Monday, November 5, 2012
ACC Week 11 sneak peek
By Andrea Adelson
Here is a quick look at the Week 11 matchups across the ACC:
No. 10 Florida State (8-1, 5-1) at Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3). The Seminoles leave the friendly confines of their home state for the first time since Oct. 6, which just so happens to be the day they lost to NC State -- a loss that looks worse and worse by the day. So does trouble lurk for the Seminoles in what is sure to be a cold night in Blacksburg? Not if the Hokies look as terrible as they have for most of the season. In their worst losses, turnovers have been a huge factor (Pitt, Clemson and Miami), along with a defense that has not played up to Bud Foster's standards. But Florida State cannot take Virginia Tech lightly, especially since the Hokies are pretty good on Thursday night (last week nonwithstanding).
Miami (5-4, 4-2) at Virginia (3-6, 1-4). The Hurricanes are now in control of their own destiny in the Coastal Division. If they can win their final two league games, they are in the ACC championship game for the first time. But the Hoos have played Miami tough of late, winning two straight in the series. They also come in with a huge confidence builder, after completely stunning NC State 33-6 last weekend. Virginia has made huge strides on defense, holding three straight opponents to under 250 yards of total offense. Its line completely dominated last week, and got some production on offense using both Phillip Sims and Michael Rocco. The Hurricanes got some much needed momentum of their own for their defense and got another outstanding game from Duke Johnson.
Georgia Tech (4-5, 3-3) at North Carolina (6-3, 3-2). The Jackets come into the game after a win over Maryland, while North Carolina was off last week after its heart-stopping win over NC State. Georgia Tech has won three straight in the series, but the Jackets are going to have to find an answer for Giovani Bernard, who had over 300 all-purpose yards the last time we saw him. Georgia Tech may have benefited playing against a linebacker-turned-quarterback last week but will have a much more difficult task in slowing down Bryn Renner and the Tar Heels offense.
Wake Forest (5-4, 3-4) at NC State (5-4, 2-3). The Deacs need one more win to become bowl eligible and it is not out of the realm to believe they could get it against a suddenly floundering Wolfpack team that has dropped two straight. NC State let its loss to North Carolina beat it again last week against Virginia in what has to be the most uninspired performance of the season. The up-and-down NC State secondary gets a huge test this week in trying to slow down Michael Campanaro, who tied an ACC single-game record with 16 receptions last week. And by the way, Wake Forest has won five of the last seven meetings between the teams.
Maryland (4-5, 2-3) at No. 13 Clemson (8-1, 5-1). The Terps must finish out their schedule with a doozy of a three-game slate: at Clemson, Florida State, at North Carolina. And they have to do it with Shawn Petty at quarterback in what has been the most bizarre story line of the ACC season. The Terps defense, so stout the first half of the year, has started to show cracks -- perhaps because they have had to shoulder the load for the entire team. Meanwhile, Clemson's offense is rolling, racking up over 700 yards of total offense last week against Duke. Maryland just won't be able to keep up.
No. 4 Notre Dame (9-0) at Boston College (2-7). The Irish got their wake-up call last week in a 29-26 triple-overtime win over Pitt, and now they get to take on the worst team in the ACC. Will they play down to the level of competition the way they did last week? Even if they do, they will still be the favorites to win this game -- an early ACC preview. Notre Dame has won three straight in the series.