ACC Football Outside the Triangle: Week 6 Previews

Boston College (1-3, 0-2) at Army (0-4)

Army is known as the Black Knights, but thankfully they don’t force a cadet to dress in a knight outfit.

Mascot facts: Army has always had a mule as its de facto mascot, but the Black Knight became its official mascot in the 1960s. They were known as the “Black Knights of the Hudson” before that, which was later shortened to the Black Knights. According to Wikipedia, the Black Knight mascot inspired this book called “The Black Knights God: Horror Anthology”. I find that hard to believe. But everything on Wikipedia is true, so.

The Black Knights will say, “I move for no man”, but then BC will cut their arm off and say, “Stand aside, worthy adversary.”

Prediction: Boston College, 44-24. Boston College continues to look better than expected. The Eagles also have the good fortune of playing a pretty bad team. Army is coming off of a 23-3 loss at home to Stony Brook. Of course, after Wake Forest allowed the Black Knights to put up 37 points, the stout Seawolf defense holds them to just three. Go ACC, indeed.

Georgia Tech (2-3, 1-2) at No. 15 Clemson (4-1, 1-1)

Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh, as close to anyone else on the field as his defense has been this season.

Moments in Georgia Tech-Clemson history: This is actually a very storied rivalry. The first meeting between the teams was in 1898, and Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 50-25-2. The bad blood dates back to 1904, when Georgia Tech poached Clemson’s coach John Heisman (yes, that Heisman). What was so attractive that he couldn’t resist? He got a $450 pay raise, 25% of his total salary.

And of course, that rivalry has led to videos like this one. This Clemson fan has a championship belt, poor lighting and a beer with a Koozie. What else would anyone need? Oh, great smack talk like: “The little honeybees are coming into town with their little honeycomb jerseys.” OR “Go ahead Paul Johnson, get your little triple, quadruple option going. It ain’t gonna work. It worked last year, but it ain’t gonna work this year.” Clemson Tom is my favorite.

Prediction: Clemson, 45-42. To say that both Clemson and the ACC need the Tigers to win this game – badly – would be an understatement. The ACC as a league has had some embarrassing losses this year, but Georgia Tech’s home loss to Middle Tennessee State is the early leader for the worst loss of the year. Somehow, though, whenever an ACC team has humiliated itself out of conference, it manages to embarrass the league further by beating a good team. Clemson’s defense hasn’t been great, and this feels like a close one.

Miami (4-1, 3-0) at No. 9/10 Notre Dame (4-0)

Save to say the rivalry has lost some of its luster since the late 80’s.

Moments in Miami-Notre Dame history: If a team converts a 3rd down and 40 or more yards, the game should end right there and that team should win. That’s pretty much what happened in 1989 when No. 1 Notre Dame came to Coral Gables to face Miami. Miami faced third down and 43 near their own goal line in the third quarter, but quarterback Craig Erickson found Randall Hill for a 45-yard gain. First down. The Hurricanes won 27-10 and went on to win the national title. This video also features Lou Holtz either eating or sniffing some grass.

And if you like Brent Musberger, awesome intros and Catholics vs. Convicts history, try this one out for size (from the 1988 matchup – and he calls Miami the “nouveau riche” of college football!):

Prediction: Notre Dame, 38-17. Miami has to have a lot of confidence right now, but the last time the young Hurricanes went on the road and faced a ranked team didn’t end well. Notre Dame’s offense is hardly a juggernaut, but Miami’s defense has been horrendous. Notre Dame’s defense, on the other hand, has been very stout and should keep even Miami’s explosive offense in check.

Wake Forest (3-2, 1-2) at Maryland (2-2, 0-0)

As ACC fans, all we can hope for is that neither team wears those uniforms ever again.

Moments in Wake Forest-Maryland history: Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe has beaten the teams he’s supposed to (and plenty he’s not supposed to) during most of his tenure at Wake Forest. Maryland seems to be the exception. He’s 5-7 against the Terrapins (for perspective, he’s 4-8 against Florida State) and 1-4 at Maryland. The only win came the year the Deacons won the ACC title (2006). And it’s been ugly: Wake lost 62-14 there in 2010 and a ranked Wake team was shut out 26-0 there in 2008.

Prediction: Maryland, 37-16. Wake’s best win of the year is going to remain the North Carolina game, in all likelihood. The Deacons’ offense is fine, but the defense is not great. Maryland’s defense, on the other hand, is surprisingly stout. And Wake’s offense is going to struggle without go-to receiver Michael Campanaro. Adding that to the fact that Byrd Stadium has been a house of horrors for Wake, this one could get ugly.

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