Orangeyes Daily Articles for Wednesday - for Football |

Orangeyes Daily Articles for Wednesday for Football


No recent Cali or Iggy awards; Mr Irrelevant
Aug 15, 2011

Welcome to George Splevin Day!

George Spelvin, who has various female counterparts such as Georgette Spelvin, is a pseudonym used in theater programs and other media, who today has his own holiday. The name is used for a number of reasons. An actor who plays two parts may use it, so that their name won't appear twice in the program, concealing that they play more than one role. It may be printed in a program if it is not known who will play a part when the programs are made, or it may be used in a program if an actor doesn't want their name used. Non-sentient beings like corpses and scarecrows may be listed with the name. Some actors who belong to unions use it when they are working on non-union contracts, in order to avoid penalties.

Characters that come up in dialogue but never show up on stage are sometimes listed as George Spelvin. This ensures that viewers referring to their programs won't know that a character mentioned is never going to show up later on stage. It is used when it appears that an actor is playing two characters, who is later revealed to be one person with two names or identities. This is common in murder mysteries, where it keeps the audience from knowing that two characters who appear to be different are actually the same person. It is also used for someone who never says a line, such as someone who rings a doorbell and delivers something to a character but never speaks.

SU News

Film Review: The offensive transformation that brought Syracuse 392 rushing yards (DO; Alandt)

Syracuse head coach Dino Babers had referenced at multiple points during its five-game losing streak that everything was going to be under review. The offense had struggled to put together complete drives and stay in front of the chains while mustering bad loss after bad loss. Then, quarterbacks Garrett Shrader and Carlos Del Rio-Wilson got injured in consecutive weeks. With a possible sixth-straight loss looming against Pittsburgh, the Orange needed to mix up everything.

Babers said it was based on the personnel that SU had available and a yearning to “be more physical.” What resulted was one of the wonkiest offenses Syracuse has displayed in recent memory. The offense threw the ball just eight times and ran for nearly 400 yards in a 28-13 win over the Panthers. Tight end Dan Villari was SU’s leading rusher, while Shrader was the leading receiver in a game that hinged on a nearly identical approach to the triple option.

“There’s something about running the football that is what football is all about,” Babers said after the win.

Here’s what led to SU’s odd offensive approach becoming so successful:

Everyone’s going to block

Shrader has been no stranger to throwing a block this year. With the utilization of LeQuint Allen Jr. and an uptick in option runs called by offensive coordinator Jason Beck, Shrader has found himself in open space as one of a few lead blockers. Not only did Mark Petry bounce outside and get into the alley to open up a good initial hole for Allen Jr., Damien Alford swung inside to break open the left side. Once Shrader pitched it to Allen Jr., he took off with him.

The entire offensive line moved in unison to the right side for the run. With Juwan Price setting the far edge, there were two possible openings for Allen Jr. to take. Cutting upfield became the clearer option. Shrader bursted through the gap first to meet defensive back Javon McIntyre. His block gave Allen Jr. a couple more yards to dance up to, giving the Orange a six-yard gain instead of a likely three-yard run.

Babers pointed out after the game that the five-game losing streak showed him Syracuse needed to be a more physical team. That run encapsulated not only Shrader and Alford’s ability to set key blocks, but showed a sneak peak to an offense that was injected with creativity for the first time in months.

Tremendous utilization of the wildcat

Syracuse used a heavy dose of wildcat formations, many of which were taken by Villari. But this one on a second-and-4 taken by Allen Jr. showed how effective the offensive line was throughout Saturday’s win. Shrader lined up near the sideline simply as a receiving threat to pull one of Pittsburgh’s defenders away from the tackle box. Villari stayed inside and motioned to the eventual spot Allen Jr. ran through after faking a handoff to Price.

The left tackle, right tackle and right guard immediately met their defenders after the snap and pushed them back to create a strong base for the run. J’Onre Reed and Chris Bleich — who became the Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week — didn’t budge when their men came down from the second level. Villari easily shoved his man to open up the hole on the left side for Allen Jr. to burst through. Max Mang took out the outside linebacker to ensure Allen Jr. had room to run.

The rest was Allen Jr. selling the fake to Price, drawing off two of the linebackers. He tiptoed behind Price, yet another lead blocker for the Orange, as he crept his way up for a first down.

Screw the field goal

Babers also said postgame about the belief that his team needed to have to execute such a unique offense, especially after trailing 13-7 at the half. He said they stayed the course, but this fourth-and-1 call gave the Orange a third-quarter lead they wouldn’t relinquish. It was an ode to a few things SU thought were once long gone.

A typical Babers call on this play over the last five weeks, a fourth-and-1 from Pitt’s 20-yard line, would have been to take the safe bet and kick the field goal. Instead, he opted for an aggressive approach. This play developed exactly how the Orange likely wanted it to. The offensive line moved left, and so did the Panthers’ defenders.

Shrader held onto the ball in Allen Jr.’s chest for as long as he could to draw in nearly all of the defenders, including the edge rusher that Villari struggled to pick up. That move, coupled with impeccable timing from Shrader and an outside block from Umari Hatcher, helped him scamper away for a touchdown. It was nearly a blown play because Joe Cruz failed to block anyone. But Shrader’s vision and quick-twitch ability to snap the ball away from Allen Jr. and into his own hands made up for Cruz’ error.

Big man on the loose



Syracuse tight end Dan Villari, right, celebrates a touchdown against Pittsburgh with Orange fans on Nov. 11 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, N.Y. Villari was informed of Syracuse's offensive game plan for the Pittsburgh game in a 1-on-1 conversation with SU head coach Dino Babers. Scott Schild | Scott Schild |

Villari’s big day was set in motion with 1-on-1 meeting and bestowal of a wristband (PS; $; Leiker)

Following fumbles on consecutive drives in the second quarter Saturday as Syracuse football tried to build on its lead over Pittsburgh, Dan Villari got an earful on the sideline.

“Hold the f— ball. Dan, hold the f— ball,” the ACC Network broadcast picked up tight ends coach Nunzio Campanile saying.

