Clemson Calamity and Duke Downfall?: ACC Predictions for Nov. 14

The ACC and SEC BlogSenior Analyst INovember 12, 2009

CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 26:  Kyle Parker #11 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates after his team scores a touchdown against the TCU Horned Frogs during their game at Memorial Stadium on September 26, 2009 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The ACC is jam packed with six conference games this Saturday.  Can Georgia Tech wrap up the Coastal Division against Duke?  Will Clemson suffer a let down against NC State on the road.  With QB Christian Ponder out, will FSU lose to Wake Forest for a fourth straight year?  I give my insight and predictions for this week's game below.

Last week I was 10-0 SU and 5-4-1 ATS going 5-0 SU and 1-3-1 ATS in the ACC.

Clemson Tigers at NC State Wolfpack
Saturday 12PM
Line: Clemson -8

Clemson can take one more step towards an Atlantic Division title with a win over NC State in Raleigh. The Tigers went back and forth against FSU last week, but their defense and Heisman candidate CJ Spiller proved too much for the Seminoles.

The win was big because Clemson had the pressure squarely on their shoulders and came out and performed—something the Tigers have failed to do for many years.

Now comes the proverbial let down against a much lesser opponent, NC State. The Wolfpack got their first ACC win of the season over Maryland last weekend. NC State does not play much defense as it is giving up 435 yards per game over their past three. But their offense has come alive, especially through the air, throwing for over 1,000 yards in their last three.

The Wolfpack are a better team at home than on the road, but Clemson has too much offensive firepower for State to keep up. I like the Tigers here to get them one game closer to the ACC Championship.

Clemson Wins
Clemson Covers -8

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Duke Blue Devils

Saturday 12PM
Line: GT -12.5

Georgia Tech travels to Durham to face Duke where a win by the Yellow Jackets will clinch the Coastal Division for Paul Johnson's team. The Jackets had to escape Wake Forest in overtime last Saturday despite out gaining the Deacons by nearly 170 total yards. The win was the seventh in a row for Ga Tech and they have now moved up to number seven in the BCS ratings.

Duke's three game winning streak was snapped by North Carolina last week and the loss sent the Blue Devils into a tie for second with three Miami and Virginia Tech at two losses.

David Cutcliffe's club has made strides on offense this year, but the real improvement has been on the defensive side of the ball where they are giving up just 252 yards per game, including 116 on the ground over their past three games.

This is a good matchup for Duke because their offensive strength of passing the ball matches up well with GT's defensive weakness. Wake Forest ran for under 50 yards last week, but nearly won the game against GT.

Georgia Tech will be able to run the ball on Duke better than others have, but not at the same clip the Jackets have recently. I like Ga Tech to win, but Duke will make it closer than people expect.

Georgia Tech Wins
Duke Covers +12.5

Florida State Seminoles at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Saturday 12PM
Line: Wake -5

Wake Forest will be going for their fourth straight win over Florida State on Saturday. Who would have ever have thought that could be a possibility?

But the Deacons must overcome two straight losses in the final moments to ranked teams in their last two games. Florida State's chances in this game took a hit when starting QB Christian Ponder was ruled out after separating his shoulder last week at Clemson.

Recently, FSU's offense has been lights out gaining over 450 yards per game over their past three mostly through the air throwing for 312. But that could change drastically with EJ Manuel now leading the 'Noles into Wake Forest. FSU has not shown much ability to run the ball consistently. A strong running game is a young QB's best friend.

Wake Forest has been about average in most everything this season suffering three very closes losses in the conference. I like QB Riley Skinner's decision making ability against a porous FSU defense.

The numbers tell me FSU will make this game very close, but those stats are based off a Ponder led offense. I will take Wake to win and cover the five points.

Wake Forest Wins
Wake Forest Covers -5

Virginia Tech Hokies at Maryland Terrapins
Saturday 1PM
Line: Va Tech -18

Virginia Tech hopes to keep their ACC Championship hopes alive by taking care of business in College Park against a 2-7 Maryland team. The Hokies are coming off a 16-3 road win at East Carolina last Thursday, a game where freshman running back Ryan Williams tore the Pirates up for 179 yards on the ground.

Maryland lost to NC State last Saturday to extend their losing streak to four games and the pressure is mounting on Ralph Friedgen to step down as head coach.

What is most surprising about Maryland's struggles this year is that they are on the offensive side of the ball which you would not expect on a Friedgen team. Their defense has played fairly well as of late, especially on the ground where they are holding opponents to 75 per game over their past three.

The Hokies are getting better in the pass game, but prefer to keep it on the ground with Williams an QB Tyrod Taylor improvising.

I think the matchup here bodes well for Maryland, making this one closer than expected. I like the Terps to hold their own for three quarters and cover the spread.

Virginia Tech Wins

Maryland Covers +18

Boston College Eagles at Virginia Cavaliers
Saturday 3:30 PM
Line: BC -4

After leading the Coastal Division just two weeks ago, the Cavaliers ship is sinking faster than....Al Groh's coaching career. Virginia stayed with Miami for a half last week and then got their doors blown off by the Hurricanes in the second half.

Boston College is coming off a bye week and needs the win to stay in the Atlantic Division race.

If you were to segment the Cavs season into three parts, the first would be bad, the second would be good, and the third would be really bad. The fourth part of the season contains three games where UVA will be underdogs including this one.

UVA cannot run the ball with much success, nor can they throw with much success as of late putting a lot of pressure on their tired defense to keep them in games.

Now we are never really sure which BC offense will show up, but regardless the Eagles' defense is good enough to hold UVA to two touchdowns. I like Boston College to take this game and cover it by at least a touchdown.

Boston College Wins
Boston College Covers -4


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