CFN: Week 3 -- ACC Fearless Predictions

College Football News previews this week's action in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

How are the picks so far? SU: 16-3 ... ATS: 9-6-1

ACC Week Three Predictions, Part 2

ACC Game of the Week

Boston College (2-0) at Georgia Tech (2-0) 8:00 PM ESPN2 
Why to Watch: A pair of 2-0 teams lock up in the first big ACC battle of the year, and in what could be a preview of the ACC title game. Boston College is already 2-0 in the league, having knocked off Wake Forest and NC State, while the Ramblin’ Wreck has feasted on Notre Dame and Samford. Considering how bad the Irish appear to be to start the season, the college football world is still waiting to see just how good this Tech team really is. Both teams have high-powered offenses and plenty of strength on the other side of the ball with ball-hawking defenses. Should the Eagles win, they’ll be positioned for a huge run with since Army, Massachusetts, Bowling Green and the sad-sack Irish are their next four opponents. Hello, Top 10. As for the Yellow Jackets, the win over Samford was fun, but it’s time to see what that ferocious defense and amazing running game (nine rushing TDs last Saturday) against a balanced attack like the Eagles’.
Why Boston College Might Win: In the win over Wake, Matt Ryan was on fire throwing for five touchdowns. Against State, the ground attack took over, with Andre Callender piling up 159 rushing yards, pushing Ryan into the background. As good as the Tech defense might be, now it has to deal with a balance it hasn’t come close to seeing yet. Defensively, the Eagles forced seven turnovers against the Wolfpack, and turned them into 23 points. The D basically turned the game around as the Eagles cranked out 30 straight points. Two Saturdays ago, DeJuan Tribble’s three picks led the way against the Demon Deacons. Against NC State, Jamie Silva had a pair of interceptions. Although Taylor Bennett has been sharp to date and only misfired on one of his nine attempts against Samford, he hasn’t seen anything like BC’s D, which has good talent at all three levels.
Why Georgia Tech Might Win: All right, so the win over Samford was nothing more than a glorified scrimmage, and the regulars were done by halftime, but this is turning into an impressive offense, particularly on the ground. Tashard Choice has run for 306 yards in just two games and his backup, true freshman Jonathan Dwyer, had 138 and three scores on just nine carries last Saturday. Not that the Eagles will be pushovers against the run, considering they held NC State to just 56 yards rushing, but the Wolfpack was without top rusher Toney Baker. This will be an entirely different level for the Eagles to face. This is an aggressive, lightning quick defensive front seven that should be able to swarm all over Callender and L.V. Whitworth. Ryan needs to have his head on a swivel, too, because GT sacked Irish QBs nine times in the romp.
Who to Watch: The X factor for the Yellow Jackets is Bennett. Sure, he looked great against Samford, but BC’s secondary is a whole other level for the junior. Against Notre Dame, he completed 11-of-23 for 121 yards and a score. It wasn’t awful, but he missed several open receivers and appeared to be just a bit off. Job one will be to avoid the pick-happy BC secondary. Job two will be to open things up for Choice. He doesn’t have to outplay Ryan, but he has to keep pace.
What Will Happen: This might not be the highest profile matchup of the day, but it’s every bit as big, and every bit as important, as a top level SEC game. Expect it to be a defensive battle until the Tech line takes over in the second half.
CFN Prediction: Georgia Tech 23 … Boston College 14 ... Line: GT -7
Must See Rating: (5 Britney at the VMAs - 1 Big Shots) ... 4.5

