Late Hits: Duke’s big win, ESPN’s jinx and ACC rankings

jgiglio@newsobserver.comOctober 27, 2013 

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    Duke: There were a few trips to Virginia Tech earlier in the 2000s where it looked like Duke would never win there. The Blue Devils’ defense, with four interceptions on Saturday, delivered a 13-10 road win over the No. 14 Hokies and put David Cutcliffe’s program in a bowl game for the second straight year. Not even Steve Spurrier, or Wallace Wade, led Duke to consecutive bowl games.

    South Carolina: The season had been one disappointment after another for the Gamecocks until Saturday’s overtime win over fifth-ranked Missouri, which kept Spurrier’s current team in the SEC East race.

    The fourth-down conversion in the first overtime, a 15-yard touchdown pass from Connor Shaw to Bruce Ellington, was one of the best clutch plays of the season.

    Minnesota: The Gophers picked up their first win over Nebraska since 1960, a streak of 16 games in which they were outscored by an average of 40 to 9.

    At 6-2, the Gophers are bowl eligible and should be 8-2 by the time they play Wisconsin for Paul Bunyan’s Axe on Nov. 23.

    Northwestern: Since ESPN brought its “GameDay” crew to Northwestern for the Wildcats’ home game with Ohio State, they are 0-4, including Saturday’s overtime loss to Iowa.

    Next time, just tell Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit thanks but no thanks.

Quote of the day

“It was crazy because it seemed like as fast as we got them off the field, we had to go right back on. I was like, ‘Dang, Jameis, man just incomplete one pass.’”

– Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan on the speed of the Seminoles’ offense and quarterback Jameis Winston during a 35-point first quarter in Saturday’s 49-17 home win against N.C. State.

Tweet of the day

“All Of These Wolfpack Fans Are In For RUDE AWAKENING Come Saturday! #BeatState #BADLY”

– UNC tight end Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) after Saturday’s win against Boston College and in anticipation of this week’s trip to N.C. State.

Hey, Twitter promises worked for Gio Bernard last year.

Ranking the ACC

1. Florida State: The Noles are supremely talented and playing with supreme confidence. That’s a really scary combo for the rest of the league.

2. Miami: The Canes are having one of those charmed seasons. Maybe not charmed enough to win at Florida State, but Saturday’s showdown will be closer than most expect.

3. Clemson: The Tigers need to get their mojo back somehow before the trip to South Carolina on Nov.30. It can’t just be all Tajh Boyd, all the time.

4. Georgia Tech: The Jackets just won an ACC game in which their starting quarterback completed three passes (and one to the other team).

5. Duke: The open date comes at the perfect time for the Blue Devils, who will finish with three in-state opponents in the final four games.

6. Virginia Tech: They still could take the Coastal Division with a road win at Miami on Nov.9.

7. Wake Forest: Any realistic bowl math for the Deacs includes a win Saturday against the Orange.

8. Maryland: The Terps gave Clemson a fight without their starting quarterback, top running back, their tight end, top two receivers, their top two cornerbacks and their ACC TV money.

9. Pittsburgh: In theory, scheduling Navy before Georgia Tech was a good idea. In theory.

10. UNC: One down, four to go for the Heels to save their season.

11. Boston College: Go figure: The Eagles scored 34 points against Florida State’s defense and just 10 against North Carolina’s.

12. Syracuse: Any realistic bowl math for the Orange includes a win Saturday against the Deacs.

T13. N.C. State and Virginia: Unlucky No. 13 for the final two winless teams in ACC play.

Giglio: jgiglio@newsobserver.com or Twitter.com/jwgiglio

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