This is another big week of ACC football. Virginia Tech and UNC square off in
a huge game in the Coastal Division, while Wake Forest and Florida State will
battle for a share of the Atlantic Division lead. Miami can also make a
statement for the ACC by knocking off Texas A&M on the road.
East Carolina (3-0) at NC State (1-2, 0-1) (Noon, ESPN)
Why East Carolina Might Win: East Carolina has already defeated Virginia
Tech and West Virginia. Although they struggled with Tulane last week, it’s
tough to get up for that kind of game after you’ve knocked off teams like the
Mountaineers and Hokies. This is another BCS opponent for the Pirates, as well
as an in-state rival. They’ll come out fired up. They have better players than
NC State, and they’ll have the emotional edge as well.
Why NC State Might Win: NC State is playing at home, and they are off to
a rough start. At this point it looks like they are playing for pride. However,
in college football, pride can take you a long way at times. The Wolfpack
certainly don’t want to lose to an in-state team from Conference USA.
Prediction: East Carolina 31, NC State 10
Mississippi State (1-2, 0-1) at Georgia Tech (2-1, 1-1) (Noon, Raycom)
Why Mississippi State Might Win: The Bulldogs are an SEC team, and they
field a very good defense. They now have three Georgia Tech games on film to
study. After playing against some spread option against Auburn, Mississippi
State will be better prepared to play disciplined defense. Also, games that
feature the SEC vs. the ACC don’t generally go the ACC’s way.
Why Georgia Tech Might Win: Mississippi State has a terrible offense. On
Saturday night, they lost a home game to Auburn 3-2. The Yellow Jackets might
not gain huge chunks of yardage, but they will likely shut down the Bulldogs’
offense. Earlier in the season, Mississippi State only managed 14 points against
Louisiana Tech, who was quarterbacked by former Georgia Tech starter Taylor
Prediction: Georgia Tech 20, Mississippi State 10
Eastern Michigan (1-2, 0-1) at Maryland (2-1, 0-0) (1pm, ESPN360)
Why Eastern Michigan Might Win: Maryland seems to play to the level of
their competition each week. In week one, they only beat 1-AA Delaware 14-7. Two
weeks ago, Maryland lost to Middle Tennessee State, then rallied to knock off
Cal this past Saturday. Last season the Terps knocked off two teams ranked in
the Top 10, but lost to a 4-8 UNC team.
Why Maryland Might Win: The Terps have a lot more talent, and they should
have some confidence after such a big win over Cal. In their last two games,
Eastern Michigan lost to Michigan State 42-10 and Toledo 41-17. This is not a
good football team. Maryland should roll, but will they?
Prediction: Maryland 34, Eastern Michigan 14
South Carolina State (1-AA) at Clemson (2-1, 1-0) (1pm, ESPN360)
Why South Carolina State Might Win: Maybe if Clemson forgets they have a
game? Not much of a chance here.
Why Clemson Might Win: The Tigers generally thrash teams with inferior
talent. Their offense almost always puts up 500+ yards of total offense, and
it’s not uncommon to see both James Davis and C.J. Spiller put up 100+ yards on
the ground. Cullen Harper should have a great game as well spreading the ball
around the Clemson’s talented receiving corps. The Tigers generally don’t have
any trouble until they face a team with physical toughness in the trenches.
Prediction: Clemson 51, South Carolina State 10
Central Florida (1-1) at Boston College (1-1, 0-1) (1pm, ESPNU)
Why Central Florida Might Win: Boston College is an easy offense to
defend right now. New quarterback Matt Crane is barely scratching 100 yards per
game through the air, and the tailbacks are mostly freshmen. Central Florida
took South Florida to overtime last weekend, and USF is a better team than BC.
Why Boston College Might Win: BC’s defense appears to be very good, and
UCF’s offense is struggling. George O’Leary’s team only scored 17 points on
South Carolina State, and had less than 250 yards of total offense against South
Florida. On the other hand, the UCF defense is pretty good, and BC is not
exactly a good offensive team right now. This should be a low-scoring game.
Prediction: Boston College 17, UCF 10
Miami (1-1) at Texas A&M (1-1) (3:30pm, ABC)
Why Miami Might Win: Miami was a bad football team last year, but that
didn’t stop them from smacking around Texas A&M 34-17 last season. Despite
having a bad offensive line, and a bad offense in general, Miami’s speed was too
much for the Aggies. It shouldn’t be any different this year. The Aggies lost at
home to Arkansas State to start the year.
Why Texas A&M Might Win: Miami will have freshmen all over the field.
Robert Marve handled himself pretty well at Florida in his first start, but he’s
going to have some games where he commits a lot of turnovers. It could certainly
happen at a place like Texas A&M. This will be a battle of two good defenses
and two bad offenses.
Prediction: Miami 24, Texas A&M 14
Wake Forest (2-0) at Florida State (2-0) (7pm, ESPN2)
Why Wake Forest Might Win: Wake Forest has been tested. They have
defeated two teams from BCS conference, including a dramatic last second win
against Ole Miss two weeks ago. "The hottest fire makes the strongest
steel."–Paul Pasqualoni, 2001. Wake Forest has played an SEC team, while
FSU has played two Southern Conference teams. The Demon Deacons have beaten the
‘Noles the last two years, including a 30-0 drubbing in Tallahassee two years
Why Florida State Might Win: The ‘Noles are at home, and they appear to
be a confident football team. Christian Ponder took the job from Drew
Weatherford in the preseason, and he is playing well. He is a threat not only in
the passing game, but in the running game as well. Florida State has the speed
on defense to really mess with Wake’s misdirection attack. The key is being
Prediction: Florida State 24, Wake Forest 17