Here are some things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference for Week 10:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 23 Virginia Tech at Duke. This Coastal Division matchup might be the best of a weekend that includes seven league games but none of the ACC’s five Top 25 teams facing each other. The Hokies (6-2, 5-1) can take another step closer to an ACC title game berth with a victory while the desperate Blue Devils (3-5, 0-4) are trying to save their season. Plus, history would suggest a close game because the last three meetings in Durham have been decided by a total of 13 points. “I don’t think we are done seeing interesting outcomes,” Tech coach Justin Fuente said.
BEST MATCHUP: Louisville’s offense vs. Boston College’s defense. The fifth-ranked Cardinals have the nation’s second-most productive offense, with their 603.3-yard average only a fraction of a yard behind Texas Tech. Next up is what, statistically, is the ACC’s best defense, with BC giving up less than half of Louisville’s per-game average. Plus, the Eagles may have gained a measure of confidence after beating N.C. State for their first ACC win since 2014. “The challenge,” BC coach Steve Addazio said, “is formidable.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: ACC games couldn’t have been much closer than they were last week. Those seven games were decided by an average of 4.9 points. In four of them, the margin of victory was merely a field goal.
UPSET WATCH: Maybe N.C. State can find a way to keep it close against No. 19 Florida State. The Wolfpack, 5-point underdogs, might be due for a bounce back after they came under heavy scrutiny for their 21-14 loss to previously winless-in-the-ACC Boston College last week, and need to pull an upset somewhere to earn a bowl berth. It’s fair to wonder how much the Seminoles have in their emotional tank after a tight loss to No. 3 Clemson.
IMPACT PLAYER: Keep an eye on Georgia Tech QB Justin Thomas. The triggerman of the triple-option offense is facing a North Carolina defense that statistically is the ACC’s worst against the run. Thomas is coming off a career-best day against Duke in which he had 459 total yards and accounted for four TDs.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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