ACC Week 11 Preview
With 5 weeks remaining in the season, ACC teams look to improve their resume and become bowl eligible. Here is a look at Saturday action in the conference:
2)Florida State at Wake Forest (Saturday, 12 noon)
The Seminoles have their sites set squarely on a National Championship, but there is plenty of work left to be done. Jameis Winston and Florida State will visit a historically tough road opponent.
Despite losing two games in a row, the Deacons are capable of an upset if the Seminoles let their guard down. The combination of quarterback Tanner Price and receiver Michael Campanaro give opponents a serious threat to contain. Price has thrown for 1951 yards and 12 touchdowns while Campanaro has 6 touchdown receptions and 803 receiving yards.
Wake will be facing a team that averages over 51 points a game while boasting the 4th best scoring defense in the Country.
Winston has a bounty of weapons at his disposal in Rashad Greene at receiver and Devonta Freeman in the backfield. The combination of these two have compiled 16 touchdowns on the season.
The combination of one of the top ranked offenses and defenses will provide nightmares for Wake Forest in game planning.
Prediction: Florida State by 28
Virginia at North Carolina (Saturday, 12:30 pm)
North Carolina has started to find their legs with two victories in a row and now look to become bowl eligible. However, they have lost starting quarterback Bryn Renner, for the season with a shoulder injury. The injury will end his career as a Tar Heel. North Carolina has a capable backup in Marquise Williams who has seen his playing time increase. He gives the Tar Heels a running threat from the quarterback position. Aside from his mobile abilities, Williams has a couple threats in tight end Eric Ebron and receiver Quinshad Davis. Ebron leads the team in receiving and is certainly an NFL prospect.
Virginia comes into Chapel Hill in a spiral, having lost 6 games in a row. In a number of those losses, the Cavs have scored their fair share of points but have not been able to slow down their opponent. During the present losing streak, the Cavaliers have only held their opponent to under 35 points in one game.
With a victory, North Carolina can move to 3-3 in the conference and 4-5 overall. The Cavaliers look to stop the bleeding and turn around a dismal season.
Prediction: North Carolina by 9
Syracuse at Maryland (Saturday, 3:30pm)
After a fast start, Maryland has lost 3 out of their last 4 games, including 2 in a row. There is no coincidence that the losing streak started after quarterback C.J. Brown became injured. But Brown is due to return on Saturday against the Orangemen.
With a fairly favorable schedule remaining, the Terps are still in a position for a bowl game. Syracuse, who are 4-4, are fighting to stay above ground for a bowl bid as well.
The Orange have had success with two solid backs who have combined for over a 1000 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns, in Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley.
Maryland is hopeful that Brown will kick start an offense who put up big numbers against West Virginia and Connecticut earlier in the season. Stefon Diggs leads a formidable receiving corps with 587 receiving yards on the season.
Look for a spark provided by Brown, if he is able to return to his early season form.
Prediction: Maryland by 4
Boston College at New Mexico State (Saturday, 3:30pm)
The Eagles are one of two ACC schools with an out of conference opponent this week. After two tough losses to Clemson and North Carolina, they went on the road and handed Virginia Tech a loss in Blacksburg to even up their record at 4-4. This week, they face an Aggie team with just one win on the season.
New Mexico State gives up over 46 points a game and should see a steady dose of the Eagles Andre Williams who has over 1100 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns.
Boston College is another ACC team who has an excellent opportunity to go bowling this season with a schedule that should benefit them.
Prediction: Boston College by 20
N.C. State at Duke (Saturday, 4:00pm)
Don't look now but the Blue Devils are 6-2 and still in the running in the Coastal Division at 2-2. In this tobacco road rivalry, they face an N.C. State team who will be licking their wounds after losing at home to North Carolina last week.
On offense, Duke has many weapons. From quarterback, Anthony Boone to receiver Jamison Crowder, they are capable of scoring big points. Crowder has 60 receptions and 3 touchdown receptions.
The Wolfpack have lost 4 straight games and have struggled finding stability at the quarterback position. But they do have a solid running game between backs Shadrach Thompson and Matt Dayes who have combined for 8 rushing touchdowns.
N.C. State will look for their first conference win of the season and despite their underdog status, can be pesky.
Prediction: N.C. State by 3
Virginia Tech at Miami (Saturday, 7:00pm)
Two teams who took tough losses last week, look to recover this week in what should be an interesting ball game.
Miami fell hard to Florida State while Virginia Tech's lost at home to Boston College. A win by the Hokies throws the Coastal Division into a quagmire at the top with the potential of 4 teams with 2 losses.
The Hokies need a better effort from quarterback Logan Thomas who has 12 interceptions and has struggled with consistency. During their 6 game winning streak, he played sound and Virginia Tech will need that again going up against a team with an underrated defense in Miami.
However, Miami's offensive attack took a damaging blow against Florida State last week. Duke Johnson suffered a season ending ankle injury against the Seminoles. Dallas Crawford is fully capable of carrying the load at running back in his place. The Sophomore has scored 9 touchdowns on the year.
Stephen Morris has passed for over 1600 yards and 12 touchdowns this season and looks to lead the 1 loss Canes back to the winning column this week.
Prediction: Miami by 7
23)Notre Dame at Pittsburgh (Saturday, 8:00pm)
The Panthers look to snap a two game losing streak in a game that looks like a conference game but is not. Notre Dame football is an Independent as opposed to their other sports.
The Irish come into the game with a 7-2 record and a 4 game winning streak. They are led by quarterback Tommy Rees who has thrown for 2186 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Pittsburgh has a quarterback capable of doing damage as well. Tom Savage has 14 touchdown passes under his belt to go with over 1700 passing yards.
A victory would give the Panthers a 5-4 record and keep their hopes for a bowl intact. It is a scary game for Notre Dame against a team who looks to make a statement in primetime on ABC television.
Prediction: Notre Dame by 3
WEEK 10 RESULTS:
Boston College 34 Virginia Tech 27
North Carolina 27 N.C. State 19
Syracuse 13 Wake Forest 0
Clemson 59 Virginia 10
Georgia Tech 21 Pittsburgh 10
Florida State 41 Miami 14