ACC Game Stories, Week 7

Check below for game stories from all the ACC action this weekend. It’s listed in alphabetical order, by winning ACC team. (Non-conference losses are listed at the end.)


Boyd With Go-Ahead TD In No. 3 Clemson’s 24-14 Win

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – It’s time for No. 3 Clemson’s second showdown this season. And this one is even bigger than the first.

Six weeks after defeating then fifth-ranked Georgia to start the season, the Tigers and Tajh Boyd put together a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat Boston College that kept them on course for next week’s Atlantic Coast Conference contest with No. 6 Florida State.

“I’ll definitely be watching,” Boston College receiver Alex Amidon said.

Amidon and the Eagles (3-3, 1-2 ACC) nearly spoiled the party, keeping the Tigers out of synch offensively and using big plays to carry a 14-10 lead into the final period. That’s when the Tigers (6-0, 4-0) fought back, Boyd’s 6-yard TD run with 13:44 left putting them ahead for good.

National sack leader Vic Beasley sealed things a few moments later when he scooped up Chase Rettig’s fumble and took it 13 yards for a touchdown. The Boston College quarterback coughed up the ball after a big hit by linebacker Tony Steward.

Clemson held on to start 6-0 for the second time in three years.

“If you want to be a good team, you have to win games like this,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “We kept fighting and overcame mistakes.”

The Tigers most likely won’t wriggle of the hook should they repeat the errors against the well-rested Seminoles (5-0), who had Saturday free and come off a 63-0 victory over Maryland in their last game.

Boyd also had a touchdown pass and finished with 334 yards passing to become the school’s all-time leader in passing yards, surpassing Charlie Whitehurst. Boyd chose to focus on Clemson handling adversity and succeeding instead of a near defeat.

“I’ve been in that situation plenty of times,” he said. “You’ve got to go back, reflect on it and you’ve got to lead.”

Boyd said he’ll remind the Tigers of what’s at stake this week, the attention that will be on Death Valley and how the players must prepare to succeed as they did against Georgia in a 38-35 victory back on Aug. 31.

“We’ve got some great capabilities,” he said. “We’ve got to keep making adjustments so we can continue to improve.”

Sammy Watkins had seven receptions for 101 yards, his fourth game over the century mark this season and 11th in his career. He scored on a 48-yard touchdown grab that gave the Tigers their first lead of the game at 10-7.

But it was Clemson’s oft-maligned defense – remember when the Tigers gave up 70 points in the Orange Bowl two years ago? – that turned things around in this one. Eagles tailback Andre Williams, who came in the nation’s top rusher, was held to fewer than 3 yards a carry with 70 total. He had gained a career-best 263 a week ago in Boston College’s win over Army.

Boston College finished with 286 yards on offense, 162 of those coming on its two TD drives. It’s the fifth straight game Clemson held an opponent to 14 points or less.

“We hear a lot about our offense, but we just want to be the strength of the team,” Beasley said.

Clemson put its past two opponents in Wake Forest and Syracuse away by halftime, leading 35-7 at the break and cruising to sizeable victories.

The Tigers tried that formula again in this one, reaching the BC 6 before kicker Chandler Catanzaro ended a string of 28 straight field goals inside 48 yards as he missed from 25 yards away.

It was only the start of the Tigers execution problems. Two series later, Zac Brooks fumbled at the end of what would’ve been a first down and Eagles linebacker Steele Divitto recovered.

After driving 68 yards to the Boston College 28, Watkins airmailed a halfback pass over wide open Adam Humphries. Two plays later, holder Corbin Jenkins couldn’t get the snap down and the Tigers again left without points.

Rod McDowell had Clemson’s second fumble of the half a series later, then came up shy on fourth-and-6 as Clemson passed up a long field goal try the next time it had the ball.

The Tigers finally broke through on the half’s last play, Catanzaro nailing a 35-yard field goal as time ran out to trail the Eagles 7-3 at the break.

Clemson’s struggles continued into the second half. The crowd of 77,506 relaxed some when Watkins took in his 48-yard catch along the right sidelines for a touchdown to put Clemson on top 10-7. But BC answered one play later on Rettig’s 69-yard TD toss to Amidon.

