Can we just forget last weekend ever happened?
Not only did our beloved Seminoles get taken behind the woodshed for one of the worst defeats in program history but we also had one of our worst weekend pics in our company’s existence.
The good part of hitting rock bottom is that the only way for us to go is up. And we’re hoping to make great strides with a much better weekend.
Let’s dive into some of the notable contests in the ACC this weekend.
#2 Clemson vs Louisville (Noon ET Kickoff on ABC)
The Clemson Tigers are coming off a woodshed beating they handed out to division rivals Florida State last weekend. The statement win, after a scoreless first quarter, helped to cement their #2 ranking in the initial College Football Playoff rankings that came out this week as well.
The Tigers will have another tough test as the Cardinals come to Death Valley this weekend. While this isn’t a Lamar Jackson-led squad they do have weapons that can burn you for big yardage if left unchecked. Specifically their standout WR Jaylen Smith. He’s a 6’4″ 220lbs bruiser that can beat opposing corners and safeties that don’t bring their A-Game on every down.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney knows he’ll be a challenge for his secondary to contain, as will the rest of their receiving core.
“They trust those big guys to go up and make those competitive one-on-one plays. But he’s definitely — this whole receiving corps is definitely — one of the best receiving corps we’ve seen.”
Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino will have his hands full in Death Valley as it is a tough atmosphere to compete in against an average Tigers team, let alone one that is as loaded as this year’s squad.
“It’s one of the toughest atmospheres there is in the country, and the crowd and the noise and everything that you have to deal with, so we’ve been working hard at that.”
Couple that crowd noise with the athleticism that the Tigers will bring and Louisville will need to do what FSU couldn’t do last week. Play 60 minutes of football. After one quarter of play last weekend it looked like FSU would be able to hang with Clemson. Until the roughing the kicker call happened and the wheels seemed to just fall off the bus.
Louisville can’t let that happen if they want to pull off the upset and knock Clemson from the ranks of the unbeaten.
We’re expecting another “barn burner” type game with Clemson rolling over their guests from Kentucky and keep that goose-egg intact in their loss column.
#21 NC State vs Florida State (3:30pm ET Kickoff on ABC)
Florida State can’t catch a break for the rest of the regular season if it wants to keep a couple streaks alive.
To right the ship the Noles are going to have big games from their standout players like Cam Akers, one of the stars that NC State head coach Dave Doreen will have his team queued up to stop this weekend.
“He’s a great back. He runs hard. He plays with an edge. He’s shifty and strong. He’s got all the tools and can run away from you. Presents a great challenge in the running game, for sure, when he’s back there.”
The Noles will have their hands full with a team looking to bounce back from a couple ugly loses as well.
FSU head coach Willie Taggart knows that it won’t be an easy game this weekend at Carter-Finley Stadium.
“Our guys have faced back-to-back two outstanding quarterbacks, a team that’s on a two-game losing streak, so we know they’re going to be hungry, and they’re at home and hungry to get back in the winning column.”
But for the Noles to get the wins they need to have a winning season and attain bowl eligibility it has to start with a win on Saturday.
Look for this one to be a gritty game if FSU plays up to the level they are capable without shooting themselves in the foot. If that holds true then expect to see a dogfight well into the 4th quarter with a key stop by the defense to seal a road win for Florida State and play spoiler during NC State’s Homecoming.
As for this weekend’s picks we won’t even mention the disaster of last weekend and just press on hoping the tides have turned in our favor. It all starts tonight with a match-up between Pitt and #25 Virginia.
|#25 Virginia vs Pittsburgh||UVA 31, PITT 24|
|Miami vs Duke||MIA 34, DUKE 24|
|Virginia Tech vs #22 Boston College||BC 31, VT 21|
|#21 NC State vs Florida State||FSU 31, NC State 27|
|North Carolina vs Georgia Tech||GT 21, UNC 17|
|Wake Forest vs #19 Syracuse||SYR 31, WAKE 21|
|#2 Clemson vs Louisville||CLEM 51, LOU 19|
Last Week’s Picks: 1-6
Year-to-Date Record: 54-23 (70.13%)
Here’s to hoping for a great slate of games and we’ll check back in next week and hopefully not cringe at the results.
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!