The final Saturday in September didn’t pack the same punch as the previous one. There was no clash of top-10 titans, nor a truly intriguing conference matchup. But in the end, Week 5 produced its fair share of fireworks.
Perhaps the grandest display of Atlantic Coast Conference football came at Sun Life Stadium where Miami (4-1, 3-0) topped NC State (3-2, 0-1), 44-37, on a 62-yard touchdown pass with 19 seconds to go. It was a wild day all around, with Hurricanes QB Stephen Morris throwing for a conference-record 566 yards and five touchdowns. His counterpart, Mike Glennon, had a strong game as well with 440 yards passing and four touchdowns.
Miami built a 23-7 lead at the end of the first quarter before withstanding a furious NC State rally. The Wolfpack tied the game at 37-all on Niklas Sade’s 50-yard field goal with 1:58 remaining in regulation. But Morris, on 3rd-and-11 with under a minute to go, rolled out to his right, eluded a defender, scrambled a bit more and found Phillip Dorsett behind the secondary for the game-winning score.
Week 5 also featured a stunning upset. Georgia Tech (2-3, 1-2) lost its second straight game at home, falling to the Sun Belt Conference’s Middle Tennessee State, 49-28. The Yellow Jackets were outgained on the ground and in the air, and turned the ball over four times. GT led 7-0 early in the first quarter, but it was the only time the Jackets held the lead.
Another team that was expected to contend for the conference title, Virginia Tech (3-2, 1-0), fell on the road at undefeated Cincinnati, 27-24. The Hokies led at halftime and had a 24-20 lead with 1:49 to play in regulation. But Cincy’s Munchie Legaux (19 of 42, 376 yards, three scores, one interception) connected on the game-winning 39-yard passing touchdown with 13 seconds remaining.
The conference’s top two teams, No. 4 Florida State (5-0, 2-0) and No. 17 Clemson (4-1, 1-1) both won.
The Seminoles faced a tough Sunshine State test from South Florida, but they built on a 10-point halftime lead and defeated the Bulls, 30-17. E.J. Manuel threw for 242 yards and one touchdown, Rashad Greene ran for a score and the Noles’ defense
scored on a fumble return in the win.
Clemson turned on the jets in the second half to win at Boston College, 45-31. The Tigers held a slim three-point lead at halftime before outscoring the Eagles 21-10 over the final 30 minutes. Tajh Boyd (367 yards passing) threw for three scores and ran for another. Andre Ellington carried 25 times for 132 yards and a touchdown.
Duke (4-0, 1-1) continued its strong start with a 34-27 road win over Wake Forest (3-2, 1-2). North Carolina (3-2, 0-1) scored 28 first- quarter points en route to a 66-0 rout over Idaho. And Virginia (2-3, 0-1) lost at home to Louisiana Tech, 44-38.
Week 6 features a trio of intriguing matchups. Struggling Georgia Tech plays at No. 15 Clemson. The unranked Hurricanes travel to Soldier Field in Chicago to take on No. 9 Notre Dame in a primetime matchup. And No. 3 FSU has a tough road test against a Wolfpack team with a high-powered offense.
Five teams remain undefeated in conference play heading into October: Florida State, Maryland (the Terps have yet to play a conference game), Miami, Duke and Virginia Tech.
The ‘Noles have the inside track to win the Atlantic Division, but the Coastal Division remains up in the air. There’s still plenty of football to be played to determine who meets in the conference championship game.
Also, here is our ACC play of the week! It’s teh incredible game winning touchdown for Miami over NC State. We hope you enjoy it!
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What did you think of the ACC this past week? Can anyone knock off the mighty Seminoles? Let us know in the comments!