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ACC Football Game Stories, Nov. 30

Saturday, November 30, 2013 4:23pm

Check below for game stories from all the ACC action this weekend. It's listed in alphabetical order, by winning ACC team. Stories from the losing team's perspective then follow. 

No. 24 Duke Beats North Carolina 27-25 

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Ross Martin kicked a 27-yard field goal with 2:22 left and No. 24 Duke beat North Carolina 27-25 on Saturday, completing the Blue Devils' improbable run to reach the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

Anthony Boone threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns to Jamison Crowder as the Blue Devils (10-2, 6-2 ACC) clinched the Coastal Division championship with their eighth straight victory. DeVon Edwards' interception with 13 seconds left clinched the long-suffering program's first 10-win season.

Duke will face No. 2 Florida State next weekend in Charlotte, where the heavy underdog Blue Devils will go for their first ACC crown since 1989.

Duke led 24-15 in the third quarter but needed to rally to beat the rival Tar Heels (6-6, 4-4).

Marquise Williams ran for two scores and threw for another for UNC, which had won five straight.

Williams marched the Tar Heels to midfield on their final drive, breaking free from a collapsing pocket for a 10-yard run on fourth down to give UNC a shot. But Duke didn't let the Tar Heels get within Thomas Moore's field goal range, pressuring Williams as he threw a ball that sailed into Edwards' waiting arms.

The Blue Devils' sideline immediately started celebrating, though Duke needed Boone's final kneel down to close it out.

It was the latest big moment for Duke under sixth-year coach David Cutcliffe, who guided the Blue Devils to their first bowl game in 18 years last season. The Blue Devils are bowl eligible in consecutive seasons for the first time ever, though they certainly have a lot more to play for next week.

Duke, which beat UNC on Crowder's last-second touchdown catch in Durham last season, has defeated the Tar Heels in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1988-89. It was Duke's first win in Chapel Hill since 2003.

Edwards also had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Blue Devils, which came just before halftime after the Tar Heels had taken a 15-10 lead on Williams' 1-yard bootleg run for a score.

The Tar Heels dug their way out of a 1-5 start to become bowl eligible, but they'll certainly be left with memories of a few plays that let this game slip away. Among the biggest: Starting center Russell Bodine picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for shoving a Duke player after a play when the Tar Heels had reached the 9-yard line, pushing them back 15 yards and ultimately forcing them to settle for Moore's 37-yard field goal with 7:03 left.

That put UNC up only 25-24, and Martin's field goal gave the Blue Devils the lead for good.

No. 2 Florida State Stays Unbeaten, 37-7 At Swamp 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Jameis Winston threw three touchdown passes to Kelvin Benjamin, and No. 2 Florida State moved a step closer to playing for the national championship with a 37-7 victory against rival Florida on Saturday.

The Seminoles improved to 12-0 for the first time since 1999 and likely will earn a spot in the Bowl Championship Series title game by beating Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game next Saturday.

Florida, meanwhile, ended its worst season since 1979.

The Gators (4-8) lost their final seven games and missed a bowl for the first time since 1990. Florida's bowl streak had been the second-longest in the country, behind Florida State.

The Seminoles were four-touchdown favorites in this lopsided matchup - that lived up to advance billing.

Although the outcome was never in doubt, the Gators made it interesting early with some stout defense. They hit Winston several times, even late once, and stuffed FSU's running game.

But with its offense floundering once again - Florida managed just three first downs in the first half - the defense eventually wore down.

And Winston & Co. took advantage.

Winston, the Heisman Trophy candidate being investigated for his role in an alleged rape, hooked up with Benjamin for touchdown passes of 45 and 29 yards in the second quarter. Winston found his 6-foot-5 target again in the third, a 56-yard connection that would have gone the distance had Benjamin not fallen down while making the catch.

Devonta Freeman scored on the next play, weaving untouched from 11 yards out and putting the Seminoles ahead 27-0.

Winston and Benjamin recorded the hat trick with a 4-yard score in the fourth.

FSU outgained Florida 456-193, most of it through the air.

Winston completed 19 of 31 passes for 327 yards. Benjamin caught nine passes for a career-high 212 yards, beating Loucheiz Purifoy early and often. Benjamin's previous high was 103 yards receiving at Boston College earlier this year.

About the only thing that went wrong for FSU was that testy exchange between Winston and coach Jimbo Fisher in the fourth quarter. Fisher was upset that Winston let the play clock wind down, forcing the team to call timeout. Winston screamed back at Fisher, who grabbed Winston's facemask on the sideline.

Florida's defense held tough early, giving up just 33 yards and a field goal in the first quarter. Purifoy even intercepted Winston's fifth pass of the game, but the Gators failed to capitalize on the turnover. Austin Hardin missed a 49-yard field goal wide right. It was Florida's ninth missed field goal of the season.

As the offense kept stalling, the defense started fading.

It certainly didn't help that Florida had to throw its offensive game plan out the window after four plays.

Florida's Trey Burton hurt his left shoulder on his second carry of the game, a fitting finale for the injury-riddled Gators.

Coach Will Muschamp said at halftime that the plan was to line Burton up at quarterback for 35 plays. He ran twice for 47 yards, including a 50-yarder up the middle on his first carry. He injured his shoulder on his second run, Florida's fourth offensive play.

He went to the locker room and later returned wearing street clothes. His left arm was in a sling and wrapped with ice.

Without him, Florida turned to freshman Skyler Mornhinweg. He struggled in his two previous games, throwing for 229 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception.

