November 25, 2009
MIAMI 34 DUKE 16
Though the final score suggests it, this was anything but a blowout. Duke was winning 13-10 at the half and looked to be in the middle of an ACC upset. However, Miami quarterback Jacory Harris had different plans in the fourth quarter. Throwing for 348 yards and two touchdowns on the game, Harris led the Hurricanes to a 21-point run in the fourth quarter to knock the Blue Devils out of bowl contention. Now having scored in 7 straight games, Miami running back Damien Berry went for 76 yards and a score on the ground, as receiver Leonard Hankerson caught 8 passes for 143 yards one touchdown. I think the Cane’s offense didn’t wake up until it was almost too late and just about caused them another loss. Meanwhile, on the other sideline, Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis wasn’t having that bad of a day in his hometown, going 27-40 for 303 yards and one score. However, it just wasn’t enough; while Miami picked up in the second half, the Blue Devils failed to respond. Donavan Varner had a career day; catching eight passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns. But he was unable to spur Duke past Miami, losing their 55th straight road game vs. ranked opponents. Ultimately, this game marked the end of the reign of Thaddeus Lewis, as he’s finishing his career without a bowl game appearance. And… well… doesn’t really do much for Miami, as they’re sitting at third in the Costal division anyway.
CLEMSON – 34 VIRGINIA – 21
Outplaying the Cavs in the second half, Clemson fulfilled their season-long goal of going to the ACC championship. Tiger quarterback Kyle Parker threw for 234 yards and two scores and is starting to look like a very promising quarterback, especially since it’s his freshman year. Watch out for Parker in year’s to come. Heisman hopeful CJ Spiller carried Clemson on his back all year and he didn’t plan on stopping. Racking up 114 all-purpose yards, Spiller edged the Tigers over Virginia to clinch their first ACC title appearance in 18 years. Senior receiver Jacoby Ford led Clemson in receiving, catching six passes for 106 yards and a score and second string back Andre Ellington ran one in as well. All in all, Clemson finally pulled themselves together and stringed together wins when needed to reach the ACC title. They’ll be playing a very tough opponent in Georgia Tech. But if they can pull off the upset, they’ll be in a BCS bowl.
FLORIDA STATE – 29 MARYLAND – 26
Finishing the Terps off in the fourth quarter, the Seminoles made Maryland’s season just that much more miserable. Though Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel had a TD-INT ratio of 0-3, he handed the ball off to Lonnie for two scores, leading the Seminoles past Maryland. Coming into the season, I had the Terps as perhaps the Atlantic champions. But currently residing at the last spot in the ACC, Maryland hasn’t lived up to the hype.
NORTH CAROLINA – 31 BOSTON COLLEGE – 13
UNC came out firing, taking a prompt 21-3 lead in the first quarter and, though they didn’t score again until the fourth quarter, didn’t look back. Though Tarheel running back Ryan Houston scampered for a tough 45 yards and two scores, the rest was one on the other end of the ball. Running both a fumble and an interception back for a touchdown, the UNC defense simply came to play as they shattered a good Boston College team 31-13.