College Football Predictions: FSU-NC State To Battle On Thursday Night In Week 9
With Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech off this weekend, there will be a couple of games in the ACC that could shape the Atlantic Division race.
North Carolina was all but eliminated from Coastal contention last weekend with their loss at Miami. The Tar Heels look to rebound against William and Mary from the FBS.
Duke will step outside of conference play and will face Navy. The Midshipmen are coming off a dominating victory over Notre Dame, which was their third win in four years over the Irish. The Blue Devils will have a tough time defending against Navy's high powered option offense.
Wake Forest and Maryland will battle in what turns out to be a big game. Maryland is right in the mix of the Atlantic Division at 2-1.
Boston College has had a disappointing season while Clemson has looked like they have turned things around. Kyle Parker and Clemson look to contribute to the woes of Boston College
The big game this week will be played on Thursday night. Florida State will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina to face Russell Wilson and North Carolina State. Christian Ponder and the Seminoles will try to take a commanding lead in the Atlantic while the Wolfpack will try to win one of the biggest games they've had in a while.
William and Mary at North Carolina
Not much to talk about here. The Tribe from William and Mary are a pretty good team in FBS. But with the Tar Heels coming off a loss and playing at home with a much more talented team, I don't see an upset coming. Look for a big day from both sides for the Tar Heels. UNC wins big.
North Carolina 45
William and Mary 14
Duke at Navy
Duke has had trouble against Georgia Tech's option offense which is basically the same system Navy runs. If you watch Navy and Georgia Tech, it seems like Navy runs it quicker and more efficiently while Tech just has better athletes.
Duke just can't buy a win and that's not going to change anytime soon. This would be a huge win for Cutcliffe and Duke but they are staring 1-11 right in the face. Navy wins this one.
Wake Forest at Maryland
The Terps are right in the thick of the Atlantic Division race. Did anyone think after last year's 2-10 season that this was possible? Maryland is 5-2 and looking to get bowl eligible with a win over Wake.
Wake has been dreadful this season with issues all over the place. They've lost five in a row and there are no gimmes left on their schedule. They give up a ton of points and don't score that many. Doesn't sound like a recipe for success. Maryland plays pretty solid defense, outside of the Clemson game, and I just don't see them slipping up at home. However, I think Wake will compete in this one. Maryland wins a close game.
Wake Forest 23
Miami at Virginia
Upset special? Probably not but Mike London has changed the entire environment at Virginia and I don't think it will be very long before he is competing with the Miami's and the Virginia Tech's.
Jacory Harris finally played well last week, throwing for over 200 yards and 3 TD's. The running game is starting to roll with Damien Berry, Lamar Miller and Mike James. This could be a key down the stretch for Miami to take some pressure off of Harris. I think Virginia keeps it close for a while but Harris and the Canes explode late in the second half. Miami wins.
Clemson at Boston College
BC has lost five games in a row. Their postseason hopes are starting to look bleak, especially with Clemson coming to town. The Tigers have a two game winning streak over the Eagles, with BC's last win coming in the Matt Ryan era.
Clemson fans hope that Dabo Swinney finally realized that Ellington and Harper need to run the ball and use the Kyle Parker and the passing game as a compliment to the running game. Ellington had a huge game against Georgia Tech on Saturday and is the key for this Clemson team going forward.
Georgia Tech couldn't score on Clemson's defense and I don't expect the Eagles to have much success either. Boston College hasn't been good on either side of the ball outside of running back Montel Harris. But he hasn't had an help the quarterback situation is a joke. I think the Eagles can keep it close for a little bit but Clemson is just too talented on offense and defense. Clemson wins easily.
Boston College 17
GAME OF THE WEEK: Florida State at NC State
Florida State has an opportunity to all but seal the Atlantic Division on Thursday night against NC State. A win for the Noles would give NC State two losses and Clemson already has two losses. Maryland sits at 2-1 but who really thinks they have a chance to win this division?
The Wolfpack's season was going just dandy until East Carolina beat them a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't a conference game but it took some of the luster off their hot start. But NC State is right in the mix and a win would put them on top. Russell Wilson is having a great year but has thrown nine interceptions in the last four games. Interceptions are going to happen when you're slinging it around 40-50 times a game but he can't do that against a rejuvenated FSU defense.
The question will be if NC State can stop Florida State's offense. The Noles have found a solid running game that utilizes three backs and you know what you're going to get from Christian Ponder. It's going to be rocking in Raleigh on Thursday night but is there anyone in this conference besides Virginia Tech that can compete with Florida State? I'm not so sure. Florida State wins in a high scoring game.
Florida State 35
NC State 31