Mornhinweg finished 20-of-25 passing for 115 yards.

Florida's worst season in 34 years did nothing to affect Muschamp's status for 2014.

Athletic director Jeremy Foley held an impromptu news conference before the game and reiterated "total confidence" in Muschamp, but said "we've got to fix some things" on the offensive side of the ball.

"Obviously, it's been a difficult year," Foley said. "We haven't made an excuse all year and we're not going to make them now. We know what this program is all about. I have total confidence in coach Muschamp and have made that clear. We've got to fix some things. When you have seasons like this, that's what you do: you evaluate, you analyze and you fix things. You don't panic. You don't put orange and blue glasses on.

"It's not acceptable. It's not who we are, and it's not what we're about. Confident we can fix it. I've heard that it's my ego speaking. No, it's my belief."

 

CJ Brown's 5 TDs Lead Terps Past Wolfpack, 41-21 

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - C.J. Brown ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more, and Maryland beat North Carolina State 41-21 on Saturday in its final Atlantic Coast Conference game.

Brown rushed for a season-high 138 yards with touchdowns of 49, 2 and 3 yards and was 13 of 25 for 259 yards passing with TDs of 53 yards to Nigel King and 27 to Albert Reid.

Maryland (7-5, 3-5) went up 34-7 by scoring on its first six possessions, and held on for its first seven-win season since 2010. The Terrapins are leaving the ACC for the Big Ten next season.

Brandon Mitchell ran 3 yards for a TD and finished 21 of 31 for 200 yards with a 3-yard score to Tyler Purvis and a 5-yarder to Rashard Smith.

The Wolfpack (3-9, 0-8) lost their eighth straight and haven't dropped this many in a row in the same year since 1959.

That's also the last N.C. State team to finish 0-for-the-ACC.

After taking a 7-0 lead on its opening possession, N.C. State netted zero total yards on its next five drives while making a series of blunders that Maryland had little trouble turning into points.

Brown became the first Terrapins player to rush for three touchdowns since D.J. Adams in the Military Bowl victory over East Carolina in 2010.

The Terps all but ended this one at halftime by reeling off 34 in a row. Brad Craddock kicked the first of his two 33-yard field goals before Brown's long TD pass to King, a Raleigh native who outjumped cornerback Jack Tocho, who had him blanketed.

Brown then ran 49 yards through the heart of N.C. State's defense to make it 17-7 with 2:42 left in the first quarter.

Then, a snap that sailed over the head of N.C. State punter Wil Baumann's head for a 21-yard loss gave Maryland a short field at the Wolfpack 14 and set up a Craddock field goal.

Baumann shanked his next punt 24 yards and - after Terps tight end Dave Stinebaugh inexplicably beat four N.C. State players to his teammate's fumble at the Wolfpack 4 - Brown added his short TD run to make it 27-7 with just under 9 minutes before halftime.

Brown then tacked on his third scoring run to make it 34-7 with 3:23 left in the half.

By that point, N.C. State's short-lived lead - on Mitchell's flip to Purvis on a fourth-and-inches - was merely a distant memory.

Coley Sparks Miami Past Pittsburgh 41-31 

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Miami quarterback Stephen Morris handed the ball to Stacy Coley and watched the freshman wide receiver sprint to the right sideline.

Seconds passed. Morris turned his head to the Hurricane sideline to get signals for the next play. One problem. Nobody was looking back at him.

"Everybody was still glued onto the field and I looked and (Coley) was still running," Morris said. "I was speeding up to still catch him and he was long gone by then."

Exhausted too. Coley's oxygen-sapping 73-yard touchdown run gave Miami a three-touchdown lead on its way to a 41-31 win over Pittsburgh on Friday. Coley collapsed after crossing the goal line and needed to be helped to the locker room to catch his breath.

"The cold air, it just hit me," said Coley, who finished with 146 yards of total offense and three scores on just four touches.

Coley is fine. So are the Hurricanes' hopes of earning a spot in the ACC title game.

Miami (9-3, 5-3) assured itself of its first nine-win season since 2009 with the victory. The Hurricanes need losses by Duke and Virginia Tech on Saturday to earn a rematch with No. 2 Florida State in the title game in Charlotte next weekend.

Allen Hurns caught nine passes for 173 yards for Miami, which raced to a quick 14-point lead and had no real trouble with the Panthers (6-6, 3-5) or the 33-degree temperature at kickoff.

Center Jared Wheeler led a group of shirtless Hurricanes onto the field during warmups, a symbolic gesture meant to show they weren't going to let a little bit of winter ruin their chances at getting another shot at the Seminoles.

"We were talking all week that we're not going to let the cold affect us at all," Wheeler said. "We're tired of everyone telling us 'Oh, it's cold, Miami isn't going to do well.'"

Instead, it was the Panthers who looked out of sorts early. Pitt fumbled the opening kickoff and had a punt blocked on its first possession, allowing the Hurricanes to take command early and never really let go.

"We did too many things to hurt ourselves," Panthers coach Paul Chryst said. "We've got to own that."

Isaac Bennett ran for a 141 yards and a score for Pitt but couldn't stop the Panthers from finishing the regular season 6-6 for the third straight year since Dave Wannstedt was removed in 2010.

"It stinks," Pitt quarterback Tom Savage said. "It was the last game at Heinz for the seniors, so it sucks. Excuse my language. It stinks."

However you want to phrase it, the Hurricanes dominated.

