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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
ACC upset watch: Week 6

By Heather Dinich

WEEK 6

Last week, two of the three games on the upset watch came to fruition, as Virginia Tech and Wake Forest both lost. Clemson, the No. 1 team on the list, avoided the upset at Boston College. Here’s a look at the top three upset possibilities for Week 6, and a reminder that these are NOT predictions, they’re just a look at which teams are the most likely to fall:

1. Virginia Tech at North Carolina: Neither team is ranked, but the Hokies have owned the state of North Carolina. Since joining the league in 2004, Virginia Tech is a perfect 13-0 in ACC games played in the state of North Carolina (3-0 at Wake Forest; 2-0 at NC State; 4-0 at Duke; 4-0 at North Carolina). The Hokies are 14-1 if you count the two ACC championship games played in Charlotte (victory over FSU, loss to Clemson). Virginia Tech has already lost two games to two Big East opponents and needed overtime to beat Georgia Tech. The Tar Heels have beaten up on lesser opponents, but still have something to prove against ACC competition.

2. Miami vs. No. 9 Notre Dame in Chicago: Miami has been one of the ACC’s most unpredictable teams, but its defense has been consistently porous. The Irish, who have the No. 3 scoring defense in the country, should have the upper hand, but they’ll face a quarterback in Stephen Morris who has put up more than 400 passing yards in each of the past two games.

3. No. 3 Florida State at NC State: Dare I even list the Noles? You better believe it. The mistake-laden Wolfpack will have to play a near-flawless game to pull this one off, but somehow NC State seems to find a way to beat Clemson OR Florida State in any given year under coach Tom O’Brien. The Pack will have home-field advantage, and it will be FSU’s first league road game. If NC State is going to stand a chance, it has to drastically decrease the turnovers and penalties, and it has to protect quarterback Mike Glennon and give him time to throw.