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You can definitely tell how much of an impact Jordan Travis has on the offense.  Nothing against Milton, but Travis is a completely different animal to scheme against so it left numerous options off the table for FSU last weekend.

Will Jordan be able to suit up against Miami on Saturday?

Only time will tell but we can certainly hope he does.  Because no matter how bad a season goes if you can get wins against Miami and/or Florida then you at least have bragging rights for an entire year as well as an edge on the recruiting trail.

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Before we dive into that game, there’s a couple other games on this weekend’s slate that viewers should keep an eye on.

North Carolina (5-4, 3-3) vs #21 Pitt (7-2, 4-1) Preview

Why North Carolina Will Win

After dealing with Wake Forest, North Carolina is more than ready to get into a high-powered shootout with a whole lot of big plays, a whole lot of offense, and with a statement to be made as it tries to make a push in the ACC title chase.

The Tar Heels already beat Miami and Virginia, but it’s still a game back of both of them in the standings and two back of Pitt. Unfortunately, the win over the Demon Deacons last week didn’t count as an ACC game – don’t ask.

Forget about defense in this. North Carolina has the offensive balance, the NFL quarterback in Sam Howell, and the explosion to hang step-for-step with the Pitt passing game.

How did Miami get by the Panthers two weeks ago? QB Tyler Van Dyke went off.

Clemson DJ Uiagalelei has struggled, Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker didn’t play the whole game, and that’s been about it for the strong passers, at least anyone near Howell’s level.

The North Carolina O has hit well over 500 yards for the second game in a row and four fourth time all year, and …

Why Pitt Will Win

Pitt’s pass rush is about to eat.

The North Carolina offense might be fantastic, and Howell is a big play baller who can drive the throws down the field and keep the team in the game no matter what, but he’s about to get bounced around all night.

The Tar Heel offensive line can run block, but it’s giving up sacks in bunches. Pitt is among the best defenses in the nation at generating pressure, and that might be just enough to hold serve.

Kenny Pickett continues to be phenomenal with 29 touchdown passes, two or  more in eery game, over nine yards per throw, and with over 1,200 yards over the last three games.

The North Carolina defense has allowed over 1,500 yards of total offense in the last three games, so …

What’s Going To Happen

Most of the NFL world will be focusing on Baltimore and Miami, but the NFL scouting types will be locked in this with a whole lot of talent on both sides and two franchise quarterbacks.

And they won’t disappoint.

This might not be the 114-110 game everyone is hoping it could be with Pitt coming in with the No. 1 scoring offense in America and North Carolina just giving up 58 yards, but this should be a whole lot of fun.

Pitt’s defense will come up with the sacks and big plays that North Carolina’s won’t over the last ten minutes.

Broadcast Info

Date: Thursday, November 11
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
How To Watch: ESPN

The big game that will go a long way in deciding who represents the Atlantic Division for the ACC Title will take place on Saturday when NC State travels to Winston-Salem to take on the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest.

#16 NC State (7-2, 4-1) vs #12 Wake Forest (8-1, 5-0) Preview

Why NC State Will Win

It’s not about stopping Wake Forest. It’s about being able to come up with enough key stops to let your own offense take over.

North Carolina was able to do that late in the 58-55 win over the Demon Deacons, and now the ACC’s best scoring defense and second-best D overall should be able to hold up just enough.

Again, Wake Forest is going to get its yards and points, but the Wolfpack are amazing at coming up with third down stops and bring the best run defense in the ACC.

Lost in all of the high-powered fun from the Demon Deacons is how they can hit 200 yards on the ground if needed. That’s not happening against NC State.

Why Wake Forest Will Win

Yeah, the NC State defense is terrific, but it’s about to deal with a Wake Forest offense that puts up 600 yards getting off the bus.

Granted, it ripped up Duke, Army, and an inconsistent North Carolina defense over the last few weeks, but QB Sam Hartman is in total control of the attack, the big plays are there from the veteran receiving corps, and it’s all going against a defense that hasn’t seen anything like this.

Mississippi State doesn’t crank it up deep like Wake Forest does, but it was able to beat the Pack earlier in the year with the controlled passing game. Louisville was balanced with over 200 yards both rushing and passing – even in a loss to NC State – and now Wake Forest should be able to move the offense on a D that allowed over 400 yards in three of its last five games.

But …

What’s Going To Happen

NC State has a passing game, too.

