Halloween in the ACC

Trick or treat, ACC fans? I’ve got a little of both for you today in this Halloween edition of the ACC blog. Here are this year’s spookiest awards as we wrap up the final weekend of October:

Scary movie: Virginia Tech’s loss to James Madison. It was a nightmare for the Hokies, who fell to an FCS school for the first time since losing to Richmond in 1985. To make matters worse, it happened in Lane Stadium, which has earned the reputation as one of the toughest places to play in college football. Apparently, not for the Dukes.

Nightmare on Franklin Street: Things couldn’t get much worse for North Carolina, which has had 16 players’ seasons derailed because of the NCAA investigation and now has suffered through a rash of injuries to key players. It all finally added up in a 33-10 loss to Miami that stopped the Heels’ four-game winnings streak and hurt their chances of contending for the Coastal Division title.

Boo (Boo): Take your pick on the worst injury of the season. Two season-ending injuries occurred this month, when Boston College defensive end Alex Albright – the Eagles’ top pass rusher – broke his fibula, UNC tight end Zack Pianalto’s season ended with a fractured right fibula at the ankle, and Maryland offensive lineman Pete DeSouza was in intensive care after breaking both of his legs in a motor scooter accident.

The Great Pumpkin: The toughest second half of the season belongs to Virginia Tech, which still has to face Georgia Tech on Thursday night, followed by back-to-back road trips to North Carolina and Miami before ending the season against rival Virginia.

Night of the living dead: Clemson earns the award for the team that got off to a slow start but is coming back to life. The Tigers are making a habit out of it, as they started 2-3 last year before winning the Atlantic Division title. They can take another step in that direction on Saturday against a Boston College team that hasn’t won since Sept. 11.

Cursed team: Wake Forest. The Deacs lost to two option teams in back-to-back weeks in the final minute of the game. Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt threw the game-winning touchdown pass with 15 seconds remaining for a 24-20 comeback win, and Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs threw another game-winner with 26 seconds remaining for a 28-27 win.

Graveyard: Duke, Virginia and Boston College are all winless in conference play. As far as their division races are concerned? Bury ‘em.