Thursday, October 15, 2009
ACC predictions: Week 7
By Heather Dinich
Posted by ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich
Finally. Redemption. I picked six games right last week, my lone mistake being Duke’s win over NC State, and I came really close to calling that upset, swear. (Seriously). My winning percentage currently stands at 69.8, having picked 37 of 53 games correctly so far. It’s nothing to brag about, I know.
The margin for error is decreasing.
Three teams -- Florida State, Duke and North Carolina -- are off this weekend, but everyone else besides Miami is playing a game that will have an impact on the conference race. Week 7 is an important one. Here are your predicted winners:
Boston College 28, NC State 24 – Two words: Home team. The Eagles are 4-0 at home this year and they’re miffed about how they played at Virginia Tech last weekend (or at least they should be). The Pack’s defense will be more forgiving than the Hokies were, Montel Harris will be tough to tackle, and Dave Shinskie will look more like the respectable quarterback he was heading into Blacksburg.
Virginia 21, Maryland 17 -- Remember last year? It was against the Terps that Virginia turned the corner, and they should do it again. The Cavaliers’ defense has been playing very well, and Maryland’s hasn’t. If tailback Mikell Simpson returns from a neck injury and hasn't missed a step, he could be the difference offensively, otherwise it will be a battle of the quarterbacks, and the Cavs' secondary will win.
Virginia Tech 17, Georgia Tech 14 -- Both offenses have been impressive, but Georgia Tech’s defense is in disarray, and the Hokies have the edge in special teams and should have better field position. Dyrell Roberts ranks second nationally in kickoff returns with 39.88 yards per return, and Virginia Tech ranks first in the ACC in net punting, and third in kickoff returns.
Miami 28, Central Florida 10 -- It’s a road game for the Canes, but that’s their biggest obstacle, along with the fact they’ll be facing players who think they should’ve been on Miami’s roster. If Miami stays as focused as it did against Florida A&M last week, there should be no threat of a let-down.
Wake Forest 14, Clemson 13 -- If Clemson’s offense was going to show improvement, it would have done it by now. Dabo Swinney has had this team since the middle of the season last year. A bye week isn’t going to fix the problem, but the defense will keep this game close, as will the Death Valley crowd. The Deacs’ coaches and their offense will be the difference.