VIRGINIA TECH – 16 EAST CAROLINA – 3
Killing drives and calling back touchdowns, penalties and turnovers killed the Pirates in this one. Due to a solid performance by the East Carolina defense, the game was never out of reach. Yet, a touchdown called back because of holding and a fumbled ball going out the back of the end zone for a touchdown were a few of things that held East Carolina short. Despite their narrow escape, Virginia Tech running back ran for a career-high 179 yards, as quarterback Tyrod Taylor had 198 all-purpose yards on the night. Perhaps the most valuable player of the game was Virginia Tech’s kicker Matt Waldron. Waldron split three field goals through the uprights, tripling the points of the East Carolina offense. Offensively, the Pirates were just full of bad breaks; their only trip to the red-zone was called back because of a penalty. Quarterback Patrick Pinkney had a mere 169 yards passing with no scores and the whole team managed only 110 yards on the ground. But hey, with eight punts on the day, the punter got a good workout. From the Hokies stand point, by winning this game, they keep their top-25 stature in tact. With a relatively easy schedule left, all the Hokies can do is win-out and see what happens.
GEORGIA TECH – 30 WAKE FOREST – 27
This game was fluke-upset, if you will, by Wake Forest. Perhaps the third time that Wake Forest blew an upset this season, they’ve got to get better at closing games out if they want to make a bowl game. The Yellow Jackets got off lucky. Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner went 26 for 40, 263 yards, and two touchdowns, keeping it a close game throughout. However, the Deacons offense was one-dimensional and I’m not quite sure how Georgia Tech didn’t manage to stop them through the air. But either way, Georgia Tech matched it offensively, rushing for a grand total of 412 yards or four scores. The thing with Georgia Tech is that they’re perhaps the only team in the entire nation that can be one-dimensional offensively and still beat you. Now when you do run a one-dimensional offense and still manage to be the #7 team in the nation, then you pretty much know that you can move the ball. Back to the game and it was a fairly inconsistent one. Coming into the second quarter, the Yellow Jackets looked to have had a firm 10-0 lead. Yet, storming their way through, Wake Forest put up 17 answered points, leading by seven at the half. Georgia Tech ended up forcing the game into overtime; where the good teams are separated from the great teams. There, Josh Nesbitt ran for a 1-yard fourth down conversion and eventually ran it in for the game-winner. Closing in on the ACC title, all Georgia Tech has to do is win out and they’re in.
CLEMSON – 40 FLORIDA STATE – 24
Say all you want about this game, but when it was all said and done, CJ Spiller won it for the Tigers. With 312 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns on the night, Spiller was a man among boys Saturday night in Clemson. And the amazing thing about his performance is that, more than half the time, he looked like he was just jogging around the field. On a different note, Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker has really stepped up his game lately having yet another good showing with 242 yards and four scores through the air. Yet, the whole offensive explosion out of Clemson could have just been the outcome of five Florida State turnovers. Either way, Clemson simply outplayed Florida State when it really mattered. Outscoring the Seminoles 19-0 in the 4th quarter, the Tigers merely wanted it more. Going 21-33, 262 yards, and one touchdown; outside his, drum roll please, four interceptions, Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder had a pretty good game. Seminoles running back Jermaine Thomas had 119 yards rushing, along with one score and a solid 4.6 YPC. In terms of the ACC title race, this game may have just pushed Florida State out of the picture. If they had one, then they’d win the tiebreaker over Clemson with a 3-3-conference record and currently be holding 1st place in the Atlantic division of the ACC. However, with Clemson’s win, the Tigers are sitting at 1st in the Atlantic division and Florida State is holding up the 3rd spot behind Boston College.
NORTH CAROLINA – 19 DUKE – 6
Scoring only six points, Duke’s offense came to a sudden halt this Saturday vs. UNC. Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis had thrown for 300+ yards in each of his last 4 games up until now. UNC running back Ryan Houston ran for 169 yards and caught for another 15, spurring the Tar heels offense past Duke.
MIAMI – 52 VIRGINIA – 17
At the end of the first half, Miami held a mere 7-point lead and this game looked to be a close one. However, with the help of stellar performances by both quarterback Jacory Harris and running back Graig Cooper, Miami out-scored Virginia 28-0 in the second half; ultimately leading them to a 52-17 beating.
NC STATE – 38 MARYLAND – 31
Though they turned the ball over 4 times, in the end, NC State somehow managed a victory. Wolf pack quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 343 yards and three touchdowns, as well as a score on the ground, surging State past Maryland for their first in-conference win of the season.