1-3, 0-1 MAC). The Wolfpack lost a hard-fought Thursday night clash against Clemson in week four despite holding the Tigers to their fewest points of the season. The Chippewas are facing their second BCS conference team of the season after falling 59-9 to Michigan in week one.