ACC Thursday, Sept. 13

West Virginia (2-0) at Maryland (2-0)  7:45 pm ESPN
Why to watch: For the 28th consecutive season, West Virginia and Maryland hook up with regional bragging rights and a 3-0 start at stake.  The Mountaineers have won the last three meetings, and enter the game as the No. 4 team in the country.  Neither school has faced anything resembling a ranked opponent this season, making this Thursday’s game in College Park a good measuring stick for both.  West Virginia got tested for a while by in-state rival Marshall last Saturday before its dynamic duo of QB Patrick White and RB Steve Slaton wore the Herd out in the second half.  The Terps have basically gone through the motions in wins over Villanova and Florida International, winning both games sans any style points or rave reviews.  If Maryland has any hope of authoring an upset, it’s got to play markedly crisper, particularly on offense.
Why West Virginia might win: The question for everyone on West Virginia’s schedule is whether or not it has enough firepower to keep pace with an offense that scores in bunches and is already averaging 50 points a game this season.  Against lesser competition, Maryland has really struggled to move the ball in the early going, and pass protected poorly versus Florida International.  Although the running game is in goods hands with Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball, new QB Jordan Steffy is a giant unknown that’s yet to throw a touchdown pass.  If, as so many Mountaineer games do, this becomes a track meet, the Terps don’t have the arsenal to go step-for-step.
Why Maryland might win: Athletically, the Terps are one of those rare teams that match up well with West Virginia.  For the past few years, Ralph Friedgen has been recruiting lots of size-speed types which will be especially helpful in this week’s game.  Led by LB Erin Henderson and DT Dre Moore, Maryland is loaded with veterans on defense, and has held its last three opponents under 100 yards rushing.  And while it won’t keep the Mountaineers under the century mark, it will prevent them from erupting with a wave of long runs that takes the Byrd Stadium crowd out of the game.
Who to watch: With the spotlight always shining on White and Slaton, it’s easy to lose sight of Darius Reynaud, an equally dynamite athlete from the wide receiver position.  A blur in the open field, his numbers have been climbing have been climbing alongside White’s development as a more complete passer.  In the win over Marshall, Reynaud had a career day, catching eight passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
What will happen: Short week.  Road game.  Tough defense.  This will not be a cakewalk for West Virginia, which will be facing a Maryland team looking for a red-letter win on national television.  The Mountaineers will pull away late with back-breaking sprints from White and Slaton against a gassed Terp defense.     
CFN Prediction: West Virginia 37 … Maryland 24 ... Line: West Virginia -16 
Must See Rating: (5 Britney at the VMAs - 1 Big Shots) ... 4
     

 

ACC Saturday, Sept. 15

Virginia (1-1) at North Carolina (1-1) 12:00 PM GamePlan
Why to Watch: This presents the interesting juxtaposition of a coach setting about the rebuilding process of a program, and a sideline boss doing the best he can to ward off calls for his scalp. The former, UNC’s Butch Davis, knows he has a lot of work to do in Chapel Hill, but he has his Tar Heels playing relatively well on offense, and he hasn’t been afraid to use young players in the process. Virginia’s Al Groh, on the other hand, needs to make sure his Cavaliers reach a bowl, or there will likely be a new sheriff in town next year. UVA helped Groh last Saturday by knocking off Duke, while UNC fell on a last-second field goal to East Carolina. Both teams need to cut down the mistakes in order to move forward, and neither team can afford a loss if there are any dreams of a bowl.
Why Virginia Might Win: After an anemic offensive output against Wyoming in the season-opening loss, the Cavaliers rebounded nicely last week against Duke. Granted, the 324 yards of total offense weren’t the output of a juggernaut, but Virginia received good performances from running back Cedric Pearman (137 yards), QB Peter Lalich (13-of-18, 131 yards), who relieved starter Jameel Sewell (60 yards) and tight end Tom Santi (six catches, two TDs). What the Cavs didn’t get was good special teams play. In fact, that area was disastrous. Two snaps sailed over the punter’s head. A punt was blocked. So was a field goal. A repeat won’t result in a win Saturday. The Cavs need to tighten up their pass defense, too. Things were okay against Duke, but Wyoming’s Karsten Sween threw for 253 yards in the opener.
Why North Carolina Might Win: The Tar Heels can score some points. They followed up a 37-point output in the opener against James Madison with 31 in the loss to East Carolina. Much of it comes through the arm of redshirt freshman T.J. Yates, who had 344 yards and three TDs against ECU. Wideout Brandon Tate has been on fire so far, scoring on three of his five receptions and averaging 35.2 yards per catch. But the Tar Heels need to cut back on the mistakes. They’ve committed four turnovers and had a field goal blocked in the final minute against the Pirates. Tighten that up, and they should be able to make considerable progress in a big hurry.
Who to Watch: By the time spring practice ended, Yates was in the running for the starting QB job. By August, last year’s starter, Cam Sexton was out, former QB Joe Dailey was a receiver, and touted freshman Mike Paulus was wearing a red shirt. By surviving that derby, Yates showed he has some poise and talent. Since taking over the job, he has completed 66.0% of hit throws for 562 yards, six scores and two picks. That’s not bad for someone expected to struggle. Granted, the meat of the schedule remains, but Yates has made a compelling opening argument.
What Will Happen: It won’t be easy, but the Cavaliers will continue their turnaround by playing some good defense and moving their offense forward.
CFN Prediction: Virginia 24 … North Carolina 20 ... Line: North Carolina -3 
Must See Rating: (5 Britney at the VMAs - 1 Big Shots) ... 2.5
 

