Around the ACC

Don Munson takes you around the ACC with his weekly look at all conference games, including Clemson's matchup with Boston College.

Miami (5-3) at Virginia (5-3) Kickoff 12 PM
Don't look now, but the Cavaliers have run off four wins in a row and sit atop the ACC Coastal Division. They have done it behind the return of Cedric Peerman at running back and the steady play of sophomore QB Mark Verica. "The Running Reverend" is what they call Peerman, he is an ordained minister, has averaged 111 yards per game on the ground during the four game streak. Virginia earned its first win on the road over a ranked opponent last week when they knocked off then number 21 Georgia Tech in Atlanta 24-17. Verica in the same stretch has gone 103-143 for 929 yards and 5 touchdowns. Miami still boasts the country's 15th-ranked defense, giving up only 283 yards per game, but 114 of that comes on the ground. Offensively, Randy Shannon is still trying to figure out who is going to take over the number one quarterback job as Robert Marve and Jacory Harris can't seem to put back to back games together. For a place once termed as "Quarterback U" that is not a good thing. Prediction: Virginia 25 Miami 17

Florida State (6-1) at Georgia Tech (6-2) Kickoff 3:30 PM
Bobby Bowden's Seminoles really have not looked impressive at all this year, but there they sit tied for the lead in the Atlantic Division with Maryland with a 3-1 conference mark. FSU last week showed some guts in coming from 10 points down to beat Virginia Tech 30-20 in Tallahassee. One of the reasons the Seminoles are winning games is because of their running game, funny how that is a common factor with winning teams. The Noles are averaging right at 198 yards per game on the ground and Antone Smith is one of the nation's best at getting the ball into the end zone. He is averaging 10 points per game this season. Now we all know that Georgia Tech can run the ball as well. They are the ninth best running team in the country piling up 237 yards per game on the ground. The problem is they are not producing that many points as they average only 23.75 points per game which is 72nd in the country. Georgia Tech has never beaten the Seminoles since FSU joined the ACC going 12-0. Look for that trend to continue. Prediction: FSU 24 Georgia Tech 20

Week one of the Dabo Swinney era did not go as Tiger faithful had hoped, but he has still put a shot of new energy into the program. Remember, this is not about energy it is about winning games. If Dabo is to have the interim label removed he has to start winning games.
Duke (4-3) at Wake Forest (4-3) Kickoff 3:30 PM
What has happened to Wake's offense? In the last three games they score 12 against Clemson, get shut out at Maryland and then put up only 10 points last week in a loss at Miami. The Demon Deacons now have the countries 112th ranked scoring offense averaging only 17.43 points per game. The reason they are not scoring points is because their running game is not taking any pressure off of QB Riley Skinner. The Deacs are only getting 109 yards a game on the ground and that ranks them 103rd in the country. Now Tailback Josh Adams did record his first 100 yard day of the season with 111 yards on 21 carries last week, so maybe that is the start of a turn around. Wake may get kicker Sam Swank back this week after missing the last three games with a hip injury. Duke, on the other hand, is just two games away from being bowl eligible. The job that David Cutcliffe has done has been amazing and don't think the fan base in Knoxville hasn't been watching. If you want to keep this guy Blue Devil fan, you are going to have to hold off Vol Nation. The Blue Devils have the best quarterback in the conference, in my opinion, in Thaddeus Lewis. He is chucking the ball for 189 yards per game. He is fourth in the ACC in total yards per game and sixth in passing efficiency. He just knows how to get it done and if he were anywhere else he would be a star. The last time these two teams played in Winston Salem was in 2006. Wake won that game 14-13 thanks to a blocked field goal as time expired. The Deacons won't be so lucky this time. Prediction: Duke 24 Wake 23

Clemson (3-4) at Boston College (5-2) Kickoff 3:30 PM
Week one of the Dabo Swinney era did not go as Tiger faithful had hoped, but he has still delivered a shot of new energy into the program. Remember, this is not about energy it is about winning games. If Dabo is to have the interim label removed he has to start winning games. C.J. Spiller will be back for the Tigers and that is a good thing. Having to sit out the last two and a half weeks with a partially torn hamstring it will be interesting to see how he turns it loose against BC. You know the Tigers want to get him the ball in as many one on one situation as they can. He is also playing on Field Turf which is a surface he has broken many a big play on before. Who will forget his 82-yard swing pass for a touchdown in his freshman year at B.C.? What is concerning for me is the fact that James Davis has been in a running funk. Call it offensive line issues or whatever you want Mr. Davis needs to get on track in Chestnut Hill for the Tigers to have a chance. The Tigers' defense has been keeping them in games, but this is an offensive game and the "O" has to step it up. BC is coming off a 45-24 beat down at the hands of North Carolina. The question is did the Tar Heels expose the Eagles or was it merely a blip on the radar? The Heels did a great job of spreading the bigger B.C. defense out and got the ball to their play makers. That has to be the formula for Clemson. Quarterback Chris Crane has also shown he likes to target the wrong jersey throwing 12 interceptions this season. If the Tigers can get out early and enjoy a little success I like their chances. Yes I know the Tigers have dropped three straight to the Eagles. Yes I know the offensive line is awful right now. Yes I know the defense has let down everyone on some big third down opportunities. Yes I know not a lot has gone right for this team this year. That stops here. Prediction: Clemson 31 Boston College 17

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