2010 ACC Fearless Picks - (BC-Florida State)
Florida State QB Christian Ponder
Florida State QB Christian Ponder
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 13, 2010


Fearless Predictions for every ACC game, Oct. 16, Week 7

2010 ACC Fearless Predictions

Week 7 ... Oct. 16 Games

ACC
Atlantic
Boston Coll | Clemson | Florida St | Maryland | NC St | Wake Forest
Coastal Duke | Georgia Tech | Miami | North Carolina | Virginia | Virginia Tech

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ACC Fearless Predictions 
- Oct. 9 | Oct. 2 | Sept. 25 | Sept. 18 | Sept. 11 | Sept. 4

CFN ACC Predictions: SU:40-10   ATS: 19-19

- Oct. 16, Part 2 (Wake Forest-Virginia Tech) 

GAME OF THE WEEK

Boston College (2-3) at Florida State (5-1) Oct. 16, 12:00 ET

Here’s The Deal … The two ACC programs heading in the most polar opposite directions will convene in Tallahassee this Saturday afternoon. Florida State is as hot as it's been in a long time, punctuating a four-game by schooling rival Miami on the road. Now deeply entrenched in the polls and the trendy pick to win a conference championship, the Seminoles need to keep their eye on the ball as expectations ratchet higher. They’ve yet to play a game decided by less than 20 points, making fourth quarters almost pointless in the first half of the year. Boston College isn’t just losing football games these games. It’s getting dominated in such a fashion that the school’s streak of 11 consecutive bowl games is in serious jeopardy. Over the last three weeks, the Eagles have been outscored 94-30, proving to be no match for Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, or NC State in Raleigh last Saturday.
Why Boston College Might Win: The closest thing to a saving grace on the Heights these days comes from a defense that can still boast playmakers, like DE Alex Albright and LB Luke Kuechly, and is No. 5 nationally against the run. Under Frank Spaziani, the Eagles remain tough, physical, and fundamentally sound at the basics. If the ‘Noles, which have relied on the running game, try to mail this one in or suffer a hangover, a Boston College team playing with nothing to lose is capable of making them regret it.
Why Florida State Might Win: Even if the running game, which has been tremendous, suffers a small setback this week, QB Christian Ponder is capable of picking up the slack. A talented veteran, he’s getting more comfortable with receivers Willie Haulstead and Rodney Smith with each passing week. The defense is playing exceptionally, a trend that isn’t about to be disrupted by Boston College. Absolutely nothing is going well for the Eagles, which can’t block or complete passes with any consistency. With DE Brandon Jenkins, LB Nigel Bradham, and CB Greg Reid, in particular, roaming the field, the shutout should be in play for much of this one.
What To Watch Out For: The beauty of Florida State’s 16th-ranked running game is that it hasn’t hinged on the play of a single back. With the Rodney Hudson-led line creating all kinds of running room, three different Seminoles have gone for 100 yards in a game this season, Chris Thompson, Jermaine Thomas, and Ty Jones. In other words, expect a lot of tackle opportunities for Kuechly and plenty of headaches for the balance of the Boston College D.
What Will Happen: If the ‘Noles are slow out of the gate, it shouldn’t last long. Head coach Jimbo Fisher won’t permit it. Boston College is playing the way Duke used to in the past, failing to even muster up much of a fight. If properly motivated, Florida State may not allow 200 total yards to the Eagles, blanketing their young receivers and owning turnover margin in a one-sided game that’ll be decided before halftime.
CFN Prediction: Florida State 30 … Boston College 13 … Line: Florida State -22
Must See Rating: Jackass 3D – 5 … The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town -1 … 2.5
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NC State (5-1) at East Carolina (3-2) Oct. 16, 12:00 ET

