After a perfect 6-0 week, John Garcia Jr has jumped atop the standings for the first time this season. He leads Mike McAllister by one game and premium homedawg by two. Here are this week’s ACC picks.
Garcia Jr: 53-20
Garcia Jr: Even though Deshaun Watson is still out, the Tigers should have no problem taking care of Wake in Winston Salem. Could Vic Beasley and the defense match CU's offensive output? Tigers 37, Deacs 13.
McAllister: Wake Forest has the worst offense in college football. Clemson has perhaps the best defense. This is a colossal mismatch and one the Tigers should be able to take care of on the road. Vic Beasley has a huge day and Clemson pitches a shutout while the offense does just enough to make this a solid margin of victory. Clemson 27 Wake Forest 0.
homedawg: This one should get ugly. It will be a moral victory for Wake Forest if they even score. I don't even think they get that lucky. Clemson 28 Wake 0.
Garcia Jr: SU is as banged up as possible, and Duke's offense simply moves the ball and puts points on the board. The D is scrappier than I thought heading into the year, and it'll make for a routine road victory. The Orange's defense will keep Austin Wilson and company in the mix for a while, but Crowder, Wilson, Powell and Jeremy Cash on defense will be too much for Shafer's group to handle. Bye bye bowl eligibility, as Duke dominates, 28-10.
McAllister: Syracuse is in desperation mode as they need a win to keep bowl hopes alive, but face one of the most dynamic offenses in the conference. Duke will test a Syracuse defense that has been fantastic of late, especially with the horizontal passing game. If the Orange are going to keep it close, they have to create turnovers. Duke is the best in the nation at taking care of the ball with only five giveaways on the season. With a battered Syracuse offense, the Orange will not be able to score enough to keep up with Anthony Boone, Jamison Crowder and company. Duke ends Syracuse’s bowl hopes. Duke 27 Syracuse 17.
homedawg: Well I would have taken Syracuse in this game all the way up until last week. Now I just can't see it. With all the injuries, in-season demotion, QB changes, and other turmoil it feels like we could be 1 loss away from the wheels coming off. Or last week’s loss could have been the breaking point. I really don't think Duke is any good. They went the Rutgers route of scheduling and really padded their schedule, plus they play in the weak Coastal division. Still they just hung 50 on Pitt last week, and a half full Dome won't scare them. So as much as it pains me I have to take Puke in this one. Duke 24 Syracuse 10.
Georgia Tech at N.C. State
Garcia Jr: Some of the top running styles in the ACC go at it in Raleigh, and even though each team is coming off of a win, it feels like these two are headed in different directions. Tech's offense is back on track and the D is still probably a little better than we realize. State seemingly tried to give 'Cuse a win last weekend, but couldn't get the job done. This one could be a laugher when all is said and done, but Tech wins either way. Josh Thomas assaults State, 34-20.
McAllister: The Wolfpack got the first conference win in the Dave Doeren era, but don’t expect a winning streak to follow. The Yellow Jackets triple option is clicking and they should be able to exploit what has been a porous run defense this season. Tech gets a road win to keep their eye on the Coastal Division crown. Georgia Tech 31 N.C. State 21.
homedawg: NC ST is coming off their first ACC win of the season against Syracuse. Things should go back to usual this week when Georgia Tech comes to town. Paul Johnson will chop block his way into the top 20. Georgia Tech 28 NC ST 17.
Garcia Jr: Two athletic defenses get overshadowed because of the common offensive storylines between each program, for very different reasons, but they'll each shine down at Doak Campbell Stadium. But in the end, Jameis Winston and his Noles find another way to win a game people will say they could have lost. As long as he's playing, I won't pick against him. His unblemished record as a starter is protected once more in a 31-17 fight.
McAllister: The ‘Noles are clearly the more talented team, but Virginia’s defense will keep this one close for at least a half. After that? It’s Jameis Winston time. Look for another monster game from the defending Heisman Trophy winner as Florida State continues their quest for perfection. Florida State 38 Virginia 14.
homedawg: Virginia's hot start has seemed to peter out. The fact is Mike London just isn't a good coach. it doesn't matter how talented you are, if you can't game plan, you can't win. Florida St has been far from world beaters, but they will do enough to get by. FSU 28 Virginia 10.
Garcia Jr: Two toughs teams in what should be a snow game could make this one the game of the week in the conference. UofL's defense will rebound from its second-half debacle at the hands of Winston enough to slow Tyler Murphy and the Eagles despite a late push. The Parker/Dyer combo is the difference in a 24-20 win for Petrino's crew.
McAllister: This is an intriguing matchup as the Eagles continue to impress this season. These two teams battle for third place in the Atlantic Division. If the Eagles are to hit eight wins in the regular season, they have to have this one. They will get another strong defensive performance and play physical offensive football as the Cardinals offense continues to struggle. Tyler Murphy makes enough plays to pull off the minor upset. Boston College 24 Louisville 23.
homedawg: I'm not sure how Steve Addazzio does it, but he just gets the job done. It's pretty amazing they are bowl eligible with just 73 scholarship players. And this isn't the USC roster of 70 something scholarship players, that's full of 4 and 5 stars. This is a just a tough, well coached football team. It's not really pretty, but they get the job done. I expect a minor upset in this one as Louisville is coming off a bit of a letdown from when they let their huge lead in the FSU game get away. BC 19 Louisville 17.