RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — No. 4 Florida State has another strong test ahead when it hosts No. 16 Duke to highlight ACC action in Week 8 of the season.
The Seminoles are 6-0 and off to their best start since 2015. The Blue Devils may get a boost this week with the return of injured quarterback Riley Leonard.
Duke coach Mike Elko teased that the team may get their leader back from a high ankle sprain in time to face Florida State. The Seminoles lead the ACC in scoring and have given up the second-fewest points in the league.
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 16 Duke at No. 4 Florida State. The Seminoles (6-0, 4-0 ACC) are off to their best start since 2015 and look to add another marquee win when they face the Blue Devils (5-1, 2-0), among four league teams in the AP Top 25 this week.
The Seminoles are favored by more than two touchdowns, but Duke’s prospects in a sold-out stadium could improve if QB Riley Leonard returns from a high-ankle sprain. Coach Mike Elko said Leonard remains day-to-day, but teased on his weekly call-in show that “there is a chance we’re able to get him back healthy on Saturday.”
Duke will need all it’s got — it’s 0-21 against Florida State — with the Seminoles leading the ACC in scoring and giving up the second-fewest points in the league. Veteran quarterback Jordan Travis is humming along with receivers Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson.
Clemson at Miami. The Tigers (4-2, 2-2) have won their past two games after falling in OT to Florida State. The team has a stout defense (fifth nationally at 261.8 yards allowed) and sophomore quarterback Cade Klubnik appears to be growing with each sequence he plays.
The Hurricanes (4-2, 0-2) were in the rankings much of the first month of the season until its stunning loss to Georgia Tech when a knee to the ground late in the game might’ve saved things for the home team. Miami followed that with a 41-31 loss at North Carolina last week.
Neither Clemson nor Miami wants a third ACC defeat midway through the schedule.
Virginia will be hard-pressed to get its first ACC victory this season when it heads to No. 10 North Carolina (6-0, 3-0).
The Cavaliers (1-5, 0-2) ended their five-game losing streak with a 27-13 win over FCS opponent William & Mary a week ago. But the Tar Heels are off to their best start since 1997 when coach Mack Brown was in his first stint with the team and rolling behind last year’s ACC player of the year in quarterback Drake Maye.
Maye leads the league in total offense and has thrown 12 touchdowns with four interceptions. Virginia is next-to-last in scoring defense.
Miami receiver Xavier Restrepo has been a factor for the team the first half of the season. Restrepo leads the ACC with almost eight catches a game for 574 yards and four touchdowns The fourth-year junior’s 47 catches this fall have surpassed his total of 46 the previous three seasons.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
This is first time since 1914 that North Carolina has scored at least 30 points in the first six games of the season. … Clemson tailback Will Shipley leads all active FBS players with 120.4 all-purpose yards per game. … The ACC has five teams among the top 26 nationally in total defense. Clemson is fifth followed by Duke (16th), Miami (18th), Louisville (22nd) and Pitt (26th). That’s tied with the Big Ten and SEC for most among Power Five leagues. … Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is a win from setting the school record. He has 165 victories since taking over midway through the 2008 season, tied with the late Frank Howard. …No. 21 Louisville, North Carolina State, Syracuse and Virginia Tech have bye weeks.
No. 16 Duke and fourth-ranked Florida State will meet with both trying to remain undefeated in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
The Seminoles have never lost in the series, winning all 21 previous matchups against the Blue Devils. FSU has won 12 in a row overall. It’s the third-longest streak in the country. The Seminoles also have scored at least 30 points in each of those.
That’s the second-longest 30-point streak in ACC history. Duke quarterback Riley Leonard could return after missing last week’s win against North Carolina State with a sprained right ankle.