After a perfect 6-0 week last week, premium subscriber homedawg has caught Mike McAllister in the standings, but John Garcia, Jr. is only two games back. Here are this week’s picks.
Garcia Jr.: 38-17
McAllister: Both teams have been sliding after strong starts. The Panthers offense has really struggled to move the ball despite some talented skill position players. The Tech defense has been solid in nearly every game, and will perform well again in this one. But the Pitt offense gets back on track and their defense stifles a subpar Hokie offense. Pitt 24 Virginia Tech 20.
Garcia Jr.: Both teams have been wildly inconsistent, so naturally the home team loses a prime time matchup. Virginia Tech 27 Pitt 20.
homedawg: Here's a Thursday night match up between 2 of the most disappointing ACC teams. After getting off to hot starts both VT, and Pitt are reeling. VT seems to be reeling a bit more being down their top 3 running backs. An anemic offense should get even worse. I'll take Pitt in a pillow fight. 20-7.
McAllister: In a battle of 2-4 teams looking to get their seasons back on track, two struggling offenses matchup with solid defenses. But Syracuse has a little bit of hope with the spark provided by quarterback A.J. Long, who will get his first start on the road. The Demon Deacons offense is literally the worst in the country. They struggle to run the ball at under 35-yards per game, which fits right into what the Orange want to do. Look for the Syracuse offense to do enough and the defense to put all sorts of pressure on Wake’s freshman signal caller. Syracuse 24 Wake Forest 10.
Garcia Jr.: Syracuse is as happy as can be coming off of a loss because of the A.J. Long to Steve Ishmael connection. That duo does some more damage this week as the Orange get back on track despite a Wake defense that is better than people think. Syracuse 24 Wake Forest 9.
homedawg: Speaking of pillow fights, and anemic offenses......Syracuse travels to Wake in which could be an epic battle for the basement. Well not really, but I know that's how I will treat the game in which is a virtual must win for the beloved Orange. I think people need to dial it back just a tad on AJ Long. Hopefully we see the same poise and production. Either way I think Cuse wins a barn burner where Riley Dixon saves the day once again #Reiley4Heisman . Cuse 6 Wake 3.
Virginia at Duke
McAllister: This is an intriguing matchup of a stellar defense against a high flying offense. Duke is somewhat one dimensional with a subpar rushing attack, but has plenty of talent on the outside to sling the ball all over the field. The Cavs defense has been really, really good this season as they continue to surprise the conference. But Duke is at home and is the better squad right now after a strong road win at Georgia Tech last week. Duke 27 Virginia 24.
Garcia Jr.: A battle of strength as the league’s most efficient offense faces arguably the conference’s top defense. Those games usually mean the defense wins, but playing at home, Duke’s offense is able to get the job done. Duke 30 Virginia 17.
homedawg: Here's finally a good ACC match up between Virginia and Duke. This could actually be a battle to see who will lay claim to the division. Duke has just been so so versus competition that has a heartbeat. Virginia is the more talented team athletic wise so I'm going to go with Virginia in what could be a mild upset. Virginia 21 Duke 20.
N.C. State at Louisville
McAllister: The Wolfpack have come back down to earth after starting the season with four straight wins. Their slide continues this week against a Louisville team that has been one of the nation’s best defensively. The Cardinals ground game gets back on track as well. Louisville 31 N.C. State 17.
Garcia Jr.: A pair of inconsistent teams meat up but Louisville’s defense has the edge over N.C. State’s offense. Cardinals win an ugly one at home. Louisville 17 N.C. State 13.
homedawg: This could be a dangerous game for Clemson. BC has had their number at home since joining the ACC and catch a break not having to go up against Deshaun Watson. I'm going with BC as the upset of the week in the ACC. Boston College 24 Clemson 21.
Clemson at Boston College
McAllister: The Tigers will have to deal with life without DeShaun Watson, who is out with a broken finger. The Eagles have already pulled one upset at home this season, but won’t pull off another this week. The Eagles are one dimensional offensively, and the Clemson defense is fast and athletic. Clemson 30 Boston College 23.
Garcia Jr.: Cole Stoudt will have all the pressure in the world on him, which a program should love with a redshirt senior. But in this case, Boston College defends their home turn making us question how elite the ACC is. Boston College 40 Clemson 31.
homedawg: Talk about crashing back down to Earth? NC ST was welcomed back to the real world once their creampuff non-conference slate was finished. Things shouldn't get easier this week going up against one of the best defenses in the country, who is also getting their starting quarterback, Will Gardner back. Louisville should roll 28-7.
Georgia Tech at North Carolina
McAllister: Coming off of a tough home loss to Duke, this one looks like a prime opportunity for the Yellow Jackets to bounce back. But the Tar Heels feel they were hosed on a bad call at Notre Dame that led to a close loss. UNC plays angry and inspired and finally utilizes all of that talent. North Carolina 34 Georgia Tech 24.
Garcia Jr.: Carolina’s defense makes Wake’s offense look good. Georgia Tech nearly came back to stun Duke at the very end last week. In what should be a fun one, the Heels win. North Carolina 37 Georgia Tech 34.
homedawg: North Carolina can't seem to stop anybody. They may get lucky getting Georgia Tech and their option offense. I still don't expect them to hold GT under 4 touchdowns, but for them that would be a welcomed improvement. I have picked against GT basically every week and will continue to do so. UNC in a shootout 45-35.
Notre Dame at Florida State
McAllister: The marquee game in the conference is somewhat clouded by the Jameis Winston off-field issues and academic issues with the Irish that have lost them some key players. But it looks like Winston will play and that is bad news for ND. Despite a strong defense, the Seminoles have too much firepower and get their most impressive win of the season. Notre Dame continues to turn it over as FSU forces Everett Golson into a couple of mistakes. FSU 34 ND 27.
Garcia Jr.: Every time there is off the field talk about Florida State, they seem to play better. At home at night, that will prove to be the case once again. Florida State 31 Notre Dame 21.
homedawg: The ACC once again hosts the game of the week between FSU and Notre Dame. Neither team has been that impressive, but I actually think FSU is more vulnerable right now. Offensively they have it going, but their defense hasn't done much all year. Notre Dame on the other hand has been pretty solid defensively, and for the most part pretty good on offense. I think the Notre Dame defense can get enough stops to give them a good shot at the upset. Notre Dame shocks the world 27-24.