“He gets on my case,” Villari said Tuesday. “He’s that guy that if I make one little mistake, I’m gonna hear it from him, but I love him to death and he’s just trying to make sure I’m the best player I can be possible.”

The tight end said that type of coaching is what he wants and needs to be the player he’s become, even if in the moment he might not seem receptive to it.

He didn’t have another drop the rest of the evening.

Villari’s two fumbles ended up being blips on a big day set in motion almost exactly a week prior following SU’s fifth straight loss.

His 154-yard rushing performance, the most by a tight end in Syracuse history, and role in leading a beleaguered Orange to a 28-13 win has attracted national recognition.

He was named Co-ACC Running Back of the Week — there’s no tight end award — with North Carolina’s Omarion Hampton. Syracuse’s post on X, formerly known as Twitter, about the accolade was retweeted by Sickos Committee, a popular college football account with 121,000 followers.

Pitt vs. Syracuse Full Game Replay | 2023 ACC Football (youtube; video; ACC DN)

Syracuse snapped a 5-game skid with a comeback win over Pitt at Yankee Stadium, 28-13. The Orange got things done almost exclusively with the run, as they only attempted 8 passes as a team in the game. 382 of Cuse’s 399 yards of offense came on the ground, led by Dan Villari, who carried the ball 17 times for 154 yards and a touchdown. LeQuint Allen carried it 28 times for 102 yards, and Garrett Shrader finished with 14 attempts for 96 yards and a touchdown in the win. Pitt QB Christian Veilleux had 161 yards and a touchdown in the loss.

Everything Dan Villari, Jayden Bellamy had to say at player availability ( Sladek)

No surprise, head coach Dino Babers awarded tight end Dan Villari and defensive back Jayden Bellamy game balls following SU's win over Pitt last Saturday.

With Garrett Shrader's limited throwing ability, the Orange opted for a super run-heavy offense. Villari, the former quarterback turned tight end, ran the ball 17 times for 154 yards and one touchdown. His unlikely performance earned him the ACC's Running Back of the Week honor.

Jayden Bellamy, a transfer from Notre Dame, recovered a fumble and hauled in an interception for a touchdown.

Here's both Villari and Bellamy at Tuesday's media availability:

Jackets Return Home for ACC Finale vs. Syracuse (

Georgia Tech Football vs. Syracuse
Saturday, Nov. 18 · 8 PM · Atlanta, Ga. · Bobby Dodd Stadium

TV: ACC Network| Watch Online
Radio: Georgia Tech Sports Network | Where to Listen (In Atlanta: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan | SiriusXM 137 or 193| Listen Online | Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets App | TuneIn
Information: Game Notes/Depth Charts | 2023 GT Football Info Guide | News Clippings | Multimedia

Georgia Tech has the third-most improved offense in NCAA Division I FBS this season, averaging 119.0 yards per game more in 2023 (444.2 ypg) than it did in 2022 (325.2 ypg).

Top Storylines
• Georgia Tech wraps up Atlantic Coast Conference play in 2023 when it hosts Syracuse on Saturday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field.
• There is a lot on the line for Tech (5-5, 4-3 ACC) in Saturday’s ACC finale, as the Yellow Jackets can clinch a bowl berth and a winning record in conference play for the first time in five years with a victory.
• Despite being conference-mates for 11 seasons, Georgia Tech and Syracuse are meeting for just the third time in ACC action and only the fifth time overall. Tech leads the all-time series, 3-1, and won the only previous matchup at Bobby Dodd Stadium, 56-0, in 2013 (the Orange’s first season in the ACC).
• Saturday’s matchup features two of the ACC’s most prolific rushing attacks. Georgia Tech ranks third in the conference and 22nd nationally in rushing offense with 195.4 yards per game on the ground. While Syracuse ranks sixth in the ACC in rushing offense (176.0 ypg), the Orange has run for 601 yards over the past two games, including a whopping 392 yards on 65 carries in last Saturday’s 28-13 win over Pitt at Yankee Stadium.
• Although it features a potent running game, Georgia Tech’s offense is no one-trick pony, as it ranks third in the ACC and 24th nationally in total offense (444.2 ypg) and features an All-America candidate at quarterback in redshirt sophomore Haynes King.
• With two regular-season games still to play, King’s 24 touchdown passes rank second in Tech single-season history, and his 2,459 passing yards and 3,001 yards of total offense both rank fourth in the school’s all-time single-season annals.

Tuesday Thoughts 11/14: On to Syracuse (; Paschal)

Yikes, that was bad.

Game Recap in Three Sentences

Tech scored first but then gave up 42 unanswered points before managing a couple worthless late TDs.

The offense completely disappeared for nearly the entire game, having only 1 passing yard at the half and finishing with just 254 total offensive yards.

Four interceptions (including three on three straight drives) killed any hopes of driving down the field.

Above The Line of the Week

  1. Jamal Haynes quietly had a 104 yard rushing game on just 15 carries.
  2. Not getting too many penalties maybe?
  3. Idk basically nothing went well.

Unformed Thought of the Week

Clemson is now on a nine game win streak against us; our last win was in the magical 2014 season. A couple of those losses have been close, but by and large they’ve absolutely smoked us. Saturday’s debacle was unfortunately par for the modern course in this rivalry and it sucks. Even in a “down” year for them we just got trampled.

5 Star (7 Star, 5 Star) Developmental Program Haiku of the Week

Can’t beat the Tigers
Please please just beat Syracuse
Don’t ruin the year

On to Syracuse

Look, I don’t really have anything new to say about that one. It was embarrassing, grotesque, and painful to watch. Let’s put it out of our minds, we’re on to Syracuse.

Nothing matters as long as we beat Syracuse. It is the most important thing, it is the only thing. We can lose by 60 to Georgia and I’ll be fine as long as we have that sixth win in our back pocket. The only silver lining to getting absolutely pantsed by Clemson is that it hopefully lights a fire under the team and galvanizes our focus. In stereotypical Tech fashion we’ve left ourselves with no room for error; the Syracuse game is the single point that will make or break our season. A win and we’re in bowl game bliss with failure amnesia, a loss and we’re rehashing “how the hell did we lose to Bowling Green” all offseason. 2024 is going to be a difficult year and the momentum of a bowl game will be critical to its success.

