ACCBlogger.com picks week eight in the ACC…
- 10/20/12 Virginia Tech (4-3, 2-1 ACC) @ No. 14 Clemson (5-1, 2-1 ACC) [-8] / Noon / ABC-ESPN2 (Reverse mirror)
The Lead: In the thick of wide-open Coastal race, the Hokies look for a little revenge against a Tigers team that had their number last season.
Bringing the Noise: It’s a battle of Commonwealth QBs Saturday. Frank Beamer says he’s a fan of the Clemson offense, while Bud Foster says it’s a “booger” to defend. Shakin the Southland Q&A previews with Gobbler Country and The Key Play Q&A previews with STS. The Hokies are trying to focus on Clemson and not revenge. Gobbler Country has the game guide. TKP talks some more Tigers here. From earlier in the week, Hokies center Andrew Miller is out for the season. What can Clemson expect from the Hokies – the unexpected?
Watch 4: Clemson offense offense, again, to be too much
Can’t really blame any defense facing Chad Morris’ offense with the ACC leader in passing (Tajh Boyd), rushing (Andre Ellington) and receiving (DeAndre Hopkins), but with the home-field (Clemson 15-2 over last 3 season, winners of nine-straight), and an offense that had success already against Bud Foster’s D (19 explosive plays and 30.5 points per game) – an upset doesn’t seem likely.
The Picks: Brandon Rink – Clemson 38-24; Griffin Wong – Clemson 27-17; J.J. Greenstein – Clemson 31-21; W. Gustin Vandiford – Clemson 45-28; Billy Watson – Clemson 45-31;
- Wake Forest (3-3, 1-3 ACC) @ Virginia (2-5, 0-3 ACC) [-3.5] / 12:30 p.m. ET/ ACC Network
The Lead: Both coming off loss to Maryland, the Deacs and ‘Hoos look to get back on track and preserve some hope for bowl trip come December.
Bringing the Noise: Phillip Sims is looking for improvement in start No. 3. Perry Jones is looking to keep on track as a factor in the ‘Hoos offense. Blogger So Dear went on Streaking the Lawn’s blog and picked the Deacs. STL is staying positive, picking Virginia by a TD.
Watch 4: In battle of struggling offenses, defenses – more experienced QB to come out on top
Good luck figuring out Virginia – all I know is they shouldn’t be 2-5, but they sure aren’t giving anything to inspire confidence in a turnaround. One of their bigger issues is no home-field advantage – now 3-12 in their last 15 ACC home games and just 4-5 against FBS opponents stretching back to last season. If you can’t win at home, it’s an uphill climb all season. The Deacs, under Jim Grobe, usually sneak up on somebody on the road, winning at Duke and BC last season. Still, it’s hard to like any team in a matchup of scoring offenses and defenses all ranked 87th or worse nationally, but give me Tanner Price and co. off the bye.
The Picks: Rink – WF 27-24; Wong – WF 24-10; Greenstein – UVa 28-14; Vandiford – UVa 16-13; Watson – UVa 24-14;
- Boston College (1-5, 0-3 ACC) @ Georgia Tech (2-4, 1-3 ACC) [-14] / 3:00 p.m. ET / RSN
The Lead: The Spaz farewell tour (at least, ya think so) rolls into the ATL, where the Jackets look to push the reset button on the season after the bye.
Bringing the Noise: From the Rumble Seat helps you get to know the Eagles. Looking for a rally, the margin of error is thin starting Saturday for Georgia Tech. Oh, and the AJC also outlined a way the Jackets can still win the Coastal. Tevin Washington is holding on to his job in Atlanta. BC gets a second-chance, unfortunately, against a run-based offense. BC fans, understandably, are a little more worried about the coaching situation. FTRS’ keys to the game.
Watch 4: BC to have similar success in stopping a run offense to Army game
516 rushing yards, they gave up to the Black Knights in a 34-31 road loss. Against the No. 3 rushing offense (two spots behind Army) – off a bye – yeah, not good for the Eagles. But if BC can shake the 51-7 loss at FSU last week, there will be opportunities to exploit a 98th-ranked pass defense and put some points to answer.
The Picks: Rink – GT 41-24; Wong – GT 28-16; Greenstein – GT 28-10; Vandiford – GT 35-10; Watson – GT 27-21;
- NC State (4-2, 1-1 ACC) [-3] @ Maryland (4-2, 2-0 ACC) / 3:30 p.m. ET / ESPNU
The Lead: Maryland is gunning for its best ACC start since 2001 (5-0), while NC State tries to break up a streak of 16-straight divisional losses.