Morris completed 17 of 28 passes for 296 yards and three scores for Miami, which has won eight straight against the Panthers and 16 of the last 17 meetings. Most of those wins came when the teams were still rivals in the Big East.

Switching conferences, however, has done little to change the result.

The Panthers have shown signs of progress in Chryst's second season, but the Hurricanes showed the gap between the Panthers and the ACC elite will take some time to close.

Coley provided the glaring evidence.

He scored twice in the game's first 3:30 on passes from Morris after Pitt miscues but gave the Hurricanes control for good with his remarkable 73-yard journey through the Panther defense late in the first half. The Panthers had closed to 24-10 on a 36-yard field goal by Chris Blewitt when Coley ran in motion and took a handoff from Morris.

The freshman slipped through a pair of tackles to get into the secondary, ran through another after crossing midfield then veered left to the sideline, where he slowed down as Pitt's Shakir Soto gave chase. Coley found just enough juice to sprint into the end zone to make it 31-10 with 1:34 left in the half.

Pitt's only real surge came when a 23-yard touchdown pass Savage to Rachid Ibrahim pulled the Panthers within 34-24 with 7:36 left.

Rather than nurse the lead, Miami attacked. Morris deftly guided a seven-play, 78-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard flip to Asante Cleveland to push the lead back to 17 and let the Hurricanes focus on watching football on Saturday with an eye sneaking into the conference title game.

"This team, I guess they've got their minds on winning 10 games," coach Al Golden said. "That's what they have their mind set on and with any measure of good fortune tomorrow, we might have more."

The win took some of the sting out of a late season swoon. Miami ended a three-game losing streak last week against Virginia then backed it up by looking very much like the dominant force it was during a 7-0 start.

Hurns continued one of greatest seasons by a Miami receiver in school history by pulling in a 66-yard pass to set up a 7-yard touchdown run by Gus Edwards. Hurns has 1,138 yards receiving to put Leonard Hankerson's 1,156-yard effort in 2010 in serious jeopardy.

Savage completed 24 of 43 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns against one interception while freshman wide receiver Tyler Boyd caught nine passes for 98 yards and a score. The number proved of little solace as the Panthers failed to produce a winning regular season for the third straight year.

"We didn't want to give up, and I don't think we did that at all," Boyd said. "We just came up short."

Hunt stuns BC with late TD as Syracuse wins 34-31

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt picked the perfect time to come of age.

With bowl eligibility on the line for the Orange, the sophomore capped a regular season that has been something of a struggle, hitting tight end Josh Parris with an 8-yard touchdown pass with 6 seconds remaining as Syracuse stunned Boston College 34-31 on Saturday.

Hunt was 29 of 43 for 270 yards and two touchdowns passing and rushed for 90 yards and another score, outgaining the Eagles by 1 yard.

Most importantly, he guided Syracuse 75 yards to the winning score moments after throwing an interception that sent many fans for the exits.

The victory made Syracuse eligible for the postseason for the third time in four years.

"This was my best game - ever," said Hunt, who was beaten for the starting job in preseason by Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen. "To have a game like this and win a game for the seniors, it was amazing."

The victory was oh-so-sweet for first-year coach Scott Shafer, who has had to juggle his lineup as injuries mounted. Parris, a redshirt freshman, stepped in for the injured Beckett Wales and caught seven passes for 47 yards and the first two touchdowns of his career.

"How many said it was over?" an animated Shafer said afterward, praising the raucous Carrier Dome crowd. "Our kids didn't. This is a team of character."

Boston College (7-5, 4-4 ACC) had won four in a row behind star tailback Andre Williams, the nation's leading rusher, but he suffered a shoulder injury in the third quarter and did not return, finishing the game watching from the sidelines. Averaging 6.5 yards a carry coming in, Williams finished with 29 yards on nine carries and scored BC's first TD on a 26-yard run in the first quarter.

"There was no letdown," said BC tailback Myles Willis, who gained 70 yards on 17 carries in the second half. "They have confidence in me."

It was a must-win game for Syracuse (6-6, 4-4 ACC), and Hunt provided the dramatic finish after the Eagles had settled for a field goal after a late turnover.

On the winning drive, Hunt fumbled, but center Macky MacPherson fell on it. Hunt followed by hitting Alvin Cornelius III for 14 yards before the winning TD, which sent the Syracuse bench rushing onto the field in celebration.

It was a tough loss for BC quarterback Chase Rettig, who rallied the Eagles after Williams went out. He passed for 168 yards and two scores and stunned Syracuse with his footwork, rushing for 85 yards and scoring once on only four carries.

"They ended up having that drive. Give them credit," Rettig said. "That's just how it goes sometimes."

Rettig had provided BC with the go-ahead score with his legs. He ripped off an impressive 54-yard run, starting left and cutting completely back across the field before being tackled at the Syracuse 17. He scored on a keeper with 7:49 left for a 28-24 lead.

BC linebacker Steele Divitto intercepted Hunt with 2:49 left and Nate Freese kicked a 21-yard field goal as the Eagles seemed to have the game in hand.

Syracuse had taken a 24-21 lead on Ryan Norton's 42-yard field goal late in the third, and he added a 44-yarder with 5:03 remaining in the game.

Something had to give in this one. Williams entered the game with 2,073 yards rushing and Syracuse was one of three FBS teams, along with Ohio State and Wisconsin, not to allow a 100-yard rusher this season. Williams had nine 100-yard games and three straight 200-yard games coming in.

