ACC: Week 13 predictions

November, 24, 2010
11/24/10
9:00
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Predictions: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC | Non-AQ

Well, it was a 4-2 record last week, bringing my grand total to 61-24 (71.7 percent) heading into the final week of the regular season. It’s a passing grade, but I feel like Randy Shannon – not in championship form. Speaking of championships, the Atlantic Division title is on the line this week and so are some bragging rights. Here’s a look at who will come out on top in Week 13:

Syracuse 13, Boston College 10: Without leading rusher Montel Harris (knee), Syracuse will win this game. True freshman Andre Williams is good, but there is no relief behind him, and Syracuse has a better defense than Virginia does. It has the No. 34 rushing defense in the country, and is No. 6 in total defense. Regardless, expect a low-scoring game.

South Carolina 24, Clemson 21 – The Gamecocks are No. 7 in the country in rushing defense and holding opponents to under 100 rushing yards per game. It’s going to be a tough day for Jamie Harper, and this defense will get pressure on quarterback Kyle Parker and force him into a key mistake or two.

Florida 28, Florida State 24 – The Seminoles are the ranked team for a reason, and they’ve got the momentum and home field advantage in their favor. But Florida’s defense and special teams will be the difference. The Gators have also done a better job of protecting the football this year.

NC State 35, Maryland 21: Russell Wilson is that good. Danny O’Brien is smart, and he has been poised in big games, but he’s more of a facilitator right now while Wilson is a game-changer. You also have to wonder how motivated Maryland will be now that the Terps know they’re out of the Atlantic Division race.

Vanderbilt 24, Wake Forest 21: This is how it goes for the Deacs, even against a similarly bad team; They’ll lose on the last play of the game, probably a field goal, and finish the season on a 10-game losing streak. Ouch.

UNC 28, Duke 17: Regardless of who’s on the field for the Tar Heels, they’re still too good on defense to lose this game. UNC quarterback T.J. Yates is coming off a record-setting performance in the loss to NC State and won’t want to close his career with a loss at Duke. He and his team are good enough that they shouldn’t have to.

Georgia 35, Georgia Tech 21: The Jackets are going to score some points, but Georgia has bowl eligibility on the line and will play like it. The rushing defense is one of the best in the SEC and country, and they’re No. 18 in the country in turnover margin.

Miami 28, South Florida 27: South Florida has been playing pretty well down the stretch, and won three of its past four, but the Cane have the better athletes and as long as they don’t turn it over should win. South Florida has one of the worst offenses in the country and Miami will have the edge up front.

Hokies 42, Virginia 10: This one could get ugly. Don’t expect the Hokies to roll over just because they’ve already got the Coastal Division locked up. There’s still plenty on the line, including the Commonwealth Cup, bragging rights, and the chance to become the ACC’s first undefeated team in conference play since Florida State in 2000.

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