Bringing the Noise: ACC Now has some interesting stats on NC State of late on the road (more on all of the road woes here). The bye where it comes helps the Pack though. Maryland and NC State’s SB Nation sites exchange Q&A previews here and here. Testudo Times’ first look at the game and the same on Backing the Pack here.
Watch 4: Terps’ run to end against solid State offense
A common thread in the last two Terrapin wins is facing similarly struggling offenses – not the case Saturday, State managing to put the second-most points on FSU (albeit, 17) and posting 664 yards and 37 points the week before at Miami. The jury still out for a Maryland defense that is obviously improved, ranking ninth nationally in total and rushing defense, but outside of West Virginia, haven’t faced another offense currently better than 70th in scoring. NC State’s road woes, in division play, at 0-13 under Tom O’Brien is troubling though, but if he can’t pull this one out off a bye – you start to wonder about this State program that otherwise, controls its destiny in the Atlantic.
The Picks: Rink – NCSU 24-20; Wong – MD 17-13; Greenstein – NCSU 28-25; Vandiford – MD 21-17; Watson – NCSU 31-24;
- UNC (5-2, 2-1 ACC) [-10.5] @ Duke (5-2, 2-1 ACC) / 7:00 p.m. ET / ESPNU
The Lead: The battle for the Victory Bell goes down in Durham – Duke, again, shooting for the six win mark, and UNC, for a third-straight week, playing a spoiler role in the crazy Coastal.
Bringing the Noise: Inside Carolina takes a look at the Blue Devils. Larry Fedora talks Duke in the coaches teleconference. David Cutcliffe and players talk UNC here. Off a tough loss, Duke has to reset the focus going for bowl eligibility. Duke Hoop Blog has more Duke football notes (I know, I’m confused too). But wait, there’s more – Duke could already be bowl-eligible! BDN Q&A previews the Heels.
Watch 4: Blue Devils to take UNC to the wire
I want to pick the upset. I really do, but a banged-up Blue Devil team off a tough loss is a tough pick. UNC is in unfamiliar territory, winners of four-straight, and prone to a letdown game – sitting around until a 7 p.m. kickoff at Wallace Wade. But as we saw last week, the margin of error is thin for Duke. No lead is safe, and things can spiral out of control. This could be a lot like Duke-Virginia Tech last season (14-10 Hokies win), where the Blue Devils have multiple opportunities to take it in the fourth quarter.
The Picks: Rink – UNC 27-21; Wong – Duke 27-21; Greenstein – Duke 31-24; Vandiford – Duke 35-28; Watson – Duke 24-17;
- No. 12 FSU (6-1, 3-1 ACC) [-21] @ Miami (4-3, 3-1 ACC) / 8:00 p.m. ET / ABC
The Lead: Miami was a play here or there against UNC last week from cranking up the hype machine for this one, but with the starting QB doubtful to play, they come in under the radar hosting the No. 12 rival ‘Noles.
Bringing the Noise: Tomahawk Nation’s news & notes from Wednesday. The were the Q&Aee for Miami’s SB nation blog here. Miami is looking to step it up defensively against the ‘Noles. Miami is expecting a sellout. If you were wondering, Jimbo Fisher and Al Golden have a “positive” relationship. With Stephen Morris’ health in question, Ryan Williams is readying for his time in the spotlight. TN’s overview of the ‘Canes – he took all of the reps Wednesday. State of the U talks depth chart.
Watch 4: FSU to continue post-State loss impressiveness
NC State, more or less, provided the model – limit big plays and hang around (basically the gameplan against any top team). For the most part, Miami did that last week against one of the better offenses in the (UNC, 18 points allowed), but FSU’s offense may very well have turned a corner after the struggles at NC State – rolling up over 600 yards and 51 points against BC (E.J. Manuel 27-for-34 with 439 passing yards and 4 TDs alone). It explains the three-TD spread in a series that’s typically been close outside of the last time in Miami (45-17 ‘Noles win). At best, Miami has backup QB (Ryan Williams) or a limited Stephen Morris (ankle) – not a upset-combination, but with tough games for both Duke and Virginia Tech Saturday, they’ll likely still be at the forefront of the Coastal race. The key is escaping out of this one healthy.
The Picks: Rink – FSU 42-20; Wong – FSU 31-17; Greenstein – FSU 35-24; Vandiford – FSU 31-13; Watson – Miami 24-21;
Season Pick Records: Rink – 48-11 (26-17-2 ATS, FBS v. FBS games); Wong – 44-15; Greenstein – 42-17; Vandiford – 38-19; Watson 5-6.