With the Thursday night game this week, we’re mashing up the Midweek links and Pick’Em…ACCBlogger.com picks week four in the ACC…
Last week (Overall)
Brandon Rink – 8-2 (25-5)
Griffin Wong – 7-3 (23-7)
J.J. Greenstein – 7-3 (24-6)
- 09/22/10 NC State Wolfpack @ Cincinnati Bearcats / ESPN / 8:00 p.m. ET
The Lead: NC State returns the favor of a Bearcats/Wolfpack Thursday night game, but trying to complete the home-and-home series sweep.
Must-See Matchup: NC State QB Mike Glennon vs. second road test
Glennon was solid against Wake Forest in a 34-27 loss (24-41, 315 yards, 3 TDs-1 INT), but gets his first taste of a Thursday night road game at Cincinnati.
Quotable Coach (Tom O’Brien): On defensive injuries including LB Terrell Manning this week – “It’s been a tough season to play defense. We lost a corner to start the year, we lost our captain and best defensive lineman, we lost the next-best defensive lineman, we lost the back-up middle linebacker, lost a corner, lost a linebacker.”
Bringing the Noise: Backing the Pack previews Cincinnati with a Q&A. ESPN ACC Blog previews via video. State Fans gives the bottom-line on this game. Tom O’Brien gets his Wolfpack the national spotlight Thursday in a homecoming for him.
Watch 4: Home Thursday effect plus Cincinnati offense to take advantage of injuries
The Bearcats aren’t a great team, as they lost their only BCS game so far, 45-23 at Tennessee, but then again, so has NC State on the road, 34-27 at Wake. Just don’t think we’ve seen enough from the Wolfpack to have confidence in pulling this one off, and winning on the road on a Thursday is tough.
The Picks: Brandon Rink – Cincinnati 28-21; Griffin Wong – Cincinnati 38-21; J.J. Greenstein – NC State 35-31.
- 09/24/10 North Carolina Tar Heels @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets / ESPN / 12:00 p.m. ET
The Lead: The nation’s top offense at Georgia Tech hosts a 3-0 UNC team with the ACC’s top-rated passer Bryn Renner.
Must-See Matchup: GT top-ranked offense vs. UNC 36th-ranked defense
While you’ve been reading this, the Yellow Jackets ran another 100 yards on Kansas, and UNC hasn’t faced an offense near as efficient as Georgia Tech so far.
Quotable Coach (Everett Withers): Defending Georgia Tech – “To me, with this offense you have got to take things away from the inside out. You’ve got to take the dive away; they’ve always had that guy in that B-back position that’s always been their number one guy. And then you’ve got to take away the quarterback and then on the perimeter you’ve got to leverage the ball and take the pitch.”
Quotable Coach (Paul Johnson): Defending UNC pass attack – “Hopefully you don’t let him (Bryn Renner) have the little dink and dunk short passes that they throw. You’re going to complete a high percentage if you’re not throwing more than three or four yards downfield, so you’ve got to try to take some of that away. I think he’s a very talented guy; hopefully you can put some pressure on him.”
Bringing the Noise: Carolina March takes a look at the prolific offense of Georgia Tech so far. Georgia Tech’s defense flying under the radar at this point. From the Rumble Seat previews the Jackets/Heels game with a Q&A. The Sports Network has Georgia Tech pulling this one out. Inside Carolina previews the matchups. UNC will probably miss kicker Casey Barth again this week.
Watch 4: Georgia Tech offense to roll on enough to 1-0 ACC start
Against better UNC defenses, Georgia Tech has rolled up 448 total yards in a 30-24 road win, and dominated 24-7 in Atlanta two years ago. The Heels should be able to move the ball, but just not enough for a road ACC win.
The Picks: Brandon Rink – Georgia Tech 30-21; Griffin Wong – Georgia Tech 27-17; J.J. Greenstein – Georgia Tech 35-24.
- Temple Owls @ Maryland Terrapins / ACC Network / 12:30 p.m. ET
The Lead: Maryland is in the middle of a three-game out of conference stretch – losing last week 37-31 to West Virginia, and facing Temple and Towson the next two weeks.
Must-See Matchup: Danny O’Brien’s confidence vs. decent Temple passing D
Temple took Penn State to the wire last week, falling 14-10, while Danny O’Brien fired three interceptions against West Virginia. Tend to think O’Brien will recover just fine, but the Owls could take advantage if he isn’t sharp.
Quotable Coach (Randy Edsall): On Danny O’Brien – “Danny is a victim of his own circumstance some times, he has so much confidence in his own ability that he might try to throw a ball into a very small window when he shouldn’t. As I told him sometimes an incomplete pass is the best thing that can happen instead of forcing something.”
Watch 4: Temple to hang tough, Maryland to pull away late
With Al Golden as coach, Temple beat Randy Edsall’s UConn team by two touchdowns at home – and have one of the top running backsin the country with Bernard Pierce. I expect this to be similar to what FIU did in College Park last season, where they eventually fell 42-28.
