Posted by Chip Patterson
1. Miami can step up when they need to - There was a dismal attendance, they were favored by less than a touchdown, and North Carolina was on a four game winning streak, but the Miami Hurricanes still played up to the expectations of a primetime game in Sun Life Stadium. Things looked bleak for the Hurricanes down 10-3 in the second quarter after a 76 yard Johnny White touchdown run, but 'The U' turned it on from there. Jacory Harris and running back Damien Berry anchored a 30-0 run for Miami after the White's touchdown to put Miami ahead and away with the 33-10 victory over the Tar Heels. Jacory Harris increased his career TD total to 50, good enough for second all-time in the Miami record books, and Berry added 109 yards on the ground to lead the Hurricanes. The atmosphere in the stadium did not live up to the hype of the division rivalry, but Miami delivered with the first Hurricane victory over Butch Davis since he took the North Carolina job in 2007.
2. Attention College Fooball Nation: Andre Ellington is the real deal - Ellington has been piecing together one of the most dominant rushing seasons in the conference this season, and done so under the radar for the most part. Against the Yellow Jackets, Ellington rushed 20 times for 166 yards and a pair of touchdowns and added a touchdown reception to lead the Tigers in their 27-13 victory. Without much hype, Ellington has been one of the most efficient runners in the conference. He is in the top five in yards per game and leads the conference in rushing touchdowns. The 5-10 sophomore has a long way to go before the NFL becomes a legitimate discussion, but the kind of home run threat that he possesses will be a skill that is desired by many at the next level.
3. It doesn't have to pretty, just have to win - Don't look now, but Maryland is just a game away from being bowl eligible. After the media predicted that the Terrapins would be near the bottom of the conference come seasons end, Maryland has proved the critics wrong with a 5-2 start that has them sitting tied for second place in the Atlantic Division. Quarterback Danny O'Brien completed 26 of 29 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Terps in the 24-21 victory over Boston College. Their wins have not always been pretty, but they have found ways to pull out a victory week after week regardless of the opponent. Say what you will about strength of schedule, but in the ACC sometimes you just need to find six wins. Head coach Ralph Friedgen entered the season as good as fired in the eyes of many, but has held off the critics yet again with a timely winning season.
4. Duke's scheduling has not worked out well - On the flip side of the Maryland situation, you have Duke. The Blue Devils entered the season with high hopes and expectations for a breakout season under David Cutcliffe. Scheduling big-name non-conference opponents, Duke hoped to enhance their pigskin reputation by building on last year's improved season with more success and hopefully a bowl bid. Unfortunately, the Devils are all but cooked at the midpoint of the season, having dropped six in a row since defeating Elon in the season opener. Heads up Duke, if you want to increase your win total - schedule winnable games.