No. 9 Louisville takes its bid to land an ACC championship game spot to Miami

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Things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference in Week 12:

GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 9 Louisville (9-1, 6-1 ACC, CFP No. 10) at Miami (6-4, 2-4), noon ET (ABC)

The Cardinals can continue an amazing debut season under coach Jeff Brohm with a win against the Hurricanes to lock up a spot against No. 4 Florida State in next month’s ACC championship game.

Louisville has won its past three games by a combined score of 88-27, but have never won in Miami (0-6-1). It would be the Cardinals’ first 10-win season since 2013 and their first with seven ACC victories since Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson led them to a 7-1 mark. It has been an unexpected surprise for Louisville in coach Jeff Brohm's first season taking over his alma mater after leaving Purdue.

Miami has had a confounding season in coach Mario Cristobal’s second year. It was ranked early in the year and won a double-overtime game after trailing Clemson in the fourth quarter. But the Hurricanes have dropped their past two games after that win, including a 27-20 defeat to the rival Seminoles last week.

BEST MATCHUP

No. 22 North Carolina at Clemson.

This game once looked like one that would have significant ACC title game implications. Instead, the Tar Heels (8-2, 4-2 ACC; No. 20 CFP) are holding on by their fingertips at a shot to play for the crown . The Tigers (6-4, 3-4), the defending champions favored to win again, are out of contention with four defeats in a season for the first time since 2010.

North Carolina, which lost 39-10 to Clemson last December, are mathematically alive, but would need a lots of help including a Louisville loss to try for the championship this year.

The Tar Heels have lost five straight to the Tigers, including two ACC title games (2015, 2022). North Carolina’s passing game, led by quarterback Drake Maye and receiver Demontez Walker, has the team scoring more points (39.9 per game) than anyone in the ACC.

LONG SHOT

Syracuse (5-5, 1-5) has lost five of its past six since starting 4-0 and is a 6 1-2-point underdog, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, at Georgia Tech (5-5, 4-3).

The Orange have lost their three previous ACC road games by a combined score of 119-20 and scored just two touchdowns in those three games. The Yellow Jackets struggled to their ninth straight loss to Clemson, 42-21, last week, but have been a potent offense for much of this season. They are third in the ACC with 444.2 yards a game and fourth with 32 points a game.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Wake Forest will try and break its embarrassing skid against No. 20 Notre Dame. The Demon Deacons have lost all five times they have played the Fighting Irish (7-3), including a 56-27 defeat in 2018 when current Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman was in his freshman season and playing for Wake Forest.

That win five years ago was part of a run of 30 straight regular-season victories over ACC opponents that ended with a 33-20 loss at Louisville last month. The Fighting Irish also fell to Clemson, 31-23, two weeks ago. A Wake Forest victory would leave Notre Dame a middling 3-3 against ACC teams on the season.

IMPACT PLAYER

North Carolina running back Omarion Hampton posted another big day in a 47-45 win over Duke last week to win ACC running back of the week for the third time this season. Hampton had 169 yards and a touchdown. He leads the ACC with 1,236 yards, 13 touchdowns and 123.6 yards per game.

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