It might not be quite as fun and thrilling as the Demon Deacon attack, but the Pack have hit 300 yards through the air over each of the last three games and it’ll do that this week, too.

Every Wake Forest game is wild and crazy, but NC State will be able to hold up just enough defensively to allow red-hot QB Devin Leary and the offensive side take over to make the ACC Atlantic race really, really interesting.

The two will be tied up top record-wise after this with the Wolfpack in control of its ACC destiny.

Broadcast Info

Date: Saturday, November 13
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Trust Field, Winston-Salem, NC
How To Watch: ACC Network

Finally we dive into a longtime rivalry that was the staple for college football in the late 80’s and 90’s.

While this year’s FSU/Miami match-up doesn’t have all the sparkle the college world was used to it could still be a defining moment as both teams are trying to make their way into the national spotlight again.

Miami (5-4, 3-2) vs Florida State (3-6, 2-4) Preview

Why Miami Will Win

Tyler Van Dyke has turned around the season.

Miami has a whole slew of issues overall, and it’s not like losing D’Eriq King to injury was any sort of a positive, but Van Dyke has been able to mature into the starting quarterback job and the program has taken an upturn with three straight wins.

Now the team that couldn’t win the close games is winning all of them.

Van Dyke settled in after a rocky start, hitting close to 75% of his throws over the last three games with well over 1,100 yards and ten touchdowns and no picks. Best of all, he seems to have given the team confidence to pull out games in close moments.

On the other side, the Miami run defense has been solid – only allowing more than 135 yards on the ground once in the last six games.

Why Florida State Will Win

Can the Noles get their rushing groove back?

They rumbled over Syracuse, North Carolina, and UMass and looked like they were about to turn the season around and get into the mix for a bowl game, but the O fell flat in losses to Clemson and NC State.

However, the defense hasn’t been all that bad against the decent passing teams – there were problems against NC State’s Devin Leary last week, but it’s been okay over the last several weeks – but it’s the offense that has to take over.

FSU might not run for 250 yards, but as long as it’s effective at ripping off yards in chunks, and if it can control the clock just a wee bit – Miami doesn’t do anything with the time of possession battle – that might be enough to survive.

What’s Going To Happen

For people of a certain age, Miami vs Florida State is still magical.

For a while in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and then again in the early 2000s, this matchup stopped the sports world. When it was on, this was the most intense rivalry – at least on the field – in all of sports.

This won’t be that, but it’s still a big deal to get this game.

It would be a huge moment for Florida State and the Mike Norvell era, and it would mean bowl eligibility for Miami.

Van Dyke and the passing game will get past a rocky first half to pull away in the third. The Miami D might not take the ball away enough, but it’ll slow down the Seminole ground attack.

Broadcast Info

Date: Saturday, November 13
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL
How To Watch: ESPN

While Milton does have great presence on the field we’d still feel more confident in FSU’s chances if Travis is under center.

Time will tell though.

As for our picks, we had a horrid 3-3 record last week which leaves us at a roughly 2/3 percentage on the season so far.

Not sure if we can end the season at 75% or better but we’d love to get as close as possible.

Here’s how we see this weekend’s slate of games breaking down.

Thursday, November 11th

Match-UpOur Prediction
#21 Pittsburgh vs North CarolinaPITT 32, UNC 27

Saturday, November 13th

Match-UpOur Prediction
Clemson vs UConnCLEM 58, UCONN 10
Louisville vs SyracuseLOU 29, SYR 24
Georgia Tech vs Boston CollegeBC 29, GT 27
Virginia Tech vs DukeVT 29, DUKE 21
Florida State vs MiamiFSU 31, MIA 29
Virginia vs #9 Notre DameND 31, UVA 21
#12 Wake Forest vs #16 NC StateWK 31, NCST 27

Last Week’s Picks: 3-3

Year-to-Date Record: 56-30 (65.12%)

We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a great slate of games and we’ll check back in next week and hopefully not cringe at the results.

And if you missed it, check out our latest episode of the “Laces Out” series here.

If you’ve signed up for our weekly ESPN College Pick ‘Em challenge then don’t forget to get your picks locked in.  Top entry at the end of the season will get a nominal cash prize!

Information for this post was obtained from College Football News.

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Raised to bleed Garnet and Gold, Mike’s first passion will always be Florida State football. Though he does enjoy watching just about any sporting event if given the opportunity.


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