ACC roundup: Tigers upset by rival Gamecocks

Wolfpack stun Tar Heels

Hokies roll over Cavaliers

November 29, 2009|By From Sun news services

Stephen Garcia threw three touchdown passes and host South Carolina's defense slowed down Clemson star C.J. Spiller in a 34-17 victory over the 15th-ranked Tigers on Saturday.

Spiller opened the game with an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, an NCAA record-setting seventh of his career. But the Gamecocks (7-5) bottled up Spiller and Clemson's high-scoring offense after that to end the Tigers' six-game winning streak - and their dominance in the rivalry.

Clemson (8-4) had won two straight, six of seven and 10 of 12 against the Gamecocks, who had only one victory over the Tigers in the past 10 games at Williams-Brice Stadium.

That changed against a South Carolina defense ranked third in the Southeastern Conference and fresh from a week off.

Clemson had just 260 yards of offense, well off the more than 415 it averaged the past six games. Spiller finished with 18 yards rushing and 19 receiving.

Georgia 30, No. 7 Georgia Tech 24: The Bulldogs took a page out of the Yellow Jackets' playbook, rushing for 339 yards to upset host Georgia Tech and put a real damper on the ACC championship game.

Washaun Ealey rushed for 183 yards, while Caleb King rambled for 166 yards and two TDs as the Bulldogs (7-5) reclaimed state bragging rights in a disappointing year and handed the Yellow Jackets (10-2) a huge setback in what has been their best season in nearly two decades.

Georgia Tech's loss completed a dismal day for the two teams that will meet next week in Tampa, Fla., for the ACC title. Earlier, Clemson was blown out by South Carolina, 34-17.

North Carolina State 28, No. 23 North Carolina 27: Russell Wilson threw four touchdown passes and Alan-Michael Cash blocked a field-goal try with about five minutes left to help the Wolfpack rally past the visiting Tar Heels.

Wilson connected twice with Owen Spencer for scores, including the go-ahead 38-yard touchdown two plays into the fourth quarter that gave the Wolfpack (5-7, 2-6 ACC) a third straight win over its next-door neighbor and fiercest football rival.

T.J. Yates threw two touchdown passes to Jheranie Boyd for the Tar Heels (8-4, 4-4), while Johnny White scored on a 40-yard run that helped North Carolina take a 10-point halftime lead.

No. 14 Virginia Tech 42, Virginia 13: Ryan Williams ran for 182 yards and four touchdowns, and the visiting Hokies beat the Cavaliers in what was likely Al Groh's last game as Virginia's coach.

The Hokies (9-3, 6-2 ACC) won their sixth straight in the series and for the 10th time in 11 meetings with the Cavaliers (3-9, 2-6). It was their eighth victory in nine games against Groh, and ended Virginia's worst season since it finished 2-9 in 1982.

Groh, who has a contract clause requiring that the school inform him by Nov. 30 whether it plans to add a year, is expected to instead be fired. Virginia has had three losing seasons in the past four, and its average attendance has fallen by nearly 14,000 in two years.

The Hokies, conversely, can reach 10 victories for the sixth year in a row if they win their bowl game.

Wake Forest 45, Duke 34: Riley Skinner passed for a career-high 372 yards and a school-record five touchdowns to help the visiting Demon Deacons defeat the Blue Devils.

Skinner completed 28 of 38 passes and did not throw an interception for the Demon Deacons (5-7, 3-5 ACC), who ended their season by breaking a five-game losing streak.

Devon Brown caught a pair of touchdown passes to help Wake Forest get its 10th consecutive win over Duke. Marshall Williams added eight catches for 119 yards and a touchdown for the Demon Deacons.

No. 19 Miami 31, South Florida 10: Javarris James rushed for two touchdowns, Jacory Harris threw for two more, and the visiting Hurricanes took a big early lead on the way to beating the Bulls.

Dedrick Epps and Leonard Hankerson caught touchdown passes for Miami (9-3), which took a 21-3 halftime lead and capped its first nine-win regular season since 2005. A bowl victory - destination undetermined, but undoubtedly boosted by Saturday's performance - would give Miami its first 10-win season since 2003.

No. 1 Florida 37, Florida State 10: Tim Tebow's final home game went about like everyone expected.

There were tears, touchdowns and another thumping.

Tebow threw for three touchdowns, ran for two scores, and the host Gators beat the rival Seminoles for their sixth consecutive victory in the heated rivalry.

The Gators stayed unbeaten heading into next week's SEC showdown against No. 2 Alabama, extended the nation's longest winning streak to 22 games and improved to 12-0 for just the second time in school history.

The Seminoles (6-6) lost for the second time in six games, and longtime coach Bobby Bowden's season finale at Florida Field showed exactly why so many FSU faithful are urging him to retire: Florida outplayed its in-state rival at every position.

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