Two key matchups with conference standings implications, UNC is an underdog at home, two of the more inept offenses in the ACC square off, and everyone else is eating cake.
Thursday, October 12th
#12 Clemson vs Temple in Charlotte, NC, 7:30 PM
There is a great site called cfbstats.com which collates all of the statistics for the college football season so far and presents it in a easy to browse format. Of particular interest is national rankings for scoring defense. If you go to that page and scroll all the way to the bottom you find the following three teams bringing up the national rear in points allowed:
118. Florida Atlantic
All three of these are on the Clemson schedule and the first two, FAU and La Tech were beaten by a combined score of 105-6(with FAU doing all the heavy lifting on the offensive end) So considering that Temple is also ranked 118th in scoring offense this will be a unadulterated massacre, possibly on par with the battle of Gettysburg.
Clemson 61 Temple 0
One more thing. Why is this game being played in Charlotte? If I were a Clemson fan I would be annoyed at the prospect of having to drive to Charlotte on a Thursday night, deal with Charlotte traffic getting to Bank of America Stadium, all for the purpose of watching what amounts to a varsity versus junior varsity scrimmage.
#22 Virginia Tech at Boston College, 7:30 PM, ESPN
This is kind of a must win for Virginia Tech. First, they do not want to lose two straight. Secondly, they cannot afford a second conference loss with Clemson, Miami, and yes Wake Forest in waiting. Plus the Hokies just had a bye week so one would hope that they were prepared. Of course BC also had a bye week but I just do not see their offense being a match for the VT defense. The Hokies should get at least one special teams touchdown.
Virginia Tech 17 Boston College 10
Saturday, October 14th
Wake Forest at NC State, 12:00 PM, Raycom/Lincoln Financial
This game is huge. Wake Forest is standing on a precipice and could see the season spiral away from them with a second straight loss. The manner in which they gave away an almost 17 point lead by giving up 24 unanswered points to Clemson could be affect the Demon Deacons confidence in a bad way. Because Wake has been riding this unexpected wave of winning, the first loss could have a shattering impact. Of course Jim Grobe is a good enough coach to make sure that kind of thing does not happen. Now that Daniel Evans has had two games and been recognized as the real deal the question now becomes how good can NC State be on offense and can they sustain the level they have been at. NC State is looking for some serious Atlantic division control with upcoming games with UVa and Maryland. Will the Pack be up for this one? Can Wake bounce back? I think State has much more going for them at this point and with Wake I think it is a case of the market correcting itself somewhat though the Deacs should still go bowling.
NC State 31 Wake Forest 28
South Florida at North Carolina, 12:00 PM, ESPNU
Give me one good reason to pick UNC to win. Just one.
South Florida 28 UNC 24
Florida State at Duke, 1:00 PM
There is an inkling of thought that if Duke can duplicate their success at Alabama while playing some solid defense this game could be close and per chance Duke could win it.
Sorry about that, I have now returned to my senses.
FSU 41 Duke 0
Maryland at Virginia, 3:30 PM
In the traditional ACC this would be a great game. Unfortunately the offenses both stink though I think Maryland has the edge and some confidence from playing Georgia Tech close. UVa is in a free fall which should make the Thursday game with UNC next week even more entertaining.
Maryland 21 Virginia 6
Florida International at Miami(FL), 7:00 PM
FIU is 0-6 so as bad as Miami has been there is no way they lose this game but they might perform badly enough to keep the mob fires burning another week. FIU is 66th in scoring defense so this is not a cake walk for the Miami offense. The Canes should be thankful the Panthers are so much worse than them when they have the ball.
Miami 31 FIU 0