New year, new results for the ACC in the bowls.
What a pleasant surprise.
The ACC went 4-2 in its games, finishing with a winning record for the first time since 2005. What's more, the ACC had two bowl wins over Top 15 teams for the second time in its history. In the 2001 season, Georgia Tech beat No. 11 Stanford 24-14 in the Seattle Bowl, and Florida State beat No. 15 Virginia Tech 30-17 in the Gator Bowl.
Here are a few final notes from across the ACC bowls.
Clemson's win over No. 8 LSU marked the highest ranked SEC team it has defeated since beating No. 6 Tennessee in the 2004 Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
DeAndre Hopkins had 13 receptions for 191 yards and finished the season with 82 receptions for 1,405 yards, setting a new school single-season mark for receiving yards. He broke Sammy Watkins' record of 1,219 yards, set last year.
Tajh Boyd set the ACC record for touchdown passes in a season with 36, breaking the record of 34 that was set by Phillip Rivers of NC State in 2003.
With a 358-yard performance in a 48-34 loss to Cincinnati the Belk Bowl, Sean Renfree finished the 2012 season with 3,118 yards, marking the eighth 3,000-yard season under David Cutcliffe (as offensive coordinator or head coach). It also marked Renfree’s second 3,000-yard campaign after throwing for 3,131 yards in 2010.
With 34 points against the Bearcats, Duke sets a school single-season record for most games scoring 34 or more points with six.
With 16 combined catches, Jamison Crowder and Conner Vernon set an ACC single-season record for most receptions by two teammates with 161, bettering the previous standard of 156 set by Chris Givens (83) & Michael Campanaro (73) of Wake Forest in 2011.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Florida State averaged 6.6 yards per carry in the Discover Orange Bowl against Northern Illinois. The offensive line played a major role. The Seminoles gained 196 of their 243 rushing yards before contact with a defender and were not touched on all three of their touchdowns. Their average of 5.3 yards before contact per rush was a season high.
Florida State running back Lonnie Pryor had a career-high 134 rush yards on five carries en route to game MVP honors. His previous career high was 65 yards against USF on Sept. 29.
Rodney Smith set the school record with a catch in his 39th consecutive game.
The Jackets beat USC 21-7 in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. The last time Georgia Tech held an opponent to seven points or less in a bowl game came in the 1956 Sugar Bowl when it held Pittsburgh scoreless.
Georgia Tech was credited with eight pass break-ups, the most in five seasons under Paul Johnson. The defense recorded three interceptions in a bowl game for the first time since 1970, also in the Sun Bowl, against Texas Tech.
Tobais Palmer had a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in a 38-24 loss to Vanderbilt in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. Palmer is the first Pack player since Lamont Reid in 2002 to return two kickoffs for a touchdown in the same season.
With his 173 kickoff return yards on the day, Palmer set a new NC State season record with 1,130 kickoff return yards. Palmer and T.J. Graham (1,028 in 2008) are the only two Wolfpack players to go over 1,000 yards in kickoff returns in a single season.
Safety Earl Wolff finished the day with a team-best nine tackles on the day. He becomes the first Wolfpack defensive back to go over 400 for his career, as his career total of 400 is fifth-best in school history.
The Hokies beat Rutgers 13-10 in overtime in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Tech went 3-0 in overtime games this year, beating Georgia Tech, Boston College and Rutgers.
The win marked the first time since the 2004 game against Virginia that Tech was shut out at the half and ended up winning the game.
Tech’s 3 yards rushing are the fewest in a win under head coach Frank Beamer. It’s the third-fewest ever under Beamer in 26 seasons (minus-14 vs. Miami in 1994; minus-1 vs. Syracuse in 1987).