Posted by Brandon Rink on December 31, 2012 under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article
E.J. Manuel can win a fourth bowl game he's taken the majority of snaps, in the ACC's top spot, Miami (pic per OrangeandWhite.com).
Orange (Miami, Fla.): No. 12 Florida State (11-2) v. No. 16 Northern Illinois (12-1), Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. ET
Why To Watch: Well, it’s the last ACC football of the season, and FSU is prone to making games that aren’t supposed to be interesting – interesting.
Who To Watch (Huskies): QB Jordan Lynch – Quarterback Jordan Lynch enters No. 4 in the nation in rushing (1,771 yards/136.2 YPG), and also in the top-25 in pass efficiency (152.9) with almost 3,000 yards passing and 43 total touchdowns.
Stat Advantage for FSU: Passing defense v. Northern Illinois’ pass attack – Lynch is a solid passer, with a middle-of-the-road 60th-best pass offense, but faces the No. 3 pass ‘D’ in the ‘Noles (160.8 YPG).
Stat Advantage for Northern Illinois: Turnover margin – NIU ranks in the top-30, while FSU is 96th.
What Happens: FSU is nearly a two-touchdown favorite, and the Seminoles’ senior class is going for a fourth-straight bowl win. NIU has been impressive, reeling off 12-straight wins, at almost 24 points per in scoring margin, and the trip to sunny south Florida is their fifth-straight bowl. If the ‘Noles are focused, they should pull away, but the Huskies aren’t going to lay down easily.
The Picks: Brandon Rink – FSU 31-20; Griffin Wong – FSU 31-14; J.J. Greenstein – FSU 31-21; W. Gustin Vandiford – FSU 44-17.
Posted by Brandon Rink on under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article
Getting Sammy Watkins loose in the LSU secondary is the key to Clemson and the ACC bringing home a top-10 win in Atlanta (pic per OrangeandWhite.com).
Chick-fil-A (Atlanta, Ga.: No. 14 Clemson (10-2) v. No. 9 LSU (10-2), Dec. 31, 7:30 ET
Why To Watch: ACC v. SEC. Death Valley v. Death Valley. Tigers v. Tigers. The only top-15 matchup in the ACC bowl season.
Who To Watch (Bayou Bengals): RB Jeremy Hill – After a midseason loss to Florida, the true frosh Hill took over the crowded LSU backfield, averaging 19.5 carries a game for 93.3 yards with eight touchdowns.
Stat Advantage for Clemson: Passing offense v. LSU’s pass D – The ACC Tigers are 13th nationally in passing offense, armed with Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Nuk Hopkins, and face a Bayou Bengals defense that’s given up 326.3 yards per passing in their last three contests.
Stat Advantage for LSU: Rush defense v. Clemson’s rush O – LSU has held half its opponents under 100 rushing yards, ranking ninth nationally.
What Happens: Be physical, or as Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said this week – “pound you into oblivion” – is what the Bayou Bengals aim to do on both sides of the ball, with menacing athletes all over. This is the litmus test for the ACC Tigers’ program at this point – they hung with a solid FSU on the road, but were dominated in their own house by South Carolina. The spotlights in Atlanta will be on Clemson’s lines, getting pressure and holding it off to contain LSU. It goes down to the wire, but the Bayou Bengals are able to make one more play.
Posted by Brandon Rink on December 28, 2012 under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article
Georgia Tech has a shot at a preseason No. 1 in El Paso. (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)
Sun (El Paso, Tx.): USC (7-5) v. Georgia Tech (6-7), Dec. 31, 2 ET
Why To Watch: Because of there’s a possibility of a preseason No. 1 falling to a sub-.500 team in El Paso.
Who To Watch (Trojans): WR Marqise Lee – Lee finished second nationally with 1,680 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.
Stat Advantage for Georgia Tech: Rushing offense v. USC rushing D – Obviously, the Jackets run the ball effectively (fourth nationally – 312.5 YPG), while the Trojans are mid-tier in rush D (58th – 156.4 YPG).
Stat Advantage for USC: Passing offense v. Tech’s passing defense – With a weapon like Lee, USC has a top-25 passing offense (at, well, 25th – 296.9 YPG), while GT is 67th in defending the pass (239.2 YPG).
What Happens: Redshirt freshman Max Wittek’s time is now, in place of an injured Matt Barkley at quarterback. Wittek started the Trojans’ finale, completing 14-of-23 passes for 186 yards with two picks and a touchdown, in a 22-13 loss to No. 1 Notre Dame. Though USC started AP No. 1 this season, there isn’t much separating these two statistically, which leads into the monkey on the back of Georgia Tech football – anemic bowl performances. They’ve lost seven-straight overall and four in a row under Paul Johnson – favorites in 3-of-4 and losing by almost two touchdowns per (13.8). I don’t know if the Trojans will be motivated, but if anything, they’re playing for pride to not lose to a sub-.500 team.
The Picks: Brandon Rink – USC 33-24; Griffin Wong – USC 31-20; J.J. Greenstein – USC 42-17; W. Gustin Vandiford – USC 54-21.