Ohio (2-0) at Virginia Tech (1-1)
1:30 PM
Why to Watch: It can’t be that bad, can it? The Hokies, once a dark-horse national title hopeful and the darlings of the nation after last April’s horrific shootings, staggered home from Baton Rouge last week after dropping a 41-point decision to LSU that erased even the loftiest dreams of playing for a championship, even in defeat. The loss caused Tech coach Frank Beamer to name true freshman Tyrod Taylor as his starting QB this week in the hopes that the spread-offense specialist can kick-start a Hokie attack that has yet to get started. The Bobcats, meanwhile, are 2-0 after a win at Louisiana-Lafayette, and have a potent attack that can hit rivals on the ground or through the air.  No, this isn’t LSU, but the Ragin’ Cajuns could be dangerous if Tech’s head is still in Death Valley.
Why Ohio Might Win: Granted, the Bobcats dumped ULL and Gardner-Webb, but this is a program on the come with a sound offensive system under head coach Frank Solich. QB Brad Bower was 17-of-28 for 264 yards and a score last week, while senior RB Kalvin McRae had four touchdowns. Ohio averaged 33.5 ppg and 424.0 yards/game, so Tech’s stout defense, which was overrun last week, had better be ready for a quick rebound.
Why Virginia Tech Might Win: The Hokies are at a crossroads and need to find the leadership on defense to find the right path. Last week’s loss was a true crusher; although the verdict was not totally unexpected, the pointspread was a shock. Taylor is a dangerous weapon, capable of running or passing well. He is, however, a freshman, and he’s working behind a shaky O-line that hasn’t helped Branden Ore get loose on the run this year. If VT is to win this, it’s up to the defense to create opportunities for short drives and the trademark excellent Tech special teams need to get some points – or at least set the offense up for easy scores.
Whom to Watch: Taylor was rated the number one dual-threat QB in the country by one service after accounting for 100 touchdowns during three years as a starter at Hampton HS. He’s a two-time first-team all-state performer who had more than 2,300 total yards last year and 36 touchdowns. The 6-2, 185-pounder led Tech with 44 rushing and 62 passing yards in last week’s loss and let VT to its only touchdown.
What Will Happen: The Hokies may be in disarray, but the Bobcats aren’t quite good enough to take advantage. VT, keys on McRae, and when Bower can’t come through with any sort of a passing game, the Hokies will get healthy at home.
CFN Prediction: Virginia Tech 31 … Ohio 6 ... Line: VT -19.5
Must See Rating: (5 Britney at the VMAs - 1 Big Shots) ... 2

Furman (1-1) at Clemson (2-0) 1:00 PM GamePlan
Why to Watch: The last time Clemson started a season 3-0 was 2000, when the Tigers went on an eight-game season-opening binge. That’s enough reason to catch this one, since after dumping Florida State in the Labor Day Bowden Bowl, the Tigers are poised for another big start. They shouldn’t get much of a fight from the Paladins, who despite being ranked 15th in I-AA and being quite an historic rival of Clemson’s – dating back to CU’s first-ever game – are being brought in as lambs for the slaugher. Last week’s early lack of focus against UL Monroe resulted in a 7-0 deficit, and though there might be a little trouble getting rolling this week, Clemson should be just fine.
Why Furman Might Win: The Paladins are capable of putting up some yards, particularly through the air, thanks to QB Renaldo Gray, who threw for 261 yards and four scores in the season-opening win over Presbyterian. He has a pair of good targets, Patrick Sprague (14 catches) and R.J. Webb (11). Running back Cedrick Gipson has the potential to grind out some tough yards, and the Paladins don’t turn it over very often – only once this season.
Why Clemson Might Win: If Cullen Harper plays only half as well as he did last week, the Tigers should have no trouble. The nation’s eighth-best passer threw for 270 yards and a school-record five TDs while completing 20-of-26 passes. So what if the fans cheered when freshman Willie Korn entered the game? The job is Harper’s for now, but it’ll be Korn who quickly comes in when this gets out of hand. The Tiger defense showed in the first half against Florida State that it can terrorize an attack, although they need to tighten up their D against the run, since they’ve allowed 192.5 yards rushing per game.
Who to Watch: It might have been tempting to look at the recruiting reports and let Phillip Merling play tight end when he came to Clemson from Fork Union Military School, but the Tigers made him a defensive end, and he has thrived. Last year, he had 10 tackles for loss and 20 QB pressures, and he looks even better this year. Through two games, Merling has 18 tackles, four behind the line, and two pressures. He’s a key to a defense that will make Clemson an ACC title contender if it matches the offense’s production.
What Will Happen: The Tigers’ balanced attack proves too much for Furman … in the first quarter. The defense will tighten up to make the light scrimmage a laugher.
CFN Prediction: Clemson 44 … Furman 6 ... Line: No Line 
Must See Rating: (5 Britney at the VMAs - 1 Big Shots) ... 1

