Football

Inside the ACC 11.01.14

Observations

• Miami’s offensive line was one of its strengths. That was before losing both starting tackles. UNC’s defense has not been good, but it showed some fight in the second half against Virginia and should be able to get pressure on freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya.



The real issue for UNC will be stopping Miami running back Duke Johnson. Johnson had 249 yards last week at Virginia Tech and 83 yards on eight carries in less than a half against UNC’s defense last year before suffering a concussion.

• This is the best possible spot on N.C. State’s schedule for Syracuse. The Wolfpack is coming off an open date and has cleared the most difficult portion of its schedule.



The Orange is coming off a physical, 16-6 loss at Clemson and has lost five of six.

• Remember in September when ESPN was pumping up Virginia Tech as a College Football Playoff candidate after a 35-21 win at Ohio State?



Virginia Tech’s 21-year bowl streak will be in trouble if the Hokies (4-4) can’t beat Boston College. The Hokies will probably beat Wake Forest on Nov. 22, but they need two wins to continue the streak.

Three to watch

UNC at Miami, 12:30 p.m. (WMYT)

The Tar Heels (4-4) and Hurricanes (5-3) have split their 10 ACC games. Saturday’s loser is eliminated from the Coastal Division race.

N.C. State at Syracuse, 3 p.m. (Fox Sports Carolinas)

The Wolfpack (4-4) almost certainly needs to win to get to a bowl game. Ditto for Syracuse (3-5).

No. 24 Duke at Pittsburgh, noon (ESPNU)

The two teams combined for 113 points in regulation last year. Will probably be a different game this year: Both the Blue Devils (6-1) and Panthers (4-4) have improved defenses.

Number to know

5 Duke’s national rank in scoring defense, allowing an average of 15.1 points per game. The Blue Devils have yet to give up four touchdowns in a game this season.

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