The nervousness didn’t leave for good until after Beasley bounded in with the loose ball for a double-digit lead.

“We did some really good things and some really bad things,” said first-year Boston College coach Steve Addazio. “If we can keep working and keep believing, then good things will happen.”


Boone’s 3 TDs Lead Duke Past Navy, 35-7 

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Anthony Boone threw three touchdown passes in his first game back from injury and Duke beat mistake-prone Navy 35-7 on Saturday.

Boone, who missed three games with a broken collar bone, was 31 of 38 for a career-high 295 yards for Duke (4-2).

He had touchdowns covering 27 and 18 yards to Isaac Blakeney and 3 yards to Max McCaffrey.

Darius Staten had a 7-yard touchdown run for the Midshipmen (3-2). They were denied their first 4-1 start since 2006 and haven’t beaten the Blue Devils since 2007.

Jela Duncan had a 5-yard scoring run and Shaquille Powell ran 7 yards for a TD for Duke, which rolled up 435 total yards and pulled away with touchdowns on five of its first six possessions after the first quarter.

Boone and the Blue Devils threw at will against a top-30 Navy pass defense that’s allowing just 205.5 yards passing per game.

Boone was back on the field five weeks after he was hurt in the win at Memphis, and looked quite at ease while improving his career record as a starter to 4-0.

He didn’t take his first hit until Duke’s second possession, and that contact didn’t seem to bother him at all. He had little trouble moving the Blue Devils up and down the field while completing 16 of his first 19 passes.

He threw for touchdowns on consecutive second-quarter series, first putting the Blue Devils up 7-0 on their third possession when he hit a wide-open Blakeney for a long, easy touchdown. He followed that by dropping an over-the-shoulder toss into McCaffrey’s hands to put Duke ahead to stay at 14-7 with 4:35 left in the half.

Boone’s third touchdown was all Blakeney. The redshirt junior caught a short pass and cut across the field on his way to the end zone with 9:52 left in the third.

Duncan and Powell then rushed for touchdowns on consecutive possessions to make it a four-score game with 12:36 left.

Navy’s only touchdown came late in the second quarter, when the Midshipmen found a way to run around the ends.

Staten took a pitch around the left side for a score moments after the Midshipmen ran three straight pitches around right end – and Marcus Thomas took the last one 47 yards to the Duke 12.

Aside from that, this was one to forget for Navy.

The nation’s least-penalized team was flagged five times – four in the first half – and had three turnovers – or, as many as they had in their first four games combined.

The Midshipmen blew a prime scoring chance in the final seconds of the half when Reynolds fumbled at the Duke 10.

Chris Swain led Navy with 61 yards rushing, but the Midshipmen managed just 73 total yards in the second half.


Maryland Squeezes Past Virginia 27-26 

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) – Maryland and Virginia closed the door on their border rivalry with a wild, seesaw duel that went down to the final minute.

Caleb Rowe threw for 332 yards and hit tight end Dave Stinebaugh for the go-ahead score with 5:14 left, and the Terrapins escaped with a harrowing 27-26 victory Saturday.

Rowe’s 12-yard touchdown pass made it 27-26. Virginia moved to the Maryland 24-yard line in the closing seconds before Alec Vozenilek’s 42-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right with 10 seconds remaining.

The game featured five lead changes, 973 yards in offense and 157 offensive plays – including a whopping 93 by the Cavaliers.

“Well, that will make you feel a few years older, but I’ll take it,” Terrapins coach Randy Edsall said. “It’s good to beat Virginia the last time we’ll see them probably in the foreseeable future.”

The Terrapins and Cavaliers first clashed in 1919 and have played every season since 1957. But Maryland is leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference next year to join the Big Ten, leaving the future of the series in doubt.

As it stands now, Maryland leads 44-32-2.

Rowe made his second career start in place of C.J. Brown, who sustained a concussion in last week’s 63-0 loss at Florida State. Rowe went 18 for 34 and directed an offense that accumulated 468 yards.

“I kind of felt like I was too ready,” Rowe said. “But once I settled in I made a few good plays here and there. Luckily, our team rallied around me and we came out with a victory.”

Brandon Ross ran for 88 yards and two touchdowns for the Terrapins (5-1, 1-1), who ended a three-game skid at home against the Cavaliers (2-4, 0-2).

