The ACC had a better showing last week with some big non-conference wins. This week may turn out to be the most interesting so far for the conference. Here are the upcoming games and my predictions.
No. 15 East Carolina 35, NC State 10
East Carolina had a scare last week but came out on top in the end. That's the second game out of three on the year they have come from behind in the fourth quarter to win. Patrick Pinkney and company will be way too much for NC State to handle, as ECU continues their destruction tour of the ACC.
Mississippi State 13, Georgia Tech 10
Although Mississippi State is 1-2 on this young season, they're still a good football team. They lost their opener to Louisiana Tech, and their only win is against Southeastern Louisiana. They lost a heartbreaker last week to Auburn by a whopping score of 3-2.
I expect the defenses to play well in this one, and the team that makes fewer mistakes on offense will win.
No. 23 Clemson 45, South Carolina State 0
Clemson somehow impressed voters enough to crack the top 25 again after beating The Citadel and NC State. Clemson really needs Cullen Harper to start playing like he knows how in this one. Not to say if he struggles they will lose, but they need a good showing from a confidence standpoint for the rest of the year.
If Clemson loses again, Willy Korn's name will be chanted loudly in Death Valley.
UCF 28, Boston College 17
I expect this game to be won by the quarterbacks. Michael Greco of UCF is a dual-threat quarterback who will give the Boston College defense some trouble.
Chris Crane is a senior and he's still learning, which is a bad thing for a football team. He completed just over half of his passes against Georgia Tech, throwing only one touchdown and two interceptions. Greco and the UCF offense will be too much for Boston College.
Maryland 42, Eastern Michigan 17
Maryland has had an interesting season so far. They beat Delaware by a touchdown, lost to Middle Tennessee State the next week, and then were beating California pretty convincingly until the fourth quarter rolled around. I'm expecting Da'Rel Scott to have a huge day on the ground as the Terrapins roll.
Virginia Tech 24, North Carolina 23
This one should be very interesting to say the least. You have a rolling UNC offense, led by T.J. Yates, and a young struggling offense in the Hokies. I expect the defense and special teams to come through for Virginia Tech once again in this one.
Greg Little has struggled running the ball so far this year for UNC. The Hokies gave up over 200 yards of rushing offense to Georgia Tech last week, but all Georgia Tech does is run.
If the Hokies can stop the run, they can force Yates to put the ball in the air. Hakeem Nicks and Brandon Tate should be well covered by Stephan Virgil and Victor Harris, so the pass won't come easy to UNC.
The question for the Hokies is, can they throw the football? If they have trouble, they will probably lose.
Miami 31, Texas A&M 20
I expect the Hurricanes to win this one fairly easily. Miami has shown signs of being a good football team. They're very young but extremely quick and athletic. They played Florida closer than the score indicated, and if Robert Marve had been the quarterback for the entire game, the game would have been much closer.
If Miami sticks with Marve and can get good production out of Javarris James or Derron Thomas, they will be a tough team to beat for the rest of the season.
No. 18 Wake Forest 35, No. 24 Florida State 32
This is the game of the week for ACC fans. This should be a hard-fought battle with a lot of offense.
The reason I'm giving Wake Forest the edge in this one is because they've actually played a decent football team so far this season. They almost lost, but Riley Skinner led the team downfield into field goal position with under a minute left.
Skinner should have a huge day, and look for Christian Ponder to have a lot of success through the air as well. Whoever wins this game will make just enough plays on the defensive side of the ball to win. This game may come down to who has the ball last.
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