Week Five is here and so are our picks. We missed Jeff last week, but he’s made his triumphant return after an absence last week. Grant ran into real life stuff this week, so unfortunately we are without his picks. BUT HE WILL BE BACK. Hey let’s update the season standings..
Joey: 37-9 (.804)
Justin: 35-11 (.761)
Grant*: 35-11 (.761)
Jeff*: 26-9 (.742)
Mike: 34-12 (.739)
Things are getting quite interesting. Since we have uneven records, I went ahead and attached some winning percentages to these records. We are SMART.
Let’s get to Week Five picks…HERE. WE. GO.
Thursday, September 27th
North Carolina (1-2, 1-0 ACC) at #16 Miami (3-1, 0-0 ACC) (-13.5), 7:30 PM ET on ESPN
Joey: Maybe (read: certainly) I’m a Miami hater, but let’s look at this game objectively: this game will be played on a short week, UNC is getting guys back from suspension, and Miami has a hardcore lookahead factor with Florida State coming up next week. The ‘Canes should get out to a big lead and coast. This is just too many points to let go of. Tar Heels cover, but Miami still wins fairly easily.
Jeff: Thursday night games always interest me because they seem to be more unpredictable due to the nature of prepping on a short week. I think teams will be overlooking UNC this year and Miami will be one of them. So I think this game could be closer than people think, but my brain tells me Miami should win this game at home.
Justin: Miami hasn’t been tested since their opening loss to LSU. I don’t see this game being any different and expect another Canes cruise.
Mike: Miami turned to N’kosi Perry a week ago and looked very, very good in his first real meaningful game action for Miami. It finally looks like the offense has a pulse at the quarterback position. I like Miami here big, because despite North Carolina’s win over Pitt, I don’t have much that makes me believe in them turning things around.
Saturday, September 29th
Syracuse (4-0, 1-0 ACC) at #3 Clemson (4-0, 1-0 ACC) (-25.5), 12 PM ET on ABC
Joey: I want to take the points so, so badly here knowing that Syracuse can score and potentially create a back door cover, but this is a get-back game for Clemson after they took their only pre-Playoff loss in the Carrier Dome last year. That, not to mention that the last time Syracuse traveled to Death Valley, it ended…quite poorly for the Orange. Here’s to hoping Eric Dungey is still in one piece at the end of the game this time around. It hurts to lay all of these points, but…
Jeff: A lot of noise around Clemson and their quarterback situation. They have a good one in the starting spot right now, but they also lost another good one. If QB1 goes down, the Tigers will be in a world of hurt this season. Syracuse is off to the start they needed, but they’re not going to beat that Clemson defense. The Tigers will win this game in Death Valley.
Justin: Syracuse is much improved and a dangerous team even on the road. Clemson just has too much talent to lose at home though, and now they’re going to sling the ball all over the place with Ronnie Bass…err…Trevor Lawrence at quarterback.
Mike: Get back game for Clemson here after last year’s debacle at the Carrier Dome, and it will be the Tigers’ first endeavor with Trevor Lawrence as the full-time starter. I like Clemson to win AND cover because Syracuse’s defense is still hot garbage and I’m not sure Eric Dungey will be able to keep himself healthy enough for four quarters for Syracuse to keep up.
Temple (2-2) at Boston College (3-1, 1-0 ACC) (-13.5), 12 PM ET on ESPNU
Joey: Boston College didn’t look great in getting spanked by a fairly underrated Purdue team last week. Temple’s defense has been good this year, and the Eagles are going to need the Anthony Brown we saw the first few weeks of the year, but the Owls are going to have a hard time scoring. Boston College covers a big spread here.
Justin: Coming off a disappointing, but not surprising loss to Purdue, I look for Boston College to circle the wagons and win this game easily. I see big dose of Dillon is coming Temple’s way.
Mike: I don’t think Temple has the offense to keep up with BC here. Give me the Eagles in a nice bounce-back win behind A.J. Dillon.
Bowling Green (1-3) at Georgia Tech (1-3, 0-2 ACC) (-28.5), 12 PM ET on ACC Network Extra
Joey: As bad as Georgia Tech has looked the last few weeks, this may be just what the doctor ordered. Bowling Green is pretty dreadful, and particularly on defense. I may not trust them any farther than I could throw them, but even still, the Jackets should roll here.
Jeff: It will be interesting to see what Paul Johnson does at QB this week. Will both play again? Is Marshall’s job really in jeopardy? Georgia Tech will win this game, but if Yellow Jacket fans want their team to get back on track for a good season, they need to Marshall to take firm hold of the reigns again.
Justin: Bowling Green seems really bad and Georgia Tech is more than capable of making this a snoozer.
Mike: Bowling Green is in the bottom five nationally in run defense. They’re playing one of the top rushing offenses in the country today against Georgia Tech. Ball game.
Virginia (3-1, 1-0 ACC) at NC State (3-0, 0-0 ACC) (-6), 12:20 PM ET on ACC Network Extra
Joey: This game is really intriguing to me, and each team will be playing its toughest competition yet. UVA has looked good thus far outside of a close road loss to Indiana, and this is around when we really would’ve valued having the data on NC State from the West Virginia matchup that was cancelled. I’m going to roll with the Wolfpack here on the premise that UVA might be a bit of “fool’s gold” based on their level of competition thus far, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the ‘Hoos won outright.
Jeff: This is the enigma game of the week for me. NC State fans will tell you these are the games Doeren always finds a way to lose. This could be the Wake Forest game last season for the Wolfpack. But, it’s at home and although UVA offense is looking strong right now, I’m not sure about their defense against a QB like Finley. I think NC State wins a high-scoring affair at home.
