Syracuse may be on a bye, but that doesn't mean we aren't picking ACC games this week. After a perfect 5-0 performance last week, John Garcia Jr a little separation in this week’s standings. He leads Mike McAllister by two games and premium homedawg by three. Here are this week’s ACC picks.
Garcia Jr: 58-20
Garcia Jr: Oh, so you say Deshaun Watson is back? Duke fans should be happiest about that fact, as the fab frosh quarterback will help the Blue Devils lock up the Coastal Division by getting by a tough Tech team on the road. Watson totals 250+ yards and three scores in a 28-21 affair.
McAllister: The Tigers offense continues to struggle, but they have one of the best defenses in the nation. Facing the triple option, however, is a completely different animal. DeShaun Watson is coming back, but it will take a week to knock off the rust. Georgia Tech is better than people think, and they will have enough success on the ground to protect home field. Georgia Tech 24 Clemson 20.
homedawg: The Clemson - Georgia Tech game could be an undercover great game. If Deshaun Watson wasn't able to play I would probably lean to Georgia Tech. But Clemson gets their star Freshman quarterback back from injury. Watson, along with their strong defense should be enough to take down the Yellow Jackets on their home field. Clemson 19 Georgia Tech 14.
Virginia Tech at Duke
Garcia Jr: Duke has only beaten Tech once in the last about 500 years, however, this isn't your father's Duke team, and it certainly isn't your uncle's Tech squad at that same token. Both of those facts help Jamison Crowder and the Blue Devils. Cuse slowed the dynamic wide receiver on offense, something that usually doesn't happen two weeks in a row. Anthony Boone has one of his better days and DU gets a big win before welcoming rival Carolina on Thursday night, 30-20.
McAllister: Tech needs a win to try to get back on track for bowl eligibility, but this is an unfavorable matchup. Duke struggled last week against Syracuse, but their offense should click at home. The Blue Devils defense will be able to limit a poor Hokies offensive attack. Duke 34 Virginia Tech 17.
homedawg: At the beginning of the season after Virginia Tech's huge upset of the Ohio St, most would have thought this match up could have been for the conference title. Now Virginia Tech is fighting to keep alive hope for a bowl bid. I don't think Duke is that great, but Virginia Tech is in shambles. Think Duke puts it on them Duke 31 Virginia Tech 13.
Garcia Jr: Power offense against a wide open attack could mean a lot of points in Chapel Hill, so which defense steps up? It's tough to call, but when in doubt, bet against Larry Fedora's unit. Pitt pulls it out on the road behind the Conner/Boyd bandwagon, 38-31.
McAllister: A battle of 4-5 inconsistent teams fighting to get back to .500 on the season. Pitt has seen extreme ups and downs this season while they face a Tar Heels defense that has struggled to stop anyone. The UNC offense, though, is one of the best in the conference and should have a lot of success. Being home gives them the edge, which probably means Pitt will pull off the road victory. But I’m going with the Heels. North Carolina 48 Pitt 45.
homedawg: Speaking of teams who have fallen apart......Two of the biggest ACC disappointments (and that's saying something) match up Saturday. It's a game someone has to win, and anyone who tells you they have a clue are nuts. In a flip of the coin i'll take Pitt 49 UNC 48.
Wake Forest at NC State
Garcia Jr: Wake is better than most people realize, especially on defense, and State may be the front-runners for the inconsistency award within the ACC. Jacoby Brissett could have enough to frustrate that Deac defense, but Wake is due for a slight upset. Here it comes. Wake 17, State 16.
McAllister: Wake Forest is arguably the worst power five team in the nation. NC State may be a bit of fools’ gold with four of their five wins coming against subpar non-conference competition. They are the stronger squad in this one though. Jacoby Brissett should get back on track and the Wolfpack defense may have its best performance of the season. NC State 27 Wake Forest 10.
homedawg: In one of the worst match ups of the year Wake and NCST fight for ACC irrelevance. In a game nobody cares about, including each schools fan base, Wake scores an upset Wake Forest 7 NC ST 6.
Garcia Jr: Game of the week in the league has the conference feeling like it did 10 years ago when this matchup was a preseason top-5 tilt. The Canes aren't quite all the way back, but they have athletes in critical places, and some guy named Duke Johnson, too. He'll help it stay close throughout the evening, but Jamies Winston is starting for FSU so.....Noles 35, Canes 28.
McAllister: The showcase game in the conference, many are looking for Miami to significantly test the ‘Noles. But if the defending champs have shown anything over the last two seasons, it’s that they just know how to win. They may start slow (again), but Jameis Winston will find a way to get it done in the second half as they pull away from an improved but less talented ‘Canes bunch. Brad Kaaya isn’t quite ready for this stage. Florida State 38 Miami 28.
homedawg: Well i've picked against FSU twice now, and felt I should have been right both times (ND and Louisville). Well third times a charm. FSU can't keep tempting fate. Miami has the athletes to play with FSU. Even Winston has been off the past few weeks. I think FSU gets behind big once again, and comes up short in their comeback attempt. In a not so much of a shocker Miami 35 FSU 31.