Boston College (3-1) at NC State (2-3) Kickoff: 12 PM
It's Tom O'Brien versus his former team. These clubs have only met five previous times and BC leads the series 3-2. The Eagles are coming off a 42-0 rout of Rhode Island. Freshman running Montel Harris back led the way with 143 yards rushing and three touchdowns. It was his second consecutive 100 yard game and he is now averaging 92 yards per game on the ground, that's third best in the league. The Eagles have the second best scoring defense in the country giving up only 6.5 points per game. They are also second in the country in turnover margin. For the Pack, they will welcome back freshman quarterback Russell Wilson from injury. There is no doubt NC State is a much better offense with him in the game. Another player that could be back for State is TE Anthony Hill. He missed all of last season with a knee injury after leading the squad with 45 receptions in 2006. Running back Andre Brown had only 39 yards rushing last week against South Florida, but he did haul in two passes for 85 yards. Brown must play a big part on Saturday for the Pack to win. Prediction: NC State 24 Boston College 20
Duke (3-1) at Georgia Tech (3-1) Kickoff: 12 PM
The Blue Devils make their first road trip of the season under new head coach David Cutcliffe. The former Ole Miss head coach and Tennessee asssistant is bringing back memories of the Steve Spurrier days in Durham. Most of the on field focus for Duke has been directed at QB Thaddeus Lewis. In the four games so far he has led the offense to better than 30 points per game, but it is the defense that has lead the way. The Blue Devils boost the country's 18th best passing defense, the 20th best scoring defense, and the 33rd best total defense. They bare also 13th in the nation in turnover margin. They are going to need every bit of defense against Paul Johnson's Yellow Jackets. Georgia runs for better than 305 yards per game. In other words they are the fifth best rushing team in the country. Despite the gaudy numbers on the ground, they don't put up a ton of points averaging 28.75. The offense will be in the hands of freshman Jaybo Shaw and he will depend heavily on back Jonathan Dwyer. He piled up 141 rushing yards on only nine carries last week against Mississippi State. Turnovers will be the difference in this one. Prediction: Duke 31 Georgia Tech 27
Western Kentucky (2-3) at Virginia Tech (4-1) Kickoff: 1:30 PM
This is the first ever meeting between these two schools. The Hilltoppers are in the first of a two-year transition to the Football Championship Subdivision. Welcome to D-I football. Prediction: Virginia Tech 35 Western Kentucky 3
Florida State (3-1) at Miami (2-2) Kickoff: 3:30 PM
Florida State began to have that look of old in a 39-21 win over Colorado. Antone Smith carried the ball 25 times for 154 yards and the Seminole defense held the Buffs to 124 yards on the ground. Don't look now but Mickey Andrews' defense is ranked third in total defense, third in scoring defense, eighth in rushing defense and 14th in passing defense. Meanwhile, Miami is smarting from a 28-24 last minute loss at home to North Carolina. The Canes have been tough against the run giving up only 65 yards per game, but teams have been throwing the ball effectively averaging 218 yards per game. This isn't the FSU versus the "U" of the past, but it will still be intense. Chalk one up for the home team. Prediction: Miami 16 FSU 14
Maryland (4-1) at Virginia (1-3) Kickoff: 7 PM
I don't think I need to tell you much about the Terps. As we all saw last week, they are not the most gifted team, but Ralph Friedgen has always had a knack of his team getting better the deeper they get into a season. Darrius Heyward-Bey is a big match-up problem for any defense. The problem is Al Groh's Virginia defense isn't just your average defense. They are AWFUL! They give up 173 yards on the ground, 206 yards through the air and 32 points per game. As bad as those numbers are the offense is even worse, the Cavs are scoring a whopping nine points per game. They are only averaging a little more than 250 yards in total offense. You think it is bad in Clemson, try Charlottesville. Fear the Pergola, I think not. Prediction: Maryland 38 UVA 3
#24 Connecticut (5-0) at North Carolina (3-1) Kickoff: 7 PM
How many of you realize that Randy Edsall's UConn team claimed a piece of the Big East title last year? How many of you realize for the second straight season the Huskies are 5-0? What I am trying to tell you is that this is a good football team. Running back Donald Brown leads the nation in rushing. He has gone for 146, 214, 206, 150 and 190 yards this season. The Huskies are definitely a run-first ball club. UNC is just the opposite. In Brando Tate and Hakeem Hicks, the Tar Heels have two of the best receivers in the college game. Butch Davis turned to Cameron Sexton last week at Miami and he responded. With T.J. Yates sidelined with a broken ankle, Sexton led the Heels to a come from behind 28-24 victory. The win puts UNC back into the race for the Coastal Division Championship. A win Saturday would give North Carolina and the ACC some national respect. Keep looking Tar Heels. Prediction: UConn 27 UNC 17
Around the ACC
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