Hard to believe we’re almost halfway through the college football season already! Week 6 in the ACC features almost nothing but conference action — the only exception being Notre Dame at UNC which is kind of a conference game.
This week, a lot of people will be looking south to Tallahassee for Florida State and Miami. While the game doesn’t have the luster that most thought it would at the beginning of the season, it’s a big test for a Hurricanes team that looks to be on the rise.
The biggest game of the week is probably Thursday night as NC State entertains Louisville. Can the Pack move up the ACC Atlantic pecking order?
Here’s what’s on tap this week.
*Game times are for Saturday unless otherwise noted
#17 Louisville (4-1, 1-1 ACC) @ #24 NC State (4-1, 2-0 ACC)
Carter-Finley Stadium — Raleigh, NC — Thursday, 8:00pm (ESPN)
Spread: Louisville -3.5
NC State avoided the Florida State hangover and jumped all over Syracuse last week. They sort of let their foot off the gas in the second half, but a win’s a win. The Wolfpack is back in the Top 25 with an opportunity to make some big-time noise in a nationally televised game at home against Louisville. A win here would really put the national media on notice that this team is legit — and a contender in the Atlantic.
I think Louisville is overrated and ripe for a loss. They haven’t played anyone that’s very good other than Clemson, who stomped them. Their offensive line is suspect. NC State has the defensive line to contain Lamar Jackson and they should have enough firepower on offense to outpace the Cards.
Wake Forest (4-1, 1-1 ACC) @ #2 Clemson (5-0, 2-0 ACC)
Clemson Memorial Stadium — Clemson, SC — 12:00pm (ESPN2)
Spread: Clemson -22
Wake was sent back to reality after a 4-0 start, but they hung tough against Florida State. If not for an NFL-caliber TD toss by James Blackman, the Deacs would have won that game. Unfortunately, they get another reality check in Death Valley.
Clemson handled a good Virginia Tech team on the road. Even though Wake is much improved, I don’t see how they get a win here. That Clemson defensive front is way too tough and I don’t think QB John Wolford is going to be able to scramble as effectively as he has all season.
Duke (4-1, 1-1 ACC) @ Virginia (3-1, 0-0 ACC)
Scott Stadium — Charlottesville, VA — 12:20pm (ACC Network)
Spread: Virginia -2
Fresh off a bye, a rejuvinated Virginia team hosts Duke in a classic ACC Coastal showdown. Honestly, I don’t know how this one will play out. Duke didn’t look great against Miami last week. Granted, Virginia is not Miami, but they’re playing a lot better. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if Vegas is right and the Hoos get a win at home. The Coastal is always a muddied mess.
Pittsburgh (2-3, 0-1 ACC) @ Syracuse (2-3, 0-1 ACC)
Carrier Dome — Syracuse, NY — 12:30pm (ACC Network)
Spread: Syracuse -3.5
Here’s a pillowfight that harkens back to the old Big East. Last year’s showdown was a complete shootout, so I’d expect something similar this year. I give Cuse the edge just because they can score in a hurry and Pitt’s defense is atrocious. Syracuse’s defense is just mediocre, so I doubt they give up 76 this year.
#13 Miami (3-0, 1-0 ACC) @ Florida State (1-2, 1-1 ACC)
Doak Campbell Stadium — Tallahassee, FL — 3:30pm (ESPN)
Spread: Miami -3
Hard to believe FSU has won seven straight against Miami. That’s because FSU has been pretty dang good under Jimbo Fisher and Miami hasn’t been very good until this year. I think it’s time the tables turned.
Barring a miracle turnaround by the Noles, this isn’t the ACC Championship preview everyone thought it was. It will, however, be a hard-fought game that could come down to the final play like this rivalry has in the past. I do think Miami finds a way to win though. If luck has anything to do with it, it’s clearly not FSU’s year.
#21 Notre Dame (4-1) @ North Carolina (1-4, 0-3 ACC)
Kenan Stadium — Chapel Hill, NC — 3:30pm (ABC)
Spread: Notre Dame -14
ABC tryna score some Notre Dame ratings by putting this one on — I’m assuming it’s just regional coverage. I watched parts of the GT game last week, and Carolina just got absolutely run over. While the defense has been bad, there’s nothing going on offense, either.
ND is predictably overrated, but they should cruise in this one.
#16 Virginia Tech (4-1, 0-1 ACC) @ BC (2-3, 0-2 ACC)
Alumni Stadium — Chestnut Hill, MA — 7:15pm (ESPN2)
Spread: Virginia Tech -16.5
The Steve Addazio Unemployment Watch continues into its sixth week as the Eagles host the Hokies. In his weekly press conference, Addazio invoked Frank Beamer as an example of why coaches should be given time to “build” a program. Sorry, Steve. You’re not Frank Beamer and your offense sucks. Better call your buddy up in Columbus and see if he needs someone to carry his bags next year.
BC has historically played Virginia Tech tough — in fact, they’ve won two out of the last four. I expect an ugly game that’s close until the 4th quarter until VT inevitably pulls away.
Georgia Tech (3-1, 2-0 ACC)
Cover Photo Credit: Miami Hurricanes Athletics (2017)