Everybody’s back in action for week six, as ACC play is now in full swing. Below we give our respective opinions on the players, coaches, issues and injuries that may end up having an impact on this weekend’s football action. There’s also a good chance that we arrive at completely different results for completely different reasons. So just be prepared for that as well.
Game of the Week
Miami Hurricanes (4-1) (3-0) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0) (in Chicago): Once a chronicle of everything “right” and “wrong” about college football, Notre Dame and Miami have not met in the regular season since 1990. Obviously the teams of 2012 are much different, even if the media relentlessly reminds you of “Catholics vs. Convicts.” Notre Dame comes into this one favored by nearly two touchdowns after their strong defensive performances to start off the season. However, they’ve yet to face a team of playmakers quite like Miami’s. If the Irish can pressure Stephen Morris into making some mistakes, they’ve got a chance. But if forced to win with offense, there’s no guarantee Notre Dame can keep up with the Hurricanes’ firepower or big-play capabilities. Despite the home crowd, this could be the day’s biggest upset. Prediction: Miami 31, Notre Dame 26
The Rest of the Slate (in order of start time):
Pittsburgh Panthers (2-2) at Syracuse Orange (1-3): In their final meeting as Big East foes, Pitt and Syracuse appear to be moving in opposite directions. Syracuse’s special teams have been a significant issue all season, and along with their porous run defense, the Orange must continue to work on more fundamental tackling. Pitt, while suited to exploit these weaknesses, has also shown a distinct need for a balanced attack — something that may elude them on Friday night. If Syracuse can put a pass-rush on QB Tino Sunseri, and do a better job of stopping the run game, they stand a chance. Prediction: Pitt 27, Syracuse 21