No. 13 Clemson (6-1, 3-1) at Wake Forest (4-3, 2-3)
Where: Winston-Salem, NC, BB&T Field (31,500) When: 7:45 p.m. The blitz: The Tigers face a dangerous test against a Wake Forest team that will get a boost with the return of wide receiver Michael Campanaro. The Demon Deacons have struggled offensively in his absence, but with him can be more multidimensional and more difficult to read. But Clemson is so potent with the ball it’s doubtful Wake will be able to keep up unless the Tigers put forth one of their classic puzzling performances (like what happened last year at N.C. State and at Wake on a Thursday night in 2008). Clemson would be wise to not let Wake hang around. Pick: Clemson, 33-17.
Saturday, Oct. 27
N.C. State (5-2, 2-1) at North Carolina (5-3, 2-2)
Where: Chapel Hill, NC, Kenan Stadium (63,000) When: 12:30 p.m. The blitz: The Wolfpack have won five consecutive games in a series that overall has been dominated by the Tar Heels. UNC has the weapons to exploit an N.C. State defense that has at times been awful but lately rather stout, including in a 17-16 win over Florida State a few weeks ago. The keys here are simple: N.C. State must avoid turning over the ball; can’t let North Carolina get deep too often in the passing game; and must generate a decent ground attack. UNC must put pressure on N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon, QB Bryn Renner must play much better than he has the last two weeks and tailback Giovani Bernard must be Giovani Bernard. Pick: UNC, 27-23.
Maryland (4-3, 2-1) at Boston College (1-6, 0-4)
Where: Chestnut Hill, MA, Alumni Stadium (44,500) When: 1 p.m. The blitz: The Terrapins are down to their third and fourth QBs since camp opened in August, but it’s a good thing for Randy Edsall’s team it’s headed to Boston College this weekend. The Eagles are just not playing quality football. The option should work against Boston College, which will struggle moving the ball versus a solid and consistent Terps defense. Pick: Maryland, 19-7.
BYU (4-4) at Georgia Tech (3-4)
Where: Atlanta, Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000) When: 3 p.m. The blitz: BYU is not the offensive machine many of its previous teams were, but it is solid defensively. Yet, it may not have the quickness and speed to handle Georgia Tech’s triple option. The Yellow Jackets are better than they played before the open date two weeks ago, and this is the kind of game that can help Paul Johnson’s team get healthy and find their mojo. Pick: GT, 33-17. Duke (6-2, 3-1) at Florida State (7-1, 4-1)
Where: Tallahassee, FL, Doak Campbell Stadium (82,300) When: 3:30 p.m. The blitz: Regardless of what happens from this point on, it’s been a terrific season for Duke. It may get ugly in Tallahassee, but then again, it may not because Duke is a veteran club with quality skill guys. The Devils also have an “it factor” that has carried them through some adversity this season. Florida State losing tailback Chris Thompson hurts, and if Duke can hang around it could get interesting. The Seminoles will win, though, because they have more playmakers who will make plays, and they are the best team the Blue Devils have faced by a healthy margin, and that includes Stanford. Pick: FSU, 42-19.