A full slate of conference matchups is in store for week six of ACC action, kicked off by Friday night’s game inside the Carrier Dome.
Garcia Jr.: 32-11
McAllister: Syracuse needs this game more than Louisville despite some hinting that this may be a must win for the Cardinals. The Orange are desperate and play like it. The ground game has the first productive game against the Louisville front seven this season and Terrel Hunt shows signs as the offense puts up points to match the yards. The Cardinals offense struggles and continues to turn it over. Syracuse 24 Louisville 17.
Garcia Jr.: SU has some kind of magic on Friday nights, so why not. The home crowd should be the biggest and loudest one yet, the offense is churning out so many yards and the Cardinals haven't looked extraordinary of late. It all adds up to a solid Syracuse win. Hunt, Gulley and the young backs combine for 200-plus yards in a 21-20 victory.
homedawg: I have a feeling this could be a really ugly game. I have little confidence in the Syracuse offense, and even loss offense in a Louisville offense that will be starting a true Freshman quarterback. I think Syracuse's kamikaze blitzes will have an effect, and keep this a low scoring game. In what is a must win for Syracuse I have a feeling they somehow, some way, find a way to win an ugly one. Syracuse 14 Louisville 13.
McAllister: Virginia Tech is the better team and the Tar Heels have been largely inconsistent this season. Being at home helps, and their defense puts together a solid performance after two straight poor outings. Beamer Ball doesn’t work this week as the offense struggles to get things going. UNC 31 VT 21.
Garcia Jr.: Talk about a battle of reeling programs. Tech looked like the class of the Coastal division a few weeks ago, now it is scrambling for its next ACC win. Its defense is a bit better than woeful Carolina's which has given up well over 100 points over the last two weeks to ECU and Clemson. This will be a weird one, and the way the ACC has gone, this is exactly where the Heels pull away. T.J. Logan has a big game in a 34-21 triumph for Fedora's crew.
homedawg: What looked like a great match up about 2 weeks ago, is now just another game between 2 underachieving division foes. It's a battle where something has to give. At UNC defense has been optional, while at VT, offense has been inconsistent. I'll take the bad offense over the bad defense in a game someone has to win. Virginia Tech 24 North Carolina 23.
McAllister: After struggling out of the gate, the ‘Noles got things going behind a big performance from Jameis Winston last week. Now they welcome in the league’s worst in the Demon Deacons. Florida State should dominate on both sides of the ball in a laugher. FSU 52 WFU 10.
Garcia Jr.: FSU hasn't looked like FSU, but a little Wake Forest-coming-to-your-house stew is just what the doctor ordered. Winston and company will make it look easy both on the ground and through the air in a 63-17 snoozer.
homedawg: Not really sure what's going on at Florida St. They may be undefeated, but it sure hasn't been pretty. If they somehow find a way to struggle with Wake Forest then I will officially be worried. Until then I’ll hold off judgment. Noles should roll, or at least they better. FSU 48 Wake Forest 13
North Carolina State at Clemson
McAllister: After starting the season 4-0 and having the defending champs on the ropes, the Wolfpack will have to face their first losing streak of the season when they fall in Death Valley on Saturday. Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson has a big day, running for a score and throwing two more. Clemson 38 N.C. State 23.
Garcia Jr.: State gave FSU all it could handle, and it's no surprise considering Jacoby Brissett is the trigger-man. He's been on a mission since transferring from Florida and while last week was his coming out party, this week will be his biggest win to date. Enjoy the QB show in this one, but the Pack wins the day in a 41-34 shootout.
homedawg: NCST really surprised some people despite giving up 56 points last week. They might need to hang 56 again to have a chance because there defense is going to have a tough time slowing down Clemson at home. I'll take the Tigers in a rout. Clemson 45 NC ST 14
McAllister: Has there been any other team that has surprised more in the conference than the Yellow Jackets? The triple option is difficult to prepare for and they have everything clicking right now. At home against an up and down Miami squad means Tech pushes it to five straight to start the season. Georgia Tech 31 Miami 24.
Garcia Jr.: Very quietly, GT is cruising atop the Coastal division standings, and now it faces the Hurricanes, fresh off of dominating Duke. Can the 'Canes string a pair of big defensive performances together? Nope, the triple-option forces you to be disciplined for a full four quarters, and a late break in the game will point the trend in the home team's favor. 24-21 Jackets stay unbeaten.
homedawg: The last team I would have picked to be undefeated after the first 2 weeks would be Georgia Tech. After looking awful again bad competition they still managed to be the last team standing. That's really not saying much in the ACC Coastal division though. Too add to the craziness of that division Miami arose from the dead and beat everyone's (not mine) favorite Duke. Just because I can't see Georgia Tech improving to 5-0, nor do I want to see them at 5-0, I’m taking the Canes. Miami 28 GT 24.
Pittsburgh at Virginia
McAllister: Pittsburgh is losing to bounce back from a shocking loss to Akron at home, channeling their inner Greg Robinson. It won’t happen on the road against the conference’s best defense. The Cavs continue their surprising start to the season by forcing two turnovers and doing just enough offensively. Virginia 24 Pitt 13.
Garcia Jr.: A tale of two different directions in this one. Pitt looked like an offensive juggernaut early in the year, but has faltered to lesser opponents, while UVa. has proved that its defense is one to be reckoned with. Mike London's young unit gets it done again, as the home team edges the Panthers 20-13.
homedawg: What a letdown the Panthers have been. They were 1 quarter away from improving to 4-0 before imploding to Iowa. Then last week they get blown out by Akron of all teams. Not sure what's going on at Pitt, but I don't think things will get better this week against an improved Virginia. I'll take the Cavs. Virginia 23 Pitt 17