ACC Saturday, Sept. 15

Army (1-1) at Wake Forest (0-2) 3:30 PM
Why to Watch: The Demon Deacons are among the nation’s best 0-2 teams, thanks to a 10-point defeat to BC and last week’s late three-point loss to Nebraska. Despite using backup QB Brett Hodges, Wake put pressure on the highly-regarded Cornhuskers throughout the game and could well have won it if not for a few key late mistakes. Army, meanwhile, is trying to build on a 14-7 overtime win over Rhode Island, the first ever for new coach Stan Brock. Yes, the Rams are an FCS team, but the struggling Cadets won’t be snobs about whom they beat at this point. They’ll try to gather some momentum behind a stingy defense and emerging passing game in what would amount to a program-changing win if they can pull it off.
Why Army Might Win: The Black Knights got a boost from sophomore QB Carson Williams, who took over for injured David Pevoto (ankle) and threw for 148 yards on 12-of-20 passing. Williams may not be as experienced as Pevoto, but he engineered two TD drives and threw the winning TD pass in OT. The Army defense has allowed just 295 total yards a game and piled up five sacks. If the Cadets are going to win, however, they must be more effective on the ground, since they’re only averaging 52 yards a game rushing.
Why Wake Forest Might Win: Simply put, Wake is too good to be 0-3 this year. Last year’s magical season is long gone, but the Deacons still have plenty to play for, and a win Saturday would be a good kick start. QB Brett Hodges has played well in relief of Riley Skinner (shoulder) and runs the Wake offense well, even though he’s still learning on the fly. He has a great weapon at his disposal in wideout Kenneth Moore, who has proven to be tremendously versatile this year, rushing for 116 yards and a TD against Nebraska and catching a whopping 15 passes versus BC. Since Army’s passing offense woke up last week, and Wake has given up 333.0 yards passing per game, the Deacons need to tighten that up.
Who to Watch: Army opened up in a two-tight end formation last week, and it turned out to be a good move, since senior Justin Lawson ended up catching the winning TD pass in overtime. Lawson, who played in all 12 games last year but caught just five throws, already has nine receptions this year. He and Mike Evans give Williams and Pevoto a pair of solid targets.
What Will Happen: The Deacon attack is too savvy and versatile for the Cadets, and Wake should take out some of the frustrations it has felt the past two weeks.
CFN Prediction: Wake Forest 38 … Army 13 ... Line: Wake Forest -21 

Must See Rating: (5 Britney at the VMAs - 1 Big Shots) ... 1.5


Florida International (0-2) at Miami (1-1)  3:30 PM ESPNU
Why to Watch: On the surface, this is as ugly as it gets, but it’s an important chance for the ‘Canes to get things straight after a clubbing by Oklahoma last Saturday. But then you remember last year’s matchup, and the reason to watch comes into sharp focus. The ’06 edition of this rivalry featured the infamous brawl that led to 31 suspensions by the teams and became the beginning of the end for both coaching staffs. There won’t be the bad blood this time around with new head coaches Mario Cristobal at FIU and Miami’s Randy Shannon handling things far differently. Even so, this will still be a hard fought game with FIU looking to make a big statement in some way, as Cristobal tries to make his program like the one down the road.
Why Florida International Might Win: The Golden Panthers weren’t too pleased to see that Miami was whipped in Norman last week, since the Hurricanes are liable to be focused and mad. Still, Miami is an imperfect team with a shaky passing attack that manages just 84 yards a game. Kyle Wright gets the start this week, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be any better than Kirby Freeman, who was inept. FIU had better get its offense going, particularly on the ground, since it has rushed for just 79 yards in its two losses. A better rushing attack will help QB Wayne Younger be a little more accurate (42.6%) against the tough Miami defense.
Why Miami Might Win: Wright may be inaccurate and inconsistent, but he’ll have plenty of opportunity to look good against the leaky FIU defense. Wright came on in relief last week and led Miami to its only TD. Even if implodes, the ground game should be sufficient to dominate the Panthers. Graig Cooper (142 yards) and Javarris James (127 yards, 2 TDs) have been excellent so far and could each get over 100 yards Saturday. The Hurricane defense is still reeling from last week, but it continues to produce turnovers (plus-4 margin) and should be able to add to that total Saturday.
Who to Watch: There are plenty of times when a son plays for his father in college but precious few when fathers and sons are opponents. That’s what happens Saturday, when Shannon squares off against his son, Xavier, FIU’s starting center. The Miami head man has said that he and his son will be enemies during the game, and family after it. The third-year starting junior (he was a regular for five games as a frosh) is 6-1, 288 and a solid middle man for the Panthers.
What Will Happen: Expect relative peace between the teams, but on the scoreboard, the Hurricanes will romp.
CFN Prediction: Miami 40 … FIU 6 ... Line: Miami -33 
Must See Rating: (5 Britney at the VMAs - 1 Big Shots) ... 1.5