Everyone needs to start burning offerings to the ACC deities now and pray for Coastal Chaos to once again lift one of its former members to greatness.
... (SI; Caudell)

Georgia Tech has its ACC finale this week against Syracuse and it also marks the biggest game of the year for the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech has not made a bowl game since 2018 and they have a chance to clinch bowl eligibility with a win against the Orange. Syracuse is also 5-5 and has a lot to play for so this will be a challenge for the Yellow Jackets on Saturday.

Last week against Clemson, starting cornerback Ahmari Harvey did not play due to injury. When asked about Harvey's status today, Georgia Tech head coach Brent Key talked about what he expected from Harvey this weekend and the rest of the injury report:

"Ahmari traveled with us on Saturday, at gametime, he was not able to go. We are hoping to get him back this week, everyone else we have come out with some bangs and people bruised up but we are as healthy as we have been."

Up until today, Key had not mentioned making a bowl game and wanted to just keep the focus on the game ahead, but he did talk about it today and what it would mean for this program:

"So up until Sunday, I had not said the word at all, it is the same mentality each week, it is a one-game season each week and that is the mentality each week and taken, but yeah on Sunday, I brought it up, I did. This is playoff football now, this is NFL Championship, win and you're in. There is no... there is no dwelling on the last game, it is boom and you have to move on and that is the way it works and we brought it up. We talked about it. It is a big deal for these kids, a really big deal. As an alumni here, it is a really big deal for me, it is a big deal for these guys coming back here, it is a big deal for Georgia Tech, it is a big deal for the athletic association, it is a big deal for the entire Georgia Tech community so heck yeah we talked about it and these guys understand that and know it is something special they have in front of them to work and get."


ACC bowl watch: SU football’s ingenuity, effort put it back on course for 13th game (PS; $; Carlson)

The Syracuse football team’s coaches came up with a creative approach to mask its limitations on offense and SU players delivered an enthusiastic effort against Pittsburgh, putting the program back on course for a bowl game.

The Orange must win at least one of its final two games against a fairly light schedule to finish .500 or better. This week’s opponent, Georgia Tech, also must split its final two games to make a bowl game. Unlike Syracuse, the Yellow Jackets will be heavy underdogs the final week of the season against Georgia.

The Orange ends its season at home against a Wake Forest team that will likely have little to play for. The Demon Deacons need to win their final two games to reach .500 and face Notre Dame this week, likely making them a lame dunk heading into their visit to Syracuse.

ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Orange an 82.3% chance of finishing the year with at least six wins and making a bowl game. The win over Pittsburgh returned the Orange to the bowl projections of the majority of the national experts (and me) this week.

If Syracuse makes a bowl game, it will do so without beating an opponent with a winning record. Still, it would be the first back-to-back bowl games since the final year of Doug Marrone’s time at Syracuse and the team’s first year under Scott Shafer.

Both ESPN’s SP+ and ESPN’s Football Power Index rankings measure Syracuse better than both of its opponents in the final two weeks of the year.

While it would be an even more tepid accomplishment than making a bowl game at .500, there is a chance Syracuse could be invited to play in a bowl game with only five wins. There are 82 bowl spots that must be filled. Only 58 teams are currently bowl eligible.

The extra teams are offered based on which teams have the highest NCAA Academic Progress Rate. Some school do end up turning down a bowl bid with a sub-.500 record.

Here’s how the ACC bowl picture could look.

College Football Playoff tier

Rose Bowl vs. Ohio State in Pasadena, California: Florida State. The Seminoles were ranked No. 4 in last week’s College Football Playoff rankings and managed to escape last week against Miami. Even if the close win leads to a drop, at least one of the two Big Ten teams ranked ahead of Florida State will eventually lose. The Seminoles contol their destiny.

Orange Bowl tier

Orange Bowl vs. CFP ranked in Miami: Louisville. The Cardinals pulled off an escape against Virginia last week to maintain a firm hold on this spot. A potential loss to Florida State in the ACC championship seems unlikely to drop Louisville past North Carolina. I’m guessing Louisville lands a matchup against the eventual loser of Ohio State and Michigan.

Tier 1

ReliaQuest Bowl vs. SEC in Tampa: Notre Dame. The fact that I have a Big Ten team headed to the Orange Bowl means the ReliaQuest Bowl can snag a team from the ACC or Notre Dame. It’s probably going to be Notre Dame.

Pop Tarts Bowl vs. Big XII in Orlando: North Carolina. The ACC has sent a ranked team to this bowl for six consecutive years and it hasn’t sent the Tar Heels since 2015.

Gator Bowl vs. SEC in Jacksonville, Florida: Clemson. The brand matchups available here for the Tigers are too good to pass up. Options include Mississippi, LSU and Tennessee.

Holiday Bowl vs. Pac-12 in San Diego: Miami. The Hurricanes are a strong brand that doesn’t don’t travel well. That makes them a good choice for a West Coast bowl game that can be anchored by a strong Pac-12 team.

Duke’s Mayo Bowl vs. SEC in Charlotte: Virginia Tech. The Hokies fanbase will fill up a game that has taken Mid-Atlantic teams in eight consecutive years. The Hokies did play here in 2019. That’s enough time for me, although it could make Duke the preferred option.

Pinstripe Bowl vs. Big Ten: North Carolina State. The Wolfpack have only two ACC losses and deserve a Tier 1 bowl game.

Caleb Okechukwu "The 315" 11-14-23 (ESPN; radio; The 315)

Orange DE Caleb Okechukwu chats with Brian Higgins after the bounce-back win vs. Pittsburgh and looks ahead to how the team is feeling going into the Georgia Tech game.

Bleav in Syracuse: Breaking Down an Unconventional Win vs Pittsburgh (; podcast; The Bleav)

Analyzing Syracuse's unique offensive game plan in the win over Pittsburgh, discussing its sustainability and predicting whether or not the Orange gets to bowl eligibility.

Syracuse football: first down offense vs Pitt (TNIAAM; Wall)

The Syracuse Orange broke out the old-school offense on Saturday in the Bronx as they broke their losing streak.

