Munson's ACC preview - week No. 5

Don Munson is back with his weekly ACC preview for

Virginia 0-3 at North Carolina 3-1 (12 o'clock kickoff in Chapel Hill)
The Al Groh Farewell Tour hits Chapel Hill this weekend as the Cavaliers, coming off an open week, try to pick up their first win of the season. The Tar Heels are coming off at 24-7 loss in Atlanta to Georgia Tech. A game in which they gave up over 300 yards on the ground. The Cavs don't have near the rushing or passing attack to pull off the upset. Final Score: North Carolina 31 Virginia 13

Virginia Tech 3-1 at Duke 2-2 (12 o'clock kickoff in Durham)
The athletic officials are actually glad to see the Hokies come rolling into town because the visitors will fill more seats than the home folks. Frank Beamer's squad proved a point to themselves and maybe to a few others in the ACC that the road to a league championship still runs through Blacksburg with their 31-7 crushing of Miami last week. Just what did Duke prove with their 49-14 victory over North Carolina Central last week? Nothing! And that is what they will prove this week. Final Score: Virginia Tech 31 Duke 0

Florida State 2-2 at Boston College 3-1 (3:30 PM kickoff in Chestnut Hill)
Florida State is reeling from their 17-7 home loss to South Florida last week. The Seminoles thought they were back among the nations elite just two weeks ago with their impressive win on the road at Brigham Young. My how perceptions can change in just seven days. Boston College went to overtime last week with Wake Forest and found a way to win 27-24. This will be a game that we find out a lot about both teams. For the Seminoles, can they take up the challenge of looking at themselves in the mirror and say, "we are better than this". For the Eagles, it is can, "can we keep a broken team down?" I think there is just too much of an athletic gaps between these two to pick the home team, but should BC get up early on the Noles look out. Final Score: Florida State 31 Boston College 10

N.C. State 3-1 at Wake Forest 2-2 (3:30 PM kickoff in Winston-Salem)
Simply put this is a game that is tough to figure out. The Wolfpack are coming off a come from behind win at home over a pretty good Pittsburgh team 38-31. Russell Wilson in his last three games has played like the preseason ACC Player of the Year. That is big because if he continues to play this way Tom O'Brien's squad will put up their fair share of points. The problem is NCSU can not stop anybody with a decent offense. Wake Forest has a decent offense. With Riley Skinner at the helm of the Deacon attack, Wake has rolled up better than 412 yards per game in offense. Like the Wolfpack the Demon Deacons can not stop anyone. I really have the feeling this is a match up of two programs headed in opposite directions. Tom O'Brien is on the way up. Jim Grobe should have taken his opportunity to get out when the getting was good. Final Score: North Carolina State 35 Wake Forest 31

Georgia Tech 3-1 at Mississippi State 2-2 (7:30 PM kickoff in Starkville, Miss.)
The Yellow Jackets take a week off from their ACC schedule to take on a SEC opponent. Paul Johnson's Jackets got back on the winning track last week and in doing so got Jonathan Dwyer back on track. For the first time since the opening game against Jacksonville State, Dwyer cross the 100 yard mark running the football with 156 yards against North Carolina. The defense was also a big part of Georgia Tech's winning effort against the Tar Heels holding them to just 17 yards rushing. Mississippi State should have beaten LSU last week. The Bulldogs could not push the ball across from the goal line in the last minute of play and fell at home 30-26. First year head coach Dan Mullen has shown some signs of promise in his first four games with Mississippi State and a win in this one over a top 25 team would be big for the program. The key to stopping the Jackets attack is simple, stay at home, play your assignment football. The Bulldogs can do that. Final Score: Mississippi State 23 Georgia Tech 21

Oklahoma 2-1 at Miami 2-1 (8 PM kickoff in Miami)
Bob Stoops brings his eighth ranked Sooners to Miami with, in all likelihood, Sam Bradford back at quarterback. That could spell bad news for the Hurricanes. Without Bradford at the helm Oklahoma still is averaging better than 40 points per game, but forget about the offense because with the Sooners it is all about their defense. Oklahoma is giving up only four points per ball game and allowing only 41 yards per game on the ground. Now we know that Miami is not a dominate running team. They want to put the game in the hands of their sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris. Until last week Harris had produced. If Harris thought he saw defensive pressure last week from Virginia Tech, wait until he gets a load of the Oklahoma defensive front seven. The ACC desperately needs the Canes to get back to national respectability, but it won't be in this game. Final Score: Oklahoma 42 Miami 17

Clemson 2-2 at Maryland 1-3 (12 o'clock kickoff in College Park)
Dabo Swinney had a bit of an edge to him this week and rightfully so as the loss to TCU did not sit near as well with him as what happened at Georgia Tech earlier this year. The missed assignments, dropped passes and giving up a fourth quarter lead irked the Tigers head man and that was good to see. That makes this game even more important for Clemson. The Tigers need to go to College Park and take care of business. Once again a change at wide receiver will be made with Jaron Brown moved up into a starting role. There is also mounting pressure on the rest of the offense. Right now Clemson is the 94th ranked offense in the country and that is not good enough. I am not one of those who believe that too much of the offense is running through the hands of C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford, if nothing else I think more of the offense should run through these two. Until somebody else steps up and proves he can help carry the load keep feeding it to your horses. The horses should be well fed against the Terrapins. The Terps are giving up 202 yards per game in the ground. Do you see that Tiger offensive line? The Terps are giving up 210 yards per game through the air. Do you see that Kyle Parker and receiving corps? There is no doubt Ralph Friedgen will come out and try to spread out the Clemson defense, but the Tigers have the talent defensively to handle it.

Maryland quarterback Chris Turner is a good scrambler, but he is not a good runner and there is a big difference there. The Tigers have enjoyed their fair share of success in College Park the last couple of trips and that continues. Final Score: Clemson 31 Maryland 17

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