Atlantic Boston Coll | Clemson | Florida St | Maryland | NC State | Wake Forest
Coastal Duke | Georgia Tech | Miami | North Carolina | Virginia | Virginia Tech
Past ACC predictions: Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four
How are the picks so far? SU 27-9 ... ATS 18-9-10
Week Five ACC Fearless Predictions | Get Tickets for These Games
(4-0) 3:30 PM EST Saturday
Why to Watch: The Demon Deacons have a chance to get to 5–0 for the first time since Ronald Reagan was President in 1987. And, they’ve done much of it without injured QB Ben Mauk and RB Micah Andrews. The Deacs had, perhaps, their most impressive win to date at Ole Miss in a 27-3 blowout, and now it has to keep its focus against a not-that-bad Liberty team that pitched a 28-0 shutout last week against Savannah State.
Why Liberty Might Win: Led by RB Rashad Jennings, the fifth leading rusher in D-IAA, the Flames are 11th in the nation in rushing averaging 226 yards per game. The Flames’ ability to pick up five yards a clip in the rushing game could keep them on the field for 30+ minutes.
Why Wake Forest Might Win: Jim Grobe’s bunch typically doesn’t lose games that it shouldn’t. This is one that it shouldn’t lose. The Demon Deacons have played solid, relatively mistake-free football this year with the rest of the team picking up the slack without Mauk and Andrews. With Andrews out of the lineup, “the Bus” De’Angelo Bryant filled in admirably piling up 105 yards last week against Ole Miss. His power running should douse the undermanned Flames.
Who to Watch: Flame LB Steve Ray Lloyd is the leading tackler for Liberty and will have the responsibility of stopping Bryant on Saturday. The Flames have the number one D-IAA scoring defense in the nation (4.5 points per game), but whether Lloyd and his defensive mates can keep the Deacs off the scoreboard is a different situation as they tangle with the 245-pound Bryant.
What Will Happen: Bryant will have 125 yards through three quarters and pound on the Flames seventh ranked run defense while the Demon Deacon defense holds Jennings to under 75 yards. The Deacs win big in preparation for their showdown with Clemson next week.
CFN Prediction: Wake Forest 31 ... Liberty14 ... Line: No Line
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) ... 1
Houston (4-0) at Miami (1-2) 6:00 PM EST ESPN2 Saturday September 30th
Why to watch: Houston, we’ve got the makings of a very compelling non-conference game that’s brimming with juicy storylines. While Miami and Larry Coker have spent their open week fending off critics for a lackluster 1-2 record, Houston and Art Briles have reveled in the school’s best start since 1990. Stoked by the passing and senior leadership of Kevin Kolb, the Cougars aced their first test of 2006 with a breakthrough win against Oklahoma State, the school’s first over a Big 12 opponent in its last 19 tries. An upset in the Orange Bowl will propel Houston into the BCS bowl debate, Kolb into Heisman contention and the ‘Canes into a state of chaos. Miami doesn’t just need this game Saturday night. It needs to destroy the Cougars in order to begin regaining some of the pride and intimidation that’s evaporated the past few weeks.
Why Houston might win: This is not your daddy’s Miami team. Yeah, it still houses a ton of great recruits, but the offense has only managed 17 points against two I-A opponents and the heralded defense gave up 389 yards and four touchdowns to a Louisville team that didn’t have Michael Bush or Brian Brohm for the entire game. The way the nation’s third-ranked Cougar offense is cranking out points, the Canes are ripe to be beaten.
Why Miami might win: The Houston offense is prolific, but it hasn’t had to deal with a defense nearly as fast or as physical as the one in Miami. The Canes will completely shut down the Cougar running game, feasting on Kolb, who’ll be playing his first game without injured LT SirVincent Rogers, the anchor of the Houston line and his blindside protector. On the other side of the ball, the leaky Cougar pass defense has allowed eight touchdown passes, providing Miami QB Kyle Wright an ideal setting to get the offense back on track.
Who to watch: It’s about time Miami TE Greg Olsen begins playing like the first-round talent he’s been labeled since transferring from Notre Dame. The junior has just eight catches for 79 yards, has not blocked well and has made costly mistakes in the Canes’ two losses.
What will happen: Houston’s going to be a force in Conference USA, however, beating Miami in Miami with a juggled offensive line is too tall of an order. The Canes will restore some order behind a pair of Wright touchdown passes and a spark from true freshman back Javarris James.
CFN Prediction: Miami 37 .... Houston 20 ... Line: Miami -15.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) ... 3.5
Louisiana Tech (1-2) at Clemson (3-1) 7:00 PM EST ESPNU Saturday September 30th
Why to Watch: No team in the ACC is playing as well as a Clemson team coming off of the last minute win against FSU and a 52–7 drubbing of North Carolina last week at home. The Tigers take on the Bulldogs before heading to Wake Forest to face what will likely be an undefeated Wake Forest Demon Deacons in a key ACC Atlantic Division battle. The Bulldogs are in the midst of a murderous three game road trip traveling to Death Valley this week, one week after losing 45–14 at Texas A&M and with Boise State coming up next week.
Why Louisiana Tech Might Win: The Bulldogs could catch the Tigers looking ahead to their showdown in Winston-Salem. To do so, the Bulldogs must get a solid game out of QB Zac Champion to make up for what’ll likely be a struggling ground game. He has averaged 223 passing yards per game, and his ability to move the football with the controlled passing game should keep the Tiger offense off the field.
Why Clemson Might Win: They’re hot. They’re physical. They’re balanced. The defense is nasty. It’s a pretty simple deduction, really; the Tigers are hitting on all cylinders in every phase of the game. The offense is third in the nation, averaging 42 points per game, and the defense has only given up 67 points on the season and half of those they gave up to Boston College in one game.
Who to Watch: The offense has been sensational the last three weeks and much of that credit goes to the Clemson offensive line. The Tiger quintet is the foundation of the 18th best rushing offense in the nation. However, this group can run block and pass protect equally well giving up only four sacks on the season. Their versatility provides offensive coordinator Rob Spence the opportunity to stay balanced with his play calling, giving the Bulldogs major problems on Saturday.
What Will Happen: The Tigers’ balance on offense will be way too much for the Bulldogs to handle. Expect another 450+ yard, 45 point afternoon as the team continues to improve.
CFN Prediction: Clemson 45 ... Louisiana Tech 10 ... Line: Clemson -34
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip)