Thursday, September 9, 2010
ACC predictions: Week 2
By Heather Dinich
I was doing so well until Labor Day. And then I went 0-for-2, bringing my season-opening picks record to 10-2. That’s not bad -- if you’re Frank Beamer. But I’m aiming higher. Here’s to a better Week 2:
Boston College 35, Kent State 10: The quarterback competition continues after Dave Shinskie threw two interceptions against Weber State, so Mike Marscovetra should see another opportunity. The Eagles will have home-field advantage again, and have won nine of their past 10 home games. BC has outscored Kent State 55-7 in the previous two meetings.
Clemson 52, Presbyterian 3: Wake Forest was able to handle PC with ease, so Clemson should, too. The Tigers averaged 9.2 yards per play against North Texas, and the defense was outstanding in the red zone. Expect a similar performance. The Blue Hose have scored more than one touchdown against the Tigers just once in the last 14 meetings (a 53-13 loss in 1952) and have been shut out 24 times.
Florida State 31, Oklahoma 21: Florida State’s offensive line will be the difference in this game, as it will pave the way for the running game and the play-action passes. The Seminoles will snap the Sooners’ nation-leading 31-game home winning streak. Christian Ponder will come out of this game with some Heisman hype and the defense will have shaken the ghosts of last year.
Maryland 38, Morgan State 3: The Terps win the unofficial state championship this weekend, but use three quarterbacks in the process. It’s a final chance for coach Ralph Friedgen to develop a passing game before a road trip to West Virginia.
NC State 35, Central Florida 21: It was Tom O’Brien’s first season when the Pack lost to UCF in 2007, but this time the Knights won’t be able to stop Russell Wilson and NC State’s defense will take another small step forward.
Duke 38, Wake Forest 35 (OT): Duke’s offense has improved, and quarterback Sean Renfree will be the difference in this game. The question is whether or not the Blue Devils can slow down the Deacs’ running game, which is ranked No. 2 in the nation after racking up 415 yards against Presbyterian last week. Wake is looking for its 11th straight win in the series -- the program’s longest winning streak against any opponent.
Georgia Tech 38, Kansas 21: The Jayhawks were likely embarrassed by their loss to an FCS opponent during the opening week, so it’s unlikely they’re going to roll over, but they won’t be able to stop this offense. After scoring just three points against North Dakota State, Kansas will continue to struggle against Al Groh’s defense.
Ohio State 21, Miami 17: The Buckeyes’ defense will be the difference in this game -- not Terrelle Pryor, who is a talented athlete but overrated as a passer. Ohio State will pressure Jacory Harris into one too many mistakes and keep him off balance.
USC 28, Virginia 24: Get ready for a heartbreaker, Hoos. USC is only USC by name right now, and it has a lot to prove. The defense gave up almost 600 yards to Hawaii, and Virginia’s offense was rolling against Richmond. This staff is good enough to put the Cavaliers in position to win, but it’s still a difficult road trip against one of the country’s top programs.
Virginia Tech 42, James Madison 7: The Hokies are still hurting emotionally from Monday night’s loss to Boise State, but this staff will get them to rebound and so will the crowd at Lane Stadium. This should be another game for some of the younger players to correct mistakes, as the Hokies lead the series 6-0.