ACC Week 10 preview

Here are the scheduled matchups for the ACC this week.

Georgia Tech (5-3, 3-2) at Virginia Tech (6-2, 4-0): The Hokies are one of the hottest teams in America, putting their losses to Boise State and James Madison in the rearview mirror and running off six straight wins. Tyrod Taylor leads an offense that is No. 14 in the nation in scoring at 37 points per game, and that doesn’t bode well for a Yellow Jackets defense that has struggled in Al Groh’s first season as coordinator. Georgia Tech, along with Miami and North Carolina, needs the Hokies to start losing games to have a chance for the Coastal division title. This should be an exciting Thursday night contest to get you ready for the weekend action.

Russell WilsonICONQB Russell Wilson leads NC State into Death Valley Saturday.

NC State (6-2, 3-1) at Clemson (4-4, 2-3): It’s still really surprising to see Clemson sitting at .500, even with the key losses the Tigers suffered on offense (C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford being the most noteworthy). Quarterback Kyle Parker has not taken the next step as a quarterback. Perhaps the baseball diamond has been on his mind. Nevertheless, Tahj Boyd has been told that he will take some snaps this week under center, but the Tigers will be without leading rusher Andre Ellington. He will miss the game with a toe injury. NC State, meanwhile, is coming off of a big win last Thursday night against Florida State. But the game is in Death Valley, and keep in mind that the Wolfpack did trip up against East Carolina earlier in the year.

North Carolina (5-3, 2-2) at Florida State (6-2, 4-1): Which quarterback will make the least amount of mistakes, T.J. Yates or Christian Ponder? The Tar Heels almost lost to William & Mary last week and the secondary is struggling with injuries, so there should be plays to be made — if Ponder can get the ball down the field. Defensively for the Seminoles, keep an eye on end Brandon Jenkins, who is second in the ACC in sacks (8) and tackles for loss (13.5). Neither team can afford to lose another conference game if it wants to win its division.

Maryland (6-2, 3-1) at Miami (5-3, 3-2): Don’t look now, but Ralph Friedgen’s Terps are 6-2 heading into this game. Freshman quarterback Danny O’Brien has been a real pleasant surprise for Maryland. Although his accuracy hasn’t been great, he has a 13-to-3 TD-to-INT ratio and gets the ball to the team’s playmakers. The Terps also play solid defense. Miami’s offense will be in the hands of true freshman Stephen Morris with Jacory Harris out after sustaining a concussion in the loss to Virginia last week. If the Hurricanes can run the ball, the offense should be fine even with a youngster under center. Damien Berry will miss the contest because of injury, but Miami has depth in the backfield.

Virginia (4-4, 1-3) at Duke (2-6, 0-4): I really thought Duke would be able to compete for a minor bowl bid this year, but David Cutcliffe’s squad remains winless in league play. The Blue Devils are coming off a road win over Navy, a game where quarterback Sean Renfree finally looked like the signal caller Cutcliffe thought he recruited. Virginia played well against Miami last week, controlling the clock and holding off a Hurricanes comeback. This is a game, however, that Duke cannot lose at home.

Boston College (3-5, 1-4) at Wake Forest (2-6, 1-4): Despite its 3-5 record, the Eagles bring it defensively. BC is coming off a win over Clemson and will battle a Demon Deacons squad on a six-game skid. Wake has battled an unstable quarterback situation all season, and the defense has not been able to keep the team in games in recent weeks. The Eagles should rely on running back Montel Harris to churn out a victory.

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