Florida State clinches spot in ACC title game

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Having realized its quest to earn a berth in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game, No. 10 Florida State can now turn its attention toward other objectives – such as beating Florida, winning the league title and maybe, just maybe, making a run at the national championship.

Florida State running back Devonta Freeman hugs teammate Cameron Erving after scoring a touchdown in the first half.  PATRICK SEMANSKY/ ASSOCIATED PRESS
PATRICK SEMANSKY/ ASSOCIATED PRESS
Florida State running back Devonta Freeman hugs teammate Cameron Erving after scoring a touchdown in the first half.

Devonta Freeman ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns, Florida State’s top-ranked defense lived up to its billing and the Seminoles rolled past Maryland 41-14 Saturday to capture the Atlantic Division crown.

“One of our first goals is to win the division,” coach Jimbo Fisher said. “Now we have to play the Florida game, get in the ACC championship game and see where that goes.”

Florida State led 27-0 at halftime and rolled to its fifth consecutive win. In the process, the Seminoles earned the right to play for their 13th ACC crown on Dec. 1.

“This has been one of our goals since camp time,” wide receiver Kenny Shaw said.

“I’m happy we won the game and clinched it,” Seminoles defensive lineman Bjoern Werner said. “Now we got Florida next and then we can go to Charlotte (N.C.). It’s awesome.”

EJ Manuel completed 17 of 23 passes for 144 yards and two scores to supplement a running game that gained 237 yards.

NO. 3 NOTRE DAME 38,  WAKE FOREST 0

In South Bend, Ind., Everett Golson threw touchdown passes of 50, 34 and 2 yards, Cierre Wood scored on a 68-yard run and third-ranked Notre Dame beat Wake Forest to finish the season undefeated at home for the first time since 1998 and keep its national championship hopes alive.

The Fighting Irish improved to 11-0 for the first time since 1989 and need to beat Southern California to finish a regular season undefeated for the first time since 1988, the last time they won a national title.

The Irish dominated on both sides of the ball, outgaining the Deacons 584 yards to 209. It was the first shutout for the Irish since a 35-0 win over Nevada in in 2009 and their first shutout against a major conference team since a 42-0 victory over Rutgers in 2002.

VIRGINIA TECH 30, BOSTON COLLEGE 23 (OT)

In Boston, Logan Thomas threw for two touchdowns – the second a 7-yarder to Randall Dunn in overtime – and ran for another score to help Virginia Tech keep its bowl hopes alive with a win over Boston College.

The Hokies (5-6, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) need to beat rival Virginia at home next Saturday to become bowl-eligible for the 20th consecutive season.

The Eagles (2-9, 1-6) look to avoid matching their worst record since 1989 next week at North Carolina State.

MIAMI 40, SOUTH FLORIDA 9

In Miami, Stephen Morris threw for 413 yards and three scores, Herb Waters had an 87-yard touchdown catch for Miami’s longest reception in more than five years and the Hurricanes rolled.

Clive Walford (135), Waters (130) and Phillip Dorsett (12 catches, 111 yards) all topped the 100-yard receiving mark for Miami, and Duke Johnson rushed for 66 yards and another score for the Hurricanes (6-5).

Miami is now bowl-eligible, though the school will consider imposing a second consecutive postseason ban on itself because of the ongoing NCAA investigation into compliance practices.


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