Week 10 could not have gone any worse for the ACC. Clemson was blown out on the road against an unranked Notre Dame team, possibly costing the conference a spot in the college football playoff. The Tigers clinched a spot in the ACC Championship game by virtue of Syracuse losing, but that was the only bright spot for Clemson.
Now, the Tigers must bounce back at home against Louisville and keep their very faint playoff hopes alive.
The other top team in the ACC can clinch its division this weekend. North Carolina is traveling to Wake Forest and even though North Carolina is ranked 15th in the latest college football playoff rankings and Wake is not ranked, the Tar Heels find themselves as small underdogs.
Note: You can find my official prediction for Georgia Tech vs Miami here
So who wins each ACC matchup this weekend?
Virginia Tech at Duke (-9.5)
Duke was a big favorite against Boston College last week and even though that game was closer than they would have liked, the Blue Devils would get the win and clinch bowl eligibility. Now, Duke needs to find a way to get to 7-3 against a Virginia Tech team that lost a heartbreaker against Georgia Tech last week.
I think with the loss last week eliminating any chance of a bowl game, Virginia Tech might not have a lot of energy for this game. Duke is playing with confidence right now and I think they win easily this week.
Final Score: Duke 34, Virginia Tech 14
Pittsburgh (-6) at Virginia
Virginia gave North Carolina all it could handle last week, but the Cavaliers came up short in the upset attempt. Now, Virginia is 3-6 and must win out in order to reach bowl eligibility and their schedule is manageable enough to do so, but they must knock off Pitt first.
The Panthers won an ugly game against a beat-up Syracuse team last week and it was again due to its run game. Rodney Hammond Jr had over 100 yards rushing, but the Panther’s passing game was not that impressive. I think Pitt goes on the road and loses a low-scoring game against an underrated Virginia defense.
Final Score: Virginia 21, Pitt 17
Louisville at Clemson (-7)
Clemson has to get back together quickly after losing to Notre Dame because Louisville has been playing better and better each week since losing to Boston College earlier this year. While the Cardinal’s offense is not amazing, their defense has played well and that could be the difference against a struggling Clemson offense.
The Tiger’s quarterback situation makes this a tough game to predict and I do think Louisville can pull the upset, but the home field will make the difference in this game. The Clemson defense bounces back and the Tigers get a win at home.
Final Score: Clemson 27, Louisville 17
Boston College at NC State (-18.5)
This is not likely to be a close game. Boston College is 2-7 and has a myriad of offensive line injuries and they are playing on the road at one of the toughest venues in the ACC. NC State has seemingly found something in MJ Morris and he has kept the Wolfpack alive since the injury to Devin Leary.
NC State has one of the best defenses in the country and they will dominate this game.
Final Score: NC State 28, Boston College 6
North Carolina at Wake Forest (-4)
This is likely to be the funniest game of the day in the ACC. The two top quarterbacks in the conference square off and if anyone remembers last year’s matchup between these two teams, it was a fun one.
North Carolina can clinch the Coastal Divison with a win over the Demon Deacons, who are looking to break their two-game losing streak. Sam Hartman has been a turnover machine in both losses and for Wake Forest to win, he has to cut down on those.
In projected shootouts, I think it is best to go with the best quarterback in the game and that is Maye. Maye is playing like a Heisman contender and should be mentioned more in the race. I think he has a big game and the Tar Heels punch their ticket to Charlotte to face Clemson.
Final Score: North Carolina 49, Wake Forest 45
Florida State (-7.5) at Syracuse
Florida State has won in dominant fashion the last two weeks against Georgia Tech and Miami and hopes that carries over on the road at Syracuse. The Orange are beaten up at several positions and are in a bit of a free fall after starting the season 6-0.
I think the Seminoles are playing really well right now and will go on the road and get a big win. Syracuse is not going to be able to score enough to keep up in this game and Florida State wins by double digits.
Final Score: Florida State 34, Syracuse 17
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