ACC Football Capsules: Week 12 Predictions

Thursday, Nov. 15

North Carolina (6-4, 3-3) at Virginia (4-6, 2-4)

Where: Charlottesville, Va., Scott Stadium (61,500)
When: 7:30 p.m.
The blitz: The Tar Heels have allowed 103 points in their last two games and Virginia’s offense has finally caught a spark, scoring 74 points in its last two contests, both victories. If those trends continue, the Cavaliers have an edge, especially playing at home four days after UNC allowed 68 points in a record-setting afternoon with Georgia Tech. North Carolina is more talented, and the difference-maker can be UNC tailback Giovani Bernard.

Pick: UNC, 44-35.

Saturday, Nov. 17

No. 10 Florida State (9-1, 6-1) at Maryland (4-6, 2-4)

Where: College Park, Md., Byrd Stadium (54,100)
When: Noon
The blitz: Florida State has not been all that impressive on the road, but the quarterback-less Terrapins present an opportunity for a huge victory. The Seminoles should focus on pitching a shutout, as well.

Pick: Florida State, 48-0.

Virginia Tech (4-6, 2-4) at Boston College (2-8, 1-5)

Where: Chestnut Hill, Mass., Alumni Stadium (44,500)
When: 12:30 p.m.
The blitz: The Hokies have lost seven consecutive games away from Lane Stadium and winning at Boston College won’t be easy if the Eagles give the same effort they did last weekend versus Notre Dame. That isn’t likely, and neither is Virginia Tech losing again. Hokies will use a balanced offense to pull away. 

Pick: Virginia Tech, 30-13.

South Florida (3-6) at Miami (5-5)

Where: Miami Gardens, Fla., Sun Life Stadium (74,916)
When: 3 p.m.
The blitz: The Bulls have had a much worse season than was expected, and a few weeks ago lost four-year starting quarterback B.J. Daniels for the year. Miami has had issues being ready to play, and coming off last week’s loss at Virginia should be fired up even though this isn’t a conference game. It’s also an opportunity to improve.

Pick: Miami, 31-14.

N.C. State (6-4, 3-3) at No. 10 Clemson (9-1, 6-1)

Where: Clemson, S.C., Memorial Stadium (81,500)
When: 3:30 p.m.
The blitz: The Wolfpack are dangerous enough to pull off the upset, but this can also be a bloodbath. Clemson’s talents create lousy matchups for the Wolfpack, and because of that expect Tajh Boyd to have another terrific game under center and for Clemson’s skill guys to post impressive numbers. N.C. State’s best hope is to force turnovers and have short fields to work with.

Pick: Clemson, 45-21.

Duke (6-4, 3-3) at Georgia Tech (5-5, 4-3)

Where: Atlanta, Ga., Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000)
When: 3:30 p.m.
The blitz: Duke’s four losses have been blowouts and the Yellow Jackets have won consecutive games, including a history 68-50 win at UNC last weekend. The Blue Devils had an open date last weekend and should be prepared to take on Tech’s triple option offense. However, Duke’s strengths aren’t geared toward stopping Tech’s style. Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee, who is from just down the road from Duke’s campus, should start and if he does will have a big game. Even if Tevin Washington starts, Georgia Tech should win comfortably.

Pick: Georgia Tech, 47-27.

Wake Forest (5-5) at No. 3 Notre Dame (10-0)

Where: South Bend, Ind., Notre Dame Stadium (80,012)
When: 3:30 p.m.
The blitz: Wake Forest could put a scare into the Fighting Irish, who likely won’t take the Demon Deacons all that seriously, even though last year’s game in Winston-Salem was close. Wake must hit on some trickery and force a few turnovers to have a chance. Jim Grobe’s team may be close at halftime, but Notre Dame will pull away. 

Pick: Notre Dame 28-13.

Last week: 4-2

Season record: 63-17