Looking back at the numbers showed that the Orange certainly caught the Pitt Panthers by surprise in the first half. Syracuse was able to implement their rushing attack by finding success on first down. The Orange gained five or more yards on seven of sixteen first-down plays in the first half, which kept them in position to keep the ball on the ground.

First down offense vs Pitt

Run or Pass- 1HYardsRun or Pass- 2HYards
Run (Shrader)34Run (Allen)4
Run (Allen)5Pass (Incomplete)0
Run (Allen)6Run (Allen)0
Run (Allen)0Pass (Incomplete)0
Run (Villari)1Run (Shrader)12
Run (Allen)11Run (Allen)5
Run (Shrader)11Run (Allen)1
Run (Allen)6Run (Allen)2
Pass (Shrader)-9 fumbleRun (Allen)2
Run (Allen)3Run (Allen)4
Run (Shrader)12Run (Allen)5
Run (Allen)2Run (Shrader)-3
Run (Shrader)2Run (Price)4
Run (Allen)4Run (Shrader)4
Run (Allen)4Run (Price)6
Run (Shrader)-1
1st HalfPlaysYardsAvg yards per play
2nd HalfPlaysYardsAvg yards per play
Game TotalPlaysYardsAvg yards per play
The Pitt defense seemed to have adjusted to the Syracuse game plan in the second half and they put the Orange behind the chains in early downs. However, thanks to advantageous field position courtesy of the Syracuse defense, the running game was able to remain the focal point.

It’ll be tough to replicate the same approach this week at Georgia Tech, but if the Orange can find a recipe to get positive yardage on first down, it’ll allow them to run more and that seems like it’s the best approach for this current roster.

Sixth win at stake for Georgia Tech, Syracuse (; FLM)

With bowl eligibility at stake for both teams, Georgia Tech welcomes Syracuse to Atlanta on Saturday for a critical Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.

The Yellow Jackets (5-5, 4-3) recently posted back-to-back wins over then-No. 17 North Carolina and Virginia before getting doubled up by Clemson last weekend 42-21. Georgia Tech came into that game averaging 465 yards of offense but mustered only 254 yards against the Tigers.

Haynes King was picked off four times and the Yellow Jackets only held the ball for 23:08 as their five-game ACC road winning streak came to an end.

"We got our butts kicked out there today," Georgia Tech coach Brent Key said. "We've got to continue to improve, push through these things, correct these things, and get ready to play another game next week."

That game will come against a Syracuse team that snapped a five-game losing streak last weekend with an innovative 28-13 victory over Pittsburgh. The Orange (5-5, 1-5) essentially played without a quarterback, as the injured Garrett Shrader was only able to throw two passes.

Syracuse football: what’s college football saying about the Orange after week 12? (TNIAAM; Wall)

Each week, we’ll take a look at what other college football media sites are saying about the Syracuse Orange. Let’s check out what they said after that win over the Pittsburgh Panthers in Yankee Stadium.

First up, if you had Dan Villari winning an ACC RB of the Week Award...stop lying. Congrats to Dan and Chris Bleich on the conference recognition.

League honors for their big games.@Dan2Villari is your ACC RUNNING BACK of the Week.@Bleich67 is your ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week.
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) November 13, 2023

The local writers bump Syracuse up one to 11th in their ACC Power Rankings. Syracuse slides in between Boston College and Wake Forest. Georgia Tech is 9th this week.


In this week’s SP+ rankings Syracuse holds at 65th with the offense 79th while the defense ranks 40th. The Orange are ranked between Miami (OH) and New Mexico State. SP+ has Georgia Tech ranked 70th with their offense 54th and defense 97th.

Syracuse rises three spots in the Football Power Index to 49th between Rutgers and Virginia Tech (yeah that’s odd). FPI predicts the Orange for 6.1 wins now and gives them a 31% chance to win out and an 82.6% chance of making a bowl game. Georgia Tech ranks 52nd in this week’s FPI.

CBS Sports

In the CBS Sports power rankings Syracuse is up one spot to 66th this week between BYU and New Mexico State. Georgia Tech is 56th this week.

The Athletic

The Orange are up eight spots to a nice 69th in The Athletic’s Top 133 Power Rankings placing them in between Texas St and Northwestern. Georgia Tech is 56th this week.

USA Today

This week Syracuse is up six spots to 88th in the Re-Rank which puts them between Central Michigan and Utah State. Georgia Tech is 59th this week.

AP and Coaches Poll

No rankings for Syracuse or Georgia Tech

ACC Week Twelve Scores

Virginia 24 Louisville 31

Virginia Tech 48 Boston College 22

Georgia Tech 21 Clemson 42

NC State 26 Wake Forest 6

Miami 20 Florida State 27

Pitt 13 Syracuse 28

Duke 45 North Carolina 47

ACC News

Friedlander: Explaining ACC tiebreakers and why Georgia Tech-Syracuse could be the most impactful game in Week 12 - Saturday Road (; Friedlander)

Three guesses as to which ACC football matchup this weekend has the potential to be the most meaningful in determining which team will face Florida State for the conference championship on Dec. 2.

Nope, it’s not Louisville-Miami. It’s not North Carolina-Clemson, either.

It’s the prime-time matchup in Atlanta between 5-win teams Georgia Tech and Syracuse. And it has nothing to do with the fact that bowl eligibility awaits the winner.

Depending on what happens earlier in the day, the outcome between the Yellow Jackets and Orange could very well decide whether Louisville earns its first title game shot or if North Carolina has any chance at sneaking in the back door to Charlotte.

It all comes down to tiebreakers.

According to the ACC’s guidelines, adopted this summer following the elimination of divisional play, the first criterion is head-to-head results. Then comes winning percentage against common opponents, followed by winning percentage against common opponents based on their order of finish in the league standings.

None of that will matter, of course, if Louisville beats Miami on Saturday or UNC loses either of its remaining games, at Clemson and NC State.

Louisville is 6-1 in ACC; UNC is 4-2. (NC State also is 4-2 but can’t win any of the tiebreaks. Virginia Tech is 4-2 and has a chance, but only in a 3-way tie with Louisville and UNC. We’ll get to the Hokies in a minute.)