Hit hard repeatedly in the first half, Williams was hurt on a run up the middle on the first play of the third quarter in a big pileup that also sent Syracuse linebacker Marquis Spruill to the sidelines.

With their star in the locker room, the Eagles tied the game at 21-all. Rettig had scrambles of 16 and 13 yards to key the drive and hit Jake Sinkovec for a 9-yard TD.

With their season on the line, the Orange scored three straight times in the second quarter. Parris caught a 1-yard TD, George Morris scored on a 4-yard run, and Hunt on a 1-yard keeper.

Rettig's 9-yard touchdown to C.J. Parsons on a throwback pass in the final seconds of the second quarter made it 21-14 Syracuse at halftime.

VIRGINIA TECH BESTS VIRGINIA 16-6

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Trey Edmunds wasn't able to celebrate, but he was a big reason why Virginia Tech left Scott Stadium feeling good.

Edmunds took a short pass from Logan Thomas, broke a tackle and then dodged a few more defenders on a 26-yard touchdown play Saturday night, helping the Hokies beat their in-state rival for the 10th consecutive time, 16-6.

"He just made a great run after the catch," Thomas said. "That's what we've got to have to score touchdowns."

Edmunds later broke the tibia in his right leg, an injury that will require surgery and sideline him for 12-18 weeks.

But his touchdown just before halftime and three first-half field goals from former walk-on Eric Kristensen were enough for the Hokies (8-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), some of whom learned before the game that their hopes of playing in the league championship game were dashed when Duke beat North Carolina 27-25 to win the Coastal Division.

Clearly, they didn't let it dampen their enthusiasm for beating the Cavaliers for the 14th time in 15 games.

"The few players that knew felt like this game was just as important for us," linebacker Jack Tyler said. "We knew we had to get this win for our program and our fans. This was more important for us than Duke winning or Duke losing."

The Hokies also pulled out all the stops, running a reverse that led to a handoff and then a pass to Thomas, an onside kick which the Hokies recovered and a reverse on a kickoff return that allowed them to get the ball out to the 30 yard line.

Hokies coach Frank Beamer said the day was all about beating Virginia, and nothing else.

"I didn't know until I walked in after the game" that Duke had won, Beamer said.

The Cavaliers (2-10, 0-8) lost their ninth straight overall this season and for the 18th time in their last 22 games, and used the same recipe that has plagued them throughout. They forced two turnovers, but scored no points off either, leaving them with just 13 points scored off 21 takeaways this year. They also squandered a late offensive series when Greyson Lambert threw an interception.

All the scoring came in the first half on a frigid day at Scott Stadium, and with the Hokies' ACC title shot gone, and discontent among Virginia fans, fans' enthusiasm waned as the game wore on.

Curious game management by Virginia late in the first half also caused some consternation.

Max Valles sacked Thomas - one of five sacks for the Cavaliers - and forced a fumble late in the half, and Brent Urban recovered for Virginia at the Hokies' 34. After Kevin Parks lost a yard, David Watford threw incomplete to Darius Jennings and then to Jake McGee, and with just over a minute to play, Virginia opted to try to cash in on the turnover and go for it on fourth-and-11. Watford, however, badly overthrew E.J. Scott deep downfield and the Hokies took over with 1:04 on the clock.

Thomas quickly hit Demitri Knowles for 15 yards to midfield, Kalvin Cline for 12 and Willie Byrn for 17 yards to the Cavaliers 26. After missing on two passes, Thomas hit Edmunds with a short dump pass, and Edmunds broke free from the grasp of linebacker Daquan Romero and slipped two more attempts at tackles and took it into the end zone.

The rest of the game was scoreless, and highlighted more of the issues that have plagued Virginia all season.

Kevin Parks did bust free for a 48-yard run with Virginia pinned deep in its own end in the fourth quarter, making him the first Cavaliers running back to go over 1,000 yards since Alvin Pearman in 2004, but on the next play, Lambert threw wide of Keeon Johnson and Kendall Fuller intercepted for the Hokies.

Lambert played the fourth quarter after David Watford, who started every game this season, completed 13 of 23 passes for 122 yards in the first three quarters, but twice saw drives inside the Hokies' 20 stall, forcing field goal attempts.

The Hokies weren't much better, but in what became a defensive struggle throughout the second half, the Hokies held the Cavaliers to 120 yards, making the lead more than ample. The Cavaliers never advanced beyond Tech's 48 after halftime.

The game's first four possessions all yielded field goals - of 22 and 30 yards by Eric Kristensen for the Hokies, who got the ball first, and kicks of 36 and 29 yards by the Cavaliers' Alex Vozenilek.

Virginia finally forced the first punt and drove to the Hokies' 33, but after considering a long field goal, Virginia punted and the Hokies drove 67 yards to Kristensen's go-ahead 38-yard field goal.

BC Stunned Late, Loses 34-31 At Syracuse 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - When Andre Williams went down with a shoulder injury, Chase Rettig and the Boston College Eagles didn't wilt.

Rettig threw for two touchdowns and scored another to give BC a 28-24 lead over Syracuse midway through the fourth quarter Saturday before the Orange rallied to win 34-31 on Terrel Hunt's 8-yard scoring pass to tight end Josh Parris with 6 seconds left.

"Obviously, a very disappointing loss," said BC head coach Steve Addazio, a former Syracuse assistant. "I thought we managed without Andre. Give credit where credit is due. They had to go down the field 75 yards with 2 minutes left and no timeouts."

