Tuesday, September 20, 2011
ACC upset watch: Week 4
By Heather Dinich
With four teams -- Florida State, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Georgia Tech -- now ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, there are more opportunities for upsets within conference play. Things definitely get more interesting this week with North Carolina traveling to Georgia Tech, and Clemson hosting Florida State. While the crowd at Marshall should be hostile, Virginia Tech and its fans should still be expecting a win.
Which teams have the best chance at an upset this weekend? Here’s your lineup:
1. No. 11 Florida State at No. 21 Clemson: Clemson has the best chance at an upset in the ACC this weekend. The Seminoles have not won in Death Valley since 2001. The No. 21-ranked Tigers could topple the No. 11-ranked Seminoles if Florida State’s defense fails to stop quarterback Tajh Boyd, who has looked better and better each week. The Seminoles have faith in backup quarterback Clint Trickett if he’s needed, but there’s a reason EJ Manuel is their starter.
2. North Carolina at No. 25 Georgia Tech: The Tar Heels could take an early lead in the Coastal Division race, but it all starts with the defense. UNC is holding opponents to 76.67 rushing yards per game. Unfortunately for UNC, the Jackets are averaging 427. The best defense might be for quarterback Bryn Renner to sustain drives, wear out Georgia Tech’s defense and keep that spread option offense off the field. That means no turnovers.
3. NC State at Cincinnati: Is it an upset if nobody is ranked? If both teams are 2-1? Maybe not, but if the Wolfpack loses this game, I can promise you Tom O’Brien will be very, very upset. Cincinnati hasn’t defeated anyone of consequence yet, but neither has NC State. The Bearcats’ numbers are a bit inflated, but still, this should be a challenge for NC State’s injury-riddled defense. Cincy is averaging 51 points per game.