“I think the most important scenario is if we win and then we definitely help our cause,” Cardinals coach Jeff Brohm said Monday. “I think at this point in the season, you’re always treated as if you want to advance, you’ve got to win. I just think that’s going to be important that we do.”

But if they don’t and the Tar Heels win out, both teams would finish the regular season with 6-2 conference records. If the tiebreak only involves the Cardinals and Tar Heels, that’s when Georgia Tech and Syracuse figure into the equation.

Since the Cardinals and Tar Heels don’t play this season and would end up with identical 4-2 records against common opponents Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami, NC State, Pittsburgh and Virginia, tiebreaker No. 3 would come into play.

Because both teams would have beaten Duke and NC State in order to get to the tiebreaker, the Yellow Jackets are currently the highest-rated team for comparison.

Advantage Louisville, which beat Tech on Labor Day Friday while UNC flamed out spectacularly in Atlanta on Oct. 28.

The advantage, however, shifts to the Tar Heels should Brent Key’s team fall in its final ACC game. That would drop Tech to 4-4 in the league. That would leave the door open for Miami to leapfrog it in the standings, finish 5-3 and become the highest-ranked common opponent.

Since UNC knocked off the Hurricanes on Oct. 14, it would earn a 2nd straight trip to Charlotte.

Confused yet?

If you are, you’re probably better off not even trying to figure out what would happen in a 3-team scenario should Virginia Tech join Louisville and UNC in a 2nd place logjam at 6-2.

Yes, the Hokies still have a shot at the title game.

And they’d win the tiebreaker because of a better record than either of the other 2 teams in head-to-head competition with common foes NC State, Pitt and UVa.

However it shakes out, you can’t help but feel as though the tie-breaking process is a little unfair because of the unbalanced schedules ACC teams play.

It’s been a widely discussed fact that Louisville is blessed with by far the path of least resistance to Charlotte by avoiding Florida State, Clemson and UNC – the top 3 teams in the league’s preseason poll.

Virginia Tech’s isn’t much better. Three of its 4 ACC wins to date are against teams with a combined 3-16 league record. And it still has 1-6 Virginia left to play.

That’s why common sense suggests that Tiebreaker No. 4 – Combined winning percentage of conference opponents – would be a much more equitable way of deciding who should play for the championship and should be higher on the picking order of determining factors.

But you might be surprised that of the 3 teams involved, Virginia Tech – on the strength of losses to Florida State and Louisville – would still be the team that advances. And that UNC, generally perceived to have played the toughest schedule, would actually have the easiest.

Going into Saturday’s action, the Hokies’ opponents have a combined ACC record of 25-28. The Cardinals’ opponents are 22-28 while the Tar Heels’ are just 19-32.

It’s all a moot point, of course.

Those numbers are already as meaningless as time-of-possession or most advanced analytics. The ACC’s tie-breaking procedures can also be tossed out the window if Louisville takes care of business and holds serve in Coral Gables on Saturday.

Then Georgia Tech and Syracuse can go back to the business of playing for their own bowl futures rather than getting mixed up in anybody else’s championship aspirations.

WATCH: Pitt HC Pat Narduzzi Avoids QB Questions, Talks Short Week for Boston College (; video; Ludwig)

Pitt is coming off a bad loss to Syracuse over the weekend, and after making the flight home Saturday night, Pitt was back on the practice field Sunday afternoon.

It’s a short week with a Thursday night game against Boston College on the horizon, and Pat Narduzzi discussed what’s on the schedule in terms of preparing for the Eagles, avoided the topic of a starting quarterback decision and touched upon a plethora of other thoughts regarding ‘Cuse and Boston College.

How Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney views UNC quarterback Drake Maye ahead of their second meeting (; Keepfer)

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s team has faced more than its share of solid if not spectacular quarterbacks this season, but likely none better than the one the Tigers will face Saturday.

Enter North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

“They’ve got a lot of great players, but he’s one of them guys who makes the coaches better, he makes the fans better, he makes the popcorn taste better,” Swinney said of Maye. “Everything’s better when you’ve got a dude like that under center.”

Maye is living up to his dude status in his second season as the Tar Heels’ catalyst. He leads the ACC and ranks third nationally in total offense and is fourth in the nation in passing yards with 3,145. His 21 touchdown passes are trailing the pace he set last season as a Freshman All-American, but he's guided his team to an 8-2 record and into contention for an ACC championship.

The matchup between Maye and North Carolina’s big-play offense and Clemson’s stingy defense adds plenty of intrigue to Saturday’s game (3:30 p.m., ESPN).
The Tigers’ pass defense ranks fifth nationally in passing efficiency defense, seventh in passing yards allowed and has 12 interceptions, which is tied for 10th in the country. Clemson is tied with Michigan for the national lead with four interception returns for touchdowns.

Clemson fared well against Maye in last year’s ACC Championship Game, sacking him four times and holding him without a touchdown pass for just the second time that season. The Tigers’ Nate Wiggins returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown.

ACC Football Power Rankings - Week 11 (; PirateWolf)

1. Florida State (last week: 27-20 W vs Miami)

It wasn’t the most impressive win, but Florida State remained undefeated. FSU jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, but gave up four runs of 18+ yards to allow Miami to take an 13-10 lead early in the 2nd half. The Noles quickly regained the lead and led 20-13 before the game became a punting battle. Keon Coleman pushed the lead to 14, which was important since FSU would give up an 85-yard TD pass midway through the 4th quarter. It was tight from there on, but the Seminoles got the W in their closest game since September and finish 8-0 in ACC play. Next up is an absurdly scheduled game against North Alabama before finishing up at Florida and then heading to Charlotte for the ACC Championship Game.

2. Virginia Tech (last week: 48-22 W @ Boston College)

Despite picking off Boston College on two of the Eagles first three possessions, Virginia Tech fell behind 7-3 early... and then started pouring it on. The Hokies led 31-7 at the half and then scored touchdowns on each of their first two second half possessions. Again, for a team that looked dreadful over the first month of the season, this was a complete pantsing of a BC team that was on a five-game winning streak. Quite the impressive win. The Hokies will finish their season at rival Virginia, but first is their home finale against...

