ACC championship game prediction

December, 3, 2009
12/03/09
9:00
AM ET
The ACC took one on the chin last week, and so did I. It was my worst week of picks. Ever. With a 2-6 record, now I know how Ralph Friedgen feels. Ugh. Florida State and Virginia Tech were the only teams I got right last week. That dropped my season percentage to 65.9 percent. I’ve got one conference pick left, and we all know it’s a coin toss. Here goes:

Clemson 28, Georgia Tech 24: First, about the score. Eleven of the past 14 games in this series have been decided by five points or less, so expect that trend to continue. This game features the ACC’s top two scoring offenses, two of the top three rushing offenses, three of the top five rushers in the ACC, and three of the top five touchdown scorers. That means this game will be about defense, and that’s where Clemson wins. Georgia Tech’s best counter is defensive end Derrick Morgan, but the Tigers go deeper on defense and have been more consistent. The last time these teams met, Clemson forced seven straight three-and-outs. That’s an impressive feat against the country’s leader in time of possession. The best matchup in this game will be on the sidelines between Paul Johnson and Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.

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