ACC Football Preview Courtesy of UNCG-grad Stuart Barefoot…….
Thursday’s ACC result: Virginia Tech 17 Georgia Tech 10
The two institutes of Technology met in Blacksburg on Thursday and the Hokies narrowly won 17-10. VT led handsomely at halftime, 14-3, but the Yellow Jackets used a stellar defensive performance to keep the game close. In the second half
Logan Thomas didn’t light the world on fire but was efficient enough, completing 19 of 25 passes for the Hokies, tossing a touchdown pass and not turning the ball over. Still, neither team could muster very much offense and the Hokies’ defense kept the Georgia Teach offense and QB Vad Lee at bay to pull out the win. VT improves to 4-1 on the year to hand Georgia Tech their first loss of the season. Both teams resume action on October 5 when VT plays North Carolina and GT travels to Miami.
Clemson (3-0 vs. Wake Forest (2-2)
The nationally third ranked and ACC’s best Clemson Tigers will host The Wake Forest Demon Deacons and will, in all likelihood, destroy them. Wake was able snap a two game losing streak last week when they beat Army 25-11 on September 21. Clemson is fresh off a 26-14 win over N.C State in a game that featured a controversial call that may have altered the outcome of the game.
While last week’s game against State is considered to have been mediocre by many standards it still served as a win for the Tigers and Tajh Boyd still amassed 244 yards, 27 completions and three touchdowns. Maybe not Heisman type numbers, but still pretty good. The Demon Deacon defense charged with the task of stopping Boyd and the rest of the stellar Clemson offense prevented Army from scoring a touchdown last week.
Prediction Clemson-38 Wake Forest-10
North Carolina vs. ECU
The Tar Heels will look to recover after losing 28-20 to Georgia Tech. Thankfully for UNC, they’ve done remarkably well against ECU in recent years, winning the last four meetings. Additionally, the Pirates lost in their only real test this year when Virginia Tech edged them 15-10, but are still 2-1 on the season.
On the downside, the Heels have a noticeably less effective offense than a year ago. Most of that can simply be attributed to Gio Bernard being in the NFL and not in the UNC starting lineup. But, with a less skilled offensive line than a year ago Bryn Renner isn’t quite as effective. Three games into the season aren’t grounds to start panicking and a pounding of ECU can restore some confidence in Chapel Hill.
Prediction: UNC- 28 ECU- 14
N.C State vs. Central Michigan
The Wolf Pack played a pretty competitive game last week when Clemson beat them 26-14. A win against the 1-3 Chippewas is a likely outcome for State before they begin the rest of their conference schedule. As a team the Wolfpack have thrown for one touchdown pass, relying heavily on their run game so far. QB Pete Thomas has compiled 662 yards so far, but it’s been the running backs who have done the scoring, namely matt Dayes who has rushed for three touchdowns.
The Wolf Pack defense has been pretty reliable, statistically at least. Through three games they have seven sacks and held Clemson to their lowest point and total offense all season. They should have no problem handling Central Michigan and maybe Thomas will throw for a touchdown.
Prediction: N.C State-30 Central Michigan- 10
Duke vs. Troy
Duke will host Troy on Saturday. After losing in a 58-55 shootout to Pittsburgh last week, The Blue Devils will try to get back in the win column against a Trojan team who has lost two straight games. Duke showed that they have a stud in a quarterback in Brandon Connette who threw for 323 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for another 101 yards and an additional two touchdowns. Defensively the Pittsburgh game was problematic as they allowed 598 yards and forced no turnovers against a mediocre offense. Still, they should be able to notch another win before they take on Navy next week.
Prediction: Duke-34 Troy -21
Other ACC games
Virginia and Pittsburgh will battle when the Panthers host the Cavaliers. UVA crushed VMI last week by a 49-0 score and sport a 2-1 record. Pitt is fresh off their afore mentioned offensive showcase with Duke and are 1-1 in the ACC.
Eighth ranked Florida State will play Boston College n their second ACC matchup of the season. The Seminoles have cruised through their first three games, obliterating anyone in their path. BC is 2-1 having lost their last game 31-7 to USC. They are, however, 1-0 in ACC play, beating Wake Forest 24-10.
The Seminole’s statesmen, Miami, will travel to South Florida. The Hurricanes are 3-0 and rank 15th in the nation. Conversely, South Florida is 0-3.