3. NC State (last week: 26-6 W @ Wake Forest)

The Wolfpack put it together to trounce the Demon Deacons in a game that was never even close. State led 21-0 at the half and the 2nd half was all but meaningless with the stout Pack defense smothering Wake - the Deacs ended the game with just 163 total yards of offense. If there was a blemish for State, it was a few ball security concerns and a pair of missed field goals, although the coaches clearly still have full confidence in Brayden Narveson. One more win would mark the fifth time in the last seven years that State has reached five or more ACC wins, a feat the program has not accomplished since the 1960’s.

4. Clemson (last week: 42-21 W vs Georgia Tech)

Clemson had an ill-advised fake punt deep in their own territory in the first quarter that led to a Georgia Tech touchdown, but the Tigers scored the next 42 points in the game - including 21 in the second quarter - to make this a very non-competitive affair. The two late window dressing GT TDs covered 142 of the 254 yards the Yellow Jackets had in the game. So, yes, Clemson’s defense was great again until the subs entered. The best news for the Tigers is that Cade Klubnik played his game in a long time and Will Shipley returned to action, posting another 100+ scrimmage yard game. Clemson hosts North Carolina on Saturday.

5. Louisville (last week: 31-24 W vs Virginia)

The Cardinals led 14-0 at the half thanks to a strong defensive performance and a blocked punt for a TD. It seemed that two score lead would carry Louisville to the win, but then Virginia reeled off three TDs in a little over three minutes of game time late in the third quarter. After trading field goals, the Cards tied the game on a 52 yard blown coverage TD pass and then took the lead with just over three minutes remaining on a 73 yard TD run. It was a crazy second half to a game that might have put you to sleep in the first half. A win at Miami on Saturday will secure Louisville’s spot in the ACC title game opposite Florida State.

6. Miami (last week: 27-20 L @ Florida State)

The Hurricanes kept close with FSU, but simply didn’t have the QB play that would give them an opportunity to steal the win against their hated rivals. For Miami, that’s now four losses in their last six games with Louisville and Boston College remaining. The bright spot for the Canes is that the defense held FSU to 322 yards and just 3-of-12 on 3rd downs, which is going to be enough to win most games. Donald Chaney Jr. is also showing exactly why he was a Top 5 RB coming out of high school.

7. Duke (last week: 45-47 L @ North Carolina)

2023 Duke feels a lot like 2022 NC State. A great defense carrying a team that’s had a lot of bad injury luck and is down to a true freshman starting. The Blue Devils got robbed in Chapel Hill. Taking a 3-point lead with 5:21 to go, UNC drove into the Duke red zone before a Drake Maye pass on 3rd & 14 was caught by Bryson Nesbit; however, the ball was pulled from Nesbit’s hands before he was down and secured by a Duke defensive back. The official, though, called it a catch and then refused to review the play. UNC scores a few plays later and then it’s a back-and-forth affair before UNC wins in double OT - on another missed call (ineligible man downfield) - instead of Duke icing the game away. As bruised and beaten as the Blue Devils are, they finish up with Virginia and Pitt, a pair of winnable games that should they win will put Duke at back-to-back 5-3 ACC seasons.

8. Virginia (last week: 24-31 L @ Louisville)

You have to give the Cavaliers credit for fighting back and taking that third quarter lead. If a few calls don’t go in Louisville's favor late, Virginia may well have come away with the W. The Wahoos are just 2-8 on the year, but five of those losses have been by one score including four losses by a field goal or less. That’s tough, but there’s clear progress in Year 2 under Tony Elliott, even if their final record won’t show it.

9. Syracuse (last week: 28-13 W vs Pittsburgh)

Cuse finally ended their five game skid, and with it pushed to within a game of bowl eligibility. A road trip to Georgia Tech is next with a home game against Wake Forest after that, so despite that horrendous losing streak, Dino Babers may well still lead the Orange to a bowl game. Syracuse outgained Pitt 399-to-269 and forced four turnovers, including three fumbles, in the game. All but 17 of those 399 yards came on the ground, and even if that was by design

10. Georgia Tech (last week: 21-42 L @ Clemson)

The Yellow Jackets aren’t the first team to get bludgeoned in Death Valley and they won’t be the last, but that was a horrific effort against a team that had played four straight one possession games. Four interceptions didn’t help the cause, but this was just a game where very little went right for GT. Sitting at 5-5 overall, bowl eligibility is probably riding on next week’s game against Syracuse, because after that is the showdown with Georgia and that might look a lot like last week.

College football rankings: Pitt joins Bottom 25 as Panthers continue to struggle with ACC foes (; Cobb)

Less than two years ago, Pitt s waltzed to an ACC title and appearance in the Peach Bowl thanks to future three first round picks in quarterback Kenny Pickett, receiver Jordan Addison and defensive end Calijah Kancey. Now, the Panthers are 2-8 and guaranteed to finish with their worst record in coach Pat Narduzzi's nine seasons.

A 28-13 loss to Syracuse on Saturday ensured this Pitt team of that dubious distinction. It also dropped the Panthers into the Bottom 25 for the first time this season. As for Narduzzi's future, it sounds like he is safe for now. Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke told the Post-Gazette that she and Narduzzi will, "work together to thoroughly evaluate each aspect of our program" in the offseason.

Among the changes they should consider is an overhaul to an offense that has shriveled up into a shell of what it was in 2021. The Panthers rank 117th in total offense. Most concerning, they are 119th in rushing offense. Narduzzi likes to play a physical, run-oriented and defense-first style. But it's not working anymore.

But Pitt is not alone. There are four Power Five teams in this week's Bottom 25 as the season creeps toward a conclusion and we come closer to crowning a Bottom 25 national champion.

Bottom 25 rankings

After years as the QB1 of the Bottom 25, Tom Fornelli has passed the baton to David Cobb this season. We're still using Fornelli's power rankings to determine the order -- with the No. 1 ranking belonging to the worst FBS team -- but the written jabs are from Cobb.

