No. 24 Duke’s trip to Pitt headlines ACC’s Week 10
A look at things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference during Week 10 of the season:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 24 Duke at Pittsburgh. The first-place Blue Devils can take another step toward a repeat ACC title game trip with a victory over a Pitt team coming off a turnover-filled home loss to Georgia Tech. The Panthers won a 58-55 shootout last year — the second-highest-scoring game in ACC history — but Duke’s defense has only allowed two opponents to reach 20 points this year. “We need to be prepared to play whatever type of game it is and find a way to get it done,” Pitt coach Paul Chryst said.
BEST MATCHUP: Georgia Tech offense vs. Virginia defense. The Cavaliers have been playing quietly solid D, holding each of their last five opponents to fewer than 375 total yards — and the only other ACC group to do that is Louisville’s top-ranked unit. They’ll try to clamp down on a Georgia Tech offense that has produced back-to-back games with more than 600 total yards in what amounts to an elimination game in the cloudy Coastal Division. “I think we’re back to doing a few things good instead of trying to do a lot of things average,” Tech coach Paul Johnson said.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The formula for North Carolina’s 4-4 record has been winning the close games and losing the blowouts. The Tar Heels are 10 points away from being 1-7, and their last two victories have come in tight fashion against Georgia Tech (48-43) and Virginia (28-27). Three losses have come by at least 15 points.
LONG SHOT: Perhaps North Carolina State’s elusive first ACC victory under second-year coach Dave Doeren will come at Syracuse. The Wolfpack, 3½-point underdogs, had last week off and should be at full strength after a handful of players were suspended for the Louisville loss for their involvement in a BB gun incident. “I see a lot of little things in that (Louisville) game that are showing our progress,” Doeren said. They’ll need QB Jacoby Brissett to regain the form he showed last month in a near-upset of Florida State.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Keep an eye on Boston College RB Jon Hilliman, who seems to thrive when defenses focus on QB Tyler Murphy’s rushing ability. The freshman has four multi-touchdown games, scored twice during his 101-yard performance last week at Wake Forest and now faces a Virginia Tech defense that last week gave up 249 yards rushing and two scores to Miami’s Duke Johnson.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.