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Thursday, October 21, 2010
ACC predictions: Week 8

By Heather Dinich

Predictions: ACC | Big 12 | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-10 | SEC | Non-AQ

Welcome to the coachspeak picks.

Had it not been for the Pack’s loss to ECU, I would have gone undefeated last week. But I’m like Virginia coach Mike London after the loss to USC -- I don’t settle for moral victories. After seven weeks, my record stands at 45-13 (77.5 percent). But I don’t pay attention to the numbers. Sure, it would be nice to be ranked ahead of Chris Low, but where you finish the season is more important. Besides, these things go in cycles.

With only five games this week, my margin for error is slim. I can’t afford to beat myself with silly mistakes and mental errors. What’s that? Georgia Tech fans are tired of me picking Clemson? I don’t know, I don’t read the comments. The only things I can worry about are the things I can control, and that’s trying to get some W’s this week:

Boston College 14, Maryland 10: The Eagles’ offense is inept, but Maryland will continue to struggle to run the ball against the No. 10 rushing defense in the country.

Clemson 28, Georgia Tech 24: Georgia Tech’s defense won’t be able to stop Andre Ellington, and Kyle Parker will get some more help in the passing game. Clemson has so many freaks on defense the Tigers will force the Jackets into some mistakes. Georgia Tech is a completely different team than the one that won the ACC title -- that team was better.

Virginia Tech 45, Duke 17: Even if the Blue Devils completely eliminate their turnovers, they won’t be able to stop this offense. Tyrod Taylor and his supporting cast are clicking on all cylinders now.

North Carolina 24, Miami 21 (OT): In a game that’s been decided by turnovers for the past three years, it would be foolish to ignore Miami quarterback Jacory Harris’ penchant for turnovers. Until proven otherwise, the benefit of the doubt goes to the team that has made fewer mistakes this season.

Virginia 38, Eastern Michigan 14: Virginia is banged up and still trying to find its identity, but is still talented enough to get its third win of the season. Quarterback Marc Verica will make fewer mistakes and the Cavaliers’ offense will suddenly look dramatically better against one of the nation’s worst defenses.