Clemson Wins a Thriller; Syracuse Still Undefeated

Ken Cross

September 27, 2022 at 9:00 am.

The “ACC Fab Five” is a column that takes the previous Saturday’s ACC outings and reports on the top five games. There is no order, nor does the ACC team have to win a non-conference game. If there is a loss, the team we mention must have threatened to win the game, but took the ‘L.’


Clemson 51 @Wake Forest 45, 2OT – Tigers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw a 21-yard touchdown pass two Beaux Collins at the end of the first overtime. Then, he tossed another 21-yard pass to Davis Allen in the second OT. Clemson shaded Wake Forest, 51-45, in Winston-Salem after the Demon Deacons couldn’t convert in the second overtime.

This turned into a quarterback battle between Uiagalelei and Wake’s Sam Hartman as Uiagalelei passed for 371 yards and five touchdowns, while Hartman threw for 337 yards and six TDs.

The Tigers were able to balance their passing game with 188 rushing yards, behind 104 by Will Shipley.

Hartman’s six touchdown passes were a school record for a Demon Deacon’s quarterback.

“Offensively, D.J. Uiagalelei was amazing,” said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. “You continue to see who he is; 16-of-23 is the most third down conversions in the history of Clemson football.”


Notre Dame 45, @North Carolina 32 – After a four-yard touchdown pass from Drake Maye to Josh Downs gave UNC a 7-0 lead over Notre Dame at the end of the first quarter, the Irish caught fire and scored on six straight drives to put up 38 points in a row.

Fighting Irish QB Drew Pyne threw three touchdown passes in that run, while running back Audric Estime scored two rushing touchdowns.

The Fighting Irish rolled up 576 total yards on the afternoon as Notre Dame has won 25 games in a row against ACC competition. The Irish had the ball for 38:13 for an offense that spelled domination in Saturday’s game.

Notre Dame showed balance as Pyne threw for 289 yards, while the Fighting Irish posted 287 yards rushing behind 134 yards on 17 carries by Estime.

“He executed and put the ball where it needed to be and some guys made plays,” said Irish head coach Marcus Freeman of Pyne’s effort. “He’s always going to be prepared and he’s always going to know what to do with the ball.”


@Florida State 44, Boston College 14 – Jordan Travis passed for 321 yards and the Seminoles took a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter in route to their fourth win of the season.

Trey Benson had two of the scores in the first quarter as he took the opening kickoff 93 yards and capped a 10-play, 94-yard drive with a 15-yard run.

Benson also had a 36-yard touchdown run with 9:30 left in the game as he led FSU in rushing with 78 yards on 10 carries.

Treshaun Ward, who came in with a pair of 100-plus yards rushing games, followed Benson as he had 48 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

BC fell to 1-3 and was held to 235 total yards as Kalen Deloach led the ‘Noles with seven tackles.

“We wanted to get Trey (Benson) off to a fast start tonight,” said Florida State head coach Mike Norvell. “He definitely took advantage of the opportunity, and you just see his confidence growing with each week.”


@ Louisville 41, South Florida 3 – Louisville rolled past South Florida behind quarterback Malik Cunningham’s double-threat ability. He passed for 186 yards and one touchdown and rushed for 113 yards on nine carries and three touchdowns.

The Cardinals were paced by Cunningham’s touchdown runs of 40, 35 and eight yards in the first half to build a 28-0 halftime lead.

Louisville amassed 572 yards of total offense as Trevion Conley posted 75 yards on 11 carries and Tiyon Evans nailed 51 yards and a touchdown on 13 scampers.

Cunningham has been such a high-level performer in his four seasons that he became the ninth player in NCAA history to throw for 8,000 yards while rushing for 3,000.

“He is a special player,” Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield said of Cunningham. “He gets a lot of criticism at times when he doesn’t play great. Here is the thing about this quarterback – that ball is in his hands a lot as far as running and throwing.”


@Syracuse 22, Virginia 20 – Kicker Andre Szmyt hit five field goals, including the game-winner with 1:14 to play as the Orange toppled the Cavaliers, 22-20.

Virginia rallied and took a 20-19 lead on a four-yard touchdown pass from Brennan Armstrong to Laval Davis with 5:51 left.

Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader passed for 277 yards and scored a first-half touchdown as the Orange took a 16-0 lead at halftime.

Defensively, Virginia put itself in position to pick up the win for Tony Elliott in his first ACC game as a head coach. The Cavaliers forced four Syracuse turnovers, which coincidentally were their first four turnovers of the season, and the Cavaliers’ defense sacked Shrader six times.

“The play was not perfect, that’s for sure, but the record is,” said Syracuse head coach Dino Babers.