Georgia Tech (7-2) at North Carolina (1-8)
Super-Fun Stats: Georgia Tech- Sacks (2.56 per game)....Sacks Allowed (1.56 per game); North Carolina- Sacks (1.78 per game)....Sacks Allowed (2.22 per game)
Series Record: Georgia Tech leads 21-17-3; last meeting- Georgia Tech 27, North Carolina 21(2005)
In Summary: Well here we go....the Jackets, the team that historically finds a way to inexplicably blow a game to someone terrible once per year, versus UNC, the team that inexplicably pulls a stunner of an upset once a year over someone. Nah, too easy; however, the Tech defense is starting to show a few cracks and Reggie Ball has turned his regression into overdrive. Still, Tech will save their annual "WTF?" loss for UGA at the end of the season.
The Pick: Georgia Tech 26, North Carolina 17
N.C. State (3-6) at Clemson (7-3)
Super-Fun Stats: N.C. State- Sacks (2.00 per game)....Sacks Allowed (1.56 per game); Clemson- Sacks (3.10 per game)....Sacks Allowed (0.50 per game)
Series Record: Clemson leads 45-27-1; last meeting- Clemson 31, N.C. State 10 (2005)
In Summary: One thing's for sure....one of these two tailspins is going to end this Saturday. For all the grief Clemson's gotten over netting just 12 points last weekend, the offense actually played well, but just shot themselves in the foot in the redzone. That's not going to happen again against a Wolfpack club that has found ways to lose each week this past month. The Tigers get back on track.
The Pick: Clemson 34, N.C. State 13
Kent State (5-4) at Virginia Tech (7-2)
Super-Fun Stats: Kent State- Sacks (3.00 per game)....Sacks Allowed (2.67 per game); Virginia Tech- Sacks (2.56 per game)....Sacks Allowed (2.33 per game)
Series Record: series tied 1-1; last meeting- Virginia Tech 42, Kent State 14 (1976)
In Summary: For the Hokies, never has a win over Miami looked so horrid. Held to 136 total yards, an all-time low under Frank Beamer, the Hokies relied on their stout defense to seal the win. Sean Glennon clearly looks lost at QB and he may not find things much easier against the Golden Flashes' 11th ranked pass defense. Still, Kent State is coming off a 27-point loss to Buffalo; the Hokies aren't going to be in danger, but Glennon and Beamer could be hearing a few boo-birds this Saturday.
The Pick: Virginia Tech 30, Kent State 7
Miami (5-4) at Maryland (7-2)
Super-Fun Stats: Miami- Sacks (2.67 per game)....Sacks Allowed (2.22 per game); Maryland- Sacks (1.67 per game)....Sacks Allowed (1.89 per game)
Series Record: series tied 7-7; last meeting- Miami 46, Maryland 16 (1987)
In Summary: This is by far the toughest game to call all year. College football, of all the major American sports, is the game most susceptible to pure emotion and emotional swings. The Hurricanes, devastated by Monday's murder of DT Bryan Pata, are going to be one big ball of emotion on Saturday and there is simply no way to predict how that will affect the game. It doesn't help Miami that they are starting a new QB against the Terps, on the road. Maryland, meanwhile, is just finding ways to win every week....their last 4 games have been decided by a total of 12 points, all victories. My hunch is that this game will be a defensive war, with the Cane D playing out of their skulls in memory of Pata, while the improving Terp defense will throw the kitchen sink at new starting QB Kirby Freeman. I'm just torn on which team will come out on top. Oh well, here goes...
The Pick: Maryland 14, Miami 6
Duke (0-9) at Boston College (7-2)
Super-Fun Stats: Duke- Sacks (1.44 per game)....Sacks Allowed (3.67 per game); Boston College- Sacks (2.44 per game)....Sacks Allowed (1.67 per game)
Series Record: Boston College leads 2-1; last meeting- Boston College 20, Duke 12 (1929 !)
In Summary: Throw the stats out the window....we all know BC owns Duke in practically every category imaginable. Intangibles will make the difference on Saturday. Look for the Eagles to have a major hangover from the Wake loss, and look for improving Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis to stun BC early. The Eagles will wake up in the second half and then cruise.
The Pick: Boston College 35, Duke 14
Wake Forest (8-1) at Florida State (5-4)
Super-Fun Stats: Wake Forest- Sacks (2.44 per game)....Sacks Allowed (1.78 per game); Florida State- Sacks (2.22 per game)....Sacks Allowed (1.78 per game)
Series Record: Florida State leads 21-2-1; last meeting- Florida State 41, Wake Forest 24 (2005)
In Summary: Laugh if you will, but this is a monumental game for both programs. For Wake, a win at Florida State, even against an FSU team that finishes 6-6 or so, would be the biggest win in the program's history. Even better, it keeps Wake atop the Atlantic Division with just 2 games to go. For FSU, a loss to Wake in Tallahassee would send the Noles to 5-5 on the year and would practically guarantee them a last place finish in the division. That would set up the following week's game with Western Michigan as a must-win for bowl eligibility. That image alone could affect recruiting in the state of Florida for years to come. Imagery aside, statistically the Seminoles own the Deacons in nearly all offensive and defensive categories. But somehow, someway, after 9 games, the Deacons are 8-1 and FSU is 5-4. Keyword: Turnovers. Wake is +6 on the year while FSU is -4. That said, Seminole QB Xavier Lee hasn't turned the ball over yet as a starter, while the Seminole defense last week hit a groove against UVA. Look for FSU to hang onto the ball, and blitz the bejesus out of Wake QB Riley Skinner. The Deacs will still burn the Noles a few times, but it won't be enough.
The Pick: Florida State 24, Wake Forest 14