It’s so hard being perfect. Sigh. My undefeated streak lasted exactly one week, as I went 5-3 in last week’s picks, incorrectly guessing Virginia Tech-BC, Maryland-FIU, and UNC-Rutgers. That brings the season total to 29-9 (76 percent). The pressure is on this week, as there are five conference games. Here’s to rebounding like Florida State in Week 5:
Notre Dame 21, Boston College 20: The Eagles, under the direction of a new starting quarterback, will continue to be inept on offense and have to find a way to score in the kicking game or on defense. The Eagles’ defense will continue to be stingy, but won’t be able to completely silence Irish quarterback Dayne Crist.
Miami 24, Clemson 21 (OT): You know what they say about paybacks. This should be an incredibly close game, as it features the two best teams in the ACC. The difference is that Miami has a few more impact players on special teams and more big-play capabilities than Clemson, which lacks the home run threat without C.J. Spiller.
Florida State 31, Virginia 24: The bottom line is that the Seminoles are more talented. They lined up and played sound defense against Wake Forest, showing significant improvement since the loss at Oklahoma. They won’t give up big plays and do a good job of keeping the plays in front of them.
Maryland 45, Duke 31: Duke is in disarray, plain and simple. The defense is bad, the offense is inconsistent. Sean Renfree deserves credit for getting right back to work after the loss to Army and should play better -- he’s got plenty of talented receivers to work with -- but the Terps have confidence, momentum and home field advantage working in their favor.
NC State 28, Virginia Tech 21: The Hokies’ defense will limit the Wolfpack more than Georgia Tech did, but their offense won’t be able to match what Russell Wilson and his receivers can do. If it could, it would’ve done it by now.
Georgia Tech 28, Wake Forest 21: The Deacs’ quarterback situation has been in question all week after Tanner Price suffered a concussion at FSU, and the defense won’t be able to stop Joshua Nesbitt and the spread option offense. The quarterback play will be the difference.
North Carolina 38, East Carolina 24: The Pirates can score, but they can’t stop anybody. Even with starters missing, UNC has been respectable on defense. They just weren’t sound in their option responsibilities against Georgia Tech. As long as everyone is healthy, the Tar Heels should win.