ACC Football 2012 Previews & Predictions: Week 13 (Part 2)

Tajh Boyd and Clemson Are Looking for Their First Victory Over South Carolina Since 2008

This is part two of this week’s ACC previews and predictions. Check out part one for previews from the week’s featured game and the earlier contests.

The Rest of the Slate (continued, in order of start time):

Miami Hurricanes (6-5) (4-3) at Duke Blue Devils (6-5) (3-4): in the span of three days, this matchup went from critical to pointless, as Duke lost its chance at the division while losing to Georgia Tech, and Miami self-imposed yet another postseason ban. So will either side be motivated for this game? Duke seemingly has their Belk Bowl bid locked up, but riding a three-game losing streak, the wind has kind of vanished from the sails of their “comeback” season. Miami, despite the ban, has shown flashes of real talent all year, and against the Blue Devils’ overmatched secondary, this could be another breakout game. Prediction: Miami 36, Duke 27

Boston College Eagles (2-9) (1-6) at NC State Wolfpack (6-5) (3-4): The Lame Duck Bowl pits two coaches — BC’s Frank Spaziani and NC State’s Tom O’Brien — who are likely out of a job within a week of the final whistle. State has underperformed beyond most pundits’ wildest beliefs, with their biggest strengths, the secondary and quarterback Mike Glennon, also serving as their most serious question marks. And BC, which at first glance possessed a much more potent passing attack under new coordinator Doug Martin, has since fizzled back to a largely ineffective offense typical of Spaziani’s reign of terror. The Wolfpack have the talent to win this game going away, but you could’ve said that about a good deal of the games they played this season, too. Prediction: NC State 38, Boston College 23

Maryland Terrapins (4-7) (2-5) at North Carolina Tar Heels (7-4) (4-3): Without a postseason bowl to give one last preview for NFL scouts, this may very well be the final game of sophomore Giovani Bernard‘s Tar Heel career. The running back’s impressive 2012 campaign is slated to end on a stellar note too, as he takes on a Maryland team that’s had quite the bout with injuries. After a strong defensive effort to start the season, the Terps have seemingly fallen off a bit, allowing piles of rushing yards in recent games. Considering Bernard is better than any of the backs they’ve faced this year, it may be another long afternoon for the UMD defense. Prediction: North Carolina 41, Maryland 20

Vanderbilt Commodores (7-4) at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-6) (3-5): Wake’s offense has reached horrendous depths over the late stretch of the year, scoring over 20 points just once since October. On the year, the Demon Deacons don’t fare much better either, only putting up 18.3 points per game on the year, which ranks 117th in the FBS. With the way Vandy’s been piling on points of late (at least 40 in three of four games), it doesn’t bode well for Wake and their fleeting chances to make a bowl. If QB Tanner Price were to regain his form from last year, now would be as good a time as ever. Prediction: Vanderbilt 35, Wake Forest 16

South Carolina Gamecocks (9-2) at Clemson Tigers (10-1) (7-1): This year’s Battle of the Palmetto State is arguably among the most high-profile in the game’s history. Separated by just one spot in the BCS rankings (Clemson’s no. 12, versus South Carolina, who’s no. 13), there’s been hype for this one all season and plenty of back-and-forth between coaches Dabo Swinney and Steve Spurrier. But who really has the advantage here? South Carolina’s defense is a force, but can they — or anyone else, for that matter — stop the Tigers’ high-powered offense? Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd won’t be able to replicate his eight-touchdown performance from last week, but he’s only had four games all season where he’s thrown for less than three scores (and he’s had at least one each contest). With a BCS berth possibly on the line, I’m going with Boyd and his Clemson Tigers. Prediction: Clemson 31, South Carolina 24

Last Week: 7-1; 2012 Season: 75-31

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