There are a lot of big games on tap in the ACC this weekend, and wins are more important than ever as we get closer to conference championship time.
Here are my predictions for week 11:
Virginia Tech 27, Maryland 21
Maryland is atop the Atlantic Division in the ACC, and Virginia Tech is within striking distance of being on top in the Coastal Division.
Maryland has been extremely inconsistent all season, mainly on the road, where they have lost to Middle Tennesse State and Virginia. The only meaningful team they have beaten on the road is Clemson—a team in absolute disarray.
Chris Turner has had a very good season so far, and will have to get the ball to Darrius Heyward-Bey to have success through the air. If Da'rel Scott can't go for the Terrapins, they will have trouble winning this one in Lane Stadium.
Still no official word on who will start at quarterback for the Hokies, but expect Glennon to get the nod. The Hokies will make enough plays through the air in this one, and their defense will come up big, as they come out on top in a close one on Thursday night.
North Carolina 35, Georgia Tech 31
This should be a good one, but I expect Cam Sexton and Shaun "I love his name" Draughn to have a big game against Georgia Tech's defense. If the Tar Heels have success running the ball against the best defensive front in the ACC, the passing game will have success, and North Carolina will win.
Clemson 24, Florida State 20
Dabo Swinney got his football team on the right page last week, after ending their three-game losing streak with a win over Boston College. I expect this game to be a tough defensive battle, but it's possible "Thunder and Lightning" could actually show up in a big game for the Tigers this week. If they do, Clemson will squeak by with a close win.
Virginia 28, Wake Forest 27
This should be a good one, with both teams in a must-win situation. Virginia had won four in a row before losing to Miami in overtime last week, while Wake Forest had lost three out of its last four before beating Duke in overtime—the same Duke team that pounded Virginia. With that being said, this is not the same Virginia team. I expect this to be close, and it could go either way, but Virginia should come out on top.
Duke 35, NC State 21
Duke is a good football team, and NC State is the only team in the ACC with a losing record. Russell Wilson is a good quarterback, but he's injury-prone. He will have to have an error-free game if the Wolfpack want to come out on top. I don't see it happening—Duke should win by two scores.
Notre Dame 31, Boston College 23
Notre Dame has been playing good football, and if Jimmy Clausen had completed a relatively easy pass in overtime, they would have beaten Pittsburgh last week. Both teams are coming off losses, but Notre Dame is a better football team and should win a close one against the Eagles.