ACC Football Capsules: Week Five
N.C. State (2-1, 0-0) at Miami (3-1, 2-0)
Where: Miami Gardens, FL, Sun Life Stadium (74,916)
The blitz: Very big game for both teams. N.C. State wants to continue moving forward since its very disappointing opener while the Hurricanes can establish itself as the front-runner in the Coastal Division by starting out 3-0 in ACC play. The Wolfpack must run the ball well again while Miami also needs to combine a ground attack with a passing game that was good for 436 yards thrown by Stephen Morris in last weekend's win at Georgia Tech. Miami has been unpredictable, making this game tough to gauge. Hurricanes make more plays.
Pick: Miami, 27-20.
Duke (3-1, 0-0) at Wake Forest (3-1, 1-1)
Where: Winston-Salem, NC, BB&T Field (31,500)
When: 12:30 p.m.
The blitz: This is the biggest game Duke has played in 18 years. If the Blue Devils are to go bowling they need to end a 12-game losing streak to the Demon Deacons. Not only must Sean Renfree have a big game with his arm, but Duke's defense that allowed Memphis just 152 yards last week, can't allow Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price to go off. Deacons' receiver Michael Campanaro might be the X-factor in the game – he's capable of helping put points on the board in a number of ways.
Pick: Wake Forest, 33-31.
Middle Tenn. State (2-1) at Georgia Tech (2-2)
Where: Atlanta, Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000)
The blitz: Georgia Tech likely will sleepwalk through this one before a sparse crowd. But coming out ready to play with fire and intensity is the only way the up-and-down Yellow Jackets will make any progress. The final margin matters less than how Paul Johnson's team approaches this game.
Pick: Georgia Tech, 37-12.
No. 17 Clemson (3-1, 0-1) at Boston College (1-2, 0-1)
Where: Chestnut Hill, MA, Alumni Stadium (44,500)
When: 3:30 p.m.
The blitz: Dangerous game for Clemson. In the past, this is the kind of game the Tigers might stumble coming off an emotional game at Florida State. Dabo Swinney's work as a motivator is cut out, and we will learn a lot about this program's growth and maturity. Big plays are good, but Clemson also must learn to sustain drives to keep its so-so defense off the field. Boston College had an extra week to prepare. It's coming off a competitive loss at Northwestern where offense was a problem. If the Eagles can't score a lot it won't beat Clemson.
Pick: Clemson, 30-21.
Idaho (0-4) at North Carolina (2-2)
Where: Chapel Hill, NC, Kenan Stadium (63,000)
When: 3:30 p.m.
The blitz: The Vandals and Tar Heels meet for the first time ever. Idaho lost at LSU 63-14 two weeks ago and last week lost at home to Wyoming in overtime. UNC is coming off a thorough win over East Carolina, and the Tar Heels are two plays from being unbeaten. Of course, they are where they deserve, as inconsistency has been an issue. UNC needs to come out firing and win big.
Pick: UNC, 51-16.
Louisiana Tech (3-0) at Virginia (2-2)
Where: Charlottesville, VA, Scott Stadium (61,500)
When: 3:30 p.m.
The blitz: The Bulldogs ripped apart Illinois on the road last week, 52-17, and are favored going into this one. Louisiana Tech can move the ball and will score points. That has been a problem for Virginia. Whether it's Michael Rocco or Phillip Sims under center, the Cavaliers must run the ball more effectively than it has so far this season. That will help keep Louisiana Tech's high-powered offense off the field which means the Cavaliers' slow defense is watching as well. This could get ugly unless the Wahoos somehow have put the last couple of weeks behind them.
Pick: La. Tech, 35-23.
Virginia Tech (3-1) vs. Cincinnati (2-0)
Where: Landover, MD, FedEx Field (91,704)
When: 3:30 p.m.
The blitz: This is a much bigger game for the Hokies than it seemed a month ago. Cincinnati is quite capable of winning, and maybe even doing so convincingly. This isn't Lane Stadium, and while Tech will have most of the fans in attendance, it's not the same. Logan Thomas must finally play well for the Hokies to win. He's had a couple of good series this season and that's it. Finding a ground game is going to be a weekly thing until it surfaces for a few consecutive weeks. The Bearcats have clobbered Pittsburgh among their two victories. Pitt waxed the Hokies.
Pick: Virginia Tech, 23-12.
No. 4 Florida State (4-0) at South Florida (2-2)
Where: Tampa, FL, Raymond James Stadium (65,700)
When: 6 p.m.
The blitz: The growth of Florida State into a national championship team requires the Seminoles to start this game with a spark. There must be a carryover from last weekend's win over Clemson, which is what Bobby Bowden's teams did in the 1990s. They routed people every week and won two national titles. Jimbo Fisher's team could get a test from an athletic South Florida club that has underachieved. The Bulls dropped a game at Ball State last weekend, though Ball State did win at Indiana the week before, so it's not exactly a patsy.
Pick: Florida State, 42-14.
Last week: 8-1
Season record: 35-4