ACC Fearless Predictions, Week 2, Part 2
Past ACC predictions: Week One
ACC Week Two Predictions
Wyoming (1-0) at Virginia (0-1) 3:30 pm EST Saturday, September 9th
Why to Watch: Joe Glenn’s Wyoming Cowboys have made their rounds in recent years taking on foes from BCS conferences, and a trip to Charlottesville is this year’s date with a big boy. These two teams couldn’t be coming from different ends of the confidence spectrum with the Cavaliers having been routed by Pittsburgh 38-13, while Wyoming walloped Utah State 38-7. This could be the type of game that erases all memories of last season’s major disappointment for the Cowboys, while Virginia is just looking to get back on track.
Why Wyoming Might Win: The Cowboy offense is balanced behind the leadership of first year QB Jacob Doss and, like Pitt was able to do, should keep the Cavaliers on their heels. The Cowboy signal caller was efficient and effective (17 of 26 for 209 yards) against Utah State and the result was an almost perfectly balanced offense (221 rushing yards, 239 passing). RB Wynel Seldon is an underrated back who can hurt Virginia with his slashing, aggressive running style with enough speed to break off a few big plays.
Why Virginia Might Win: A home game for the reeling Wahoos might be the best tonic possible. UVA QB Christian Olsen got his opportunity to shake off the rust and should be much sharper against a suspect Cowboy secondary. UVA DB Nate Lyles is a rock-hard hitter who’ll be instrumental in helping against the run and against the pass (he had a pick six against Pitt). The defense should get more pressure on Doss in one quarter than he saw the entire game against Utah State.
Who to Watch: Wyoming WR Hoost Marsh ran for a touchdown and caught one pass for a touchdown against Utah State and needs to be a big-play receiver to give the Cowboys a shot. He’s a dual threat out on the perimeter who’ll have to be accounted for on every play. … The UVA offense will only go as far as Olsen can take them. He didn’t take them very far against Pitt, but with this one in the comfortable confines of Scott Stadium, he should be much more at ease and that much more effective, eyeing up TE Tom Santi and WR Fontel Mines.
What Will Happen: UVA should rely on more of a grinding running game in this game, getting more out of power back Jason Snelling to take some pressure off of Olsen. However, the Cowboys should be able to throw the football against a struggling Virginia secondary. Doss doesn’t have to carry the offense, but he throws well enough to keep an extra defender out of the box to stop Seldon and the running game.
CFN Prediction: Virginia 23 ... Wyoming 21 ... Line: Virginia -9.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 2.5
Troy (1-0) at Florida State (1-0) 6 pm EST GamePlan Saturday, September 9th
Why to Watch: The road to Tempe is now paved in garnet and gold, with Florida State’s three toughest remaining games (Clemson, Boston College, and Florida) at home, after the monumental 14-10 win over Miami. The matchup with Troy should be a breather, but coming off a hard fought win on only five days rest, the Noles must avoid a major let down when the Trojans come to Tallahassee. Troy is coming off a solid 38-0 win over Alabama State showing off the most offense it has in years, but now starts a killer stretch playing the Noles, Georgia Tech, and Nebraska on the road.
Why Troy Might Win: Former JUCO transfer Troy QB Omar Haugabook was sensational throwing for four touchdowns against Alabama State. His presence has made the Troy offense functional and finally a threat running a new spread offense that worked extremely well … against Alabama State. The end result was a balanced attack, with 238 yards rushing and 191 passing, giving the Trojans a chance to hang tough for a quarter or so against this aggressive Noles defense. WR Gary Banks was on the other end of three of those touchdown tosses and the ability to play pitch and catch deep will be the only way that Troy has a chance to challenge the Seminole defense.
Why Florida State Might Win: Quite simply, this might be the most aggressive and nasty defense in the nation. FSU LB Buster Davis proved to a nationwide audience that he is worthy of first team All-American honors, but keep an eye on Geno Hayes, who’s as fast and physical as Davis and is destined to be the next great FSU linebacker. FSU QB Drew Weatherford is as tough as the day is long and after being pounded all night by Miami. He kept drives alive in the second half with one key throw after another despite being under tremendous pressure. His maturity will make the Noles more and more dangerous as the year goes on.
Who to Watch: FSU’s Hayes is a stud in the making. With his rare speed and explosiveness to the ball, he looks a lot like another former No. 10, Derrick Brooks. Troy RB Anthony Jones averaged nearly nine yards per carry against Alabama State; any yardage that he can pick up on the ground against this unit takes a small bit of pressure off of Haugabook.
What Will Happen: FSU will find a running game facing the Troy defense, but it won’t be as easy as it might seem on paper. Troy’s defense can run and is extremely aggressive, but it won’t be able to hold FSU to one yard rushing as Miami did. The Seminoles will get pressure on Haugabook forcing him to throw quickly and the speed of the game will be at a level that the Troy signal caller hasn’t seen.
