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Not bad for a league that has spent most of the last decade watching its star slowly fade. No. 2 Florida State's resurgence along with the steady climb of No. 8 Clemson and the revival at No. 24 Miami have helped. So has the steady defensive brilliance at Virginia Tech. Yet the league's ability to put playmakers on defense reaches far beyond the upper crust.
Pitt picked up arguably the biggest victory of coach Paul Chryst's two year tenure by rallying past then No. 24 Notre Dame 28 21 last Saturday. The game's three biggest plays were turned in by defensive back Ray Vinopal.
It's an ethos repeated throughout the Atlantic Coast Conference, where defenses are having just as much a say in the conference race as the Nike Air Max White Pink Black
While the coaches and players allow the numbers can be skewed a bit because of the more pedestrian offensive pace of the league in general, they add it wouldn't be fair to say tempo is the only reason the marching bands don't cue up the fight song as much after touchdowns as their brethren in other places.
And it's not just Oregon. Seven of the dozen schools in the Pac 12 are averaging more than 30 points in conference play. Compare that to only four of 14 programs in the ACC.
The ACC has had 21 defensive ends or outside linebackers taken in the first two rounds of the NFL draft since 2006, by far the most among the Bowl Championship Series conferences, including Florida State's Bjoern Werner and Cornelius Carradine last spring.
After "that Pitt game, we just made a collective decision to just make a change," Duke defensive end Kenny Anunike said. "Just make an overall defensive change overhaul, basically. We've proven when the defense plays well, we win those games."
"It's a very athletic league," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. "If you look at pro ball. A lot of the linebackers, D linemen, corners, there's a ton Nike Air Max Motion 2016
eye popping numbers put up by those breakneck offenses that seem to be proliferating elsewhere in the country.
His performance was a testament to the resiliency of defenses across a league that is getting stingier as the weeks pass.
Sometimes in spectacular fashion. Redshirt freshman safety DeVon Edwards all of 5 feet 9 returned consecutive passes for touchdowns in the fourth quarter of a 38 20 last week against North Carolina State in just his second career start.
of players from this league."
It was the same in Florida State's 59 3 decimation of Wake Forest, as the Seminoles returned a pair of interceptions for scores to take steal some of the spotlight away from freshman quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston.
Defenses gain an edge in ACC
Duke, Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Syracuse have also picked things up as the season has worn on. The Blue Devils (7 2) are in the midst of their best season since 1994 thanks largely to a defense that hardly resembles the unit Nike Air Max 2016 White that dropped a 58 55 shootout to the Panthers back in September. Duke has allowed just 52 points combined in its last three ACC games, all victories.
Aaron Donald figures he was simply doing his job against Georgia Tech two weeks ago, when he singlehandedly kept the Panthers in the game, even if it couldn't prevent a 21 10 loss.
"I think you're seeing teams that, as they get used to what offenses are doing, they get better," North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said. "I think that's what's happening in the league. I don't think the offenses are any worse. I think the defensive play is just improved."
Yet Pittsburgh defensive tackle Womens Air Max Plus
ACC teams are averaging 23.8 points per game in league play, the lowest among the five power conferences. The Big Ten is at 24.9, though that number jumps to 26.6 if anemic Purdue is thrown out. The scoring only soars from there, with the Pac 12 leading the way at 31.2 points per game.
"I just try to go out there and make plays for my team," Donald said.
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