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Thursday, October 20, 2011
Predictions: ACC Week 8

By Heather Dinich

I fumbled last week. Big time. With a 2-3 record, my first losing week of the season, even my own mother suggested I wear a bag over my head during videos this week. I may or may not be wearing one now as I type this. My overall record stands at 46-13 heading into Week 8, a winning percentage of 77.9 percent. I’m like BC and NC State, though. Comebacks in the second half of the season are my specialty.

Just not this week …

Virginia Tech 35, Boston College 14: The Eagles’ turnaround isn’t going to start in Lane Stadium. Not against a Hokies’ offense that continues to make strides each week under quarterback Logan Thomas and running back David Wilson. Virginia Tech has outscored the Eagles 97-26 in winning the past three games, and this week will continue that trend.

Virginia 28, NC State 24: It won’t be easy, but Virginia will build upon last week’s upset win against Georgia Tech by running the ball against a depleted NC State defense. The bye week helped the Wolfpack’s younger players get better, but it didn’t do much for the players on the injured list. Virginia ran for a season-high 272 yards against Georgia Tech, and will again rely on the running backs to move the chains.

Clemson 38, North Carolina 21: Clemson’s defense doesn’t have as many holes as it might have seemed against Maryland last week. UNC tailback Giovani Bernard will get his yards, but the Tigers will pressure quarterback Bryn Renner into at least one turnover and Clemson will improve to 8-0.

Florida State 48, Maryland 21: Terps’ quarterback C.J. Brown isn’t a secret anymore, and the Seminoles will be prepared for him to run. Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel will take advantage of a defense that has been riddled with injuries and overcome by youth.

Wake Forest 38, Duke 35 (OT): The Demon Deacons have won 11 straight games in this series, and they’ve shown more consistency and improvement than Duke this year. If history repeats itself, though, it should be another close, high-scoring game. Duke has scored 30 or more points in each of the past four meetings. Scoring won’t be the problem. Allowing big plays again will.

Miami 35, Georgia Tech 28: Things were going well for the Hurricanes until the announced suspension of starting defensive tackle Micanor Regis, who punched UNC receiver Dwight Jones in the groin last weekend. The loss of Regis will impact the game, as he was the team’s healthiest and most experienced defensive tackle, but it won’t lose it for them. Miami will get its offense going with Lamar Miller, and Georgia Tech’s run defense will struggle more than Miami’s.