ACC Upset Watch: Week 5

September, 24, 2013
9/24/13
1:00
PM ET
None of the games listed on last week’s Upset Watch came to fruition. That’s great news for the ACC, which still has a national title contender in Clemson. Wake Forest held off Army, and Maryland had zero trouble with a dreadful West Virginia team. This week should be relatively quiet, with everyone following the script. Remember, if there aren’t three legitimate games on the Upset Watch, we don’t force it. These aren’t predictions, either. They’re a guess as to which games in the conference might give us the biggest surprise, whether the teams are ranked or not.

There are only two games on the Upset Watch this week:


1. Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech: Stat to know: Virginia Tech has won more ESPN Thursday night games (19) than any other ACC school. The Jackets are favored to win this game, as they should be, considering how poorly the Hokies played in their win over Marshall, but never count out Virginia Tech’s defense. The Hokies are No. 36 in the country in third-down conversion defense, which will make for an interesting matchup against a team that is No. 2 in the country on third downs, converting 66.7 percent of the time. The Hokies continue to struggle on offense, as quarterback Logan Thomas is No. 95 in the country in QBR, but Virginia Tech’s defense has proven good enough not only to keep it in games, but to win them, too. This is game has historically decided the division winner more often than not, and it’s the first ACC game of the year for Virginia Tech. Expect the Hokies to play to win.


2. East Carolina at North Carolina: Speaking of the Hokies, it’s not like they rolled over ECU in a 15-10 win in Week 3. Virginia Tech got a dominating performance from their defense against ECU, and the Tar Heels have yet to dominate in any phase of the game. Also, ECU has had a bye week to prepare for this game. UNC has won three straight in the series, and is expected to make it four, but the pesky Pirates haven’t made it easy for the ACC. Both ECU and UNC have statistically two of the worst rushing offenses in the country, but ECU is ranked No. 10 in the country in rushing defense was UNC is No. 113. This is a game UNC needs to win in order to avoid dropping to 1-3 heading into the Week 6 game in Blacksburg.

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