The Bottom 25

25. UAB3-7A week after totaling 614 yards in a 45-42 win over FAU, UAB failed to score a touchdown and was outscored 21-0 in the fourth quarter of a 31-6 loss at Navy. As bad as the offense was for the Blazers, it's the defense that's been most problematic in coach Trent Dilfer's first season. Every FBS opponent has reached at least 30 points on UAB. (Last week: NR)
24. Eastern Michigan4-6It was looking so good back in mid-October when the Eagles reached 2-1 in MAC play with back-to-back wins over Ball State and Kent State. But after a three-game losing streak, the Eagles have their backs against the wall. They must win their final two games against Akron and Buffalo to get bowl eligible for a third straight season. (NR)
23. FIU4-6Middle Tennessee's domination of FIU last week last week was so thorough that it sent the Blue Raiders surging out of the Bottom 25 and left the Panthers tumbling in at No. 23. It was 31-6 at halftime and never got better. FIU surrendered three touchdown passes of 20-plus yards and allowed the Blue Raiders to return a fumble for a touchdown. (NR)
22. Stanford3-7The roller coaster ride continued Saturday with a 62-17 bludgeoning at the hands of Oregon State. The lopsided loss followed a 10-7 road win at Washington State for Stanford. It's feast or famine for the Cardinal in Year 1 under Troy Taylor as nice wins against WSU and Colorado are juxtaposed with a bunch of ugly losses. (NR)
21. Pitt2-8Saturday's 28-13 loss to Syracuse solidified this year as as the lowest win total of Pat Narduzzi's nine season on the job. It will also be just the second time that the Panthers have failed to reach bowl eligibility in his tenure. The joys of a 2021 ACC Championship and Peach Bowl appearance seem like a distant memory. (NR)
20. Hawaii4-7Hawaii's defense is legitimately improving after looking like one of the nation's worst for the season's first two months. The Rainbow Warriors used a 4-0 turnover edge to upset Air Force 27-13 last week for their second straight victory. (11)
19. UTEP3-7Matching last season's total of five victories is going to be tough after a 21-13 loss to Western Kentucky last week. The Miners draw a hot Middle Tennessee team before closing against unbeaten Liberty. Thus another season of regression is likely in store. (16)
18. Charlotte3-7Charlotte snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, surrendering 16 unanswered points over the final minutes of regulation and overtime to fall 44-38 against Memphis. It could have been a signature win for first-year coach Biff Poggi. Instead, it was just the latest loss in a tumultuous first season for the former Michigan associate head coach. (17)
17. Virginia2-8Virginia is now 1-5 in one-possession games after losing 31-24 at Louisville on Thursday. The Cavaliers have an upset win at North Carolina on their resume, but it's been an otherwise-frustrating second season for coach Tony Elliott. UVa has often been close but rarely the victor. (22)
16. San Diego State3-7San Diego State won 12 games during the second season of Brady Hoke's second coaching stint back in 2021. Since then, the Aztecs are 10-13. Thus, it's no surprise the 65-year old Hoke announced his retirement Monday following a seventh loss in the past eight games. SDSU is one of the Mountain West's better jobs, and it's time for a new direction. (20)
15. Buffalo3-7It looked as if Buffalo may ascend all the way from No. 2 in the Bottom 25 to no longer ranked when the Bulls won three of four games to reach 3-5 last month. Since then, they have lost two straight and fallen out of the running for a bowl. While this team isn't as bad as it looked early, it's still not good. (18)
14. Temple3-7With quarterback E.J. Warner healthy, Temple still has a chance to beat last season's three-win total. But doing so will require winning at UAB this week or against Memphis on Nov. 24. When Warner was injured earlier this season, this looked like the worst FBS team. The Owls are at least somewhat-competent offensively with him. (13)
13. New Mexico3-7New Mexico is down 10 spots in the Bottom 25 after a 42-14 loss at Boise State. The Lobos have been outscored 98-28 the past two weeks and continue trending in the wrong direction under fourth-year coach Danny Gonzales. This isn't exactly a tradition-rich program, but surely UNM harbors greater aspirations than perennial Mountain West doormat. (23)
12. Tulsa3-7Tulsa's losing streak is up to five games after the Golden Hurricane fell just short against AAC power Tulane on Saturday. The Green Wave needed a 100-yard kickoff return and some late-game fortune to survive for a 24-22 win. Closing against North Texas and East Carolina gives first-year coach Kevin Wilson a chance to at least build momentum going into the offseason. (12)
11. Ball State3-7What's up with all these Bottom 25 teams winning last week? Ball State bested Northern Illinois 20-17 for its second victory in the last three games. The Cardinals still haven't scored more than 24 points in a game against FBS opposition. That could change against against lowly Kent State this week in a Bottom 25 Battle Royale. (8)
10. East Carolina2-8East Carolina finally earned its first win of the season over an FBS foe by knocking off FAU 22-7 on Saturday. But at this point, there's nothing that can salvage a painful season of regression under fifth-year coach Mike Houston. After going 15-10 over the past two seasons, the Pirates have cratered in an embarrassing way at a time when the AAC is supposed to be getting easier. (5)
9. Vanderbilt2-9Vanderbilt has lost nine straight since starting 2-0 with wins against Hawaii and Alabama A&M. Some might be wondering what role the Commodores will serve in the expanded and even more competitive SEC moving forward. The answer is simple: Vanderbilt is here to play baseball and to be an automatic win for other football teams in the league. (15)
8. Sam Houston2-8At long last, Sam Houston finally has a win over an FBS team as an FBS program. A 24-21 victory over Kennesaw State on Nov. 4 apparently broke the dam, and the Bearkats followed up with a 42-27 win at Louisiana Tech last week. Even if this squad wins out, finishing outside the Bottom 25 will be tough after an 0-8 start. (4)
7. UMass3-7It would be hilarious if lowly UMass, of all teams, ended Liberty's undefeated season this week. But the Minutemen might get caught looking ahead to the FBS Independent Bottom 25 Game of the Century against UConn next week. (9)
6. Southern Miss3-7The Golden Eagles had their wings clipped in September and October. But November is bringing new life for Southern Miss, which has suddenly won two straight. USM is creating holes for star running back Frank Gore Jr. He's 30 yards away from surpassing 1,000 yards for the second-straight season. Unfortunately, a seven-game losing streak doomed this team's chances of escaping the Bottom 25. (2)
5. ULM2-8When you're 2-8 and those two wins came in early September, the last thing you need to see is a game at Ole Miss on the schedule. That's what ULM is dealing with this week as the struggling Warhawks close with roadies against the Rebels and Louisiana. (10)
4. Akron2-8Beating the worst FBS team in the country must have taken a toll, because Akron followed up its 31-27 win over Kent State with a 19-0 loss at Miami (Ohio). The Zips mustered just 212 total yards. They were so woeful offensively that they lost by 19 points despite giving up only 11 first downs and 50 yards passing. (7)
3. Nevada2-8To simultaneously rank 120th in total offense and 125th in total defense like Nevada does is quite impressive. Usually, the defense is so bad that the offense ends up ranking respectably because it's always playing catch up. Or, if the offense is horrible, the defense will rank respectably because the opponent doesn't need to rack up a ton of points or yards. (2)
2. UConn1-9UConn has been outscored 103-9 losses to Tennessee and James Madison. This week, the Huskies may be tempted to overlook FCS foe Sacred Heart considering that an FBS Independent Bottom 25 Game of the Century at UMass is coming on Nov. 25. (6)
1. Kent State1-9Kent State ranks 127th in total offense and 130th in scoring offense. The Golden Flashes even rank 127th in net punting, which is terribly concerning since they are punting an awful lot. In fact, only Iowa has punted more this season. This team's only win came against an FCS foe, and eight of its nine losses are by double digits. (1)

