Saturday, September 24, 2005Around the ACC/State
Big week for the ACC as we are now officially into "conference" season. Five conference games with only the Florida schools not participating (Miami has non-conference Colorado and FSU is on the first of two bye weeks).
North Carolina (0-2) at N.C. State (1-1): Should be a good, defensive matchup. The Tar Heels are an improved program but their 0-3 record won't show it. I figure the John Bunting job watch can start soon. N.C. State 20-10.
Boston College (2-1) at Clemson (2-1): As I said in TUT Juice nothing gets a bettor more excited than hearing the words "backup quarterback making his first start of the season in a crucial road contest". However, if Porter plays, this could be much different. Clemson 31-17.
Duke (1-2) at Virginia (2-0): After today's thrasing of the Blue Devils, the Cavaliers will face Boston College, Miami, Maryland, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. That's got to be the worse conference schedule of any team in the ACC. Virginia 35-6.
Maryland (1-2) at Wake Forest (1-2): Both teams will be jockeying for that final ACC bowl spot and the winner will get it. I love the Deacons on their unstable home surface. Wake Forest 28-27.
Georgia Tech (3-0) at Virginia Tech (3-0): The big game of the day and the biggest in the short history of the expanded ACC. Why is this game bigger than FSU-Miami? Well because this game can prove the depth of the conference. This is also the first big ACC game held in Blacksburg. Reggie Ball's return makes this a close contest and I'm not sold on Marcus Vick yet. But at home, I think the Hokies defense saves them in a close one. Virginia Tech, 21-17.
Around the State
Two teams in the state also start their conference play today.
Marshall (1-1) at UCF (0-2): This is the true definition of a program game for the Golden Knights. They obviously need a win after 17 losses in a row, but if they can beat Marshall and snap this losing streak, the schedule could set up for a couple more wins before traveling to Southern Miss. The Knights looked ok against South Carolina and horrific against USF. Marshall should win, but UCF has a puncher's chance of pulling the upset in one of their four home games this year. A loss here could be devastating and all but spell the end of George O'Leary's disasterous tenure in Orlando. Marshall 24-17.
FIU (0-2) at Arkansas St (1-2): In a wide open Sun Belt the Golden Panthers can get a leg up over their local rivals Florida Atlantic with a win here. Arkansas State is one of the favorites in the conference and should defend its home turf against the new kids. Arkansas St. 28-21.