Thursday, September 20, 2012
ACC predictions: Week 4
By Heather Dinich
Who could have possibly predicted Virginia Tech’s loss to Pitt last week?
With erroneous picks last week for Maryland and the Hokies, it was an 8-2 finish in Week 3. My overall record stands at 25-6. I’m not impressed.
Florida State 24, Clemson 21: We’ve talked a lot this week about the importance of Clemson’s offensive line against FSU’s defensive line, but the No. 1 issue Clemson has right now is poor rushing defense, and that’s what FSU is doing best right now. Clemson is good enough offensively that it will give the Noles’ D some problems. They’ll create some plays with Sammy Watkins, in space and on special teams, but the Tigers will struggle to stop the run in a game that will be closer than some might think.
West Virginia 35, Maryland 21: Let’s be honest, this game could get really ugly. Maryland’s defense is good, but WVU quarterback Geno Smith is better. The Terps will hang around for a while, but Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen doesn’t seem like the kind of coach who’s going to back down in the fourth quarter.
NC State 21, The Citadel 20: I put the Pack on upset watch this week, but this isn’t a game NC State should lose. The Bulldogs are going to treat this like their bowl game, though, and they just piled up 618 total yards last Saturday in snapping Appalachian State’s 18-game regular-season home winning streak. This one could be too close for comfort.
Wake Forest 38, Army 35: The Deacs will rebound from their humbling loss to Florida State and extend their home winning streak against Army to six straight games. The Deacs’ defense won’t be able to slow down the Black Knights' running game, which saw three players rush for more than 100 yards last week, but it will make just enough plays on offense to keep Army winless.
Duke 48, Memphis 28: The Blue Devils will again keep things interesting before pulling away in the second half. This score is just keeping up with the trend of what Duke does best. The Blue Devils have scored at least 40 points nine times under coach David Cutcliffe and are 8-1 when that happens, including a 2-0 mark this season.
Georgia Tech 42, Miami 21: Sorry, Canes, but I’ve got three words for you: Not even close. The Jackets will have home-field advantage, confidence from a division win over Virginia and the better defense.
North Carolina 38, East Carolina 12: The Tar Heels will rebound from their loss at Louisville, and it will be another good day for the offense. Quarterback Bryn Renner should have a good day against the nation’s No. 111 pass defense.
TCU 28, Virginia 17: This is a chance for the ACC to get a road win over a ranked Big 12 opponent, but Virginia’s defense will struggle to limit TCU quarterback Casey Pachall, who threw for 335 yards and two touchdowns in last Saturday’s win over Kansas. The Hoos’ struggles in the running game will continue against the No. 10 rushing defense in the nation.
Virginia Tech 35, Bowling Green 3: Defensive coordinator Bud Foster is going to light a fire under his players this week, and they’re going to take out their frustrations from a poor performance against Pitt on poor Bowling Green, a winless MAC team with one of the statistically worst offenses in the country. If Bowling Green scores much, it will be late in the game against the Hokies’ backups.