ACC Previews: GT-Clemson Thursday night clash highlights Week 12

Clemson-Georgia Tech is always a sneaky-fun game during the ACC season. And it almost always holds significant implications for the cross-division rivals.
This year is no different
This is Georgia Tech’s last ACC game, and it needs a win to stay in pole position in the ACC Coastal Division. Clemson, meanwhile, needs to stay alive for a potential BCS at-large berth. 
Thursday night, we’ll find out what each of these teams is all about. Georgia Tech (6-3, 5-2 ACC) has ruined No. 8 Clemson’s potential BCS berth chances before (See: 2011), but both teams are much different this year. Clemsoning is a thing of the past for the Tigers, and Georgia Tech still has a dangerous offense to go along with a significantly improved defense.
Clemson (8-1, 6-1 ACC) has bounced back nicely after getting blown out by Florida State — it played with its proverbial food a bit in a win at Maryland before annihilating Virginia on the road. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, has won three in a row, including shutting out Syracuse 56-0 and beating a game Pitt team at home, 21-10. 
The Jackets are still turning the ball over too much, but their defense is playing well. Is it up to the task against a dangerous Clemson offense? And can Clemson’s defense make one-on-one tackles in space against the speedy Georgia Tech backs? 
Ultimately, Clemson being the home team should be the difference. Death Valley on a Thursday night? Yeah. 
When: 7:30 p.m. (Thursday)
Where: Clemson Memorial Stadium
Prediction: Clemson, 38-27
No. 23 Miami (7-2, 3-2 ACC) at Duke (7-2, 3-2 ACC)
When: 3:30 p.m. (Saturday)
Where: Wallace Wade Stadium
Breakdown: Miami has really only played well once in its last four games, and that was a blowout loss to Florida State. And finally the Hurricanes’ stretch of bad play came back to bite them against Virginia Tech in a blowout loss. Duke hasn’t been playing well recently either, though, and the Blue Devils will have much smaller margin for error than they’ve had in past weeks.
Prediction: Miami, 31-26
North Carolina (4-5, 3-3 ACC) at Pittsburgh (5-4, 2-3 ACC)
When: 12:30 p.m. (Saturday)
Where: Heinz Field
Breakdown: North Carolina is playing very well in winning three games in a row, and has arguably been playing well before that considering the close loss to Miami. But Pitt is playing well too, coming off an upset of No. 24 Notre Dame, and Heinz Field is always a tough place to play. Pitt’s only home loss this year is to No. 2 Florida State. This could be UNC’s first stumble since it turned its season around. 
Prediction: Pittsburgh, 23-20
Syracuse (5-4, 3-2 ACC) at No. 2 Florida State (9-0, 7-0 ACC)
When: 3:30 p.m. (Saturday)
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium
Breakdown: Just as Florida State seemed in position to virtually cruise to the national title game with its future opponents either just plain bad or in turmoil, FSU gets some turmoil of its own with the news of the Jameis Winston investigation. Still, the Seminoles are too good for this to matter much against the Orange. 
Prediction: Florida State, 41-6

Maryland (5-4, 1-4 ACC) at Virginia Tech (7-3, 4-2 ACC)
When: 12:30 p.m. (Saturday)
Where: Lane Stadium
Breakdown: Maryland is depleted by injuries and the offense continues to hurt itself with turnovers. The Hokies have to be feeling good after putting offense and defense together in a win over Miami last week, and they are just two wins away from potentially winning the Coastal Division. Again.
Prediction: Virginia Tech, 14-3
N.C. State (3-6, 0-6 ACC) at Boston College (5-4, 2-3 ACC)
When: 12:30 p.m. (Saturday)
Where: Alumni Stadium
Breakdown: N.C. State is coming off of its fifth straight loss, and its second to an in-state rival (this one to Duke). Boston College has been up and down all year, but the Eagles have played well at home and you have to wonder where N.C. State’s confidence is right now. Or if there’s any left.
Prediction: Boston College, 27-10
Week 11: 5-2 (4-1 ACC)
Overall: 68-20 (29-12 ACC)