Some things in the ACC are simply unpredictable. NC State’s loss to Virginia last week wasn’t on my radar, but it was the lone erroneous pick of the week for a 4-1 record. My overall record stands at 60-15 (80 percent) heading into Week 11. My apologies to Virginia for writing the Hoos off too early. Lesson learned?
Virginia 28, Miami 24: The Hoos have confidence and home-field advantage, a recipe for success against a Miami team looking to become bowl-eligible this week. The Cavaliers’ young defense is coming off its best performance of the year, with five takeaways and six sacks in a 33-6 win at NC State last week. The Cavs also had their best rushing performance of the season and will build upon that this weekend against a struggling Miami rushing defense.
Notre Dame 28, Boston College 14: The Eagles won't get blown away in this game. The Irish aren’t known for their offense this year, and BC always gives a great, blue-collar effort, especially at home and in this rivalry game. A lack of a running game, though, will put too much pressure on quarterback Chase Rettig, and the Eagles won’t be able to get enough points against Manti Te’o & Co.
Clemson 48, Maryland 10: It should be yet another record-setting day for offensive coordinator Chad Morris’ offense. Maryland will be without its leading tackler, linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield, who tore his ACL last week against Georgia Tech, and fifth-string quarterback Shawn Petty will make just his second career start. This one has disaster written all over it, but not for a lack of effort from Maryland.
Florida State 31, Virginia Tech 17: Quarterback Logan Thomas isn’t playing at a high enough level right now to pull off the upset, and too much pressure has been put on Bud Foster’s defense. It should start out as a close game because it’s a nationally televised Thursday night game in Blacksburg, but the Noles will eventually pull away behind a strong performance by quarterback EJ Manuel and the Noles’ stifling defense.
North Carolina 31, Georgia Tech 17: This is what happens when teams have extra time to prepare for Paul Johnson’s spread option offense. The Tar Heels are coming off a bye week, and they’ve got one thing the Jackets have been missing -- a go-to playmaker. Georgia Tech will struggle to slow down running back Giovani Bernard, and the Tar Heels will snap their three-game losing streak in this series.
NC State 24, Wake Forest 21: The Wolfpack will bounce back from last week’s 33-6 loss to Virginia and become bowl-eligible behind an impressive performance by quarterback Mike Glennon. His receivers will rise to the occasion, the Pack will win the turnover battle, and Wake Forest will need more than an all-star performance by receiver Michael Campanaro in this one.