Wofford (2-0) at NC State (0-2) 6:00 PM
Why to Watch: How often do you get a chance to watch a game between two schools which haven’t met in 87 years? Not too often, so why not see if the Terriers, ranked 11th in I-AA, can avenge a 90-7 spanking absorbed in 1920? NC State doesn’t care about margin of victory. The 0-2 Wolfpack is just looking for its first win under new coach Tom O’Brien, but given the Southern Conference’s success so far against I-A schools (hello, Appalachian State!), don’t rule out the Terriers, who have won seven in a row.
Why Wofford Might Win: The Terriers average 359.0 rushing yards per game, and the Wolfpack surrenders 218.5, so there is an opportunity for the Wofford ground-based attack to thrive. Backs Kevious Johnson, Jeremy Marshall and Michael Hobbs have each rushed for at least 100 yards this season, while QB Josh Collier has two TDs on the ground. Wofford is also an opportunistic team, with a plus-5 turnover ratio, a good thing, since the Wolfpack is minus-8 in that department. Wofford has also been successful against the run, allowing only 107.0 a game, not good news for a State team that has managed just 70.5 yards in two games.
Why North Carolina State Might Win: Even though Wofford isn’t a pushover, the Pack should be too strong, particularly since three of the Terriers’ offensive linemen weigh 285 pounds or less. QB Harrison Beck piled up plenty of passing yardage in last week’s loss to Boston College, with 321 yards. NC State is 14th nationally in passing, and Wofford has let up 276.5 yards per game through the air. And junior Andre Brown has stepped up well at running back, with 136 yards and a TD, in relief of injured starter Toney Baker. Also, the NC State defensive front will be fortified by the return of Alan Michael Cash, who missed last week’s loss due to his father’s funeral.
Whom to Watch: After practice Tuesday, Wolfpack QB Harrison Beck had a conversation with O’Brien and said he understood that he hadn’t played well, and that he would improve. That wasn’t a bad idea after Beck threw five interceptions against Boston College. The Nebraska transfer has a good arm and the ability to get the ball downfield, but he must be more accurate (55.1%) and less prone to making bad decisions.
What Will Happen: Wofford will be able to run the ball a bit, but NC State will make too much progress through the air to be denied.
CFN Prediction: NC State 24 … Wofford 13 ... Line: No Line
Must See Rating: (5 Britney at the VMAs - 1 Big Shots) ... 1.5

