ACC Football 2013 Previews & Predictions: Week 4 (Part 2)

Stefon Diggs and the Maryland Terrapins Aim to Get to 4-0 This Weekend

Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs and the Maryland Terrapins Aim to Get to 4-0 This Weekend

Welcome to part two of this week’s previews and predictions! Here’s part one if you missed it.

Pittsburgh Panthers (1-1) (0-1) at Duke Blue Devils (2-1) (0-1): Duke’s loss to Georgia Tech last week certainly changed their outlook a bit for this year, especially with Brandon Connette playing quarterback for the foreseeable future. This will be an odd look for a David Cutcliffe-coached team now: relying on the defense to win them games and give the offense a chance. Pittsburgh has similar issues on offense, as questions still linger about Tom Savage‘s abilities. But the defense should be able to outdo Duke’s own improved group in a slugfest. Aaron Donald is just too tough to stop and should be able to generate a ton of pressure on Connette and force him into some ill-advised throws or unnecessary contact. Prediction: Pitt 30, Duke 21

Tulane Green Wave (2-1) at Syracuse Orange (1-2) (0-0): The Orange have a whole new starting quarterback in Terrel Hunt, and with that, a whole new hope for this season — or so it seems. If the redshirt sophomore can keep up his strong play from last week, SU’s looking at a whole new offensive attack that appears to run with a quickened pace and increased fluidity. The key for Syracuse will be to score early and to keep the heat on Tulane’s defense. Wear them down and force Green Wave QB Nick Montana to try and do too much. SU’s defense has shown a solid ability to rush the passer and force turnovers, and should be able to show that off here. Prediction: Syracuse 38, Tulane 20

West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) at Maryland Terrapins (3-0) (0-0): Maryland hung with the ‘Neers last season, and that was a much better WVU team than this one (and a much worse Terps team too). The Terrapins have come out the gates on fire in 2013, piling up points and yardage behind C.J. Brown and Stefon Diggs. West Virginia, on the other hand, is running a stalled out offense that can’t complete drives, while leaning heavily on the defense. This will be a closer game, and will likely be decided by who wins the turnover battle. Maryland lost a big piece of that puzzle when CB Dexter McDougle went down for the year last week, but if the secondary continues to play smart and Brown doesn’t force passes, the Terps should take it. Prediction: Maryland 30, WVU 24

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ACC Football 2013 Television Schedule & Spreads: Week 4

This Week's ACC Slate Starts on Thursday, With Clemson Traveling to Raleigh to Face NC State

This Week’s ACC Slate Starts on Thursday, With Clemson Traveling to Raleigh to Face NC State

Every week, we’ll be providing a quick rundown of which ACC football games are on television, and also list the latest spread on each game (should you choose to engage in gambling-related activities). Please plan your days accordingly.

ACC Football Week 4 TV Schedule & Spreads

Thursday, September 19

Clemson Tigers at NC State Wolfpack (+14), 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Saturday, September 21

North Carolina Tar Heels at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-6.5), noon ET, ESPN

Marshall Thundering Herd at Virginia Tech Hokies (-9), noon ET, ESPNU

Florida International Panthers at Louisville Cardinals (-42.5), noon ET, ESPN 3/College Gameplan

Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Army Black Knights (+3), noon ET, CBS Sports Network

Pittsburgh Panthers at Duke Blue Devils (+4), 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN 3/College Gameplan

Tulane Green Wave at Syracuse Orange (-14.5), 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN 3/College Gameplan

West Virginia Mountaineers at Maryland Terrapins (-6), 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU

VMI Keydets at Virginia Cavaliers (-42), 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN 3

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats at Florida State Seminoles (-40.5), 6 p.m. ET, ESPN 3

Savannah State Tigers at Miami Hurricanes (-59), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN 3

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Ranking the Best ACC Football Matchups of 2013: #112-101

The ACC Plays a Competitive Non-Conference Slate This Season, But Not Every Opponent's So Tough

The ACC Plays a Competitive Non-Conference Slate in 2013, But Not Every Opponent’s So Tough

As most noticed yesterday, the 2013 ACC football schedule has officially been released, meaning we finally have some clarity as to whom the conference’s 14 teams will face-off with from week-to-week next season. So with that in mind, we thought it would be an entertaining undertaking to rank all 112 ACC football games for 2013 because, well… it’s the offseason.

