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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
ACC predictions: Week 13

By Heather Dinich

You don't want to be reading while you eat your turkey, so chew on this first ...

It was almost another home run week for the predictions, but Virginia lost at home to North Carolina. (Still can’t believe how poorly UVa played in that one with so much still on the line.) The final tally last week was 6-1 for a grand total of 71-17 (80.7 percent) heading into the final week of the regular season.

This weekend is big-time. We’ve got rivalry games. ACC versus SEC. Bragging rights. All that good stuff. Can the ACC get it done?

You betcha …

Florida State 28, Florida 14: This game is in Tallahassee. It won't be a nail-biter. A defensive struggle at times? Sure, but Florida State is the better team with the better quarterback, and it will score. The Seminoles might be a bit naive to think they can still play for the national title, but fans should expect them to play as if the championship game was on the line because it is -- the state championship.

Clemson 31, South Carolina 17: Yeah, you read that right. And holding Clemson to fewer than 40 points will be a victory for the Gamecocks’ defense. No, Clemson’s defense isn’t championship-caliber, but it’s good enough to make South Carolina miss Marcus Lattimore. Quarterback Tajh Boyd will have the edge, and Clemson will snap its three-game losing streak to South Carolina.

Georgia 38, Georgia Tech 17: The ACC’s magic ends here. The Yellow Jackets turned the corner in the ACC, but the weaknesses in the defense will again be exposed against better competition. The Dawgs roll at home behind an outstanding defense that will be disciplined enough to slow down the spread option.

Vanderbilt 27, Wake Forest 10: Vandy is one of the hottest teams in the SEC right now, having won five straight. The Deacs are playing to become bowl-eligible, but they’re doing it with an inept offense that ranks No. 114 in the country in scoring (18.27), No. 111 in rushing (98.36) and No. 117 in total offense (300.55).

NC State 31, Boston College 21: This game isn’t going to be a complete blowout, but the Eagles won’t be able to stop Mike Glennon and NC State’s passing game. In what is likely to be coach Frank Spaziani’s last game as head coach of the Eagles, running back Rolandan Finch will give ‘em a chance, and the they'll give their usual relentless effort but come up short on the road.

North Carolina 38, Maryland 10: No, this isn’t the Big Ten blog. If it were, the score might be 52-3. OK, OK, I’ll stop. Seriously, injuries have been too much for Maryland to overcome this year, and the Tar Heels should have no problem closing the season with a home win.

Miami 41, Duke 38: This game went from meaning everything to meaning nothing -- unless you’re in either program. Once Miami declared itself ineligible for the postseason, Georgia Tech automatically won the Coastal Division. Odds are coach Al Golden is selling his players on finishing 5-3 in league play. Duke’s defense, meanwhile, continues to struggle against ACC opponents.

Virginia Tech 21, Virginia 20: Um, yeah. In what will never been deemed an instant classic, the Hokies will barely become bowl-eligible and take advantage of a mistake-prone Virginia team. If the Hoos were still playing for bowl eligibility, this might be a different story, but they squandered that opportunity last week and will now face a Virginia Tech in Blacksburg team with everything to lose.