November 3, 2012; College Park, MD, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Robert Godhigh (25) gains yardage past Maryland Terrapins linebacker Darin Drakeford (52) and linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield (9) at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE
This football season has flown by, hasn’t it? It’s already week twelve! I must say, the ACC has been insane this season, and with five teams still playing for a Division title, this could be the most insane week of all. Time to jump right into the picks:
North Carolina vs Virginia – November 15
Last week, North Carolina racked up 50 points and 500 yards of offense…and still lost. Unfortunately for the Tar Heels, their defense gave up a ridiculous 68 points and 600 yards of offense. North Carolina’s typically solid defense has been cracking lately, as they’ve given 136 points in the last three weeks combined. This doesn’t bode well for them against the rejuvenated Virginia Cavaliers, who blew out NCSU two weeks ago before upsetting Coastal Division leader-Miami last weekend. Playing for their postseason lives, it is safe to say Virginia will come at UNC with everything they have. However, a bounce back from the Tar Heels could easily happen with, at the very least, a somewhat decent performance by the defense.
Prediction: UNC 38 – Virginia 34
Florida State vs Maryland
Florida State has beaten the crap out of everyone except for North Carolina State this season. Maryland is starting a linebacker at quarterback. This one is going to be ugly.
Prediction: Florida State 49 – Maryland 13
Virginia Tech vs Boston College
As bad as Boston College has been this season, they have a chance to take away any chance of Virginia Tech becoming bowl eligible. Can this be enough to motivate the Eagles? For a Virginia Tech team that has lost six of their last eight games, it is certainly possible, but I just don’t see BC coming up with enough offense to pull off a victory in this game.
Prediction: Virginia Tech 24 – Boston College 10
University of South Florida vs Miami
Settle down, Duke and Georgia Tech fans. This game will mean nothing in the outlook of things in the ACC. USF will be without star quarterback BJ Daniels and Miami has the chance to become bowl eligible. USF has played tough and came close in victory in just about every single game this season, despite their 3-6 record, but I don’t like their chances without their leader and key player Daniels. Miami is becoming bowl eligible this week.
Prediction: USF 14 – Miami 30
Wake Forest vs Notre Dame
Notre Dame has been one of the most inconsistent undefeated teams I’ve ever seen. They looked flat against a poor Boston College team last week, barely pulled out a victory against a below-average Pittsburgh team the week before that, but blew out #8 Oklahoma the week before that, 30-13. It’s very difficult to get a read on this team, but they’ve played consistently strong defense throughout the year and that gives them an advantage over the offensively-challenged Wake Forest. That being said, Wake Forest has had enough bright moments this season to suggest that they could pose a problem for the Fighting Irish. It all just depends on which Notre Dame team shows up on Saturday.
Prediction: Notre Dame 17 – Wake Forest 10
North Carolina State vs Clemson
Mike Glennon and Tajh Boyd are two of my favorite quarterbacks in the ACC. Glennon’s big arm and Boyd’s rare blend of speed, arm strength, and accuracy make for two incredibly fun players to watch in action. The Wolfpack actually pulled off an upset in their game against the other ACC power, Florida State, and has been right on the cusp in victory all but one of their four losses.
That being said, I doubt NCSU can keep up with Clemson on the road. The Tigers have been beating the living crap out of everyone this season except for Florida State, and they’ve looked like one of the better teams in college football over the last few weeks. This game could be close in the beginning, but I don’t see NCSU hanging around.
Prediction: NCSU 28 – Clemson 49
Duke vs Georgia Tech
This is the ACC’s biggest game this weekend, with the loser being eliminated from contention for the ACC Coastal Division Championship. Duke is coming off two straight blowout losses to ACC powerhouses Clemson and Florida State, and Georgia Tech is coming off two offensive showcase victories over North Carolina and Maryland. These are two teams heading in completely opposite directions, but the last few weeks won’t matter on Saturday. Duke will be fresh coming off of a bye week, and Georgia Tech knows they’re in for a battle. This is going to be a battle of the very good passing attack of Duke (38th in the nation) going against the great rushing attack of Georgia Tech (4th in the nation). Both defenses are giving up over 30ppg. This will be an offensive battle.
Prediction: Duke 38 – Georgia Tech 42 (Yes, I chose against my own Blue Devils. Don’t kill me!)