Things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference in Week 7:
GAME OF THE WEEK: Georgia Tech at No. 11 Miami. The Hurricanes (4-0, 2-0 ACC) finally snapped their seven-game skid to instate rival Florida State, but they have two immediate tests in this key Coastal Division matchup. They’re playing for the first time since losing top rusher Mark Walton to a season-ending ankle injury suffered against FSU. And they have to stop a triple-option attack that has the Yellow Jackets (3-1, 2-0) sitting at second nationally in rushing (396 yards per game).
BEST MATCHUP: Louisville passing offense vs. Boston College pass defense. Heisman winner Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals lead the ACC in both total offense (557 ypg) and passing offense (363 ypg). The Eagles’ defense has taken a step back this season but is still strong against the pass, ranking third in the league with an average of 182 yards allowed.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: ACC teams are scoring less frequently than the other teams across the nation. The ACC is the only power conference without a team in the top 20 in scoring offense. The highest-scoring team in the ACC — Louisville, at 37.5 points per game — ranks 25th nationally.
LONG SHOT: Pittsburgh (2-4, 0-2) has a home-field advantage against No. 20 North Carolina State, so maybe that can boost a Panthers team against a surging Wolfpack squad. N.C. State (5-1) is 3-0 in the ACC for the first time since 2002 and is a 12-point favorite, but has stumbled in these types of games before — though this year’s group is positioning itself as the prime challenger to reigning national champion Clemson in the Atlantic Division race. This is the first meeting between the cross-division teams as league opponents.
IMPACT PLAYER: Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser is the anchor for a Cavaliers defense heading south to play North Carolina. Kiser is fifth nationally by averaging 11 tackles per game and tied for 10th in the Bowl Subdivision with five sacks. Kiser has helped the Cavaliers rank fifth in the ACC in total defense (324 yards per game) and is in the middle of the league in scoring defense (21.2 points) after a two-win season.
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