Not surprisingly, I have managed to go 4-4 again. With 7 games on the ACC schedule this week, there will be no .500 this week. Let's take a look at the slate.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Bowling Green (+19) at (7) Boston College
No team has ever benefited more from a ten point win over a 1-AA than BC did this week. They now continue their non-conference slate against a Bowling Green team that is 3-1. The Falcons have a win over Minnesota and loss to Michigan State already on their non-conference slate.
BC has struggled against inferior competition the last couple weeks after playing so well in the first three weeks. Matt Ryan has cooled down a little bit, and the team is making more mistakes than it probably should be.
Bowling Green should not be a threat in Chestnut Hill, but this spread is based on ranking and not based on the Eagles' play in the last two weeks.
Prediction: Boston College 24, Bowling Green 10
Georgia Tech (-2) at Maryland
This game became very interesting after both teams scored much needed victories last weekend. The Jackets saved themselves from an 0-3 conference start, while Maryland got over their horrible loss at Wake Forest with an upset of Rutgers.
The Terps return home with a bit of a QB controversy on their hands. Chris Turner entered for an injured Jordan Steffy against the Knights and did a lot of good things. Steffy wasn't an overly popular choice with Terps fans after the Wake Forest game, and it isn't a stretch to say Maryland might be better off with Turner than Steffy.
Georgia Tech stopped the bleeding with an important home victory against Clemson, but will now need to prove themselves on the road. The Tech defense held James Davis and CJ Spiller last week to 62 yards rushing, and a similar performance will be needed this week to stop Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball, who lit up Rutgers last week.
The Tech defense will rise to the challenge and make Turner beat them with his arm. Turner, while a good passer, will struggle to win the game without a sound running game, and Tech will prevail.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 20, Maryland 14
Miami (-8) at North Carolina
Miami regressed a bit last week against Duke, winning somewhat uncomfortably against Duke. North Carolina fought nicely against Virginia Tech but were unable to claim victory.
Kyle Wright only threw 4 incompletions against Duke, but 2 of the 4 were intercepted. The Canes also dominated the run game, garnering 185 yards to Duke's 61. In Blacksburg, UNC actually outgained the Hokies, but were done in on a crucial TJ Yates interception, which allowed VTech to take a 14 point lead going into the fourth.
The two results from last weekend probably work in Miami's favor, as they won't take the Heels too lightly, and they will certainly want to improve on their performance against Duke.
Prediction: Miami 27-North Carolina 17
This game came down the wire in Winston-Salem last year, as Wake escaped with a one-point win. Over the past few years, Wake has actually won more comfortably in Durham than they have at home against the Devils.
This is a different Duke team, however. Despite their 1-4 record, this team has been very competitive over the last three weeks, and for the first time in recent memory, have guys like Thaddeus Lewis who can be a gamechanger.
It will be interesting to see how Wake plays in their first action after such an emotional victory. The week off probably settled the team down, as well as gave Riley Skinner an opportunity to further rest and heal his shoulder.
Wake loves to run the ball, and Duke's run defense got beat up last week. Wake will pound it to the tune of around 300 rushing yards this week and eat up the clock, winning a game that won't be as close as the final score would indicate.
Prediction: Wake Forest 24-Duke 14
North Carolina State (+17) at Florida State
The Wolfpack certainly have been poor this year under Tom O'Brien. There isn't much to say that is positive on this team other than the fact that Andre Brown is averaging over five yards per carry.
Florida State had a sloppy, but good win over Alabama last week. Xavier Lee gets the start for the Noles this week, after entering for Drew Weatherford last week and letting De'Cody Fagg do his thing.
That said, this spread seems awfully large, even with the Wolfpack's poor play. Florida State's offense is still in some turmoil and I am still not convinced the Lee is the answer. NC State will keep this one close, but the Noles will win at home.
Prediction: Florida State 17-North Carolina State 7
Virginia (-10) at Middle Tennessee State
Virginia made the most of its encounter against Pitt last week, putting up 44 in a blowout victory. The Blue Raiders have hardly been stingy this season, allowing about 30 points per game. This is a recipe for a high-scoring Virginia output.
While the Blue Raiders will be able to run effectively, Virginia is balanced enough to keep the defense guessing, as Cedric Peerman and Jameel Sewell can both move the ball on the ground, and Sewell has been an effective passer this season.
Virginia will attack early and win a high-paced, high-scoring game, and will win comfortably, even with this being a road game.
Prediction: Virginia 41-Middle Tennessee State 27
Clemson is the small favorite here based on the home field advantage, as this is a pick'em game. Clemson is coming off a loss against Georgia Tech in which they were unable to put up points, while Virginia Tech is winning games in a very sloppy manner.
This will be Tyrod Taylor's biggest test as starter, after putting up terrible numbers last week against the Heels. Brenden Ore will have to lead the Hokies offensively against a normally stout Clemson rush defense that was carved up for almost 200 yards by Georgia Tech last week.
After struggling against the Jackets, Clemson faces another one of the ACC's best defense. With the rather large exception of the LSU game, VTech has allowed less than seven points per game this season. While Clemson will manage to put up more than that number, this will be a defensive low-scoring game where special teams and turnovers will make the difference. While the turnovers are a wash, the special teams are not. Clemson will win the statistical battle, but lose a close game.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 13-Clemson 10
Last Week: 4-4