Here’s The Deal … Separated by only 80 miles, NC State and East Carolina lock horns for the 27th time in an intriguing non-conference rivalry with a rich history. The Wolfpack got back on track in a big way following the Virginia Tech loss, hammering Boston College for Tom O’Brien’s first win over his former employer. It was the exact response the program needed if it plans on keeping pace with the likes of Florida State in the Atlantic Division. The Pirates continue to surprise in Ruffin McNeill’s first year. The same thrill-a-minute school that brought you a Hail Mary to win the opener and 100 points in the first two games, just got done shocking Southern Miss, 44-43, in Hattiesburg. In this supposed rebuilding year, the two-time defending Conference USA champs are 3-0 in league play and poised to defend that crown.
Why NC State Might Win: In a league not known for its defensive prowess, East Carolina is pulling up the rear at 42 points and 457 yards allowed per game. Uh-oh. The Pack will feast on the rebuilt Pirate D behind QB Russell Wilson, who’s thrown three touchdown passes in each of the last four games and has a deep and dangerous corps of receivers at his disposal. When Wilson isn’t distributing through the air, he can hand the ball to Mustafa Greene, the program’s talented rookie back. East Carolina has allowed at least 42 points in each of the last three games, a trend that’s likely to continue.
Why East Carolina Might Win: The Pack is going to score. The Pirates are capable of going stride-for-stride. Yeah, the picks have to be eliminated, but Dominique Davis has gotten a grasp of Lincoln Riley’s pass-first system, throwing four touchdown passes in last week’s upset. In Dwayne Harris and Lance Lewis, East Carolina harbors a pair of dangerous receivers, with the ability to win the battles with a beatable NC State defensive backfield. RB Jon Williams has hardly had a starring role, but he’s a seasoned veteran who’ll get the tough yards when they’re needed.
What To Watch Out For: While not air-tight, the NC State defense has the speed and tenacity to make big plays, especially against a mistake-prone quarterback, like Davis. Eighth in the nation in sacks and second in the ACC in takeaways, the Wolfpack will attack from all angles, especially with linebackers Nate Irving, Audie Cole, and Terrell Manning. FS Brandan Bishop has three picks in the last two games and CB C.J. Wilson has two touchdowns off interceptions, so Davis better be extra careful on Saturday.
What Will Happen: Both teams can score, but the difference here is that NC State can make occasional stops and the momentum-shifting plays on defense to hold off East Carolina. Plus, Davis’ penchant for forcing passes is the antithesis of Wilson’s cerebral, conservative approach to the game. The Pack will get better play from behind center and enough takeaways to pull away in the final 30 minutes.
CFN Prediction: NC State 41 … East Carolina 24 … Line: NC State -7
Must See Rating: Jackass 3D – 5 … The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town -1 … 2
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Maryland (4-1) at Clemson (2-3) Oct. 16, 12:00 ET

