Good hands people

Shadrach Thornton had a tough day on the ground, so he decided to use his hands to help North Carolina State on Saturday.

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett hit Thornton, a Liberty County High graduate, with a pass in the flat, and he used two blocks to score from 18 yards out and help the Wolfpack defeat Syracuse 24-17 and snap a four-game losing streak.

It was N.C. State’s only offensive touchdown. The Wolfpack also scored on Pharoah McKever’s 82-yard interception return and three field goals.

Thornton, N.C. State’s leading rusher entering the game, gained only 21 yards on 10 carries, but caught three passes for 30 yards, including his scoring reception with 2:14 left in the game.

Tale of two rushers

Pittsburgh’s James Conner and Miami’s Duke Johnson entered Saturday’s games as the ACC’s leading rushers.

They didn’t disappoint.

Conner rushed for 263 yards and three touchdowns on 38 carries in a 51-48 loss to Duke in two overtimes, and Johnson had 177 yards and two touchdowns to power the Hurricanes past North Carolina 47-20.

Conner has 1,342 yards and 17 rushing scores.

Johnson had a 90-yard touchdown run on his way to reaching 3,080 career yards, just 251 from tying Ottis Anderson’s all-time Miami record.

Numbers game

3 Quarterbacks who have rushed for more than 100 yards against Virginia Tech this season. Boston College’s Tyler Murphy had 122 on Saturday, joining Georgia Tech’s Justin Thomas (165) and Pittsburgh’s Chad Voytik (118).

1,032 Combined total offense by Duke and Pittsburgh in the Blue Devils’ victory. Pittsburgh had 594 yards, and Duke added 438.

He said it

“I tried to remain calm, just because of the type of situation that it was. But I wanted to do my part, and getting a chance to win the game was big for me. And this was a big win for us.” — Duke backup quarterback Thomas Sirk, who scored on a 5-yard run in the second overtime

“My goal was to come here and help this program grow. They were 7-6 last year and my goal was to come here, find a way to get back to a bowl game and try to get eight wins, if not more. I’m just trying to help this program develop to get in the right direction, and the guys are just making it easy.” — Murphy, who transferred from Florida and has led Boston College to a 6-3 record


Atlantic; ACC; All

Fla. State;5-0;8-0


Boston Coll.;3-2;6-3


N.C. State;1-4;5-4


Wake Forest;0-4;2-6

Coastal; ACC;; All


Ga. Tech;4-2;7-2


N. Carolina;2-3;4-5



Va. Tech;1-4;4-5

Thursday’s schedule

Clemson at Wake Forest, 7:30 p.m. ESPN

Saturday’s schedule

Georgia Tech at N.C. State, 12:30 p.m., WUPA

Duke at Syracuse, 12:30 p.m., FSSO

Virginia at Florida State, 6:30 p.m., ESPN

Louisville at Boston College, 7:15 p.m., ESPN2

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.

Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. Atlanta. News. Now.