The Eagles (7-5, 4-4 ACC) had won four straight behind Williams, their record-setting tailback. He had averaged 299 yards rushing the previous three games to place his name into the running for the Heisman Trophy and was averaging 188.5 yards and 6.5 yards a carry entering play Saturday.

"He was hurting. He was hurt right from the beginning," Addazio said. "He couldn't run with that force and (I'm) certainly not going to put him in harm's way."

It was a tough loss for Rettig, who passed for 168 yards and dazzled Syracuse with his footwork, rushing for 85 yards on only four carries.

"They ended up having that drive. Give them credit," Rettig said. "That's just how it goes sometimes."

Rettig had provided BC with the go-ahead score with his legs. He ripped off an impressive 54-yard run, starting left and cutting completely back across the field before being tackled at the Syracuse 17. He scored on a keeper with 7:49 left for a 28-24 lead.

"They called the plays that were there and I worked to execute them," Rettig said. "We made some big plays and we put ourselves in position to score some touchdowns."

BC linebacker Steele Divitto intercepted Hunt with 2:49 remaining and Nate Freese kicked a 21-yard field goal for a 31-27 lead as the Eagles seemed to have the game in hand.

With bowl eligibility on the line for the Orange, Hunt had his best game in capping a regular season that had been something of a struggle for the sophomore. Hunt was 29 of 43 for a career-high 270 yards and two touchdowns passing and rushed for 90 yards and another score, outgaining the Eagles by 1 yard.

Most importantly, he guided Syracuse 75 yards to the winning score moments after throwing an interception that sent many fans for the exits.

"He was having a good game all day, but when he threw that pick - I'm not going to lie - there was a lot of shock on the sideline," Orange offensive tackle Sean Hickey said. "He could have crumbled."

The victory made Syracuse (6-6, 4-4 ACC) eligible for the postseason for the third time in four years.

"I'm starting to understand the game better. This was my best game - ever," said Hunt, who was beaten for the starting job in preseason by Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen. "To have a game like this and win a game for the seniors, it was amazing."

The victory was oh-so-sweet for first-year coach Scott Shafer, who has had to juggle his lineup as injuries mounted. Parris, a redshirt freshman, stepped in for the injured Beckett Wales and caught seven passes for 47 yards and the first two touchdowns of his career.

"How many said it was over?" an animated Shafer said afterward, praising the raucous Carrier Dome crowd. "Our kids didn't. This is a team of character."

On the winning drive, Hunt fumbled, but center Macky MacPherson fell on it. Hunt followed by hitting Alvin Cornelius III for 14 yards before the winning TD, which sent the Syracuse bench rushing onto the field in celebration.

Syracuse had taken a 24-21 lead on Ryan Norton's 42-yard field goal late in the third, and he added a 44-yarder with 5:03 remaining in the game.

Something had to give in this one. Williams entered the game with 2,073 yards rushing and Syracuse was one of three FBS teams, along with Ohio State and Wisconsin, not to allow a 100-yard rusher this season. Williams had nine 100-yard games and three straight 200-yard games coming in.

Hit hard repeatedly in the first half, Williams was hurt on a run up the middle on the first play of the third quarter in a big pileup that also sent Syracuse linebacker Marquis Spruill to the sidelines.

With their star in the locker room, the Eagles tied the game at 21-all. Rettig had scrambles of 16 and 13 yards to key the drive and hit Jake Sinkovec for a 9-yard TD.

With their season on the line, the Orange scored three straight times in the second quarter. Parris caught a 1-yard TD, George Morris scored on a 4-yard run, and Hunt on a 1-yard keeper.

Rettig's 9-yard touchdown to C.J. Parsons on a throwback pass in the final seconds of the second quarter made it 21-14 Syracuse at halftime.

Georgia Tech Blows Lead, Loses To Georgia In 2OT 

ATLANTA (AP) - Vad Lee's best game as a passer wasn't enough to end Georgia Tech's drought against Georgia.

Georgia Tech blew a 20-point lead in Saturday night's 41-34 loss to Georgia in overtime to give the Yellow Jackets their fifth straight loss in the state rivalry. Georgia Tech lost despite Lee's career-high 232 yards passing with two touchdowns.

Lee threw two touchdown passes to DeAndre Smelter as Georgia Tech, which usually emphasizes the run in its spread-option offense, attacked Georgia through the air. Lee completed 11 of 23 passes for 232 yards with two interceptions and had a 3-yard scoring run.

"We had a good game plan coming in," Lee said. "We knew that we were going to try to hit some big pass plays, and we did in the beginning. If only we could have hit some of those plays toward the end where we could have finished."

Instead, Georgia (8-4) had the big finish.

Todd Gurley ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns, including two scores after regulation.

Georgia Tech (7-5) has lost 12 of the last 13 games in the series. Georgia Tech's only win in that span came in 2008, its first season with coach Paul Johnson.

"I wanted to play hard and win this game, especially for our seniors," Lee said. "I can imagine how they feel right now not being able to beat Georgia. That game matters a lot here and it was special. The game was special with a great atmosphere and we really wanted to win."

The Yellow Jackets blew leads of 20-0 in the second quarter and 20-7 at halftime.

"It was a tough game," Johnson said. "I was proud of our guys' effort. It was a hard game to lose. It was a gut-wrenching game. It would have been for either side."

Gurley's 25-yard touchdown run in the second and final overtime gave Georgia its first lead in quarterback Hutson Mason's first start.

"We just kept fighting," said Mason, a fourth-year junior who moved into the starting role after senior Aaron Murray's season ended with a knee injury last week. "We came back and we just stuck together."

