Inside the ACC: Blue Devils try to stay hot vs. Miami

jgiglio@newsobserver.comNovember 15, 2013 

N.C. State, NC State, Wolfpack, football, ACC, Duke, Blue Devils

Duke cornerback DeVon Edwards (27) runs back for a touchdown after intercepting the ball during the second half of Duke's 38-20 victory at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham, N.C., Saturday, November 9, 2013.

ETHAN HYMAN — ehyman@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

Observations

•  Syracuse (5-4) is the only team with a winning record left on Florida State’s regular-season schedule. The second-ranked Seminoles (9-0) are unlikely to get caught by Ohio State in the BCS standings – FSU is closer to No. 1 Alabama, than No. 3 Ohio State – but the Noles could use a strong finish from Clemson and Miami.

If either of those teams, FSU’s best wins to date, go into the tank – and while Michigan State and Wisconsin shine in the Big Ten – the computer vote might swing in Ohio State’s favor.

•  Which Pitt team will UNC get Saturday? The Panthers that put 58 points at Duke in September and the one that stunned Notre Dame at home last week? Or the one that lost to Navy and scored 19 total points in losses to Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech?

This reeks of a letdown game for Pitt. UNC would prefer to get to six wins sooner than later, as to not leave the last game vs. Duke to chance.

•  Maryland started 4-0 and averaged 39.7 points per game during that stretch. In the five games since, the Terps have averaged 13.4 points per game and have won only once since a 37-0 shutout against West Virginia on Sept. 21.

Injuries, especially at receiver, have crushed Maryland. The Terps’ only hope is to get quarterback C.J. Brown to run the ball like he did in September. Brown had 5 yards on 15 carries in a 20-3 home loss to Syracuse last week.

Three to watch

1) No. 24 Miami at Duke, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

The Hurricanes (7-2) are reeling, after two straight losses, and Duke (7-2) is on fire, with five straight wins. The Blue Devils would be in the driver’s seat in the Coastal Division race if they can make it six in a row.

2) UNC at Pittsburgh, 12:30 p.m. (WRAL)

The Tar Heels (4-5) are putting the wheels back on the season and need two more wins, in three games, to qualify for a bowl game. The Panthers (5-4) are coming off a huge home win against Notre Dame but have lost two straight in the conference.

3) N.C. State at Boston College, 12:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Carolinas)

The Wolfpack (3-6) searches for its first ACC win, and road win, of the season with a banged up Brandon Mitchell at quarterback. The Eagles (5-4) need one win, in three games, to get back to a bowl game after a 2-10 disaster in 2012.

Number to know

3-6 UNC’s road record under second-year coach Larry Fedora, which includes a 3-4 mark in ACC play.

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