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ACC & Big 12 Week 6 Preview: Postponed by Irma, Miami and FSU Finally Take the Field

In the sixth week of the college football season, members of the Florida Citrus Sports Team Selection Committee are making visits throughout ACC and Big 12 country, meeting with fans across both conferences in advance of the Camping World Bowl on December 28.

Here are a few of the games our representatives will be taking in this week:

No. 13 Miami (3-0, 1-0 ACC) at Florida State (1-2, 1-1 ACC) – 3:30 p.m. on ESPN

The Miami Hurricanes are headed to Tallahassee this weekend to face longtime rival Florida State in a game that was originally scheduled for Sept. 16 and before being postponed by Hurricane Irma.

The undefeated Hurricanes are coming off their first conference game of the season, a 31-6 victory over Duke that extended their overall win streak to eight games. Last week, quarterback Malik Rosier, the ACC leader in pass efficiency (167.0), finished 15-of-26 for 270 yards and had one interception. Rosier is now the first Miami quarterback to start his career 4-0 since Brock Berlin did so in 2003. Braxton Berrios had a 27-yard touchdown grab on the Hurricanes’ first drive and against the Blue Devils and became the first Hurricane wide receiver since Andre Johnson in 2002 to catch a touchdown in each of his first three games of the season.

In the wake of the victory, the Hurricanes climbed to No. 13 in the AP poll — their highest ranking since October 2016.

The Seminoles, on the other hand, return home after avoiding their first 0-3 start since 1976 with a 26-19 win over Wake Forest last week. True freshman quarterback James Blackman engineered the first game-winning touchdown drive of his FSU career, sealing the win with a touchdown pass to wide receiver Auden Tate with just 53 seconds remaining. Tate’s 40-yard scoring grab extended his streak to three straight games with a touchdown catch, making him the first ‘Nole to achieve this since Rashad Greene in 2013.

Elsewhere on offense, running back Jacques Patrick, an Orlando native, generated the third 100-yard rushing game of his career and had a career best 69-yard run, which doubled as Florida State’s longest of the season. The Seminoles’ defense had 10 tackles for loss against the Demon Deacons and ranks 15th nationally with eight tackles for loss per game.

Saturday will mark the 62nd meeting between the Seminoles and Hurricanes, with Miami currently holding a slim 31-30 series lead. That being said, Miami has lost 10 of its past 12 games against Florida State and is looking for its first win over the ‘Noles since 2009. In their last meeting, the 23rd-ranked Seminoles upset the No. 10 Hurricanes in Miami Gardens thanks to a blocked extra point by FSU defensive end Demarcus Walker with 1:38 to play.

The game will also be Mark Richt’s first visit to Tallahassee as a head coach, however, Richt is no stranger to Doak Campbell Stadium. In addition to playing his college ball at UM — the teams split the series 2-2 during his time in Coral Gables — he won a pair of national titles under Bobby Bowden on the FSU coaching staff in the 1990s.

No. 23 West Virginia (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) at No. 8 TCU (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) – 3:30 p.m. on FS1

Both West Virginia and TCU are coming off bye weeks for this Top 25 matchup between Big 12 opponents. The Mountaineers jumped into the AP poll after defeating Kansas 56-34 in Week 4. Quarterback Will Grier, ranked number 17 in the nation for passing yards, threw for 347 yards and accounted for four touchdowns in the rout. Justin Crawford, the Big 12 leader in rushing yards per game, also added 125 yards on the ground, which marked the ninth 100-yard rushing performance of his career.

The undefeated Horned Frogs most recently upset No. 6 Oklahoma State 44-31 in Stillwater, where running back Darius Anderson, TCU’s leading rusher in each game this season, ran for a career-high 160 yards and scored three touchdowns. Overall, the TCU offense ran the ball 52 times for 238 yards in the win, however, quarterback Kenny Hill also went 22-for-33 for 228 yards through the air. Hill currently holds the sixth-best completion percentage in the nation at 72.6 (85-of-117) and ranks 18th overall in passing efficiency (162.2).

Saturday’s result will break a 3-3 series tie between TCU and West Virginia. The first meeting between the teams came in Houston, in the 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl — a 31-14 West Virginia win — with the remaining five matchups taking place in each season since the Mountaineers joined the Big 12, in 2012. Each of the first three intraconference meetings between the teams came down to the game’s final play, including two that were decided in overtime. However, the two most recent meetings were blowouts in favor of the home team, with the Horned Frogs and Mountaineers winning 40-10 and 34-10 in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

 

No. 17 Louisville (4-1, 1-1 ACC) at No. 24 NC State (4-1, 2-0 ACC) – 8:00 p.m. (Thursday) on ESPN

The Louisville Cardinals return to conference play this week as they head to Raleigh for a primetime showdown with North Carolina State Thursday night. The Wolfpack will be the second ranked opponent for the Cardinals this season after falling to No. 2 Clemson earlier this year.

Louisville is coming off one of its most complete performances of the season in a 55-10 victory over FCS foe Murray State — an effort that saw the Cards total 676 yards of offense while allowing just 80 yards on defense. Quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson set a school record with his 16th 100-yard rushing game in the win, and is now just 13 yards shy of becoming the seventh player in ACC history to reach 10,000 total career yards.

NC State is ranked in the AP Top 25 poll this week for the first time since the final poll of the 2010, when the Wolfpack were led by current Seattle Seahawks quarterback and former Camping World Bowl MVP Russell Wilson. The Pack’s 33-25 win over Syracuse last week was their fourth consecutive win and marked the first time they have opened a season 2-0 in ACC play since 2006. Quarterback Ryan Finley completed 20 of his 33 pass attempts for 186 yards in the victory, including a 20-yard touchdown to wide receiver Stephen Louis, who had 67 receiving yards.

The Cardinals are undefeated in six regular season games against NC State all-time and are 2-0 at Carter-Finley Stadium, however the Wolfpack did beat Louisville in the 2011 Belk Bowl, 31-24. Since that loss, Louisville has won three straight over NC State, including a 54-13 rout last year that saw Jackson break a school single-season record — with six games left in the season.

Here are the rest of the ACC and Big 12 games our selection committee members will attend:

No. 16 Virginia Tech (4-1, 0-1 ACC) at Boston College (2-3, 0-2 ACC) – 7:15 p.m. on ESPN2
No. 21 Notre Dame (4-1) at North Carolina (1-4, 0-3 ACC) – 3:30 p.m. on ABC
Iowa State (2-2, 0-1 Big 12) at No. 3 Oklahoma (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) – 12:00 p.m. on FOX
Kansas State (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) at Texas (2-2, 1-0 Big 12) – 7:00 p.m. on FS1

Other ACC and Big 12 games being played this week:

Wake Forest (4-1, 1-1 ACC) at No. 2 Clemson (5-0, 3-0 ACC) – 12:00 p.m. on ESPN2
Texas Tech (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) at Kansas (1-3, 0-1 Big 12) – 12:00 p.m. on FS1
Duke (4-1, 1-1 ACC) at Virginia (3-1, 0-0 ACC) – 12:20 p.m. on ACC Network
Pittsburgh (2-3, 0-1 ACC) at Syracuse (2-3, 0-1 ACC) – 12:30 p.m. on ACC Network


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