Mason completed 22 of 36 passes for 299 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

Lee's fourth-down pass for Darren Waller was deflected by Georgia linebacker Ramik Wilson and then batted out of the end zone by cornerback Damian Swann to end the game.

Jeremiah Attaochu had four of Georgia Tech's five sacks as the Yellow Jackets tried to put pressure on Mason.

"We saw some things we could do early," Attaochu said. "Of course they made some adjustments, but for the most part we were able to get decent pressure."

Georgia won the toss to start overtime and chose to play defense. Smelter ran for 12 yards on a reverse to help set up Lee's scoring run from the 2.

Georgia answered with a strong dose of Gurley, who ran for 8, 11 and 6 yards on the Bulldogs' quick three-play touchdown drive.

Georgia Tech then elected to play defense to start the second extra period. Gurley ran straight through the Georgia Tech defense for a 25-yard touchdown run and the Bulldogs' first lead at 41-34.

Georgia Tech's Robert Godhigh was tackled by Leonard Floyd for a loss of three yards to set up Lee's incompletion on fourth and 5 from the 6.

Georgia players then rushed the field, their dominance in the state rivalry intact.

Georgia Tech did not have a turnover until Lee, throwing off his back foot, had his pass intercepted by Josh Harvey-Clemons in the fourth quarter. Clemons returned the ball 18 yards to the Yellow Jackets 25.

Johnson said the interception was a rare bad throw by Lee, who he said "had a really good game."

"He got pressure on the interception and that was the only one that I could think of that was really a poor decision," Johnson said.

Attaochu's fourth sack helped force Georgia to settle for Marshall Morgan's 32-yard field goal for a 27-27 tie with 4:17 remaining.

 

N.C. STATE CAPS WINLESS ACC SEASON WITH 41-21 LOSS 

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Dave Doeren lost only one conference game during his time at Northern Illinois.

He'll have to wait until Year 2 at North Carolina State for his next shot at his first ACC victory.

The Wolfpack polished off their 0-for-the-ACC season on Saturday with a 41-21 loss to a Maryland team on its way out of the conference.

Brandon Mitchell ran 3 yards for a TD and finished 21 of 31 for 200 yards with a 3-yard score to Tyler Purvis and a 5-yarder to Rashard Smith.

N.C. State (3-9, 0-8) lost its eighth straight and hasn't dropped this many in a row in the same year since 1959 - also the last time it failed to win an ACC game.

"It has been a tough, long season," said Doeren, who was 23-4 overall and 17-1 in the Mid-American Conference in two seasons at Northern Illinois before he was hired at N.C. State last December.

"I knew when I came here there were going to be challenges," he added. "But we look forward to our recruiting process, which starts (Sunday)."

What doomed the Wolfpack in this one was a five-possession stretch in which they netted zero total yards while allowing Maryland to turn a 7-0 deficit into a 27-7 lead.

C.J. Brown put on a show, rushing for a season-high 138 yards with for three touchdowns and throwing for two more for the Terrapins.

He ran for touchdowns of 49, 2 and 3 yards and was 13 of 25 for 259 yards passing with TDs of 53 yards to Nigel King and 27 to Albert Reid.

"We came out with the mentality that we weren't going to be denied," Brown said.

Maryland (7-5, 3-5) scored on its first six possessions to go up 34-7, and cruised from there to claim its first seven-win season since 2010. The Terrapins are leaving the ACC for the Big Ten next season.

"To come down here and finish it like we did today, I think, puts an exclamation point on who these kids are and what they're all about," coach Randy Edsall said.

Brown became the first Terrapins player to rush for three touchdowns since D.J. Adams in the Military Bowl victory over East Carolina in 2010.

"Everyone was flowing for the pitch," Brown said, "and I was able to knife them up and take them in for the score."

The Terps all but ended this one at halftime by reeling off 34 points in a row. Brad Craddock kicked the first of his two 33-yard field goals before Brown's long TD pass to King - a Raleigh native who outjumped cornerback Jack Tocho, who had him blanketed.

Brown then ran 49 yards through the heart of N.C. State's defense to make it 17-7 with 2:42 left in the first quarter.

"With what we do, (Brown) reads it, does the things the defense gives him and executes," Edsall said. "For whatever reason, it seemed like they wanted to take away the running back, and gave him the opportunities, and he took advantage of them."

Then, a snap that sailed over the head of N.C. State punter Wil Baumann's head for a 21-yard loss gave Maryland a short field at the Wolfpack 14 and set up a Craddock field goal.

"Everything changes with field position," Doeren said. "We had that snap over the punter's head that gave them good field position."

Baumann shanked his next punt 24 yards and - after Terps tight end Dave Stinebaugh inexplicably beat four N.C. State players to his teammate's fumble at the Wolfpack 4 - Brown added his short TD run to make it 27-7 with just under 9 minutes before halftime.

Brown then tacked on his third scoring run to make it 34-7 with 3:23 left in the half.

By that point, N.C. State's short-lived lead - on Mitchell's flip to Purvis on a fourth-and-inches - was merely a distant memory.

 

PANTHERS FALL BEHIND EARLY, LOSE TO MIAMI 41-31 

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh coach Paul Chryst insists the Panthers are making progress.

Maybe, but at the moment the program appears on a treadmill of mediocrity it can't seem to shake.

