ACC Football: Week 13 Previews

Georgia Tech (6-5, 5-3) at No. 3/3 Georgia (10-1, 7-1), 12:00 PM, ESPN

Um….not cool, random Georgia Tech fan.

Moments in Georgia-Georgia Tech history: Georgia Tech’s first-ever football game was against Georgia, and the visiting Yellow Jackets were quite literally chased out of Athens as projectiles were thrown at their heads, according to Wikipedia. It’s a legitimate rivalry that has been stopped more than once because of bad blood between the two schools, but it hasn’t been competitive lately. Georgia Tech has won just one of the last 11 meetings.

Uh, this might be a good reason why. Tackle please?

“We’re gonna take your silver britches to the ground”

Honestly, is this hype video really necessary at this point?

Prediction: Georgia, 52-24. Is any explanation really necessary? Georgia Tech’s offense is clicking, but its defense is still suspect at best. This will be our Coastal Division champ on display. Go ACC!

Virginia (4-7, 2-5) at Virginia Tech (5-6, 3-4), 12:00 PM, ESPNU

This mascot fight was likely more competitive than the UVa-Virginia Tech rivalry has been recently.

Moments in Virginia-Virginia Tech history: Interestingly enough, per Wikipedia, Virginia leads the series between the two teams in most sports except football (Tech leads 51-37-5). From 1984-98, Virginia went 9-6 against Virginia Tech. Ever since, the Hokies have won 12 of the last 13 with the only Virginia win coming in 2003. The last close loss came in 2008 when Virginia Tech won 17-14 at home. Since, Virginia Tech has won by a combined score of 117-20 in the last three games.

If Virginia Tech shows up making plays like this – you know, where their offensive players are blocking someone on the opposing team – it should be an interesting game.

The Hitler videos never get old.

At least UVa owns Virginia Tech in Quidditch.

Prediction: Virginia Tech, 23-17.  It was all there for Virginia a little over a week ago. Beat UNC, beat Virginia Tech,  eliminate your rival from going to a bowl and earn bowl eligibility yourself. But the Cavaliers were thumped at home last Thursday by the Tar Heels, taking them out of bowl eligibility. And Virginia Tech barely escaped a bad Boston College team to keep themselves alive for a bowl. All they have to do is beat a disappointed Virginia team to earn another bowl berth.

Miami (6-5, 4-3) at Duke (6-5, 3-4), 12:30 PM, ACC Network

Hey, did you guys know Jimmy Graham (above) used to play basketball?

Moments in Miami-Duke history: Duke was right there in 2009, leading 13-10 at the half. Miami trailed 16-13 at the end of the third, but Miami scored twice before a pick-six by Thaddeus Lewis ended it, and ended Duke’s hope of bowl eligibility that season.

I’m sure there are clips available of Devin Hester doing this to pretty much every ACC team. But this one, against Duke in 2005, is ridiculous.

Demarcus Van Dyke intercepts a Sean Renfree pass that Conner Vernon – normally Mr. Reliable – tipped. From the last time Miami was in Durham, Duke lost this one 28-13 in 2010 and this was one of four second-quarter turnovers for Duke, which finished with seven…

…But at least this Duke fan enjoyed the game.

Prediction: Duke, 36-31. This is a really tough call. Knowing they’re not eligible for the Coastal Division crown, will the Miami players pack it in? Duke is more than capable of beating almost anyone at home, save Clemson or Florida State. Miami is neither. But they do have the talent to beat Duke, and they’ll either be angry or despondent and lifeless. Duke, on the other hand, still has won just one game in November under Cutcliffe ever (and none this year). And the Blue Devils know they can’t win the Coastal Division anymore, either. Both teams are playing for pride (and Duke for a better bowl).

Boston College (2-9, 1-6) at NC State (6-5, 3-4), 3:00 PM, ESPN3

Frank Spaziani and Tom O’Brien, long-time friends, will face off again to close out the season.

Moments in Boston College-NC State history: Obviously, Tom O’Brien as the former head coach of Boston College makes this one more significant for a variety of reasons. Unlike Butch Davis’ bizarro hold over his former school, Miami (Davis lost just once to his former team), BC has had the opposite effect on O’Brien. He’s 1-4 against his former school. NC State’s first win in the series under O’Brien came two years ago at home when NC State won 44-17. But last year after beating UNC, NC State lost 14-10 at a bad Boston College team.

How should NC State be expected to contend with all this BC cuteness?

I don’t think this needs any introduction. Just enjoy.

Guys….don’t do the wave. Please.

Prediction: NC State, 44-27. I wanted to pick NC State to NC State last week (and by that, I mean beat Clemson). Since that didn’t happen, I can’t pick them go to NC State this week. Although a huge part of me wants to do that. Also, Boston College has to be crushed after letting a winnable game against Virginia Tech get away from them.

Maryland (4-7, 2-5) at North Carolina (7-4, 4-3), 3:00 PM, RSN

In 2008, with Maryland’s Ronnie Tyler making catches like this in a rain-slogged game, Carolina didn’t stand a chance.

