- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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It was a respectable Week 1, as I only missed two games -- Duke and NC State -- for an 8-2 record. I’m kicking myself for not going with my gut on the Blue Devils, and I will freely admit I had been drinking the Tom O’Brien Kool-Aid all summer. Much like the ACC on opening week, I’ve got room for improvement. Here’s to a better Week 2:
Boston College 31, Maine 20: If the Eagles don’t win this game, they might not win any. I don’t think that’s the case, though. BC had 542 yards of total offense against Miami and took a 14-0 lead. Saturday’s game will be the season opener for Maine, which returns 15 starters from last season’s 9-4 team.
Clemson 34, Ball State 21. After a strong performance against Auburn, Clemson is due for a little bit of a letdown game. Remember the Wofford game last year? Clemson fell behind 21-13? Yeah, kind of like that. Ball State is very well-coached. Clemson will win this game, but it might not wake up until the fourth quarter.
Florida State 59, Savannah State o: This will be a good opportunity for the defensive linemen to adjust to life without injured starting defensive end Brandon Jenkins. Tank Carradine will move into Jenkins’ spot, and it could get ugly for Savannah State, which could start four freshmen on the offensive line. This will be the final tune-up before conference play begins next week against Atlantic Division opponent Wake Forest.
Temple 17, Maryland 7: The Owls, now in the Big East, are a physical, tough-minded football team that was able to beat the Terps in College Park last year. Maryland is just so young offensively that the Terps are going to have trouble executing. The defense will keep them in this game, but the offense won’t be enough to win it.
ANDREA ADELSON’S BIG EAST TAKE: The Terrapins appear to be in worse shape now than they were when Temple won this meeting last season 38-7. The Terps are starting a true freshman at quarterback in Perry Hills, and have had to deal with injuries to key players on both offense and defense. They barely squeaked out a 7-6 win over William & Mary and had only 236 yards of total offense. Temple was outstanding running the football last week against Villanova and now has to start working on its pass game, which struggled in Week 1. Defensively, Temple had four sacks and forced two turnovers. Simply put, the Owls are the better team. Temple 35, Maryland 14.
NC State 27, Connecticut 24: This has the feel of a last-play-of-the-game type of matchup, but the Wolfpack will be able to shake off the loss to Tennessee and win this one in the fourth quarter. The Pack got its wake-up call already. It should have the advantage in the matchup against the Huskies’ receivers -- no, really.
AA’S TAKE: There are two ACC/Big East matchups Saturday afternoon, and two perfect opportunities for the league. The Huskies are going to present a huge challenge for the Wolfpack, who looked out of sorts in their opening loss to Tennessee. UConn does not have the speed Tennessee does at the skill positions, but the Huskies have what appears to be a good-looking defense and will keep them in the game. UConn's offense was just so-so last week, but NC State gave up many big plays on defense and All-American cornerback David Amerson was beatable. If the Huskies can hit a couple of big plays and get Lyle McCombs going, they will be in good shape. Overall, I think UConn has the better defense, and that is why I am picking the Huskies in my upset special! UConn 21, NC State 20.
North Carolina 35, Wake Forest 24: The Tar Heels are a talented team, particularly on offense, and they will be difficult for the Deacs to defend. No, North Carolina’s rout of Elon wasn’t a good indicator of what to expect all season from the Tar Heels, but it was a more convincing performance than what we saw from Wake Forest against Liberty in Week 1.
Stanford 41, Duke 38: Defense? What defense? Stanford didn’t look good in its win against San Jose State last week, but the Cardinal will have home-field advantage, while Duke has to travel across the country for a 10:30 p.m. ET kickoff. Expect another big day for quarterback Sean Renfree and Conner Vernon, but the defense will come up short on the road.
Georgia Tech 55, Presbyterian 7: The Yellow Jackets looked better defensively against Virginia Tech than they were a year ago, and this will be a good chance for them to correct the mistakes they saw on the game film. It’s the first of four straight home games.
K-State 31, Miami 24: K-State will control the clock and drive Al Golden nuts. Miami will be in this game, but Kansas State will be too much for the Canes’ defense, which allowed BC 542 total yards last week. K-State had 324 yards rushing in last week’s 51-9 win over Missouri State.
Virginia 24, Penn State 14: The Hoos are a well-coached team with home-field advantage against a team that is riding an emotional roller coaster. Virginia is focused, and those within the program say they are not distracted by the ongoing story that is Penn State.
Virginia Tech 45, Austin Peay 6: The Hokies have some work to do offensively, despite their 21-17 overtime win against Georgia Tech on Monday night. They shouldn’t have a problem reaching the end zone against an overmatched Austin Peay team.
It was a respectable Week 1, as I only missed two games -- Duke and NC State -- for an 8-2 record. I’m kicking myself for not going with my gut on the Blue Devils, and I will freely admit I had been drinking the Tom O’Brien Kool-Aid all summer.