So to start us off, we have numbers 112 through 101; the worst of the entire schedule. Upset to see your team appear in this section? Don’t be. Every team in the ACC scheduled at least one FCS school this season, so each one is bound to have at least one completely uncompetitive matchup.

#112: Wagner Seahawks at Syracuse Orange (Saturday, September 14)

#111: N.C. Central Eagles at Duke Blue Devils (Saturday, August 31)

#110: South Carolina State Bulldogs at Clemson Tigers (Saturday, September 7)

#109: Alabama A&M Bulldogs at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Saturday, November 23)

#108: VMI Keydets at Virginia Cavaliers (Saturday, September 21)

#107: Presbyterian Blue Hose at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (Saturday, August 31)

#106: The Citadel Bulldogs at Clemson Tigers (Saturday, November 23)

#105: Savannah State Tigers at Miami Hurricanes (Saturday, September 21)

#104: Western Carolina Catamounts at Virginia Tech Hokies (Saturday, September 7)

#103: Bethune-Cookman Wildcats at Florida State Seminoles (Saturday, September 21)

#102: Elon Phoenix at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Saturday, August 31)

#101: Old Dominion Monarchs at North Carolina Tar Heels (Saturday, November 23)

Some additional notes on today’s list:

  • All 12 opponents are visiting teams, and all 14 come from FCS conferences
  • All 12 games appear on one of five different dates
  • Breakdown of opponent conferences: MEAC (4), Southern (4), Big South (1), FCS Independent (1), Patriot (1), SWAC (1)
  • Breakdown of opponent home states: North Carolina (3), South Carolina (3), Virginia (2), Alabama (1), Florida (1), Georgia (1), New York (1)
  • Public vs. private universities: Eight public, four private

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Top 10 Individual Performances of the 2012 ACC Football Season

Tajh Boyd Turned In a Slew of Top Performances in 2012, But Did He Have the ACC's Best One?

Tajh Boyd Turned In a Slew of Great Performances, But Did He Have the ACC’s Best One of 2012?

During a season in which the ACC took plenty of lumps on and off the field, there were still plenty of individual performances worth bragging about; so we’ll make sure to do so in this space. Below are our picks for the top 10 individual performances of the 2012 season, highlighting the best players the ACC had to offer.

Agree or disagree with any of these choices? Feel free to add your own commentary below.

Top 10 Individual Performances of 2012

10. Bjoern Werner, DE/Florida State (4 sacks vs. Murray State): One of FSU’s standout seniors on defense set the tone for a big year with his opening effort against Murray State. Of Werner’s five tackles in limited action (the team was pulling starters early in the blowout), four of them were sacks. He also defended a pass during a very productive day that was impressive, regardless of opponent.

9. Tajh Boyd, QB/Clemson (428 yards, 5 TDs vs. Wake Forest): In a Thursday night game many billed as an “upset special,” Boyd had quieted all the critics by halftime. The junior completed 71 percent of his passes, and threw all five touchdowns in the first half (and four of them were in the second quarter).

8. Giovani Bernard, RB/North Carolina (262 yards, 1 TD vs. Virginia Tech): Like many of the stars we’re highlighting in this feature, this is just one of many phenomenal games from Bernard. In his first full game of the season (he was cut short or out during the first five), he put in the fifth-highest rushing total in UNC history and played a central part in one of the Heels’ key victories of the season.

7. EJ Manuel, QB/Florida State (439 yards 4 TDs vs. Boston College): Coming back from the Seminoles’ first loss of the season, Manuel played like a man on fire against the Eagles in a 51-7 victory. The senior completed nearly 80 percent of his 34 throws, and appeared to have his team and his offense right back on track. Regardless of whether or not that was the case, it was a dazzling air display that really showed just how much Manuel could do when given an opportunity.

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ACC Football 2012 Heisman Watch: Week Four

Clemson Quarterback EJ Manuel Put in Yet Another Big Performance, Vaulting Him Back Into the Heisman Watch’s Top Spot

What appears below is a quasi-realistic (read: crapshoot) view of which ACC players could potentially win the sport’s highest honor, the Heisman trophy. We’re looking at these players with the typical lens — winning team, team’s best player, signature moment (TBD) and statistical excellence. And if every player in the ACC completely drops out of the running, then this turns into the Weinke award (after the conference’s most recent Heisman winner, Chris Weinke)…

1. Tajh Boyd, QB/Clemson (822 total yards, 6 passing TD, 1 INT, 73.3 percent completion) (LW: 3)

Boyd once again leads one of the country’s best offensive attacks, and this year, he’s doing it with improved accuracy and decision-making. The junior quarterback’s numbers may not reach the gaudy heights they did early in 2011, but he’s not taking unnecessary risks either. That may change a bit as his top target gets back into to full speed, though. He’ll also be tested thoroughly once ACC play is in full swing, and it’s likely he’ll be involved in much closer contests as well, meaning he won’t be pulled early (as he has been).

