Thursday, September 4, 2014
ACC Week 2 predictions
By ESPN.com staff
The schedule is pretty thin in the ACC this week, but our experts are still making picks. Here's a look at our choices, along with some commentary on the toughest prediction and our upset special of the week.
How Virginia Tech can defeat Ohio State: There’s a lot to like about this matchup for Virginia Tech, and it’s not just about Ohio State QBBraxton Miller being sidelined. The Hokies’ defense has a chance to be exceptional, and Brandon Facyson and Kendall Fuller are two of the nation’s top defensive backs. That will be a huge test for Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett, who is making his second career start. But beyond that, Virginia Tech seemed to get its ground game going last week, with freshmen Shai McKenzie and Marshawn Williams combining for 147 yards on 21 carries, while Ohio State has allowed more than 5 yards per carry on the ground in its last four games dating back to last season. The Buckeyes still have plenty of talent, but Tech matches up better than Navy did a week ago, and the Midshipmen gave Ohio State fits. Pulling the upset on the road won’t be easy, but it wouldn’t be a shock either. -- David Hale
How ODU can defeat NC State: Give NC State credit for mounting a late comeback a year after losing so many games in the fourth quarter. But trailing a former FCS team most of the way is troubling, and it won't get any easier this week against another team making the leap to the FBS. ODU gave ECU and Pitt a tough time last year, and with former Walter Payton winner Taylor Heinicke looking to make a senior-year statement for the next level, expect another tight contest Saturday in Raleigh. -- Matt Fortuna
Consensus picks: Pitt over Boston College; Clemson over South Carolina State; Virginia over Richmond; Georgia Tech over Tulane; Wake Forest over Gardner-Webb; Miami over Florida A&M; Duke over Troy; Louisville over Murray State; Florida State over Citadel; North Carolina over San Diego State