ACC predictions: Week 8

October, 18, 2012
10/18/12
9:00
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Undefeated. That’s right, you heard me: undefeated last week at 4-0. With that stellar performance, my overall record is now 48-11 (81.3 percent). Things get a little more difficult this week, with every team playing again:

Georgia Tech 45, Boston College 34: Defense? What defense? Neither team has much of it these days. This will be Georgia Tech’s first game this year without defensive coordinator Al Groh on the sidelines, so there will be some adjustments, but the bigger concern will be the Eagles’ inability to stop one of the nation’s most productive offenses.

Clemson 35, Virginia Tech 31: Clemson has had a bye week to prepare for this game, and it is going to get the Hokies’ best shot. Virginia Tech played its best and most complete three quarters of the season in last week’s 41-20 win over Duke, but it still isn’t going to be able to keep pace with the Tigers’ numerous playmakers.

Florida State 38, Miami 21: Al Golden said it best this week: The defense is still “light years” away from where it needs to be, although it has made some strides in recent weeks, particularly within the linebackers. Its inability to stop the run, though, is going to be the difference against a Florida State team that’s racking up 233.14 yards per game.

NC State 17, Maryland 14: Odds are we won’t see much of a running game from either team, as Maryland’s has been nonexistent this year and the Terps’ defense is good enough to stifle whatever attempt the Wolfpack will make. The difference will be at quarterback, where Mike Glennon has the edge, but the Pack will have to find a way to limit freshman phenom Stefon Diggs at receiver and in the return game.

North Carolina 45, Duke 28: This is less an indictment of Duke and more a vote of confidence in the Tar Heels as the best team in the division. UNC is rolling, and its offensive line is a major reason. Giovani Bernard will go up and down the field on the Blue Devils as UNC wins the battle up front.

Wake Forest 24, Virginia 17: The Cavaliers’ quarterbacks have struggled, and so has the defense. The Deacs have had plenty of their own problems with injuries and suspensions, but they’ll get back on track this weekend because they’ll win the turnover battle and have the edge at quarterback with veteran Tanner Price. Having noseguard Nikita Whitlock back in the lineup will also help.

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