The ACC has 11 of 12 teams playing this weekend (Boston College has a bye), including what appears to be the matchup up of the year for the conference in Clemson vs. Florida State.
Last week I did well with my picks, finishing Saturday with a 9-1 record. Virginia Tech’s debacle against Pittsburgh kept me from a perfect week. My record for the season to date is 27-4 (.871 winning percentage).
Let’s get to the picks!
Bowling Green vs. Virginia Tech
The Hokies are coming off of a major embarrassment against the Pitt Panthers. Their offense has been out of sync for most of the year and they simply can’t run the ball. I think this is the week that Virginia Tech is finally able to run the ball, and they will run it to win. Pick: Virginia Tech over Bowling Green
Maryland vs. West Virginia
The Terrapins are coming off an emotional loss against UConn and it won’t get any easier on Saturday when they take on the 8th ranked Mountaineers. West Virginia is the better team and they are better coached, but the Mountaineers tend to lay an egg or two each season (see Syracuse in 2010 and 2011). However, West Virginia won’t overlook Maryland this time around. Pick: WVU over Maryland
Virginia vs. TCU
The Cavaliers suffered their first loss of the season last Saturday to Georgia Tech in a 56-20 blowout. UVa won’t be dealing with a triple-option offense when they play the 17th ranked Horned Frogs but they will be playing a better overall team. TCU has the home field advantage in this one and that will be the difference. Pick: TCU over UVa
Army vs. Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons were shut out by Florida State last week as part of a 52 point beat down by the Seminoles. Wake Forest is a solid team but FSU was able to absolutely dominate them. Army isn’t Florida State and Wake will get back on track. Pick: Wake Forest over Army
Miami vs. Georgia Tech
Both of these teams have hopes of competing for the ACC’s Coastal Division. The team that loses this game will probably be knocked right out of contention. The Hurricanes have been inconsistent so far this season, particularly on defense. Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense is humming and Miami’s only chance at winning this game is if the defense steps up. The Hurricanes have the talent; I just don’t think they are ready to upset the Yellow Jackets on the road. Pick: GT over Miami
East Carolina vs. North Carolina
The Tar Heels are currently a 1-2 team, but they are better than their record indicates. A UNC comeback came up short against Louisville last week, but the offense finally seemed to figure it out in the second half of that one. The offense will continue to get better this week against ECU, and UNC should be able to win big on Saturday. Pick: UNC over ECU
Memphis vs. Duke
The Blue Devils are currently 2-1 with wins over FIU and North Carolina Central. Duke is hoping that this is finally the year that they can win six games and get to a bowl. They have to win this game against a winless opponent if they are to keep this dream alive and I believe they will. Pick: Duke over Memphis
Citadel vs. North Carolina State
The Wolf Pack has won their last two games but there are still lots of questions surrounding this team. Quarterback Mike Glennon hasn’t been as good as most believed he would be so far this season. Glennon’s play is the difference between State winning and losing and he must get better. However, the Citadel shouldn’t prove themselves as much of a threat to NC State. Pick: NC State over Citadel
Clemson vs. Florida State
This is the ACC game of the week and the game of the week for the country at large. ESPN College Gameday will be down in Tallahassee to cover this top 10 matchup. Florida State has been infallible during the first three weeks of the season. The offense is averaging almost 60 points per game and the defense has given up a total of three points in their first three games combined.
Clemson’s offense is now at full strength with star receiver Sammy Watkins returning from suspension last week. Clemson’s only chance in this game is if they can outscore the Seminoles. However, FSU’s defense might be a problem for Tajh Boyd & Co. on Saturday. I just don’t think that the Tigers can pull off the upset. Pick: FSU over Clemson