ACC predictions: Week 9

Well, I finally picked a Clemson-Georgia Tech game right, but it didn’t help my winning percentage much. I struck out on the Terps’ win at BC and Miami’s win over the Heels. That added up to a 3-2 week and a grand total of 48-15 (76.1 percent). It’s not getting any easier, starting tonight with a tough pick in the ACC’s game of the week:

NC State 31, Florida State 28 (OT) -- This is the biggest game the Wolfpack have played in years, and it’s an upset in the making. The Carter-Finely crowd will make for a great atmosphere, and quarterback Russell Wilson will be the difference. Linebackers Audie Cole and Nate Irving will help slow down the running game, and FSU quarterback Christian Ponder will be forced into a costly turnover.

Navy 38, Duke 14 -- The Blue Devils won’t be able to get Navy quarterback Ricky Dobbs off the field, and therefore won’t get enough possessions to get into a shootout with him. The Middies are coming off a big win over Notre Dame and have the momentum.

Clemson 28, Boston College 14 -- The Eagles’ defense won’t be the same without its best pass-rusher, defensive end Alex Albright, and the offense has been anemic all season. Andre Ellington will have another big running day and DeAndre Hopkins will continue to blossom as a receiver.

Maryland 24, Wake Forest 17 -- The Deacs have had a week to rest and prepare, but still have what is statistically one of the worst defenses in the country. Wake has won three of the past four meetings, but the difference this time around will be Maryland’s defense, especially against the run.

Miami 31, Virginia 17 -- The talent, speed and depth of the Canes will be too much for Virginia to overcome. The difference, though, is in the turnover margin, where Miami’s defense up front will force quarterback Marc Verica into another interception or two and create a short field for Jacory Harris.

North Carolina 31, William & Mary 24 -- The Tar Heels will overlook the Tribe, and it will be a closer game than necessary, but UNC will pull away in the second half thanks to a strong running game and some big plays by the defense.