Duke (0-2) at Northwestern (2-0) 8:00 PM Big Ten Network
Why to Watch: There's a recent history between the two top-notch academic institutions with Northwestern winning five in a row since Duke thumped the Wildcats 44-10 in 1998. After a brutally ugly start, losing to Connecticut and Virginia by a combined score of 69 to 27, the Blue Devils desperately need a good performance to break the 22-game losing streak before facing Navy next week. After that, the schedule only gets tougher with the only reasonable shot at pulling off a win not coming until the rivalry date with North Carolina to end the season. If Duke goes 0-12, it'll take the losing streak up to 32 games, two shy of the dubious record set by Northwestern from 1979 to 1982, but that's still a long way off. For now, Northwestern can't look past the Blue Devils to Ohio State and Michigan. The Wildcats needed a last-minute comeback to stun Nevada, and while they're 2-0, they're still searching for consistency on both sides of the ball. A win would give Northwestern just its second 3-0 start since 1965.
Why Duke Might Win: The Wildcats aren't getting the production from the lines that was expected early on. The offensive line has been fine for the ground game, but has struggled in pass protection. The defensive line has gotten into the backfield, but has struggled against the run. Duke has to take advantage of this. Getting into the backfield has been one of the only things the defense has been able to do reasonably well, while there's decent talent in the backfield to finally get the running game going. However ...
Why Northwestern Might Win: ... the defense made the mediocre Connecticut and Virginia offenses look like the Indianapolis Colts. The Huskies and Cavaliers are severely deficient in receiver talent, and have mediocre passing quarterbacks, but the Blue Devil secondary couldn't do anything against either air attack. Northwestern has a balanced offense that's getting timely passing and good production out of the receiving corps. A ten-point lead against this Duke team might as well be a 55-point margin.
Who to Watch: The pressure will be on the Wildcat passing game to produce with star RB Tyrell Sutton likely to be out with an ankle injury. Senior Brandon Roberson picked up the slack against Nevada with 128 yards and a touchdown, but he's never had to be the workhorse before. He broke off a 76-yard dash against Nevada, and while he likely won't have to hit any home runs, he'll have to be consistent enough to make Duke worry about the run. For Duke, someone has to emerge to help the ground game. Justin Boyle only has 45 yards on 13 carries, and he's the team's leading rusher.
What Will Happen: Duke will finally show a little bit of offense, but it won't matter. Northwestern will get a crisp game out of QB C.J. Bacher, and it won't need any last minute heroics.
CFN Prediction: Northwestern 27 ... Duke 16
... Line: Northwestern -16.5
Must See Rating: (5 Britney at the VMAs - 1 Big Shots) ... 2


Florida State (1-1) at Colorado (1-1)  10:00 pm ESPN
Why to Watch: In an interestingly odd matchup of two conferences that rarely cross paths, Colorado looks to get the first big name win in the Dan Hawkins era, while Florida State tries to jump-start a season that's started off rocky at best. The Noles showed good heart in coming back late to make a game of it in the loss to Clemson, and then they came out and struggled against an awful UAB team. With Alabama coming up, followed by the meat of the ACC season, the time is now for all the coaching changes, and all the tweaks to the offensive system, to kick in. For Colorado, the key is establishing a little bit of consistency. After opening the season with a win over Colorado State, the Buffs were never in the game in the loss to Arizona State. The offense has to finally start showing some signs of life, and the defense has to play much better than it has to start the year. Florida State won the only time the two play in a 47-7 blasting in 2003.
Why Florida State Might Win: Colorado can't throw. Cody Hawkins is a great-looking young prospect who should grow into the role over the next few years, but right now, the passing attack hasn't been appreciably better than last year when it was the worst in America. The Seminole secondary has talent, and hasn't been bad over the first two weeks, and it would be a lot better if the defensive front could start to generate a pass rush. If FSU can get up early against the Buffs, like ASU was able to, it could be over. CU doesn't have comeback ability, and the overall explosiveness isn't getting any help with Bernard Jackson, last year's starting quarterback who became a receiver, likely done thanks to academic problems.
Why Colorado Might Win: It's not all going to be about Hawkins this week as he get some big help returning. RB Hugh Charles missed the ASU game with a hamstring problem and now is back to 100% and ready to roll. Without him, CU rushed for a mere 32 yards against Arizona State and 129 against Colorado State. With a first option to go to in the offense, Hawkins should be more comfortable and shouldn't have to make every play happen on his own.
Who to Watch: What's up with DeCody Fagg? The one-time superstar receiver recruit for the Noles came into the season as one of the team captains, and now he might turn into a reserve after catching just five balls for 34 yards, dropping several key passes, and making a slew of mental mistakes. Also needing to step up and do more is Greg Carr, who came through with a nice day against UAB, but still hasn't developed into a full-time go-to receiver. Will he ever catch more than five passes? The offense likes to spread it around, but with Fagg's problems, Carr quickly has to be the number one target.
What Will Happen: Both teams have major problems, but Florida State has more talent to make up for all the issues. This will be the game the defensive line finally starts to play like the Florida State offensive line, and while Hawkins will have a decent game, he won't get the passing game going quickly enough to jump out to a desperately needed early lead.
CFN Prediction: Florida State 31 ... Colorado 20
... Line: Florida State -4.5
Must See Rating: (5 Britney at the VMAs - 1 Big Shots) ... 2.5


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