It wasn’t a stellar debut for the ACC in Week 1, nor were my picks anything to brag about. I went 7-4 in the opening week with erroneous picks for Boston College, Wake Forest, Duke and Miami. The first three, I still argue, should have won their respective games. Miami was a gamble, I admit, but the Terps deserve credit for that win.
This week holds some gambles as well.
Central Florida 31, Boston College 20: UCF has a talented, athletic quarterback in Jeff Godfrey, and the Knights will cause the Eagles’ defense some problems. UCF allowed Charleston Southern to gain more than seven yards on only three of its 11 drives last week. BC’s offense took another hit when receiver Ifeanyi Momah suffered a season-ending injury.
Wake Forest 28, NC State 24: The Deacs likely would have hung onto their 15-point lead over Syracuse last weekend had quarterback Tanner Price not been injured in the fourth quarter. He is expected to play on Saturday, and will be the difference along with running back Josh Harris.
Clemson 42, Wofford 17: Wofford will control the football with the triple option, but they won’t be able to stop Clemson. The Tigers failed to convert on their first nine chances on third down against Troy, but will continue the success they had in the second half against Wofford.
Florida State 52, Charleston Southern 0: The Seminoles will get their first back-to-back shutouts during their time in the ACC. FSU held Louisiana-Monroe to 191 yards of total offense and the Noles had 10.5 tackles for loss.
Stanford 41, Duke 21. Stanford wins easily, but Duke will score some points. It’s one thing to come across the country to play a bowl game, it’s another to do it in a weekend. Still, the Blue Devils will be overmatched and won’t be able to slow down quarterback Andrew Luck.
Middle Tennessee 28, Georgia Tech 27: The Blue Raiders are well-versed in defending the triple option, and they’re coming off an impressive performance in a near-win over Purdue. Middle Tennessee led at Purdue until the Boilermakers hit a 35-yard TD pass with 49 seconds left last week.
North Carolina 28, Rutgers 3: Quarterback Bryn Renner will shine again, and the Tar Heels’ defense will stifle the Scarlet Knights. Interim coach Everett Withers praised the Knights’ offensive line, but his is better and UNC will win the game up front.
Virginia 34, Indiana 24: Statistically, Virginia is one of the best teams in the country now. The Hoosiers will have a tough time stopping Kevin Parks and the Cavaliers’ running game, and Virginia will be able to control the ball just like Ball State did in a 27-20 win over IU last weekend.
Virginia Tech 48, East Carolina 17: The Hokies will control the ball and go up and down the field. They’re good enough defensively that they won’t allow ECU a chance to be a real threat. This will be the toughest nonconference test of the season for the Hokies and they will pass -- and run, and pass, and run some more.