Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Sat, 10/20 @ Duke
This week's result: Won 28-14 vs Georgia Tech (Away)
Duke's offense took advantage of three short fields off of GT turnovers to do the bulk of its scoreboard damage, scoring 21 third quarter points in the process. QB Daniel Jones was efficient with 200 yards on 17/27 passing and 3 TDs vs only 1 INT, but the running game struggled to get going, the team lost two fumbles, and Duke only managed 300 total yards. The defense was outstanding against the triple option, though. In additional to the 3 fumble recoveries, they held the Triple O to only 229 rushing yards on over 60 attempts, though did give up a few long pass plays to GT's average QBs.
Record: 5-1 (1-1)
Matchup Date/Location: Sat, 10/27 @ UVA
This week's result: Lost 19-22 vs Virginia Tech (Home)
Carolina almost pulled off the upset on the strength of its defense, picking off VT twice, holding them under 400 yards of offense, though struggling to get off the field on key downs (allowing 9-18 on 3rd and 4th). The offense put up a ton of yards (522), both through the air and on the ground, but managed only a single TD, settling for 4 FGs thanks to their inability to convert on 3rd down (6 of 15) as well as losing two fumbles. Carolina's QB carousel continued with four different players throwing a pass in this one. It was a huge missed opportunity for the Tar Heels who are slowly watching their season slip away.
Record: 1-4 (1-2)
Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Fri, 11/2 @ UVA
This week's result: Lost 14-19 vs Notre Dame (Away)
Pitt missed its opportunity to upset a Top 10 team for the third straight season, blowing a 14-6 second half lead as their offense failed to do anything all day. One of Pitt's TDs came on a kick return, and other than a 1st quarter 88-yard TD drive (that needed a ND penalty to convert a 4th down), the Panthers couldn't move the ball a lick. Kenny Pickett completed a respectable 19 of 28 passing attempts, but only for a measely 126 yards with no TDs. The running game was similarly anemic, 116 yards on 30 attempts. The defense played solid, holding the Irish to a pair of FGs in the first half but wearing down in the second; Irish QB Ian Book was able to shake off 2 INTs by Pitt to complete 81% of his throws for 264 yards and a pair of 2nd-half TDs to send Pitt home with the loss.
Record: 3-4 (2-1)
Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Sat, 11/10 @ UVA
This week's result: Won 22-16 vs Troy (Home)
Liberty won a tight game over Sun Belt contender Troy with a late passing TD from Stephen Calvert. Calvert was mediocre on the day, completing only 53% of his 32 attempts for 238 yards, 2 TDs, and an INT. Liberty's rushing game was even more underwhelming, with 41 handoffs going for only 122 yards (3 ypc). The defense was solid, though, holding Troy under 300 yards, securing 3 turnovers, and allowing only 4 3rd down conversions on 15 Troy attempts, holding them to a number of FGs. This low-scoring defense-first affair was a drastic change from recent Liberty shootouts... The Flames had allowed opponents to score at least 38 points in each of the previous 4 contests (1-3 in that span).
Matchup Date/Location: Sat, 11/17 @ GT
This week's result: Lost 14-28 vs Duke (Home)
GT's triple option struggled all day, gaining 229 yards on 61 rushing attempts (only 3.75 ypc), and fumbling six times, losing three. QB's Taquon Marshall and Tobias Oliver did combine for 125 passing yards (that's a lot for them!) and a TD, but on only 7/17 results. The defense was solid, shutting down Duke's ground game, and securing three Duke turnovers, but couldn't contain the Duke offense on three short fields off of their own offense's fumbles.
Record: 3-4 (1-3)
Hoo Matchup Date/Location: Fri, 11/23 @ VT
This week's result: Won 22-19 vs North Carolina (Away)
Virginia Tech escaped Chapel Hill with a narrow victory, scoring with 19 seconds left in the game to win. The defense was in ultimate bend-don't-break mode, allowing over 500 yards to the Heels, but luckily allowing only one TD out of it. The offense was hit-or-miss, with new QB Ryan Willis going 20/36 (56%) for 221 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs, and the rushing game needing 41 carries to accumulate 154 yards (3.8 ypc). Virginia Tech continues to be just good enough in ACC games and goes into its bye week feeling good about its chances to win the Coastal.
Record: 4-2 (3-0)
Coastal Division Power Rankings
1. Virginia Tech
6. Georgia Tech
7. North Carolina
Next week sees a number of teams on byes, so we'll do a Strength of Schedule recap with the mid-point of the season crested.