“We know that’s probably the biggest rivalry we have in football here at the University of Maryland,” Edsall said. “So to be able to beat them the last time, it’s something special.”

David Watford went 27 for 44 for 263 yards and a score, and tight end Jake McGee had eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown for the Cavaliers, who have lost three straight. Kevin Parks ran for 112 yards and a touchdown, and Khalek Shepherd contributed 81 yards rushing to an offense that amassed 505 yards.

“Obviously, we’ve got to do better to give us the opportunity to win the game at the end,” coach Mike London said. “Alec should not shoulder the blame or anything like that. That’s his first miss since he’s been kicking. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way the game goes sometimes. The kids were resilient. I’m really proud of their effort.”

The Terrapins trailed 23-20 in the fourth quarter when a Virginia punt hit a Maryland player and was recovered by the Cavaliers. That led to Vozenilek’s fourth field goal with 7:11 remaining.

Rowe brought the Terrapins back with the help of two exceptional receptions. First, Deon Long leaped between two defenders to grab a floater on a third-and-22 for a 47-yard gain to the Virginia 13.

“I probably shouldn’t say this, but Deon ran the wrong route,” Rowe said. “He just made a great catch. Deon is a great player and I just gave him a jump ball and he came down with it.”

London might remember that play more than any other.

“We talk about the missed field goal at the end, but on third-and-22 like that, you get off the field,” London said. “It’s a critical difference.”

Two plays later, Stinebaugh made a diving catch in the middle of the end zone that held up after a replay review.

Down at halftime, Maryland got two field goals from Brad Craddock in the third quarter to take a 20-16 lead. Craddock’s second 3-pointer came after Rowe ran 19 yards on a third-and-13 and followed that with a 21-yard completion to Stefon Diggs.

The advantage disappeared when Parks scored on a 6-yard run with 13:15 left in the game.

Vozenilek kicked three field goals, and the Cavaliers took advantage of two Maryland turnovers in going up 16-14 at halftime.

Virginia’s first possession ended with a punt. William Likely fumbled the kick, Darius Lee recovered for the Cavaliers and Vozenilek made it 3-0.

Minutes later, Watford completed passes of 16 and 38 yards to McGee in a drive that produced another field goal after Parks was twice stuffed at the 1-yard line.

“That was probably the difference in the game, holding them to field goals,” Edsall said. “We could have been down 10-0 rather than 6-0.”


The Terrapins went up 7-6 late in the quarter when Ross turned a screen pass into a 77-yard gain, then ran it in from the 1.

After a holding penalty wiped out a Maryland touchdown, Rowe lost a fumble. But the Terrapins got the ball back, and Ross made it 14-6 with a 7-yard touchdown run.

The Cavaliers then closed to 14-13, using a 44-yard run by Shepherd set up a 4-yard TD pass to McGee.

Syracuse Beats N.C. State 24-10 In 1st ACC Road Game 

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina State entered Saturday’s game against Syracuse hoping to get one of their injured starters back. Instead, the Wolfpack saw the team’s injury report grow even longer after a 24-10 loss to the Orange.

Quarterback Brandon Mitchell, who has been out with a broken left foot since the opener, wasn’t quite ready to go for this one. Then fill-in starter Pete Thomas left the game late with a banged-up shoulder, while the Wolfpack also lost offensive tackle Joe Thuney, defensive back Jack Tocho and defensive lineman T.Y. McGill also suffered injuries.

N.C. State was already down five starters coming in, including Mitchell, offensive lineman Rob Crisp and receiver Rashard Smith.

“The guys we have, we’re going to coach them as hard as we can and they’ve got to play as hard as they can,” first-year Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said. “Would I like to have every player in the lineup? Absolutely. But I don’t get to complain about that. I’ve got to coach who’s there, and we will. The trainers are doing everything they can to get the rest of them back to us.”

Mitchell, the Arkansas graduate transfer, was dressed on the sideline and progressed in practice this week. But Doeren said he could tell Mitchell was “not himself” and decided to go with Thomas for the fifth straight game. Doeren said shoulder injuries to Thomas and Tocho weren’t serious heading to a bye week followed by a trip to No. 6 Florida State.

