No one’s been a bigger Steve Addazio hater than this guy. I didn’t like the hire in 2012. His energy won me over during his first two seasons. But I was done about halfway through the disastrous 3-9 2015 campaign. I’ve been calling for his head since.
I laughed my ass off when he defiantly proclaimed after the Virginia Tech game this year that his offense “would come together” and “be beautiful.” I’ll be damned if he was right. The Eags have exploded the last couple of weeks. Can they pick off a wounded Florida State team in Chestnut Hill?
While I’ll be watching the action on The Heights intently Friday evening, all eyes in the ACC should be turned towards South Bend. That’s because you’ve got a matchup between two Top 15 teams in Notre Dame and NC State with College Football Playoff implications for both sides!!! Damn right, Pack fans! You’re in the conversation!
More on these two games, plus the rest of the league, below. All game times are Saturday unless otherwise noted.
Florida State @ Boston College
Alumni Stadium — Chestnut Hill, MA — 8:00pm Friday (ESPN)
Spread: Florida State -4
This has to be the most favorable spread BC has gotten against the Seminoles in years. Now that I’m hyping BC with a photo and several paragraphs, we’ll probably get our brains bashed in. But what an opportunity the young offensive trio QB Anthony Brown, TB AJ Dillon and WR Kobay White have at home on Red Bandana Night under the lights.
The Red Bandana game honoring Welles Crowther has become an awesome tradition at BC. The first iteration brought us an upset win over #9 USC in 2014. I’m just concerned that FSU has too much talent to keep losing at this clip. I think this will be an emotional, closely contested game either way that’ll come down to which freshman quarterback makes more plays (or mistakes).
#8 Miami @ North Carolina
Kenan Stadium — Chapel Hill, NC — 12:00pm (ESPN2)
Spread: Miami -20.5
The U has it rolling, but this is a classic trap game. Noon game on the road against a team that is pretty terrible. Plus, a massive game against Virginia Tech for what is essentially the Coastal division title next week will make this game easy for the Canes to overlook.
UNC may barely be registering a pulse, but Larry Fedora can coach and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Heels hang around a little bit. However, the Canes are just too much and Carolina is just too bad.
Louisville @ Wake Forest
BB&T Field — Winston-Salem, NC — 12:20pm (ACC Network)
Spread: Louisville -3
I’m really surprised at Vegas’ lack of love for the Deacs this week. Sure, they looked very underwhelming against Georgia Tech last week. However, GT is a pain in the ass to scheme for and is a pretty good team. They were able to keep it respectable against Clemson (much more than Louisville did) and they should have beaten FSU. Wake beat Louisville last year and Louisville’s D is suspect.
Lamar Jackson will get his because he always does, but I think Wake will pull this one out.
Virginia @ Pittsburgh
Heinz Field — Pittsburgh, PA — 12:30pm (ACC Network)
Spread: Pittsburgh -3
This is one of those ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ games. Pitt had been showing basically nothing all season, but then found a way to beat a mediocre Duke team on the road last week. Virginia had been showing a lot all season, but then found a way to get slaughtered by a mediocre BC team at home last week. So again, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
#14 NC State @ #9 Notre Dame
Notre Dame Stadium — South Bend, IN — 3:30pm (NBC)
Spread: Notre Dame -7.5
Here’s your game of the week. HUGE game right here, which like I said, does have CFP implications for both sides. A loss for either is the end of the road in that regard.
Brian Kelly said in a press conference this week that Notre Dame tries to compete for a national championship each year because as an indy, that’s all they have. It’s CFP or bust. For State, the ACC Atlantic and ACC Championship are still completely on the table even if they drop this game 80-0.
So If I’m a Pack player, coach or fan, I’m approaching this game like there’s nothing to lose. Play loose and have fun playing in college football’s most storied theater. ND is playing well, but I think they’re a little overhyped because of that USC win. I think State has a really good chance to take this one on the road, which would be a win for the ages in Wolfpack lore.
Duke @ #13 Virginia Tech
Lane Stadium — Blacksburg, VA — 7:20pm (ACC Network)
Spread: Virginia Tech -15.5
Man, Duke’s hot start seems like an eternity ago. Since starting the season 4-0, the Blue Devils have lost four straight. Aside from the Miami game, they’ve all been competitive, but there’s no doubt Cutcliffe’s squad is leaking oil.
Lane Stadium isn’t the place to right the ship. Virginia Tech will cover easily, treating us to the Miami showdown next week we’ve wanted all season long.
Georgia Tech @ #7 Clemson
Clemson Memorial Stadium — Clemson, SC — 8:00pm (ABC/ESPN2)
Spread: Clemson -14
GT-Clemson is one of the more underrated CFB rivalries. The Yellow Jackets lead the all-time series 50-29-2, and lead 8-6 since the ACC expanded in 2004. Clemson is obviously a much different program now, but never sleep on the stupid triple option. Georgia Tech could have been undefeated and in the Top 10 right now. They should not have lost to Tennessee and would have beaten Miami if not for a fluky miracle catch on 4th and 10.
Point is, this is no cakewalk for Clemson. It looks like Kelly Bryant will be ready to go and they’ll need him. I expect a Clemson win, but by a TD or less.
Photo Credit Ben Solomon/BC Athletics