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ACC: Can anyone catch Clemson? (Rankings/Predictions)



The Leader

#1 Clemson 2-0

Clemson has taken care of business in their first two games. Many people expected more of a beatdown from Clemson, but Clemson has no reason to run up the score yet and give opponents more film to study. I am sticking with my original ranking; Clemson is #1 until they lose. Miami will come to town after a bye to try and take down the giant.

Who’s Chasing

#5 Notre Dame 1-0

Notre Dame is coming off a bye week to host FSU. Notre Dame has yet to play a quality opponent and will not get one this week either. Notre Dame should not struggle, but might not be able to prove they deserve a top-5 ranking either.

#7 Miami 2-0

Miami is also coming off a bye week at the perfect time as they travel to Clemson this week. Miami has outscored opponents 110-58 behind transfer QB, D’Eriq King. Miami will have to really pull something together here if they want to continue to convince America that “The U is back” against Clemson.

#8 UNC 2-0

I am still not sold on the 2020 Tar Heels. Sam Howell improved from his first game but still sits at 3 TD’s to 3 INT’s. UNC’s defense sits at #1 nationally in rushing defense with 54 yards/game and #3 in Yards/carry at 2. Granted, they have only played 2 teams, and both had terrible O-lines. This will create an interesting matchup vs. VT who leads the nation in rushing yards/carry.

#19 Virginia Tech 2-0

Virginia Tech has looked really good despite missing 20+ players and coaches each game. Without starting QB Hendon Hooker, VT has tried to rely on the run game. Khalil Herbert ranks #1 at 156 yards/game. VT ranks #1 at 7 yards/carry. Fuente has not ruled out Hendon Hooker coming back for UNC. Expect several Hokies to be unavailable this weekend, but do not count them out.

Falling Behind

NC State 2-1

NC State had a huge loss to Virginia Tech and seemed like they would fall from the ACC rankings. Then, they came back and beat an amazing defense in Pittsburgh. It was a close game, but a win is a win. NC State and Virginia looks to be a good challenge for both teams, as they both try to rise from the middle of the pack of ACC teams.

Pitt 2-1

Pitt once again proved they have a solid QB in Kenny Pickett with 411 yards with 1 score through the air, and 40 yards with 2 more scores on the ground. However, Pitt’s defense let up 336 yards and 4 TD’s from NC State’s QB Devin Leary. If Pitt wants to return to the rankings and stay alive in the ACC race, they need to handle business against Boston College this weekend.

UVA 1-1

UVA did not pose too much a threat to Clemson but showed they had some fight. We will never know how hard Clemson was trying, but UVA showed some offensive potential against Clemson. More on that game here: https://www.kollegesports.com/post/hoos-show-flashes-in-loss-to-clemson. NC State should be a good matchup for the Hoos to prove themselves this week.

Boston College 1-1

Boston College almost pulled off the upset over UNC. Now they face-off against Pitt who just got upset by NC State. Either team could win and will be a good mid-level game to watch this week.

Georgia Tech 1-1

Georgia Tech is coming off a bye after the loss in Syracuse. GT has shown spurts of potential but lacks experience with their new schemes and coaching. Georgia Tech has proved for several years that they can win games, but not win it all. Georgia Tech seeks their next upset on Friday night against Louisville.

Bottom of the Pack

Syracuse 1-2

Syracuse has lost to both ranked UNC and Pitt and beat a rebuilding GT. Coming off a bye, they are actually underdogs at home vs a terrible Duke team. Syracuse is great at home in the dome, but Duke is still seeking their first win. This will not be a heavily watched game, but many fans will enjoy watching their teams get a chance to get a conference win this year

Louisville 0-2

Louisville is the best winless team left. They will come off a bye week to play Georgia Tech. This will be a good matchup to get back on track and prove they do not belong in the bottom third. Should be a good game assuming Malik Cunningham returns healthy after his injury 2 weeks ago.

Duke 0-4

Duke put up a fight against half of a Virginia Tech team but have fallen to 0-4 in ACC play. Duke has a solid shot to get that first win, as Vegas gives them the edge on Syracuse.

Florida State 0-2

Florida State won a game last week! But it was against Jacksonville State, and they struggled most of the game. Florida State will likely suffer another Miami-type beat down against #5 Notre Dame.


Schedule

Friday

Louisville (-4.5) @ Georgia Tech 7:00 PM ESPN

Saturday

#19 Virginia Tech @ #8 North Carolina (-5.5) 12:00 PM ABC

NC State @ UVA (-9) 12:00 PM ACC Network

Duke (-2) @ Syracuse 12:30 PM ESPN3

Pittsburgh (-5.5) @ Boston College 4:00 PM ACC Network

#7 Miami @ #1 Clemson (-15) 7:30 PM ABC

Florida State @ #5 Notre Dame (-21) 7:30 PM NBC


Score Predictions

Louisville (-4.5) @ Georgia Tech: I am predicting Malik Cunningham plays and Louisville proves why they were ranked this preseason. LOU 35 – GT 24

#7 Miami @ #1 Clemson (-15): Miami might give them a fight for a half, but Clemson should prevail. Clemson 38 – Miami 24

#19 Virginia Tech @ #8 North Carolina (-5.5): Sam Howell will try to expose the Covid-wrecked secondary, but VT looks better in every other category. VT 24 – UNC 17

NC State @ UVA (-9): UVA’s strong defense will hold them ahead of NC State. UVA 28 – NC State 21

Duke (-2) @ Syracuse: Toss-up game between the bad. Everyone’s betting on Duke and I am thinking the same. Duke 18 – SYR 15

Pittsburgh (-5.5) @ Boston College: Pittsburgh comes back after a loss and takes care of business. Pitt 21 – BC 14

Florida State @ #5 Notre Dame (-21): Notre Dame has not proven anything yet, but FSU is bad. ND 41 – FSU 14


Spread Predictions

Even Mack Brown said VT should be a top 10 team VT +5.5

Louisville will put up a fight for their first ACC win LOU -4.5

Pitt coming off an upset will return with its defensive dominance Pitt -5.5


Over/Under Predictions

Bad games can hit the over too. See Duke/UVA over 46 (scored 58) Duke @ SYR Over 49

If VT is smart they use their #1 rushing offense to keep Sam Howell off the field and not burning their likely-depleted secondary VT @ UNC Under 58

Notre Dame will try and prove their top 5 ranking and FSU gets some late scores to hit the over FSU @ ND Over 52

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