Early mistakes doomed Pitt in a 41-31 loss to Miami on Friday, a defeat that left the Panthers (6-6, 3-5 ACC) with a third straight .500 regular season and showcased the gap between Pitt and the conference's elite remains significant.

"I didn't see anybody not giving good effort," Chryst said. "We didn't play smart ... I think it was more execution and our mental errors than it was our effort."

Senior quarterback Tom Savage completed 24 of 43 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. Freshman wide receiver Tyler Boyd caught nine passes for 98 yards and a score while setting a school record for receptions by a freshman. Boyd now has 77 catches for 1,001 yards.

Boyd remains a promising part of Pitt's future. The present, however, remains muddled. The Panthers are 18-18 in the regular season since forcing out Dave Wannstedt three years ago.

Any chance to end the school's first season in the new-look ACC with some momentum vanished quickly. Pitt fumbled the opening kickoff, had a punt partially blocked and allowed Miami's Stacy Coley to catch a pair of touchdowns from Stephen Morris before the game was 4 minutes old.

"It's hard to beat a good team like Miami with all the mistakes that we made today," Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. "You just can't win games like that. We didn't get down, and we came out the second half fighting. But we just couldn't do it."

Coley later added a zig-zagging 73-yard touchdown run for the Hurricanes (9-3, 5-3 ACC), who kept their hopes for an ACC Coastal Division title alive. Allen Hurns caught nine passes for 173 yards Miami, which has won eight straight and 16 of the last 17 meetings with Pitt.

Most of those wins came when the teams were still rivals in the Big East.

Switching conferences, however, has done little to change the result.

Even the conditions failed to deter Miami. Several Hurricanes warmed up without a shirt on, a symbolic gesture meant to show they weren't going to let something like a little 33-degree chill bother them.

"We were talking all week that we're not going to let the cold affect us at all," Miami center Jared Wheeler said. "We're tired of everyone telling us 'Oh, it's cold, Miami isn't going to do well.'"

Hardly. Morris completed 17 of 28 passes for 296 yards and three scores as Miami piled up 476 total yards. The Panthers racked up 501, but most of them came in the second half with the Hurricanes nursing a big lead.

Isaac Bennett ran for a 141 yards and a score for Pitt but the Panthers never got closer than 10 points over the game's final 48 minutes.

"It was frustrating," Pitt defensive back Jason Hendricks said. "You hope things like that disappear because you practice them so much. Thing happen, and you try to bounce back but it was too late."

Pitt's only real surge came when a 23-yard touchdown pass from Savage to Rachid Ibrahim pulled the Panthers within 34-24 with 7:36 left.

Rather than nurse the lead, Miami attacked. Morris deftly guided a seven-play, 78-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard flip to Asante Cleveland.

The win took some of the sting out of a late season swoon. Miami ended a three-game losing streak last week against Virginia then backed it up by looking very much like the dominant force it was during a 7-0 start.

Hurns continued one of greatest seasons by a Miami receiver in school history by pulling in a 66-yard pass to set up a 7-yard touchdown run by Gus Edwards. Hurns has 1,138 yards receiving to put Leonard Hankerson's 1,156-yard effort in 2010 in serious jeopardy.

The Panthers, tepidly trying to avoid its third straight 6-6 finish, didn't exactly put up a fight when the game was up for grabs.

Garrett Kidd jumped on a fumble by Pitt's Lafayette Pitts on the opening kickoff and Morris needed just three plays to hit Coley for a 32-yard catch and run to put Miami in front 7-0. The Panthers went nowhere on its next drive and when Tyriq McCord partially blocked Matt Yoklic's punt the Hurricanes had the ball at the Pitt 42.

Morris and Coley needed only two plays to make it 14-0, as a Coley turned a quick screen into a pair of missed tackles and a 34-yard sprint down the sideline for a score.

Bennett responded with a 45-yard touchdown run, but it was one of the few true defensive mistakes by the Hurricanes, whose ineptitude during the second half of the season cost them a shot at the national title.

Still, hopes for a rematch with No. 2 Florida State in the ACC title game remain alive while the Panthers wait for a bowl bid that won't be quite the prime destination it could have been with a victory in their home finale.

"We are 6-6 now," Pitt linebacker Anthony Gonzalez said. "We obviously have made mistakes frequently. We have to correct them, work hard and try to get a bowl game win and finish over .550."

Missed Chances Doom Virginia Against Virginia Tech 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Virginia center Luke Bowanko's final college game ended like too many others.

The Cavaliers squandered scoring chances provided by the defense, made critical mistakes at the most inopportune times and lost 16-6 to in-state rival Virginia Tech on Saturday night, their 10th consecutive loss in the series.

A key moment came in the first half when, trailing 9-6, Max Valles sacked Logan Thomas, forcing him to fumble, and Brent Urban recover at Virginia Tech's 34. It was a potentially huge momentum swing, but Virginia did nothing with it.

"That's a point in this football game when you've got to make a play and we didn't make it, obviously," Bowanko said of the series that started with a loss of a yard and ended with three straight incompletions by David Watford.

"We need to make that play and we haven't all year," Bowanko said.

Indeed, the Cavaliers forced 21 turnovers this season, and turned them into just 13 points. Their lone touchdown off a turnover came in the season-opener against Brigham Young, and after a 2-1 start, they lost their last nine games.

"It's real tough," said sophomore defensive end Eli Harold, who had three of Virginia's five sacks. "It hurts. I'm not used to losing. Not a lot of guys are."

It happened, this time, in a close game where defenses dominated.

