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Thursday, November 15, 2012
ACC predictions: Week 12

By Heather Dinich

It was a good effort last week, and a respectable showing, but you can’t win 'em all. I went 5-1 last week, the lone bad pick being North Carolina over Georgia Tech. So much for having the bye week to prepare. I spoke with Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson on the phone Tuesday and promised I wouldn’t ask him any questions about that, as Duke is also coming off a bye.

The record heading into Week 12 is 65-16 (80.2 percent).

Lesson learned about the Jackets and bye weeks?

Georgia Tech 48, Duke 38: Defense? What defense? Not in Atlanta. Won’t matter. Again. Georgia Tech will control the clock, quarterback Vad Lee will come off the bench and once again direct the offense to score after score against a Duke defense that has allowed 104 points in the past two games.

Florida State 38, Maryland 10: The No. 10 Seminoles haven’t been an impressive road team this year, but they should dominate a young, overmatched and undermanned Maryland team. The Terps managed only 10 points and 180 total yards last week against Clemson, and the Noles have a better defense than the Tigers. Maryland will give its best effort in the final home game of the season, but the Noles will clinch a share of the Atlantic Division title and secure a trip to the ACC championship game.

Virginia Tech 17, Boston College 14: The Eagles gave Notre Dame their best shot last week; there’s no reason to think they’d give the Hokies anything less. This will be the lone defensive struggle in the ACC this week, but Bud Foster’s group will pick up where it left off against FSU and be the difference in this game. Hokies get their first road win of the season.

Clemson 38, NC State 17: This game was on this week’s upset watch, but it was No. 3 because it’s the least likely to happen. Clemson should handle this test with ease. Here’s your KOD, Tigers: Not. Even. Close. NC State will have at least two turnovers, Mike Glennon will struggle, and Clemson’s offense will wear the Wolfpack out. Coach Dabo Swinney said NC State embarrassed his program last year. Don’t think they won’t remember that.

Miami 34, South Florida 20: The Canes become bowl eligible this week and win their final home game of the season. The Bulls’ defense won’t have an answer for Duke Johnson, and Miami will still get its passing game going despite an injury-laden receiving corps. South Florida ranks No. 114 in the country in turnover margin, and that will be the difference in this game.

Andrea's Big East pick -- Miami 30, USF 17: We have no idea whether Matt Floyd or Bobby Eveld will start at quarterback for USF. Compound that uncertainty with the loss of several other starters on offense, and the Bulls are going to have a M*A*S*H unit going to Miami. There is some reason for hope, though. Miami has one of the worst defenses in the country, and USF gets highly motivated for games like this. The Bulls have won in Miami, so they are not going to be intimidated. Here is where I think Miami has the huge advantage: freshman all-purpose player Duke Johnson. USF will have a hard time slowing him down.

Virginia 31, North Carolina 28: The Cavaliers are on a roll. It’s that simple. Quarterback Michael Rocco and the offense are confident and clicking, the defense has been sharp on third downs and North Carolina will miss kicker Casey Barth in a close game. This should be an entertaining Thursday night game that comes down to the fourth quarter.

Notre Dame 28, Wake Forest 14: This will be Note Dame linebacker Manti Te'o’s final game in South Bend, so expect another Heisman-worthy performance from arguably the nation’s top linebacker. The Deacs will be well-coached and well-prepared, but they’ll also be overmatched on the road against a better team. The Irish will remain undefeated and complete another 3-0 sweep against the ACC with wins over Miami, Boston College and Wake Forest.