Miami-UNC, NC State-FSU headline ACC’s Week 11
A look at things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference for Week 11:
GAME OF THE WEEK: Miami at North Carolina. The 17th-ranked Tar Heels (8-1, 5-0) can clinch the Coastal Division title and their first berth in the ACC championship game with a win over the Hurricanes (6-3, 3-2) and a Duke victory over Pittsburgh. North Carolina is clicking, reeling off eight straight wins behind an offense that rolled up 704 total yards in a rout of the Blue Devils. The Hurricanes are 2-0 under interim coach Larry Scott and make a return to the North Carolina Triangle – where they claimed a wild win over Duke two weeks ago. Said UNC coach Larry Fedora: ''I'm sure they plan on coming in here and knocking us off.''
BEST MATCHUP: Duke's offense vs. Pitt's defense. Blue Devils QB Thomas Sirk has slipped into the ACC's top 10 in rushing, averaging nearly 62 yards, for a Duke team that has scored at least 27 points in four straight games. He'll try to snap a two-game losing streak against a once stout Pitt run defense that had been strong before giving up 174 and 175 yards rushing in losing its last two.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Blowouts have generally been the exception in the ACC this season. According to league stats, 49 percent of its games have been decided by seven or fewer points – the highest percentage of any FBS conference – though just one was that close last weekend. The average margin of victory in league games is 12.2 points, the tightest of any conference.
LONG SHOT: North Carolina State might be able to pull the upset at No. 19 Florida State. The Wolfpack, 9 1/2-point underdogs, are seeking their first win in Tallahassee since 2005 but they've already snapped long road losing streaks at Wake Forest and Boston College. QB Jacoby Brissett – a transfer from Florida – led the Wolfpack to an early 17-point lead last year before it slipped away in a 56-41 loss. The Seminoles have lost two of three and are coming off an emotional defeat at No. 1 Clemson. ''I think they see a team that lost to Georgia Tech, a team that is capable of slipping up but also played toe-to-toe with Clemson,'' North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren said. ''We know how good they can be.''
PLAYER TO WATCH: Clemson RB Wayne Gallman has reached the 100-yard mark in six of his last seven games, with a 172-yard effort against North Carolina State followed by a 103-yard performance against the Seminoles. With 977 yards rushing, he needs 368 to match Raymond Priester's 19-year-old school single-season record.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.
- Clemson Tigers
- Duke Blue Devils
- Florida State Seminoles
- Jacoby Brissett
- North Carolina State Wolfpack
- North Carolina Tar Heels
- Thomas Sirk
- Wayne Gallman