CFP Poll 2023 Nov 14 (RX; HM)

CFP Poll 2023 Nov 14

Here are this week's changes in the CFP Top 25...

Florida State remains #4.
Louisville moved up 1 to #10.
Notre Dame moved up 1 to #19.
North Carolina moved up 4 to #20.

Barring any upsets, FSU will make the playoffs, Louisville will go to the Orange Bowl, and the Irish and Tar Heels will be in the next level of bowls.
That's about as good as it can get for the ACC this year.



House of Hades tile found on the intersection of S. Salina Street and W. Fayette Street.Tania Ortiz

Buried mosaics emerge on Syracuse’s roads. Where did they come from? (PS; Ortiz)

The next time you’re strolling downtown Syracuse, keep an eye on the asphalt. Chances are you may be stepping on a piece of art.

In July, at least nine mosaic tiles began mysteriously appearing on the streets of downtown.

They’re scattered on crosswalks or busy intersections. They were revealed piece by piece, aided by passing vehicles that slowly eroded the tar covering them. The emergence of these peculiar tiles raises a few questions: What do they mean? Who put them there? And why Syracuse?

Here’s what we know about Syracuse’s most mysterious new street art.

What are they?

The street tiles, originally known as Toynbee Tiles, are mosaics pressed into the road’s surface. The tiles are constructed from vinyl composition tile and linoleum. The mosaic is pre-made, then covered in a tar paper and placed on asphalt, said Bancks Holmes, a tile researcher who runs @tilewatch_phl on Instagram.

When the tiles are first pressed into the road, they’re hidden. Car traffic slowly pushes the mosaic into the asphalt and removes the concealing tar, revealing a colorful mosaic. Typically, the tiles are laid on late at night following a hot summer day, when the asphalt is warm and soft. It makes it easier for the tiles to integrate into the road. Almost all the tiles found downtown are visible by now.

Who makes them?

Each tile downtown is branded with “HOH23.” That’s the calling card for an artist known as House of Hades. Their identity is unknown, but Holmes said he believes the artist is from Buffalo and now based in New York City. Most of the tiles made by House of Hades can be found in the major cities along the East Coast, like New York, Boston, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.


Jonathan LaSala, a partner in Bright Structures LLC, stands in front of the former Engelberg Huller Co. building at 831 W. Fayette St. on Syracuse's Near West Side. Bright Structures is making plans to turn the 137-year-old building into apartments and the new home of The Print Hub, a growing screen-printing, merchandising and web design business.Rick Moriarty

Are smaller apartments an answer for Syracuse’s housing crunch? A developer explores the idea (PS; $; Moriarty)

The new owners of a historic former Syracuse factory aim to redevelop the structure into a mixed-use complex that could help fill the city’s need for new housing.

The four principals of Bright Structures LLC are exploring the idea of putting as many as 30 apartments inside the 137-year-old building on the city’s Near West Side.

There’s nothing new about studios or small apartments in and around Syracuse. But these developers are trying to figure out just how many apartments they can fit into the former Engelberg Huller Co. building to make financial sense for both investors and renters.

Currently, they’re looking at carving out 600-square-foot apartments in two floors of the building at 831 W. Fayette St., according to Jonathan LaSala, an associate real estate broker with Acropolis Realty Group and one of the building’s new owners.

A 600-foot apartment is about twice the size of the average standard room in a mid-range hotel.

The apartments at the Engelberg Huller buildings would be smaller than many of the apartments recently built in nearby downtown Syracuse, which are usually 1,000 square feet or more.

LaSala said the goal is to fit as many apartments as possible into the building to help fill the city’s need for new housing and what the development team believes will be demand for smaller, more affordable units than those found downtown.

The effort comes as Syracuse faces a historically tight housing market. Prices have hit all-time highs. And the inventory of homes for sale have shrunk to a quarter of what it was just a decade ago.

Demand for new housing is expected to get even stronger when Micron Technology builds a planned $100 billion semiconductor plant in nearby Clay. Micron has said the facility will create up to 9,000 Micron jobs and more than 40,000 jobs at related supply chain and other employers over 20 years.

The West Fayette Street project is in its early stages. The group bought the building for $450,000 in May 2022 and has held preliminary discussions city officials.

Rents for the apartments have not been set. Rents for many of the new apartments built downtown in the past few years start at around $1,500 and run up to more than $4,000 a month. Sizes start at about 1,000 square feet and go up to 2,000 square feet.

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