“We’re at the halfway point of our season and both our quarterbacks are hurt, so we get the bye week at the right time and try to get some guys back,” Doeren said. “I think we will. I look forward to seeing a lot of guys return to the lineup because we need them.”

Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley each ran for more than 100 yards and a touchdown to lead Syracuse to the win in its first Atlantic Coast Conference road game.

Smith finished with 140 yards and ran for a 1-yard score in the first quarter for the Orange (3-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Gulley ran for 132 yards and the 18-yard go-ahead score with 6:13left.

Terrel Hunt added a rushing score of his own to make it a two-possession game with 2:39 left, part of the second straight big rushing performance for Syracuse. A week after running for 323 yards against No. 3 Clemson, the Orange ran for 362 yards against the Wolfpack (3-3, 0-3).

Thomas threw for 151 yards and a touchdown in a frustrating performance for the Wolfpack, who reached the end zone only once and struggled to sustain drives all day.

With the game tied at 10 midway through the fourth quarter, Smith broke free for a 57-yard sprint up the middle of the Wolfpack’s defense. On the next play, Gulley ran around the right side and into the end zone for the 18-yard score that made it 16-10.

On Syracuse’s next possession, Gulley broke off a 48-yard run to crack the 100-yard mark. That ultimately set up Hunt’s 8-yard keeper, which made it 22-10 and effectively sealed the win.

No. 24 Virginia Tech Sacks Pittsburgh, 19-9  

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) – Logan Thomas threw an early touchdown pass, Cody Journell kicked four field goals and No. 24 Virginia Tech sacked Pittsburgh’s Tom Savage eight times in a 19-9 victory on Saturday.

The Hokies (6-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their sixth straight game and ended a four-game losing streak against the Panthers, avenging a 35-17 loss a year ago that sent Virginia Tech into a long skid.

This time, they proved just as inhospitable hosts to the ACC newcomer Panthers (3-2, 2-2).

Savage, who tied an ACC record with six touchdown passes three weeks ago in a 58-55 victory against Duke, never had much of a chance to get wide receivers Devin Street and Tyler Boyd into the game.

Savage’s sacks totaled minus-49 yards, and he has now been sacked 15 times in his past two appearances.

The Hokies were sharp at the outset, driving 71 yards in eight plays the first time they had the ball. They didn’t get to third down a third-and-9, when Thomas hit freshman tight end Kalvin Cline for a 27-yard touchdown. It was the first touchdown reception of Cline’s career.

After a three-and-out for Pittsburgh, which ended with a sack when the lumbering Savage kept the ball on third-and-1 and tried to run around the right side, the Hokies drove again.

Journell’s career-best 48-yard field goal made it 10-0, and even though the Hokies offense stalled pretty much the rest of the way, gaining just 211 yards in the last three quarters, it hardly mattered because the defense was allowing almost nothing.

Journell added field goals of 37, 42 and 23 yards, and missed on a 33-yarder.

The Panthers first points came on a 51-yard drive late in the first half, the key play a 48-yard pass from a pressured Savage to Street, who beat safety Kyshoen Jarrett down the Panthers sideline.

Savage, a pro-style quarterback who was only cleared to play this week after sustaining a concussion against Virginia, got more of the same treatment from a defense that started the game leading the country with 13 interceptions, sharing the national lead with 19 sacks and ranked fourth overall, allowing just 264 yards per game.

Dadi Nicholas had three sacks for the Hokies, and Derrick Hopkins had two.

Savage did get some measure of payback with two 2:01 remaining, escaping the arms of one tackler and running 9 yards for a touchdown. On the two-point conversion try, however, he was swarmed and fumbled the ball away.

Georgia Tech Can’t Handle BYU In A 38-20 Loss 

PROVO, Utah (AP) – Georgia Tech experienced a tale of two halves. In each situation, the outcome did not favor the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia Tech had trouble stopping BYU’s offense in the first half, allowing the Cougars to score on four of their first five possessions. After halftime, the Yellow Jacket defense adjusted and slowed BYU down.

At that point, BYU’s defense took over and forced turnovers on consecutive fourth quarter drives. It led to a 38-20 victory for the Cougars on Saturday night and plenty of frustration for Georgia Tech.

