The start of Thursday night football in the ACC is upon us as Clemson plays Wake Forest tonight in prime time. It should be an exciting game as the Demon Deacons have become a permanent thorn in the side of the ACC Atlantic Division elite (Clemson and Florida State).
There are five games this weekend involving ACC teams. Miami, Virginia & Virginia Tech are all on their bye week and it couldn’t come at a better time. All three of them have had dreadful Octobers and a bye week might be what all three needed to get back in the groove.
Speaking of getting back in the groove, last week was the first time that my winning percentage fell below .800. I remedied that with my first perfect week of the season, going 6-0 in my picks. That brings my record for the season to a respectable 54-13 (.805 winning percentage).
Let’s keep that momentum rolling and let’s get to the picks!
Clemson vs. Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons always seem to play the Tigers well; however, Clemson is a much better team as a whole. Some people in the media are pointing to the Virginia Tech game as an example of Clemson’s defensive improvement. I, however, am not one of them. If anything I think it was an example of the Hokies offensive incompetence. That being said, I like Clemson on the road and I don’t think that Wake Forest can stop Tajh Boyd & Co. Pick: Clemson over WF
Last week the Tar Heels lost the Victory Bell to Duke for the first time since 2003, and once against it was because of UNC’s inconsistency. Duke dominated UNC for the first three quarters, but then the Heels stormed back in the fourth only to be beaten by a last minute touchdown. On the other hand, State has been playing pretty well in recent weeks. They beat a solid Maryland team last week by a score of 20-18. I like the Wolf Pack because they have more experience at the skill positions. Pick: NC State over UNC
Maryland vs. Boston College
This is the one game that you can probably skip on the ACC schedule this week. Maryland is the better team, but they will be starting a fourth-string quarterback this week. The real battle in this game will be Boston College’s offense vs. Maryland’s defense. If the Eagles can score on the Terps (and I think they can) then I think that Maryland won’t be able to dig themselves out of that hole. Pick: BC over Maryland
BYU vs. Georgia Tech
It is hard to tell what is wrong with Georgia Tech this year. Defensive coordinator Al Groh was the first scapegoat for the program as he was fired a couple of weeks ago. However, the Yellow Jackets appeared to turn it around last week with a 20 point win over Boston College. Georgia Tech has the home field and BYU is winless on the road, so I will pick the Jackets. Pick: GT over BYU
Duke vs. Florida State
Congratulations to Duke on becoming bowl eligible for the first time since 1994 last week. That party won’t last long, as the Blue Devils have to travel to Tallahassee to take on the Seminoles. I picked Duke to pull the upset over UNC last week but I just can’t do it this week. Florida State is better at every position except possibly at quarterback. Add that to the fact that Florida State has the home field and I will pick the Seminoles every time. Pick: FSU over Duke