ACC predictions: Week 3

September, 16, 2010
9/16/10
9:00
AM ET
It was a rough week. Not just for the ACC, but for my predictions. After a 10-2 start in Week 1, I went 6-4, bringing my season total to 16-6. But c’mon, who woulda picked James Madison and Kansas? Here’s hoping for a better record in Week 3:

Auburn 24, Clemson 21: When in doubt, stick with the home team. The Tigers have yet to be tested, and Clemson’s defense will have a tough time wrapping up 250-pound quarterback Cam Newton. Auburn is holding opponents to just 80 rushing yards per game, and the defensive line will get pressure on Kyle Parker.

Florida State 38, BYU 17: BYU lost to Air Force and looked bad in the process. If the Seminoles lose this one at home, their problems are bigger than they thought. FSU leads this series 3-0 and BYU is averaging only 18 points per game.

West Virginia 28, Maryland 24: The Mountaineers will be looking for a more complete performance after allowing Marshall to hang around until overtime. The Terps have been burned by Noel Devine before, and it’s likely to happen again.

NC State 28, Cincinnati 24: The Bearcats have a new coach in Butch Jones, but a lot of the same team speed. NC State’s defense has taken a step forward, though, and the Carter-Finley crowd will help keep the momentum in the Pack’s favor. NC State is 5-5 at home on ESPN Thursday night games.

Stanford 28, Wake Forest 17: It will be too much to ask of freshman quarterback Tanner Price to defeat a ranked team on the West Coast in his first start – especially when he doesn’t have a dependable defense to back him up yet.

Alabama 38, Duke 21: Alabama’s defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown -- yet. Duke coach David Cutcliffe will have the Blue Devils playing inspired and prepared. Duke can move the ball against anyone in country, it just can’t stop anybody.

Georgia Tech 17, North Carolina 14: It’s a statement game for both programs, which are looking to rebound from losses, but with young backups playing defense, the Tar Heels will struggle to stop the spread option offense.

Virginia Tech 31, East Carolina 28: The Pirates’ win over Tulsa was impressive, but I've got too much respect for Virginia Tech’s staff to think they’ll lose three straight. ECU can score, though, so the Hokies will have to make plays in the kicking game and on defense.

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