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Thursday, November 5, 2009
ACC predictions: Week 10


Posted by ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich

Last week was all about redemption. North Carolina got it. Florida State got it. I got it. It was one of my better weeks, having picked six of the seven games in Week 9 correctly. My one error? The Hokies on Thursday night. So it goes. For the season I’ve picked 69 percent of the games right. Let’s see if this week doesn’t help give me a boost into the postseason. I need to get to a bowl game ...

NC State 31, Maryland 17: The Terps have had a bye week to prepare for this game, so there should be signs of improvement and they can keep it close early. Russell Wilson will be too much for this struggling defense to overcome in the second half, though, and the Wolfpack will pull away for their first conference win of the season.

North Carolina 24, Duke 21 (OT): FSU quarterback Christian Ponder exposed weaknesses in North Carolina’s pass defense, and Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis will, too. He’ll get his yards and put up impressive numbers, but the Tar Heels will keep the Blue Devils out of the end zone when it matters most.

Miami 41, Virginia 10: This should be a name-your-score kind of game. The Canes got their wake-up call last week against Wake Forest and should put forth a more complete, disciplined effort at home. Miami has stressed defensive improvement this week, but Virginia has been inept on offense this year and should make the Canes look good.

East Carolina 21, Virginia Tech 20: Here’s your upset special of the week. The Hokies are down after back-to-back losses to Georgia Tech and North Carolina, and Ryan Williams thought the world was coming to an end after his fumble. ECU on the other hand is leading Conference USA and coming off of back-to-back wins. Plus, the Pirates have home-field advantage and confidence from last year’s win over the Hokies.

Georgia Tech 31, Wake Forest 10: Even if I knew Riley Skinner were playing in this game (which I don’t), I’d still pick the Jackets to win, but I tried to pick a score that would fit with or without Skinner and it was hard to do. If Skinner’s in, I think they’ll score more points considering how inconsistent the Jackets’ defense has played. Regardless, Paul Johnson will wear out the Deacs’ defense and that will be the difference no matter who is starting at quarterback for Wake.