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Friday, September 9, 2011

Week 2: ACC Predictions

The ACC has a number of match ups with the Big East, Big Ten and Pac 12 this week. They get the honor of hosting a top level team in Stanford, who could win the Pac 12 this year. Another match up pits ACC teams against each other in the second conference game of the season.

North Carolina QB Bryn Renner

North Carolina vs. Rutgers
Prediction: North Carolina 35, Rutgers 17
North Carolina's defense will manhandle Rutgers for at least 2 turnovers before the night is done. Rutgers had a nice win last week against an FCS foe, but they simply don't have enough firepower to hold on to a game against North Carolina. Fumbles, interceptions and an inability to score early will doom Rutgers before the first half is over.

Wake Forest vs. North Carolina State
Prediction: Wake Forest 24, North Carolina S. 28
I'm sure North Carolina state wishes a certain QB at Wisconsin had stuck around. Wilson leaving hurts them, but they still have a balanced offense and a potent defense. The Demon Deacons are going to have trouble holding on to the ball and while also stopping North Carolina State on defense. The game will be close, but I expect the North Carolina State offense to win the game for them late. Wake Forest had a hard time stopping Syracuse, it's difficult to expect them to stop North Carolina State.

Duke vs. #4 Stanford
Prediction: Duke 3, Stanford 49
Shouldn't even be close after the first quarter. The Cardinal are poised for a big season if they can keep themselves focused and prepared. Duke has no chance at beating a Stanford team that plays with their full talent, but will Stanford be able to wake up and play Duke? Most likely, yes. Even at home, it's illogical to expect anything from Duke against a top flight program like Stanford.

Florida State vs. Charleston Southern
Prediction: Florida State 52, Charleston Southern 0
Florida State should steamroll Charleston Southern on route to a grand match up against Oklahoma next week. Assuming Florida State stays focused, this game won't be close after the first quarter. Expect a much better offensive performance from the Seminoles this weekend.

Clemson vs. Wofford
Prediction: Clemson 45, Wofford 10
Clemson will crush Wofford and numb some of the fears surrounding their first half play against Troy. A second blowout will get them ready for their meeting with Auburn next week, in what could be a deciding game for both teams. Expect Clemson to have the backups playing by the fourth quarter.

Virginia @ Indiana
Prediction: Virginia 28, Indiana 31
A low tier ACC team meeting up with a low tier Big Ten team. This game could go either way, but I gave the edge to Indiana at home. Indiana lost last week to Ball State and I think that will compel them to play a better game this week at home. Virginia hasn't started 2-0 since 2005, and Indiana hasn't been too impressive either. It's a battle of weak teams, but at least it should stay exciting throughout.

Virginia Tech @ East Carolina
Prediction: Virginia Tech 42, East Carolina 17
East Carolina played a closer game than most had expected last week at South Carolina but couldn't finish the job. This week, I expect East Carolina to hang with Virginia Tech for a half or more, but eventually Virginia Tech will figure out why they are a ranked team from the ACC. Expect Tech to lower the battering ram and smash through the East Carolina defense multiple times during the third and fourth quarters.

Boston College @ UCF
Prediction: Boston College 14, UCF 28
Boston College lost a close game to Northwestern last week. Normally that's not a problem, but Northwestern had to play the game without their starting QB. This week, Boston College goes on the road to play UCF. UCF is looking for a statement win for their program this week against a name brand team. While most teams wouldn't think much of a win over Boston College, UCF sees it much differently. Without a quality win in their arsenal the last few years, expect UCF to be fired up and ready to make a statement against a down Boston College squad. A 0-2 start is not what Boston College had in mind at the start of the year, but it's looking more and more probable as the days go by.

Georgia Tech @ Middle Tennessee
Prediction: Georgia Tech 27, Middle Tennessee 14
Why Georgia Tech ever agreed to play a game at Middle Tennessee I won't know. Whatever the case, it shouldn't be too difficult for them to come out with a win on the road. Middle Tennessee is dangerous and can pull off the upset, especially at home, but I expect a good performance from Georgia Tech to crush their hopes.

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