Week 12 in the ACC begins tonight as the Virginia Tech Hokies travel down to Miami to take on the Hurricanes. There are a number of other key match ups this weekend that have significant implications on who plays for the ACC Championship. Here are my predictions.
Virginia Tech 30, Miami 17
Both teams are going through the rebuilding stage, and both rely on young talent to win games. Quarterback play will be key for both teams. Sean Glennon will likely start for Virginia Tech, but don't rule out seeing Tyrod Taylor and Greg Boone taking snaps under center. The last mobile quarterback to play Miami was Christian Ponder, and he ran for 144 yards against them.
Robert Marve and Jacory Harris will both get playing time, with Marve likely starting. However, Harris has been the go-to-guy with the game on the line in recent weeks. The 'Canes will need to get Graig Cooper going on the ground, but the Hokies' defensive front is coming off one of its best performances of the season last week against Maryland.
Darren Evans will need to have another good day running the football, and the Hokies will have to limit the mistakes on special teams if they want to come out on top. I see the Hokies having one of their best performances through the air this season on Thursday night.
Clemson 38, Duke 17
Clemson is playing better football, but are coming off a tough loss to Florida State. C.J. Spiller and James Davis should have a good day against Duke's defensive line, and the game should never been in doubt for the Tigers.
Maryland 31, North Carolina 28
Maryland plays very good at home, and this is why I'm picking them to win the game. The Terrapins don't seem to let past weeks bother their next performance, and I look for this to be a fun game to watch. T.J. Yates may be back starting for the Tar Heels, but if not, Cam Sexton should continue to play well. Maryland will have to get Da'rel Scott going in the running game in order to come out on top.
Wake Forest 31, NC State 24
Defense should carry Wake Forest to a victory in this one, but they will have to hold onto the football. In Demon Deacon losses, Riley Skinner typically struggles. Wake is still the better overall team, but Russell Wilson has the ability to take over the game single-handedly for the Wolfpack, so the Demon Deacons should be on upset alert.
Florida State 31, Boston College 17
Florida State has been playing very good football of late, led by quarterback Christian Ponder. Boston College is coming off its impressive shutout win over Notre Dame, but Florida State will put up points in this one. Boston College won't be able to score enough points against the Seminoles' stingy defense to win.