10 of the 12 teams in the ACC are active this week, including a Thursday night matchup between Virginia Tech and Miami in Coral Gables. Both Florida State and North Carolina can rest easy this week as they are both on a bye and coming off victories.
My picks last week didn’t turn out as well as I’d expected. I ended up with a 3-2 record, it could have been 4-1 but North Carolina State decided to punt to North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard and it cost them the game. So my record for the year now is 57-15 (.792 winning percentage). I want to get that number back over the .800 mark and I aim to do it this week.
Let’s get to the picks!
Virginia Tech vs. Miami
Both of these teams are coming off much needed bye weeks following poor Octobers and both would like to get off to a good start in November. The winner of this game will probably go on to win the Coastal Division. The real X-factor in this game is the Hokies ability to run the football. When the running game is productive they win and when it isn’t they lose. I’m picking Tech in this one because Miami’s run defense is ranked 119th in the nation, giving up almost 250 yards a game. Pick: VT over Miami
Maryland will have a freshman linebacker playing quarterback in this game. The Terrapins have had the worst luck when it comes to keeping their quarterbacks on the field. While Georgia Tech hasn’t been very good this season, I would pick any team to beat one that has a linebacker throwing the football. Pick: GT over Maryland
Virginia vs. NC State
The Wolfpack’s loss to UNC last week probably cost them their only chance at winning the Atlantic Division. The fact that the loss was to an in-state rival can only make the pain for State worse. The good news is that they should be able to get back on track this week against a poor opponent in Virginia. The Cavaliers started out the season 2-0 but have lost six straight games since. If UVa wants to return to a bowl this year then they must win out. That won’t happen and the Wolfpack will stomp on the Wahoo’s bowl hopes this weekend. Pick: NC State over UVa
This game will probably end up ugly, not in terms of score, but in terms of play on the field. Neither BC or Wake are terribly good. However, Wake is a little bit better on both sides of the ball and they have the home field. A team has to win and so I’ll take the Demon Deacons. Pick: Wake over BC
The Blue Devils were put in their place last week when Florida State simply trounced them. Bad news for Duke fans, Clemson is almost as good as the Seminoles. Duke will score more than seven points this week but it won’t be enough to upset the Tigers. This game won’t even be close. Pick: Clemson over Duke