Justin: Don’t look now but Virginia is technically in first place in the Coastal. I think State will win, but I don’t know what to believe anymore.
Mike: This is one of the most intriguing games of the weekend as we will find out a ton about both of these schools today. I trust NC State a bit more than I do Virginia at this point, but it should be a close game. I like NC State to win by just outside a touchdown in a high scoring affair.
Pittsburgh (2-2, 1-1 ACC) at #13 Central Florida (3-0) (-13.5), 3:30 PM ET on ESPNU
Joey: This is an awful matchup for a Pittsburgh team that struggles to score points. Going on the road to face an explosive offense with a formidable defense? This is a recipe for disaster for the Panthers. Pitt’s biggest hope is to possess the ball for a major chunk of this game and keep the score down. I don’t think they’ll get that done.
Jeff: UCF has built an incredible home field atmosphere right now. That gives the advantage to the home team for me. The Pitt Panthers have to bring a performance like the one that upset Clemson two years ago. Meaning, the offense has to be productive and the defense has to hold serve and play an efficient game. In the end, UCF wins this game.
Justin: Central Florida will win easily en route to repeating as national champions.
Mike: Pray for Pitt, they’re getting murdered by Milton and Co. at UCF. Knights win HUGE.
Rice (1-3) vs. Wake Forest (2-2, 0-1 ACC) (-28), 3:30 PM ET on ACC Network Extra
Joey: Wake’s got some pent-up frustration from getting beaten up by Notre Dame last week. They struggled to keep the game competitive in the first half and it totally got out of hand after halftime, but Wake’s better than they looked. Between that, new defensive leadership, and Rice being pretty dreadful themselves, I think the Deacons are able to run up the score here.
Jeff: The bad news for Wake fans is that they just fired their defensive coordinator after a handful of games. The good news is that Rice is up next and the Demon Deacons should at least be able to hold serve at home and get through this game with a win.
Justin: It’s never a good sign when you fire your defensive coordinator the day after a game four weeks into the season, but Wake Forest will get back on the right track here. It’s a good game for new DC Tim Gilmore to get his feet wet.
Mike: Rice is bad. Wake is secretly decent? I like the Demon Deacons to get back on track after a rough loss to Notre Dame last Saturday.
Florida State (2-2, 0-2 ACC) (-6) at Louisville (2-2, 0-1 ACC), 3:30 PM ET on ESPN2
Joey: It’s pretty absurd how quickly the shine has fallen off of this matchup. What was once (VERY recently) one of the key match-ups in determining the fate of the ACC in a given year is now a bit of an afterthought as Florida State struggles in its transition from Jimbo Fisher to Willie Taggart, and as Louisville struggles to replace Lamar Jackson and fix all of the problems he was able to cover up in 2017. I’ll take Florida State here, but more out of fading Louisville than trusting the ‘Noles. Honestly, Deondre Francois might be in trouble here if his offensive line isn’t able to protect him against Louisville’s defensive front. (That’s normally not a particularly tall task, but…this isn’t normal.) Would really consider betting the UNDER in this game more than anything.
Jeff: Wow, how the dynamics of this game have turned on a dime in one season. I never thought the team that would hold Louisville to 3 points in a game would be UVA, but it was. I think the Seminoles’ defense will carry the day here as their offense continues to find its way. FSU wins on the road.
Justin: Neither of these teams are any good and I resent this game’s very existence. Incompetence will rule the day and I pick FSU in multiple overtimes.
Mike: Wow the shine wore off this game. Remember two years ago when Lamar Jackson and the Cards hosted Florida State and GAMEDAY WAS THERE?!?! Yeah, times have changed. This is one of the least anticipated games of the day between two sputtering programs, but I like Florida State here to win. Don’t bet on it though.
Virginia Tech (2-1, 1-0 ACC) at #22 Duke (4-0, 0-0 ACC) (-3.5), 7 PM ET on ESPN2
Joey: We have major reason for concern if Virginia Tech doesn’t come out playing ANGRY in this game. The Hokies got embarrassed on a national level last week by a bad Old Dominion team and fell all the way out of the rankings from their top-15 spot. They’re rolling in with a backup QB now that Josh Jackson is done for the year, but so is Duke. (Actually, this is a battle of Junior backup quarterbacks, oddly enough.) The Blue Devils have looked just fine the last few weeks with Quentin Harris at the helms, but this will be the toughest defense they’ve faced this year (and they’ll be playing angry). Both defenses will be better than the opposing offenses. I’m taking Virginia Tech in a straight-up, low-scoring upset here.
Jeff: Wow, so many story lines here with these two teams that are the opposite of what the preseason story lines were. Duke, undefeated, but without their starting quarterback. The Hokies, coming off a stunning loss to Old Dominion, also without their starting quarterback right now. Duke proved they could win without their QB. Can Virginia Tech do that? Maybe, but I’m going with the Blue Devils to win this week.
Justin: Ummmm. I’m not sure how good either of these teams are. Now, they’re both starting backup quarterbacks. I think the Hokies will enjoy some good barbecue and rebound at Wallace Wade but nothing would surprise me at this point.
Mike: The Hokies were a national embarrassment last week with their debacle against Old Dominion. I think they come out angry against a Duke team that while good, may be a bit overrated. Virginia Tech pulls off the upset and gets back on track before a huge showdown next Saturday in Blacksburg against Notre Dame.