Thursday night games involving ACC teams throw me off a bit because that means I have to get my picks in before Thursday. Then again it is not like I am going to be watching the Miami-Texas A&M game tomorrow night from 9 to 11 PM considering the "Burn Notice" season finale will be on USA. (And if you have not checked out "Burn Notice" I highly recommend it.) Anyway, I have also noticed that despite my stellar 24-6 mark in predicting ACC games thus far this season it is not really a daunting task. I estimate there are about three games per week that hazard a crapshoot guess on my part. Everything else is a cake walk because the matchups are fairly clear. So without further ado here are the picks this week:
#20 Texas A&M at Miami
Miami runs the risk of going 0-2 versus the Big 12 with a loss here. At the same time there is not much you can tell about the Aggies 3-0 record since they have played two cupcakes and went to the wire with Fresno St. They have put up 38, 47 and 54 points so far which could be an issue for Miami since they gave up 51 to Oklahoma. The Aggies like to run the ball to the tune of almost 300 yards on the ground. The Canes were actually very tough in terms of the yardage they gave up on the ground to the Sooners so one has to hope that the run defense is enough to slow down the A&M attack. As for offense, Miami is just not good.
Texas A&M 33 Miami 16
#15 Clemson at NC State
There are apparently tickets still available for this one if you happen to be in Raleigh and are in the mood to see the Tigers run hog wild all over the Pack who are dead last in the ACC in rushing defense. Then again Clemson 11th in run defense so I would expect a fair amount of ball control, grind it on the ground offense in this one.
(Let me also point out that for all the grief UNC got for allowing UVa to run the ball at will they are only seventh in the ACC in rushing defense. Not as bad as what Clemson and NC State have going on when it comes to stopping the run)
Clemson 28 NC State 10
Georgia Tech at Virginia
What's the best way to get over having had your rear ends handed to you on ESPN2 at your home field? A trip to Charlottesville and visit UVa who will not score in this game and if they do you can color me surprised. The Jackets defense is that good and the UVa offense, when not playing UNC from its own goal line to the Tar Heel 30, is normally rather pedestrian.
Georgia Tech 31 Virginia 0
Army at #14 Boston College
William and Mary at #17 Virginia Tech
BC gets their share of cupcakes having played three conference games to begin the season. Virginia Tech will try to figure out their QB situation a little more against the lightweight tribe.
Boston College 45 Army 3
Virginia Tech 30 William and Mary 6
Maryland at Wake Forest
Which team needs this win most? I would say Wake Forest simply because they are about one loss way from making last year look like a fluke. Given the amount of trouble they gave Nebraska without Riley Skinner who is probable for the game in Winston-Salem I think the Demon Deacons will be very anxious to get the train back on the track. Of course no one knows which Maryland team will show up which could change everything.
Wake Forest 24 Maryland 19
Duke at Navy
Navy is having a down year under former THF endorsement recipient Paul Johnson and Duke is feeling it now having broken the snide. Not time like the present to start a new losing streak right Ted Roof? In fact let's make this a wager and if Duke wins Paul Johnson has to come to coach Duke, if Navy wins we all go back to making bad jokes about Duke football.
Navy 24 Duke 14
UNC at #23 South Florida
As much as I would like to steal one in Tampa, I am just not convinced UNC has enough in the way of talent to beat the Bulls. However if the last three games have taught us anything it is that the Heels will show up to play despite what certain letter writers to The Daily Tar Heel think. Also, keep an eye on T.J. Yates and his TD total. He has Darian Durant in his sights for the school record and if he can stay consistent Philip Rivers ACC freshman record might be up for grabs.
South Florida 28 UNC 21
Florida State vs BYE
This is the best the Seminole offense will look all season.
Record Last Week: 7-3
Record This Season: 24-6