The only touchdown came when Trey Edmunds took a short pass 26 yards, and the Hokies' only other scoring came from Eric Kristensen, who kicked three field goals, all before halftime.

The Hokies (8-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) learned before the game that their hopes of playing in the league championship game were dashed when Duke beat North Carolina 27-25 to win the Coastal Division, but they didn't let it dampen their enthusiasm for beating the Cavaliers for the 14th time in 15 games.

The Cavaliers (2-10, 0-8) lost for the 18th time in their last 22 games overall dating to last season, and saw their last hope for a comeback, brought about by Kevin Parks' 48-yard run to midfield, end on an interception on the next play.

Curious game management by Virginia late in the first half also caused some consternation.

After Virginia went four-and-out following the fumble recovery, the Hokies took over with 1:04 on the clock. Thomas hit Demitri Knowles for 15 yards to midfield, Kalvin Cline for 12 and Willie Byrn for 17 yards to the Cavaliers 26. After missing on two passes, Thomas hit Edmunds with a short dump pass, and Edmunds broke a tackle and scored the touchdown.

Lambert played the fourth quarter after David Watford, who started every game this season, completed 13 of 23 passes for 122 yards in the first three quarters, but twice saw drives inside the Hokies' 20 stall, forcing field goal attempts. Lambert was 4 for 16 for 54 yards, and the Cavaliers never got deeper than Virginia Tech's 48 after the fumble recovery.

The Hokies weren't much better, and Thomas was sacked five times, but in what became a defensive struggle throughout the second half, the Hokies held the Cavaliers to 120 yards after halftime, making the lead more than ample.

The game's first four possessions all yielded field goals - of 22 and 30 yards by Eric Kristensen for the Hokies, who got the ball first, and kicks of 36 and 29 yards by the Cavaliers' Alex Vozenilek.

Virginia finally forced the first punt and drove to the Hokies' 33, but after considering a long field goal, Virginia punted and the Hokies drove 67 yards to Kristensen's go-ahead 38-yard field goal.

Wake Forest can't hold on in 23-21 loss to Vandy 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe loved seeing Justin Jackson pick off a pass and return it 63 yards for a touchdown except that was the only time the Demon Deacons scored in the second half.

The Demon Deacons barely held the ball at all after halftime and failed to protect the lead Jackson's interception return gave them as they lost 23-21 to Vanderbilt on Saturday.

"The problem is you can't only rely on your defense to get points," Grobe said. "We played good on offense in the first and went flat in the second."

Tanner Price was playing without his top receiver with Michael Campanaro out since breaking his collarbone, and Wake Forest (4-8) managed to hold onto the ball for 8 minutes, 38 seconds in the second half. Vanderbilt outgained the Demon Deacons 403-266 and held the ball for more than 38 minutes overall.

The Demon Deacons did force two turnovers in the second half, the last a fumble stripped by Mike Olson with 5:07 left three plays after Price had been intercepted. Wake Forest picked up one first down before having to punt. Even after Carey Spear kicked his third field goal giving Vanderbilt the lead, the Demon Deacons had one last chance.

Defensive end Walker May sacked Price setting up a final play where Price threw deep to Tyree Harris, a pass broken up by Vanderbilt safety Kenny Ladler to seal the win.

"Thought it was disappointing we didn't win," Grobe said. "This would have been a nice final game for our guys. We've had some tough losses down the stretch and these guys didn't pack it in, they played really hard."

Wake Forest (4-8) lost its fifth straight overall and third straight in this series. The Demon Deacons' last win against Vandy came Nov. 27, 2010 - about three weeks before Vanderbilt hired coach James Franklin was hired.

Vanderbilt (8-4) now has consecutive eight-win seasons for the first time since 1927 and 1928. The Commodores struggled coming off a big win over in-state rival Tennessee. Jordan Matthews set another Southeastern Conference mark as the league's first receiver to top 100 catches.

Matthews' biggest came on the game-winning drive on fourth-and-11 as he hauled in a 25-yarder between two defenders hanging on him.

"I don't know how he made that catch," Franklin said. "We probably shouldn't have thrown it, we probably shouldn't have caught it, but we did."

Nikita Whitlock tipped a pass by Austyn Carta-Samuels, and Jackson grabbed the ball and returned it 63 yards for a touchdown giving Wake Forest its first lead of the game at 21-17 with6:10 left in the third quarter.

"I'm really proud of how we played today, offensively and defensively," Whitlock said. "I wish we could have played this way all season, especially on defense, we had a lot of fire and made some plays. I'm proud of the senior class, but most of all I'm proud of the team."

Matthews finished with 11 catches for 125 yards, giving him 107 receptions this season. He got the record on his second catch of the game, a 41-yarder, giving him 98 receptions and a single-season record in the league. He topped the 97 receptions Keith Edwards had for Vanderbilt in 1983.

The Commodores switched back and forth between Carta-Samuels and Patton Robinette. Carta-Samuels capped the opening drive with a 7-yard TD pass to Fitz Lassing, and Robinette ran for an 8-yard TD.

The Demon Deacons tried to take advantage of Vanderbilt being without cornerback Andre Hal with Ladler suspended for the first half after being ejected from last week's win at Tennessee for targeting.

They took lots of shots downfield but had trouble connecting. Price ran for a 3-yard touchdown in the first quarter to tie the school record with his 65th career TD, a mark also held by Riley Skinner. Dominique Gibson also had a 9-yard TD run for Wake Forest.

Price finished throwing for 155 yards and running for 47 more as his team's leading rusher.