ACC Capsules: Week 3

Andrew Jones gives his Week 3 capsules breaking each ACC game this weekend.

Bethune-Cookman (2-0) at Miami (1-1)

Where: Miami Gardens, FL, Sun Life Stadium (74,916)
When: Noon
The blitz: BCC beat South Carolina State last week by two touchdowns. It’s athletic enough to hang with Miami if the Hurricanes aren’t invested into the game. But, given what transpired last week in an ugly loss at Kansas State, expect Al Golden’s team to play with passion and play well. 
Pick: Miami, 44-13.

No. 13 Virginia Tech (2-0 at Pittsburgh (0-2)

Where: Pittsburgh, Heinz Field (65,500)
When: Noon
The blitz: The Hokies need to break free offensively. They need for a tailback to emerge and some receivers to make big plays and not to solely rely on QB Logan Thomas. Expect Pitt to play better than it has in two ugly losses, one a 14-point stinker to FCS member Youngstown State. Hokies slowly build a margin in pulling away. 
Pick: VT, 36-10. 

Wake Forest (2-0, 1-0 ACC) at No. 5 Florida State (2-0, 0-0)

Where: Tallahassee, FL, Doak Campbell Stadium (82,300)
When: Noon
The blitz: The Demon Deacons have won four of the last six meetings with the Seminoles and could cause problems for FSU this weekend. FSU has played two awful FCS teams and Wake will be much bigger, faster, stronger and better than Murray State or Savannah State. It may take the Noles time to adjust, but when they do they will score enough to earn a respectable victory. 
Pick: FSU, 33-16.

UConn (1-1) at Maryland (2-0)

Where: College Park, MD, Byrd Stadium (54,100)
When: 12:30 p.m.
The blitz: A fascinating storyline here is that almost every contributing player for UConn was recruited by Maryland coach Randy Edsall, including seven seniors starting on defense. Edsall’s second Terrapins team is extremely young, having just 35 players who had any college experience before this season began, nit including true freshman QB Perry Hills. If Hills can direct some scoring drives against a defense that has allowed 316 yards in two games, the Terps have a chance. If not, they will fall.
Pick: UConn, 13-10. 

Furman (0-2) at No. 11 Clemson (2-0)

Where: Clemson, SC, Memorial Stadium (81,500)
When: 3 p.m.
The blitz: Sammy Watkins makes his return and will have to play quite a bit to get into a groove because Florida State is up the following week. With that in mind, most of the other starters shouldn’t play that much and won’t need to for the Tigers to dispatch the FCS Paladins from nearby Greenville. 
Pick: Clemson, 47-14.

Virginia (2-0, 0-0) at Georgia Tech (1-1, 0-1)
Where: Atlanta, Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000)
When: 3:30 p.m.
The blitz: Can Virginia’s defensive front read and react well enough to the Yellow Jackets’ triple option to force Tevin Washington into passing situations. Washington is a decent passer, but the Jackets are not going to beat a quality team like the Cavaliers without owning the ground game. UVa, on the other hand, must hit on some big plays offensively. The Wahoos were not impressive in escaping Penn State last weekend, and a similar offensive performance will result in a defeat. 
Pick: GT, 23-14.

Boston College (1-1) at Northwestern (2-0)

Where: Evanston, IL, Ryan Field (47,130)
When: 3:30 p.m.
The blitz: BC has a tough task here taking on a Wildcats team that has won a shootout in which it allowed Syracuse 596 yards and 33 first downs and a more physical defensive game 23-13 over Vanderbilt. The Eagles have a chance if they get a running game going, which will enable the passing game to blossom. Of course, stopping a Northwestern offense that can score points will be a task as well.  
Pick: Northwestern, 38-21.

North Carolina (1-1) at No. 20 Louisville (2-0)

Where: Louisville, KY, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium (56,000)
When: 3:30 p.m.
The blitz: UNC needs tailback Gio Bernard in this game. Louisville and QB Teddy Bridgewater will have success moving the ball and should score a few touchdowns. But can Carolina respond? The Heels moved the ball fairly well (428 yards) in a loss at Wake Forest last week, despite not having Bernard, but Louisville is better on that side of the ball and may get to QB Bryn Renner, who was roughed up by the Deacs. This should be an entertaining contest.
Pick: Louisville, 30-27. 

South Alabama (1-1) at N.C. State (1-1)

Where: Raleigh, NC, Carter-Finley Stadium (57,583)
When: 6 p.m.
The blitz: USA gave the Wolfpack some fits last year, but probably won’t Saturday night. NCSU needs to get its wheels churning and deliver a lower-rung foe a beating, and the timing is for that to happen. Needs for State: QB Mike Glennon needs to hit on some big plays to get his confidence back; the Pack must have a nice game on the ground; and if it can develop some depth by giving reserves time it will help moving forward. 
Pick: N.C. State, 40-17.

N.C. Central (1-1) at Duke (1-1)

Where: Durham, NC, Wallace Wade Stadium (33,941)
When: 7 p.m.
The blitz: Neighborhood rivals get together in what should be preceded by a fun tailgate party. Central is in just its second year as an FCS school and lost 34-14 last week to Elon, which dropped its opener to UNC 62-0. Duke is coming off an awful 50-13 loss at Stanford and should be furious. Forget doing the neighborly thing, the Blue Devils need to blow out the Eagles.
Pick: Duke, 58-13.

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