Here’s The Deal … What has happened to Clemson? When QB Kyle Parker decided to forego his Major League Baseball career for one more year, it looked as if the Tigers would be right there in the thick of the ACC hunt with about a half-dozen other teams. And then they lost a physical and emotional game to Auburn on the road that’s had a lingering effect. Since then, Clemson has dropped games to Miami and North Carolina, putting any hopes of an Atlantic Division title on life support. It’s now or never to turn things around. Maryland’s record looks spiffy after five games, but what exactly does it mean? The Terps’ closest thing to a quality win came against Navy, which doesn’t look so impressive now. And before the break, they needed to rally to hold off Duke. The program can earn some regional respect with a win in Death Valley this weekend.
Why Maryland Might Win: The Terrapins are largely surviving on the strength of a defense that’s creating turnovers, often in the red zone, and allowing only 18 points a game. With Joe Vellano at defensive tackle and Adrian Moten, Alex Wujciak, and Demetrius Hartsfield comprising the linebackers, Maryland is capable of holding its ground near the goal line. It’ll be facing a sketchy Clemson offense that’s been having an increasingly difficult time sustaining drives since the cushy portion of the schedule came to an end.
Why Clemson Might Win: The Maryland offense has been living a lie with numbers built mostly in the blowout of Morgan State. Injuries and poor execution have been key factors for a team that’s not converting on third down or moving the ball effectively through the air. The Tiger defense presents a challenge. It can get after the quarterback with ends Da’Quan Bowers and Andre Branch and patrol the deep routes with safeties DeAndre McDaniel and Rashard Hall. If Clemson keys on stopping backs Davin Meggett and Da’Rel Scott, it’ll force the average Terp passers to make plays.
What To Watch Out For: Since Parker has been sporadic, Clemson is going to need more production from its running tandem of Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper. Both are gifted in their own unique ways, but haven’t been getting a ton of support from the Tiger blockers. If they can spring the pair a few times on Saturday, it’ll do wonders for the overall confidence and stress level of Parker.
What Will Happen: If Clemson doesn’t play with a sense of urgency now, it never will in 2010. The Tigers have to turn things around, especially versus a Maryland team that lacks their overall talent and playmaking ability. Ellington and Harper will fire up the running game and the defense will take care of the rest, silencing a Terp offense that’s a passing game shy of being effective.
CFN Prediction: Clemson 28 … Maryland 17 … Line: Clemson -14.5
Must See Rating: Jackass 3D – 5 … The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town -1 … 2.5
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Miami (3-2) at Duke (1-4) Oct. 16, 1:00 ET

Here’s The Deal … After getting humbled at home by Florida State, 45-17, Miami begins the long journey back to national relevance. It was a separation game for the Hurricanes, which wound up getting divorced from the notion they were the class of the ACC. Still, there’s plenty of time to regroup in South Florida. They’ll be favored to win the next four games before November dates with Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech that could decide the Coastal Division crown. Duke is coming off a much-needed break in the action, in which it contemplated how to rescue a season that’s quickly slipping away. Once hopeful about making a postseason run, the Blue Devils have lost four games in-a-row and have problems on both sides of the ball.
Why Miami Might Win: For much of the first half of the year, the Blue Devils were a defensive sieve, failing by just about every possible measurement. The ‘Canes should have their way with an opponent that can’t rush the passer or make red zone stops. QB Jacory Harris will have all day to operate, distributing the ball to his bevy of options. On the ground, he can hand the ball to Damien Berry or Graig Cooper, who’s made an impressive recovery from a serious knee injury. Through the air, he should find favorite Leonard Hankerson for at least one scoring strike. On this afternoon, versatile Matt Bosher will be a lot busier as a kicker than a punter.
Why Duke Might Win: It hasn’t been easy solving CB Brandon Harris and the Hurricane secondary this fall. The Blue Devils will have to be an exception to have any chance for the upset. They’ve got the nation’s No. 15 passing game and the key ingredients to test Miami through the air. QB Sean Renfree is making rookie mistakes, but he also has a big league arm and a quality collection of receivers on both flanks. Led by Conner Vernon, Duke has three different wide receivers with at least 25 receptions, which will force the ‘Canes to respect the passing attack.
What To Watch Out For: The Hurricane defense should play with something to prove after giving up six touchdowns and almost 300 yards on the ground in primetime. It ought to. Duke can’t run the ball on anyone, so that shouldn’t be a major concern for Miami. However, it needs to recapture the intensity and pressure that was more evident in the first four games. Against Florida State, the ‘Canes failed to register a sack for the first time all year.
What Will Happen: Duke isn’t beating a quality opponent until it can start making plays on defense. That time is a long way off. The Blue Devils will provide little resistance to a Miami team that figures to play with some attitude. Harris will have his most efficient game since the opener, while Berry will go for 125 yards and a score as the feature runner.
CFN Prediction: Miami 41 … Duke 16 … Line: Miami -20
Must See Rating: Jackass 3D – 5 … The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town -1 … 2
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- Oct. 16, Part 2 (Wake Forest-Virginia Tech)