Bowl Eligibility Highlights Final Week of Regular Season in ACC

Justin CocchiolaCorrespondent INovember 26, 2008

The ACC probably has its biggest week of the year on Saturday.  Four games versus the SEC, Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and Florida, and three more teams trying to become bowl eligible, NC State, Clemson and Virginia, which would put the total at nine.  Here are my predictions.

NC State 35, Miami 24

NC State finishes their late season surge with a victory over the Hurricanes, led by star Freshman Russell Wilson.  The Wolfpack is coming off their dominating win over the Tar Heels and Miami is coming off an embarrassing loss against Georgia Tech.  NC State will play motivated and get to six wins.

North Carolina 28, Duke 16

North Carolina will not lose to another rival in consecutive weeks.  The Tar Heels were humiliated in front of their home crowd last week against NC State, and Thaddeus Lewis probably isn't back to 100 percent quite yet.  Duke won't have enough to hang with North Carolina.

Georgia Tech 28, Georgia 24

The Yellow Jackets have a stellar offense—the triple option, in case you forgot.  Georgia is allowing just over 100 rushing yards per game on defense, but Georgia Tech faced off against a stout rush defense against Miami and ran wild for 475 yards.  Georgia will be punched right in the mouth by the Jackets run game, as they pull the upset on the road.

Maryland 21, Boston College 20

This is going to be a hard-fought game, you would think.  Maryland has really nothing to play for, other than bowl positioning and keeping Boston College out of the ACC Championship.  If Chris Crane was the quarterback it would be a different story for the Eagles.  Now led by Dominique Davis, BC will be predictable on offense and won't be able to throw the ball when it counts.  Maryland wins a squeaker, sending Florida State to Tampa Bay.

Virginia Tech 13, Virginia 12

This will probably be one of the worst games between the two teams in recent history.  However, this game is very meaningful for both teams.  If Virginia Tech wins they go to the ACC Championship, and if Virginia wins they're bowl eligible.  This should be an emotional game, but not well-played.  Macho Harris and company should have a field day on the turnover-prone Virginia offense, and likely will need to score on defense for Virginia Tech to win.  Don't forget what Duke did to the Virginia Tech offense in the first half last week, five turnovers.

South Carolina 24, Clemson 13

South Carolina's defense is way too good for Clemson to put up a lot of numbers.  You would expect C.J. Spiller and James Davis to have big days, because this game means a bowl appearance for Clemson if they win, but the two backs disappear in big games, always have.  Probably won't be a great game to watch, but South Carolina should control this game from the start.

Wake Forest 12, Vanderbilt 10

This is a tough game to call because both teams struggled with Duke (Vanderbilt actually lost).  Defense should highlight the game, and set up both offenses.  Both teams started the year pretty hot, but have faded as the season went on.  Riley Skinner should make enough plays for Wake to win this one.

Florida 27, Florida State 24

This game has the potential to be the game of the week.  Florida State is coming off a dominating win against Maryland last week, and Florida is one of, if not the hottest, team in the country.  A big rivalry here, and it will be played in Tallahassee, but Florida State has lost two games at home this season.  However, the game doesn't mean much for Florida State and Florida has a national championship appearance on the line.  Florida gets it done late, and comes out on top.


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