Week 1 ACC/SEC College Football Predictions

Lee W.Correspondent ISeptember 3, 2009

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 01:  Teammates Moe Brown #9 and Kenny McKinley #11 celebrate with Mike Davis #25 after his touchdown against the Tennessee Volunteers # of the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 1, 2008 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

It's almost time for college football in the south, and it is only hours away from kickoff.

It's only two days until the first game of the season is played, and there are plenty of games to look forward to in the south.

South Carolina and North Carolina State will kickoff the season along with Saturday southern fried action including Virgina Tech and Alabama at the Georgia Dome, and Georgia and Oklahoma State will duke it out in the west.

Other action on Saturday includes a showdown between the Baylor Bears and Wake Forest Demon Deacons along with a game featuring the California Golden Bears and Maryland Terps.

Stick around on Sunday and Monday. Ole Miss and Memphis take the field at the Liberty Bowl and Florida State and Miami rivalry returns to Labor Day. Here are the predictions...

Thursday Night Showdown: South Carolina Gamecocks at N.C. State Wolfpack

The Gamecocks and Wolfpack will open college football season in North Carolina's state capital. Plenty of questions surround both teams.

The Gamecocks will need a strong offensive line to have success running and passing the ball. Look for the Gamecock offense to be young but improved at least a little bit from last year.

Their other primary weaknesses could turn out to be the secondary and defensive line. Although the defensive line is talented, it is still hurting from a few injuries and arrests. 

Overall, the Gamecocks should be pretty good on defense with an average offense.

Lookout for emerging freshmen CB Stephon Gilmore and RB Jarvis Jiles. The Gamecocks will look a lot different from last season. N.C State's offensive line will be a question for the Wolfpack. Russel Wilson will lead a good group of backs and receivers. The Gamecocks should have the edge on defense.

Gamecocks 23, Wolfpack 16


Game of the Week: Virgina Tech Hokies vs. Alabama Crimson Tide at Georgia Dome

It's the matchup everyone has been waiting for and Hotlanta should be rockin' for this one.

Both of these top-10 teams will be psyched at kickoff. Both teams are coming off of BCS Bowl bids and College Gameday will be in town. This also will be the second ACC vs. SEC matchup of the season.

Don't even doubt Alabama's defense with Terrence Cody, Ronaldo McClain, and Javier Arenas, all three All-American candidates. Everybody is looking forward to what the Crimson Tide offense will do with Greg McElroy as the new starter for the team. The Tide also lost three starters on the offensive line.

Virgina Tech will have one of the ACC's most athletic quarterbacks in Tyrod Taylor and an experienced offensive line to protect him. The defense is young and talented.

Alabama 29, Virgina Tech 23

Upset of the Week: Georgia Bulldogs at Oklahoma State Cowboys

The Georgia Bulldogs take a trip to the Midwest in week one of 2009. The Cowboys have a great offense with Zac Robinson, who has passed for 6,233 yards in his career, along with RB Kendall Hunter and WR Dez Bryant. They also have an offensive line that returns three seniors.

But wait: the Cowboys haven't ranked higher than 74th in defense, even since 2002.

The Bulldogs don't have as much firepower on the offense, but Joe Cox seems to be a good leader and A.J Green is awesome at WR. The Bulldogs seem to have a good defense.

Georgia 28, Oklahoma State 23

Good Game Not Many will Notice: Baylor Bears at Wake Forest Demon Deacons

It will be hard to find many better quarterbacks stepping on the same field during any other game this Saturday than Riley Skinner or Robert Griffen.

Wake Forest will be looking for an ACC Atlantic Divison Title and Baylor is about ready to reach a bowl game. Look for offensive fireworks during the game.

Wake Forest 34, Baylor 32

Maryland Terps at California Golden Bears

Maryland will look decent, but not decent enough. Maryland's upset bid slips through its fingers behind Jahvid Best and the Bears' experienced offensive line. Maryland's defense is not enough.

Cal 22, Maryland 19

Sunday Afternoon Creampuff: Ole Miss Rebels at Memphis Tigers

The Rebels offense should come through and the defense holds up.

The first real test for the Rebels in week three vs. South Carolina. This is the only SEC/ACC football game on Sunday.

Ole Miss 43, Memphis 16

Rivalry Returns to Labor Day: Miami Hurricanes at Florida State Seminoles

This is always a good rivalry game. This game has a knack for being close.

It was especially good back when Florida State and Miami were ranked higher. Florida State wins a close one.

Florida State 19, Miami 13

Blowout: Charleston Southern Bucs at Florida Gators

The Gators are already 62 point favorites.

To even the playing field, a Charlotte Observer writer says they should award Charleston Southern 10 touchdowns and 10 extra points.

Florida 65, Charleston Southern 3


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