Thursday, November 22, 2007

Week 13 Preview, Part I: Post-Tryptophan Binge

Saturday, 11/24/07, 12pm ET - Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA
Series Record: Virginia Tech leads 46-37-5; the Hokies won last year's meeting 17-0
Storyline: Biggest game ever for the Commonwealth Cup? Winner takes all in the ACC-Coastal.
Brief Overview: Two teams that have been spotty all season - yet continued to win - now meet when they're peaking. The Hokies are coming off consecutive routs of Florida State and Miami, while the Cavaliers' last effort was the 48-0 wrecking ball they took to the Hurricanes and the Orange Bowl. Virginia was idle last week, meaning most of the momentum from the Miami win has been lost. And Tech now knows that a win on Saturday sets up a rematch with Boston College, with a chance to erase the pain of that Thursday Night thriller.
Prediction: The Hokies are finally starting to gel on offense, while their defense is firing on all cylinders. The bye week probably hurt the Hoos more than it helped. Virginia Tech 27, Virginia 17

MARYLAND (5-6) at N.C. STATE (5-6)
Saturday, 11/24/07, 12pm ET - Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC
Series Record: NC State leads 30-29-4; the Terrapins won last year's meeting 26-20
Storyline: The winner goes to Boise for the holidays; the loser stays home and finishes last in the ACC-Atlantic.
Brief Overview: The great Ralph Friedgen will notch his third losing season in the last four years with a loss on Saturday, while Tom O'Brien could post one of the more impressive in-season turnarounds in recent memory. Just six weeks ago, the Pack stood at 1-5, but have gone 4-1 since their bye week in early October and are a win away from a bowl bid. It remains to be seen whether the Pack's 38-18 loss to Wake last week killed some of their mojo, and we'll likely find out if Maryland's inexplicable 42-point explosion against BC two weeks ago was a sign of new life or an aberration.
Prediction: The Pack get their mojo back, and the Fridge's ample seat gets a bit warm this offeseason. N.C. State 22, Maryland 18

Saturday, 11/24/07, 12pm ET - Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA
Series Record: Miami leads 23-3; the Hurricanes won last year's meeting 17-14
Storyline: Pride...a Miami loss would drop them to 5-7, their worst record in 30 years. A win gets them bowl eligible.
Brief Overview: Miami has all the appearances of a dead-team walking, but you have to thikn there's a chance that we'll see the team that beat Texas A&M and Florida State earlier in the year, especially with a bowl berth on the line and the unheard of losing season closing in. The shocking part of Miami's demise has been the collapse of their defense, and the disappearance of DE Calais Campbell. The Eagles already have their ticket punched to Jacksonville for the ACC title game and could use a tune-up in the meantime.
Prediction: The Canes quit two weeks ago against Virginia, when they had plenty of things still to play for. All they have to play for now is pride, and they left that in the Orange Bowl. Boston College 31, Miami 13

DUKE (1-10) at NORTH CAROLINA (3-8)
Saturday, 11/24/07, 3:30pm ET - Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
Series Record: North Carolina leads 51-31-4; the Tar Heels won last year's meeting 45-44
Storyline: This is likely the swan song for Ted Roof.
Brief Overview: You could make a case that both teams are better than their records - especially the Tar Heels - but it's a hollow case as both schools are again well out of bowl range and both are again situated at the bottom of their division and conference. The Butch Davis-Arkansas rumors appear to have been squashed, erasing a potential distraction for him and the team. Meanwhile, Duke's good vibes from their win at Northwestern have long since dissipated, leaving Ted Roof's club a dejected and woefully undermanned ballclub.
Prediction: Say goodnight, Ted. North Carolina 34, Duke 10

The remaining game previews will be up tomorrow. Meanwhile, the tryptophan has overtaken me and I can no longer keep my eyes ope*$)H?FN/K{WL<{NJKsfshrgoiEwq[

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