Moments in Maryland-North Carolina history: Queen Elizabeth visited College Park (yes, you read that correctly) in 1957 for a UNC-Maryland football game. I’m going to hazard a guess and say that there is absolutely no way that could ever happen again.

As UNC’s Willie Parker is taking 20 years to turn upfield, he is caught by the shoestrings for a safety.

In perhaps the second-worst loss of the Butch Davis era, Maryland quarterback Chris Turner – hardly known as a running threat – made a nine-yard run late in the game on 4th and 5.

Prediction: North Carolina 48, Maryland 13. North Carolina isn’t going to want to pour it on in the name of defending all things ACC, since Maryland just announced they’re leaving the conference. But they’re going to pour it on because Maryland has 80,000 injuries right now and Carolina is going to want to end the season on a good note. And because Maryland football players have been dealing with this ACC stuff all week on top of everything else.

No. 10/5 Florida State (10-1, 7-1) vs. No. 6/6 Florida (10-1, 7-1), 3:30 PM, ABC

FSU and Florida get into it before a game in 1998.

Moments in Florida-Florida State history: Florida leads the series 33-21-2, but it seems to be a series of runs, as it were. Florida won six in a row from 2004-09, but Florida State had won five of six from 1998-03. Now, the Seminoles are rolling again and have won two straight under Jimbo Fisher. In one of the biggest controversies in the history of the rivalry, FSU and Florida fans still dispute to this day whether FSU wide receiver Lane Fenner actually caught the ball or not in 1966. It was called no catch, and Florida hung on, 22-19.

“The Choke at Doak” – can it really be called that if Florida didn’t lose? I’m just saying. I’m just stunned it didn’t involve a missed field goal.

Maybe this is why the FSU people are mad at the ACC today? The “Swindle in the Swamp” is a thing that supposedly happened that involved ACC refs giving FSU favorable calls. I guess the league doesn’t do this anymore?

And hey…it’s not always the players that end up fighting.

Prediction: Florida State, 37-21. Florida has a great record, but the Gators have hardly blown anyone away. Even last week against Jacksonville State, they won just 23-0. And that was their third-largest margin of victory this season behind a 38-0 rout of Kentucky and a 44-11 beating of South Carolina. Every other game – including a season-opening win over Bowling Green – has been by 20 or fewer points. Florida State hasn’t been much more impressive outside of its stadium, but in the friendly confines of the Doak, the Seminoles have been downright dominant. Expect that to continue.

Wake Forest (5-6, 3-5) vs. Vanderbilt (7-4, 5-3), 3:30 PM, ESPNU

A riveting battle of small, brainy private schools that have to scratch and claw for football relevance.

Mascot facts: Vanderbilt is known as the Commodores because of the nickname given to their benefactor, Cornelius Vanderbilt. (There’s no such naval rank as commodore anymore, for what it’s worth.)

Also…uh….this is weird. The Commodore punches someone in the face for basically no reason. And it’s all the more disturbing because of that perpetual smile on his face:

Prediction: Vanderbilt, 31-17. Vanderbilt is quietly a very hot team right now, having won five straight and six of their last seven. Their best win in that stretch? Maybe at Missouri? But still, wins are wins and Wake Forest could use a few. The Deacons are reeling; their last two losses have come by a combined score of 75-6.

No. 12/9 Clemson (10-1, 7-1) vs. No. 13/12 South Carolina (9-2, 6-2), 7:00 PM, ESPN

So, this happened.

Moments in Clemson-South Carolina history: The longest uninterrupted series in the South will meet again on Saturday for the Hardee’s Trophy. Clemson leads it 65-40-4 but you wouldn’t know it based on recent results: Clemson has lost three straight and none have been particularly close. In fact, Clemson has a total of 37 points in their last three meetings with South Carolina. If South Carolina wins, they will tie their longest streak in the rivalry of four straight (from 1951-54).

This brawl was so bad in 2004 that both schools decided to ban themselves from the postseason. This was of course back when doing such a thing in the ACC wasn’t a big deal.

This 1983 brawl came first, though.

Not a bad form tackle, but he probably will be flagged for a late hit.

The catch…or the push-off? You decide.

Well done, Clemson fan.

Prediction: Clemson, 41-30.  Every time we think Clemson is going to Clemson, they don’t. Generally speaking, Clemson’s season has already been wrapped up one way or the other heading into that game. That doesn’t mean the Tigers still don’t want to beat their rivals – they do – but there’s a lot more on the line for Clemson this year than in years past. South Carolina has won two straight since losing star tailback Marcus Lattimore to a gruesome knee injury, but they struggled with Wofford a week ago and barely put away a bad Tennessee team the week of Lattimore’s injury. They seem to be a team living on reputation at the moment in terms of the polls.

Last week: 5-2 (3-2 ACC)

TOTAL: 57-21 (27-15 ACC)

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