“We were killing ourselves,” Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee said. “BYU has a good defense and can’t kill yourself against a good defense. They played the same as last year. Their defense doesn’t change. They just line up and they out man you and that’s what they did to us.”

Taysom Hill passed for 244 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 65 yards and another score to lead BYU. Jamaal Williams added 86 yards and a touchdown as the Cougars (4-2) beat the Yellow Jackets for the second consecutive season.

BYU had 433 yards of total offense with 345 yards coming before halftime. The Cougars had more first downs than any Georgia Tech opponent this season.

“Initially, we had a lot of short, quick passes that allowed our offense to get into a rhythm,” Hill said. “We took advantage and that really allowed us to get into a groove in the first half.”

Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-2 ACC) totaled 400 yards on offense. Lee led the way with 133 yards on 7-of-20 passing and 41 yards on 21 carries. But the Yellow Jackets could not stop the Cougar offense before halftime and failed to overcome a pair of costly fourth quarter turnovers.

It marked the 12th straight time an opponent failed to score more than 21 points on BYU.

“We dug ourselves into such a hole and against a team that’s traditionally pretty good defensively,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. “You put yourself so far behind the eight ball.”

The biggest surprise for Georgia Tech – Hill did most of his damage through the air only a few weeks after struggling to complete the majority of his pass attempts.

Hill looked nothing like the quarterback who struggled so much in the passing game earlier in the season during the first half. He completed his first eight passes and did not throw an incomplete pass until early in the second quarter. The sophomore completed 16 of 20 passes for 226 yards by halftime.

For BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall, such a performance puts to rest any lingering questions about Hill’s passing abilities.

“Taysom is confident already,” Mendenhall said. “There’s no issues with his confidence nor our confidence in him. It’s just great to see the team excited and see plays go on the board as frequently and as fast as they were going. We looked really good the first half offensively.”

Hill’s lone touchdown pass – a 45-yard toss that Cody Hoffman stretched across the goal line to grab – gave BYU an early 7-0 lead.

Hoffman finished with 99 yards on five receptions – tying him with Dennis Pitta for first place with 221 career receptions at BYU.

“It feels good,” Hoffman said. “I had a slow start to the season, but you got to be mentally tough and overcome that. I’ve been working on it and trying get back to 100 percent now, but it was a real mental game for me to get back.”

Georgia Tech responded quickly. Lee completed a 49-yard pass to Michael Summers on third down to get into BYU territory and finished off the drive with a 2-yard keeper to make it 7-7.

After forcing BYU to punt on its first series, the Yellow Jackets struggled to mount much resistance against Hill and the Cougar offense through the rest of the first half.

BYU retook the lead on a 2-yard run from Williams. Then the Cougars extended their advantage to 24-10 on a 1-yard keeper by Hill with 4:53 left before halftime.

Georgia Tech opened a door to get back into the game after it finally figured out how to slow down the BYU offense in the third quarter. The Yellow Jackets held the Cougars to just 33 yards over that span. It didn’t matter with the BYU defense stepping up its own effort in the second half.

Kyle Van Noy sacked Lee for a 10-yard loss on the opening play of the fourth quarter. It forced Georgia Tech to settle for a 42-yard field goal attempt, which Harrison Butker hooked wide left.

On the Yellow Jackets’ next series, Alani Fua ripped a pass from Lee out of the air and took it back 51 yards untouched to give BYU a 31-13 lead with 11:01 remaining. Any hope for a rally ended for good for Georgia Tech a few minutes later when Spencer Hadley recovered a fumble from David Sims at the Cougar 31.

BYU marched down the field with big runs from Williams and Hill following the fumble. Algernon Brown capped off the drive with a 15-yard run to give the Cougars a 38-13 lead with 3:11 left.

The Yellow Jackets finally finished a second half drive when Deon Hill caught a 5-yard TD pass from backup quarterback Justin Thomas with 53 seconds remaining.

NOTES: BYU players wore jerseys with the words honor, spirit and tradition in place of their last names as part of homecoming festivities. . The Cougars improved to 15-0 under Mendenhall when scoring a defensive touchdown. . Georgia Tech won the time of possession battle for the fifth straight game, holding the ball 36 minutes and 43 seconds.

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