The Picks: Brandon Rink – Maryland 31-17; Griffin Wong – Maryland 24-20; J.J. Greenstein – Maryland 34-17.
- Massachusetts Minutemen @ Boston College Eagles / ESPN3 / 1:00 p.m. ET
The Lead: Before a stretch of five ACC games in six weeks, BC goes for win No. 1 against Massachusetts.
Must-See Matchup: BC rushing offense vs. Minuteman rush D
Soon-to-be FBS Masschusetts is allowing 65.50 yards per game – the Eagles aren’t doing much better on the ground at 80.67 (106th nationally).
Quotable Coach (Frank Spaziani): Team mood at 0-3 – “They are obviously disappointed. These things are long-term, cumulative attitudes. If they can see the areas they’re improving in and see the areas they need improvement…it’s a long season and we have to work hard.”
Watch 4: Eagles to get the ‘W’
Outside of last week, BC has a reputation for beating the teams they should and even winning games they aren’t expected to do. The Eagles get back on the right track here (or whatever you call beating an FCS team).
The Picks: Brandon Rink – BC 31-21; Griffin Wong – BC 24-10; J.J. Greenstein – BC 21-17.
- Southern Miss Golden Eagles @ Virginia Cavaliers / RSN / 3:30 p.m. ET
The Lead: Virginia goes for win No. 3 on the young season hosting C-USA foe Southern Miss.
Must-See Matchup: Southern Miss rushing attack vs. Virginia run defense
The Golden Eagles racked up 335 rushing yards against Southeastern Louisiana – last week, Virginia gave up 222 to UNC.
Quotable Coach (Mike London): On So Miss – “They’re a BCS team, too. The young man-Lampley, No. 1-is a dynamic return guy. Punts, kickoffs-he has career touchdowns in both categories there. This is a team that’s very, very fast, again, very athletic. Most of the teams they play in Conference-USA, I believe, are spread offense teams-hurry up, quick tempo-so their offensive and their defensive looks are geared towards stopping those type of looks.”
Watch 4: Virginia offense to move the ball effectively
Vegas doesn’t seem to be too confident in Virginia, but I don’t see the upset here as the ‘Hoos looked solid at UNC last week.
The Picks: Brandon Rink – Virginia 34-20; Griffin Wong – 28-17; J.J. Greenstein – Virginia 30-21.
- Kansas State Wildcats @ Miami Hurricanes / ESPNU / 3:30 p.m. ET
The Lead: Kansas State and the top total defense in the country (sample size small with opponents of Eastern Kentucky and Kent State) come to town against a Miami team riding high after dominating Ohio State.
Must-See Matchup: Miami RB Lamar Miller vs. Kansas State’s 8th-ranked rush defense
The definition of an inflated stat – the Wildcats gave up 10 rushing yards to FCS team Eastern Kentucky and a more average 118 to Kent State two weeks later.
Quotable Coach (Al Golden): On Kansas State – “But certainly Kansas State, with their reputation as an excellent football team, with how they played in September, being the number one total defense in scoring defense in the country, and obviously when they turn on the tape, here’s this quarterback running all over the place, I think that’s going to get their attention, it better get their attention.”
Watch 4: Miami to run effectively, defense to hold Wildcats offense
This has the potential to be a letdown game – a big test for Al Golden’s influence on this Miami team. They should be able to run nearly at will and shut down a middling Kansas State offense, but we shall see.
The Picks: Brandon Rink – Miami 24-10; Griffin Wong – Miami 27-17; J.J. Greenstein – Miami 28-17.
- Florida State Seminoles @ Clemson Tigers / ESPN / 3:30 p.m. ET
The Lead: A battered ACC preseason favorite Florida State Seminoles comes into Clemson’s Death Valley, possibly down starting QB E.J. Manuel and several receivers in a crucial divisional game.
Must-See Matchup: Clemson offensive line vs. FSU defensive line
The Seminoles d-line was disruptive against No. 1 Oklahoma last week, and Clemson has had its share of issues over the years with opening holes and protection – they’ll get a huge test from one of the nation’s best.
Quotable Coach (Jimbo Fisher): On facing a tough environment at Clemson – “You mentally prepare them and you talk to them. But you can’t — you don’t want to scare them, because I mean in the end, those fans, they can’t jump on the field and jump all over you. So it’s still a football game and they are still just yelling.
Quotable Coach (Dabo Swinney): On FSU – “They’re just a typical Florida State team in every regard. Special teams could be the difference in the game in a situation like this. That’s what happened last year. They whipped us in special teams. We’re going to have to have a great week on special teams.”
