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Monday, September 10, 2012
ACC upset watch: Week 3

By Heather Dinich

This is not like last year. Last season, the Upset Watch was the kiss of death almost every week. Now? It’s a safe haven. So far, none of the teams on the upset watch have gone down. This past weekend, Duke and Miami didn’t even come close against ranked opponents Stanford and Kansas State, respectively. NC State, though, made it a little bit too interesting against Connecticut. And my apologies to Maryland. Congrats on the upset -- at least it was from this chair. A reminder that these aren’t predictions, rather they are a look at which teams in the ACC are most likely to be upset or knock off their opponent (not necessarily ranked). Here’s a look at this week’s upset watch:

1. Wake Forest at No. 6 Florida State: The Seminoles have home-field advantage, but the Deacs have the schedule advantage because they’ve been tested already against FBS competition and are confident from a league win over UNC. FSU looks good on paper with a padded stat sheet after two routs of FCS opponents, but it has struggled with Wake Forest in the past. Wake Forest won, 35-30, last year, and has won four of the past six games in the series.

2. UNC at No. 19 Louisville: If running back Giovani Bernard is healthy and back in the lineup, and the Tar Heels’ defense plays better than it did against Wake Forest, North Carolina can pull off this upset. UNC will have to be ready for Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who completed 30 of 39 passes for a career-high 344 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-7 win over Missouri State. Against Wake Forest this past weekend, UNC allowed quarterback Tanner Price to throw for a career-high 327 yards and couldn’t make a stop on the Deacs’ 93-yard, game-winning scoring drive.

3. There is no No. 3 this week. If Virginia Tech loses to a Pitt team that lost back-to-back games to Youngstown State and Cincinnati, then the Hokies will give the Panthers an early welcome into the ACC.