This is a big week in the ACC with Clemson hosting Notre Dame in the Game of the Week, which will have major playoff implications. Conference play also cranks up and we’ll get a chance to finally see just how good certain teams are going to be.
Here are my ACC Week 5 Picks:
Thursday, October 1
37 Miami (FL) at Cincinnati 21
Miami is looking to start the season 4-0 for just the second time since 2005, which is hard to believe for such a storied program. Cincinnati is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Memphis and will be without starting quarterback Gunner Kiel. The Hurricanes should have no issues in this one and I expect a strong performance from Brady Kaaya as Miami gears up for Florida State next week.
Saturday, October 3
17 Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech 21
Virginia Tech continues to disappoint and after losing to East Carolina for the second year in a row, look destined for another mediocre finish. Pittsburgh lost star running back James Connor in the opener and will look to reestablish the run game, as the passing game appears to be fine with Tyler Boyd at receiver. The strength of the Hokies defense is in the secondary and I think they’ll shutdown Boyd and force Pitt to rely on their run game. I like Virginia Tech in a low scoring affair.
30 Louisville at NC State 20
NC State has yet to play a reputable team, while Lousivlle started the season against three very talented teams. I like the Cardinals by double digits.
17 Boston College at Duke 23
We all know that Duke is a basketball school, but now they can be considered a basketball/football school. The Blue Devils continue to surprise the nation and look like a team that could repeat the success of last season. Boston College doesn’t have a powerful offense, but their defense should be good enough to keep them in the game.
45 #11 Florida State at Wake Forest 14
You would hope that the Seminoles have no problems in this one.
24 North Carolina at Georgia Tech 38
A lot of people including myself considered Georgia Tech as a preseason favorite to in the conference, but after two road losses it appears the Yellow Jackets don’t have a shot. North Carolina is coming off their easiest stretch in their schedule and haven’t experienced the type of competition that Georgia Tech will bring to the table. I’ve got the Yellow Jackets by two touchdowns.
28 #6 Notre Dame at #12 Clemson 31
This game has huge playoff implications as the winner should jump right into the discussion. Notre Dame has already been tested this season with games against Texas, Virginia and Georgia Tech. None of those teams come even close to the talent level currently at Clemson and the Irish have yet to see a quarterback like Deshaun Watson or a defense like the one that the Tigers have. It’s extremely difficult to win at “Death Valley” and the weapons that Clemson possess will be too much for Notre Dame to handle.