2. EJ Manuel, QB/Florida State (611 total yards, 7 total TD, 1 INT, 71.2 percent completion) (LW: NR)

Competition and lack of extended playing time have hurt Manuel up to now (he’s only thrown 59 passes over three games), but that all changes starting this week against Clemson. Previously, the ‘Noles have opened with a strong dose of Manuel, and with the advantage of a very effective rushing attack, have benched the starters by halftime. Win or lose, the high-powered Tigers offense is unlikely to extend them the same luxury this Saturday, meaning Manuel should see more snaps. If he comes up big, we may just see another shift at the top of this list as well.

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ACC Football 2012 Previews & Predictions: Week 3 (Part One)

Virginia’s Michael Rocco Must Deliver a More Consistent Performance in Order to Defeat Georgia Tech on Saturday

As excited as we are about yesterday’s big Notre Dame-related news, it is nice to get back to discussing on-the-field happenings again. Non-conference play is still in full swing, so we’ll be splitting these previews up into two articles for yet another week. And if you’re curious about when and where these games are televised this Saturday, please consult our handy viewing schedule, too.

Game of the Week

Virginia Cavaliers (2-0) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (1-1) (0-1): Virginia comes into this matchup still undefeated after a very close (lucky) call with Penn State last week. Given the proficiency of Tech’s rushing attack, chances are they won’t experience the same good fortune down in Atlanta. The Hoos rank pretty well in run defense this season, but those stats are likely to lie based on their competition. Their big keys will be Michael Rocco passing the ball more more efficiently, and not allowing the Yellow Jackets to control the line of scrimmage. Virginia can’t score a ton of points, so they must capitalize on their chances in the red zone in order to win. Georgia Tech, conversely, needs to play their game and guide the tempo early. If they make UVa play catch-up, there’s little opportunity for a comeback. Prediction: Georgia Tech 30, Virginia 22

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

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (2-0) at Miami Hurricanes (1-1) (1-0): The ‘Canes defense is obviously struggling, so what better way to boost their confidence than to knock around an FCS squad like Bethune-Cookman? On the offensive end, Duke Johnson also had a rough outing last week, and could also use some time here to get back the mojo we saw in week one. Stephen Morris, while shockingly accurate, could also take some time to deliver crisper, harder-thrown balls (and maybe some touchdowns to pad the resume — he only has one scoring pass in two games). Don’t expect the starters to be pulled all that early here with Miami trying to erase last week’s result from folks’ memories. Prediction: Miami 59, BCU 13

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ACC Football 2012 TV Schedule & Spread: Week Three

Wake Forest and Florida State Are Among the Earlier Kickoffs For the ACC This Saturday, Starting at Noon ET on ESPN

Every week, we’ll be providing a quick rundown of which ACC football games are on television, and also list the latest spread on each game (should you choose to engage in gambling-related activities). Please plan your days accordingly.

ACC Football Week 3 Television Schedule & Spreads

Saturday, September 15

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats at Miami Hurricanes (no odds), noon ET, ESPN3

Virginia Tech Hokies at Pittsburgh Panthers (+11), noon ET, ESPNU

Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Florida State Seminoles (-24), noon ET, ESPN

Connecticut Huskies at Maryland Terrapins (+1.5), 12:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3

Furman Paladins at Clemson Tigers (no odds), 3 p.m. ET, ESPN Gameplan

Virginia Cavaliers at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (-10.5), 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Boston College Eagles at Northwestern Wildcats (-3.5), 3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

North Carolina Tar Heels at Louisville Cardinals (-3.5), 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Stony Brook Sea Wolves at Syracuse Orange (no odds), 4 p.m. ET, SNY

South Alabama Jaguars at NC State Wolfpack (-31.5), 6 p.m. ET, ESPN3

N.C. Central Eagles at Duke Blue Devils (no odds), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN3

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