CFN Prediction: Florida State 34 ... Troy 7 ... Line: Florida State -27.5
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 2
Middle Tennessee (1-0) at Maryland (1-0) 6 pm EST Saturday, September 9th
Why to Watch: The Terps are coming off a not-that-sharp 27-14 win over William & Mary and shouldn’t have too many problems with Middle Tennessee, but Rick Stockstill’s team has enough of a defense to make this a ball game. It shouldn’t yield 24 first half points to Ralph Friedgen’s squad like William & Mary did last weekend and it should be able to hang around for more than a few drives. Remember, this is the team that beat Vandy at Vandy last year to ruin a bowl season. With West Virginia ahead next week, Maryland has to use this game to sharpen everything up.
Why Middle Tennessee Might Win: The Blue Raider defense is aggressive up front and will use run blitzes and stunts to get into the backfield to slow down the Maryland running game. The MTSU defense registered seven tackles for a loss last weekend in the 7-6 win over Florida International, so the pressure and chaos it can generate could be a problem for the Terps. MTSU QB Clint Marks may dink and dunk the ball all the way down field, but he’ll be accurate and move the chains keeping the offense on the field and controlling the tempo.
Why Maryland Might Win: As disruptive as MTSU will attempt to be on the defsnsive front, the pressure is still on to stop Maryland RBs Lance Ball and Keon Lattimore, who combined for 190 yards against William & Mary. If those two are rumbling and can help the Terps get up early, MT won’t have the firepower to come back.
Who to Watch: Similar to Maryland LB Wesley Jefferson on the other side, MT’s J.K Sabb is the leader of a good defense and has the burden of being the first line of defense against Ball and Lattimore for a full 60 minutes. If he’s not making big plays, chances are Maryland is running wild. Maryland CB Josh Wilson is arguably the best corner in the ACC and shuts down one half of the field. Marks may not want to test him, but may have to with the pressure he’ll likely be under.
What Will Happen: Friedgen will continue to expand the playbook this weekend for QB Sam Hollenbach, but he won’t veer far from the running game that should wear down the Blue Raiders by the fourth quarter. Marks will face a load of pressure from the Terps front four, which will lead to mistakes that the Terps will turn into points.
CFN Prediction: Maryland 31 ... Middle Tennessee 13 ... Line: Maryland -21
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 1.5
Florida A&M (1-0) at Miami (0-1) 7 pm EST Saturday, September 9th
Why to Watch: The Rattlers have made the trip to Coral Gables on a few occasions in the past decade or so, but this one is coming five days after the Canes’ soul-crushing 14-10 loss to rival Florida State. Uh oh. FAMU head coach Rubin Carter doesn’t have the ammunition to battle the Canes, and this Miami team will be on a mission to get back on track as soon as possible.
Why FAMU Might Win: This is a team that could make a strong run at the MEAC title behind the running and throwing of QB Albert Chester. RB Anthony Edwards looks solid replacing former star Rashard Pompey, and he needs to have the game of his life to keep this interesting for more than a quarter. LB Vernon Wilder had 11 tackles against Delaware State and wants to have a strong performance in his home city, and he could keep the struggling Miami ground game from going wild.
Why Miami Might Win: Athletes. Obviously. Miami QB Kyle Wright might have struggled to put points on the board against the Noles, but he had a decent game completing 18 of 27 passes for 132 yards. Now he should have far more success getting the ball down the field. The run defense should slow down both Chester and Edwards after holding FSU to one yard rushing. If that’s all FSU got – what will FAMU get? Think negative.
Who to Watch: Miami’s defensive line was magnificent against the run, but in the second half, it didn’t get as much pressure on FSU QB Drew Weatherford as it would’ve like. This has to be the game everything starts to click with a trip to Louisville next week. If the front four can’t get in the backfield against FAMU, it’s not going to get to Cardinal star Brian Brohm. … For FAMU, Chester is the straw stirring the offensive drink. He’s carried the team on his back at times in his career (Bethune Cookman game last year), but against Miami, he just has to make some plays to get his confidence back and prepare for MEAC play.
What Will Happen: Miami works to get more balance in the offense and that might mean a little more of Javarris James at running back. The true freshman, cousin of former U star Edgerrin James, showed that he has an explosiveness that neither Charlie Jones nor suspended starter Tyrone Moss displayed in limited play against FSU. The Miami offensive line should rule the line of scrimmage meaning a big Canes win.
CFN Prediction: Miami 51 ... Florida A&M 0 ... Line: UCLA -27
Must See Rating: (5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 1
ACC Week Two Predictions
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