Bringing the Noise: With Manuel and several WRs in question, this is a big game for FSU receiver Rodney Smith. Tomahawk Nation takes a look back at Tulsa/ECU from 2008 for some clues for this one. Orlando Sentinel has some notes from Wednesday’s practice. OS profiles the FSU QB you could see starting Saturday, Clint Trickett. If Manuel plays, Clemson is coming for him, says DT Rennie Moore. TN says Clemson TE Dwayne Allen vs. LB Christian Jones is a matchup to watch. Shakin the Southland breaks down the depth charts. STS takes a look at the odds here. Swinney knows he needs all he can get from his Tigers this week to beat FSU – OC Morris says they’re a top-5 team “no doubt.” Backtracking a bit, a look at E.J. Manuel’s injury. Getting to know the Tigers.
Watch 4: FSU’s ability to run the ball as key of the game
E.J. Manuel’s running ability really opened things up for the FSU offense in their 16-13 win over Clemson last season in Tallahassee. Without Manuel (possibly), a lot of pressure falls on a Seminoles RB unit that’s underperformed so far. All in all, I hesitantly pick Clemson because these are the games they traditionally lose – reversing my preseason pick of FSU here…just too many injuries and uncertainty on the ‘Noles side.
You pick'em game of the week: FSU @ Clemson
- Tigers (58%, 7 Votes)
- Seminoles (42%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 12
The Picks: Brandon Rink – Clemson 20-17; Griffin Wong – Clemson 23-14; J.J. Greenstein – FSU 28-24.
- Virginia Tech Hokies @ Marshall Thundering Herd / CBS Sports Network / 3:30 p.m. ET
The Lead: Virginia Tech continues its tour through mediocre to bad out-of-conference teams with a trip to Marshall (1-2) and their 105th-ranked offense/91st-ranked defense.
Must-See Matchup: Hokies vs. looking ahead to ACC opener with Clemson
Virginia Tech is game away from the friendly confines of ACC play, where they went 9-0 last season.
Quotable Coach (Frank Beamer): Talking Marshall – “Well on Saturday they turned the ball over and got out of it early, but that’s not the team that you saw against West Virginia, they hung right in there. We know that’s the team we’re going to see Saturday.”
Bringing the Noise: Tech Sideline is picking Virginia Tech in a blowout. VT Effect scouts Marshall. Gobbler Country crunches the numbers in the Herd/Hokies matchup and what to watch for with a pick. Game guide.
Watch 4: Hokies to roll
Marshall gave WVU a game for awhile, and beat Southern Miss – but the last time these teams met, the Hokies won 52-10 (at Lane).
The Picks: Brandon Rink – Virginia Tech 45-17; Griffin Wong – Virginia Tech 31-3; J.J. Greenstein – Virginia Tech 42-7.
- Tulane Green Wave @ Duke Blue Devils / ESPN3 / 3:30 p.m. ET
The Lead: The Blue Devils try to keep the momentum rolling from the ACC win over BC against Tulane.
Must-See Matchup: Duke QB Sean Renfree vs. Green Wave pass defense
Renfree passed 53 times against BC for 368 yards, two touchdowns and an INT – UAB was held to 145 passing yards on 28 attempts last week at home versus the Green Wave.
Quotable Coach (David Cutcliffe): On Tulane – “They are good on offense. They are good on defense. They are playing special teams extremely well. Their defense scored twice last week. Their offense dominated the ball and kept the football.”
Bringing the Noise: Duke improving offensively.
Watch 4: Blue Devils to pick apart Green Wave for second-straight win
This is a team that lost to Richmond, so, nothing is a given with the Blue Devils, but Duke might just have a little momentum after a decent game against Stanford and road win at BC.
The Picks: Brandon Rink – Duke 28-20; Griffin Wong – Duke 24-17; J.J. Greenstein – Duke 20-16.
Last week (Overall): 4-3 (10-9)
On to the picks…
- Cincinnati -7 vs. NC State
Take to Bank %: 15%
More often than not, you side with the home team on a Thursday.
- Tulane +10 @ Duke
Take to Bank %: 15%
Last week could’ve been a turning point for the Blue Devils, buuuuuut I’ll take another week to see if they can actually blow out an opponent.
- Miami -12.5 vs. Kansas State
Take to Bank %: 25%
This is probably a trick, but if Miami just pounds the ball and plays great defense like last week – this shouldn’t be an issue.
- Maryland -9 vs. Temple
Take to Bank %: 40%
This has letdown written all over it, but I’ll have a little confidence in Danny O’Brien to recover and pull away late.
- Virginia Tech -20.5 vs. Marshall
Take to Bank %: 35%
After we took Arkansas State last week and won, Virginia Tech is due for a blowout win going into ACC play.
- Georgia Tech -4.5 vs. UNC
Take to Bank %: 55%
Maybe I’m a sucker here, but with the history of UNC at GT…and how the Yellow Jackets are playing – they should cruise to this number.
- Clemson -2.5 vs. Clemson
Take to Bank %: 10%
I’m never confident in Clemson winning a big game when they’re expected to.
- Virginia -3 vs. Southern Miss
Take to Bank %: 60%
Puzzling line o’ the week – Vegas really not liking the ‘Hoos for some reason.