Week Five ACC Predictions: Virginia Tech-Nebraska Tops ACC Slate

Justin CocchiolaCorrespondent ISeptember 25, 2008

The ACC looks to put together another solid week. Games against two rising teams in the Big 12 and the best in the Big East can propel the conference forward.

Here are my predictions for Week Five.


Clemson 35, Maryland 21

Clemson is hurting on the offensive line with a few injuries, but I don't think it will matter.  Cullen Harper, James Davis, C.J. Spiller, and Aaron Kelly will be way too much for Maryland to handle.

I've been wrong about Maryland in past weeks, and they've played to the level of their competition in every game so far this season.  This game could be close, but Clemson's talent should allow them to win by multiple scores.


Wake Forest 42, Navy 20

Wake Forest won a big game last week against rival Florida State in a defensive, field goal kicking affair.  Many thought Wake would prove that they were the ACC's best last week, and although they won, I'm not sure they convinced anyone that they're the best.

Expect Wake to make a couple of trips to the end zone this week.  This shouldn't be a tough game for the Demon Deacons, but expect it to be close early.


Miami 28, North Carolina 17

North Carolina lost more than just the game last week: Starting quarterback T.J. Yates is out with a fractured ankle and won't return for about six weeks.

Mike Paulus will likely be the starter, but Miami's young athletic defense should be too much for the young quarterback to handle. This game could get ugly if Carolina can't move the ball through the air.


Duke 28, Virginia 13

This is, believe it or not, a game I've been waiting for.  Not to say that I will watch, but this is the battle for who will be last in the ACC. Virginia is having a dreadful year so far, and Duke is a surprising 2-1.

I don't see either team winning many more games this season, but I expect Thaddeus Lewis to have a big day against the Cavalier defense.  If Virginia can't run the ball, they have zero chance at winning.  On top of it, if they lose this week they may not win another game for the rest of the year.


Boston College 52, Rhode Island 0

The Eagles should have no trouble whatsoever against a very weak FCS opponent.  Chris Crane should lead the Eagles to the end zone multiple times on Saturday.


Florida State 35, Colorado 17

Florida State had a dreadful game offensively against Wake Forest on Saturday night, but during the game, was anyone else wondering why Drew Weatherford didn't get a shot at quarterback?  There has to be some reason he's not seeing the field.

Weatherford is coming off the best season of his career, and yes, he missed some time due to injury, but he still threw for over 2,000 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions.  Ponder had three interceptions last week.

Regardless of who they have back there this week, they should be able to beat Colorado.

Don't be fooled by the West Virginia win.  Colorado is decent, but they're not great.  The Seminole defense will be too good for Cody Hawkins and the Buffaloes offense.  Hawkins has thrown a pick in every game this year, and I expect him to throw multiple picks against Florida State.


South Florida 35, NC State 13

If Russell Wilson was playing this week, I would give the Wolfpack a better look.  When Wilson is running the offense, NC State has a chance to win the game.  He was great last week against ECU, but another injury will be holding him out of the lineup this week.

Matt Grothe and the South Florida offense will score way too many points for NC State to have a chance in this one.  Harrison Beck and Daniel Evans make way too many mistakes at quarterback and will prevent their team from winning the game.


Virginia Tech 27, Nebraska 24

This is the game of the week for me (of course it is—I go to Virginia Tech).  The Hokies will travel to Lincoln, Nebraska to take on the Cornhuskers, who haven't played a good team all season.

This will be a tough first test for Bo Pelini and his Cornhusker team.  However, Pelini had plenty of success against Virginia Tech last season when he was the defensive coordinator at LSU.

If Virginia Tech gives the ball to Darren Evans in this game, the Hokies will have their best offensive game of the year.  Evans is the real deal and needs to be the starter at running back.  His production will allow the passing game to open up for Tyrod Taylor.

The Hokies defense will be tough for Joe Ganz to handle, especially if Victor "Macho" Harris takes away Ganz's favorite target, Nate Swift.  This should be a hard-fought game and fun to watch.  The Hokies will do just enough to come out on top again.