ACC Football: A Look at Today's Key Games
This weekend’s slate of ACC games should be great. Though the conference only has two ranked teams, and will be overshadowed by the Big Ten and SEC once again, there is no shortage of nice matchups.
Clemson heads up to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels, Boston College and North Carolina State will battle for their respective identities, and Navy takes on Wake Forest for the 1,000th time in just the past few years.
All those games lead up to what should be a dandy. No. 23 Florida State is heading to Miami to take on the No. 13 Hurricanes in what will likely decide ACC supremacy. I feel like I have said that before…
If you have not already, you can check out the Big East preview HERE.
Clemson at North Carolina (3:30 ET)
The Line: North Carolina -2.5
Two teams that were thought to be conference-title contenders are now sitting in the middle of the pack. There’s only one way either of the two will break out, and it starts with a win today.
This matchup pits two of the league’s best quarterbacks together, Clemson’s Kyle Parker and the Tar Heels’ T.J. Yates. It would not be out of the question to see the better performer of the two come out the victor.
Despite the success of each team’s offensive stars, the two schools may very well be known for their defenses. The Tar Heels have been hit hard with injuries, yet have still played solid football.
The Tigers secondary may be one of the best in the conference, maybe the nation, and is led by safety DeAndre McDaniel.
In the end though, I have to give the edge to the Tigers. North Carolina has not yet fully overcome the penalty of the ineligibility of half its starters.
The Score: Clemson 20, North Carolina 17
Navy at Wake Forest (6:30 ET)
The Line: Navy -5.5
Neither team has a great offense. The Midshipmen have a stellar run game, but will face passing troubles if pressured late in the game. The Demon Deacons have showed glimpses of success in the passing game, but that was before it faced quarterback issues.
Navy has played tough football, and nearly beat an Atlantic Coast Conference team in Maryland to start the season.
Wake Forest saw success early with wins over Presbyterian and Duke, but was also undressed by Stanford and Florida State.
While the two teams have a nice little history as of late—four games the past three years—I think this game sets the tone for future bouts. I think the Midshipmen will stymie the Demon Deacons and kill all momentum. Navy is coached better and can play better on the road than most teams can at home.
Be prepared to see some sort of rushing record crumble tonight.
The Score: Navy 31, Wake Forest 20
No. 23 Florida State at No. 13 Miami (FL) (8:00 ET)
The Line: Miami (FL) -6.5
This game will arguably be one of today’s top five games. It is not often that the ACC boasts two ranked teams in a conference game…lately.
The Seminoles’ only mistake was a 47-17 bruising handed out by the Sooners. Miami similarly only made a single gaff this year, a 36-24 loss against the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus.
If either team wants to break away from the ACC-mold of embarrassment, they will need a convincing win tonight during prime time.
Both teams sport impressive quarterbacks. The lone difference is that Christian Ponder of Florida State has looked more consistent than Jacory Harris of the ‘Canes, throwing five fewer interceptions than Miami’s starting quarterback.
If Ponder can get back to the Heisman-type ways he possessed late last season and early this year, FSU will have no problem shaking Miami’s speed.
The Score: Florida State 27, Miami 24
Straight up: 3-1
Vs. spread: 1-3
Straight up: 14-2
Vs. spread: 6-10
(I failed to predict scores before Week 1, but if you would like to count my predictions on Week 1 from an outside source, you can add the following: Straight up 2-1, Vs. spread 0-3.)
(Odds courtesy of SportsBook.com by way of our friends at NBCSports.com.)
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