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ACC Football Schedule, Week 9: Previewing Saturday's Matchups

Clemson (4-3, 2-2) at Boston College (2-5, 0-4), 12:00 p.m. ESPN3

Clemson heads to Boston College for a noon kickoff and will be trying to avoid a letdown after the big win over rival Georgia Tech last week. There are three teams in the Atlantic Division that have 1 loss and are ahead of Clemson, so the Tigers cannot afford an upset loss in Boston.

Boston College might have a bad record, but they have been very good stopping the run this year. The Eagles have only allowed 83.57 yards per game on the ground, ranking them 4th in the nation. Their pass defense is lacking however, ranking 80th at 230.6 yards per game. So look for Dabo Swinney’s Tigers to move the ball through the air with Kyle Parker at least initially, and try to work in Andre Ellington as the game progresses.  

Clemson is a 7 point favorite, which they should cover.

#22 Miami (5-2, 3-1) at Virginia (3-4, 0-3), 12:00 p.m. ESPN/ESPN3

This is definitely a trap game for the Hurricanes, who cannot afford a loss in the tight Coastal Division race. Miami is only 1 game behind Virginia Tech, and the two teams still have to play each other. Virginia on the other hand has come up short in 9 straight conference games, and will be looking to avoid the 10th straight on Saturday.

An obvious mismatch on paper is Miami’s running game against the Virgina defense. The Canes have averaged 169 yards per game, but the Cavaliers rank 114th allowing 211 yards.

Miami is a 15 point favorite. I think that the game will be close at half, but the Canes will pull away late.

Wake Forest (2-5, 1-3) at Maryland (5-2, 2-1), 3:30 p.m. ESPNU

Maryland is the surprise in the Atlantic Division race this year, with the only one conference loss coming against Clemson.  Their standing may be inflated however because their only two wins have come against Duke and Boston College.

Wake Forest, after winning their first two games, has now lost five in a row. They are 6 point underdogs on the road. I am not convinced in Maryland, but Wake has struggled in a few close games during the losing streak so take the points but Maryland gets a home win.

William & Mary (6-1, 4-1 CAA) at North Carolina (4-3, 2-2), 3:30 p.m. ESPN3

North Carolina plays an out-of-conference game against William & Mary in Chapel Hill at 3:30. The Tar Heels last three weeks have been Clemson, @ Virginia, and @ Miami. Next week, they start a tough stretch and head to Florida to take on #16 FSU and then host #23 Virginia Tech the following week. UNC hopes to be able to get an early lead and give the starters the second half off.

UNC is a 21.5 point favorite, and should cover.

Duke (1-6, 0-4) at Navy (5-2), 3:30 p.m.

The Blue Devils travel to Annapolis to take on the Midshipmen in the last afternoon game. Navy is looking to win their 6th game and become bowl eligible, while Duke has lost six in a row. Duke has allowed 203 yards per game (107th) on the ground this season, and is going up against Navy’s triple option offense, the nation’s 9th ranked rushing offense at 274 per game.

Duke travels to Georgia Tech, another triple option team, in three weeks, so Jacket fans will be able to have an idea how the Blue Devils may fair come November 20th.

Navy is a 13 point favorite. I see no way that Duke will be able to stop Navy, nor score enough. 

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.