ACC Football Outside the Triangle: Week 10 Previews

Virginia Tech (4-4, 2-2) at Miami (4-4, 3-2), Thursday, 7:30 PM, ESPN

Logan Thomas’ touchdown run on fourth down last year won the game for the Hokies.

Moments in Virginia Tech-Miami history: Miami won the first 12 meetings between the two teams (from 1950-94) and then Virginia Tech won five in a row from 1995-99. Neither team has had a streak longer than three since, and Virginia Tech has won three straight since 2009. The biggest win by either team at Miami since 2002 was a 31-17 Virginia Tech win in the Hokies’ last trip there in 2010.

In 2011, it looked like Miami would get the win over Virginia Tech. But then this happened:

And last year’s game was the first that was preceded by a special message from Metallica before “Enter Sandman” was played:

By Miami fan standards, this isn’t a great video, but I’m curious as to what is going on in the background of this one:

This is not meant to be a recruiting video. But it worked. I would like to go back in time and go to Miami for college.

Prediction: Miami, 24-21. If Miami wants to win the Coastal, the Hurricanes have to win this game. Virginia Tech is poised to do what it always does: win the division, even in a down year by their standards. But to avoid Coastal Division Groundhog Day, Miami needs to have a head-to-head edge. Duke is still alive as well, but the Blue Devils have two losses (one to Virginia Tech) and still have Clemson, Georgia Tech and Miami remaining. That Miami-Duke game to end the year might decide it, but only if Miami gets this win. Otherwise, Virginia Tech can lose to Florida State next Thursday and only need to beat Boston College and Virginia to win the division. (Assuming Duke loses to Clemson, that is.) Coastal Chaos, everybody!

Hard to know how good or bad Virginia Tech really is, but it’s also difficult to trust Miami against almost anyone. Still, quarterback Stephen Morris should be healthier coming off of a bye and Virginia Tech’s defense still has a lot of issues. Miami’s best chance to beat the Hokies is on the ground, so expect to see a lot of Duke Johnson and Mike James. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, needs to try to exploit this young Miami defense with some imaginative play-calling. I’ll continue to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

Georgia Tech (3-5, 2-3) at Maryland (4-4, 2-2), 12:30 PM, ACC Network

Oh look, Paul Johnson was mad during last year’s game against Maryland. (Georgia Tech won, 21-16.)

Moments in Georgia Tech-Maryland history: This will be Georgia Tech’s first trip to the Byrd-muda Triangle since 2007, when they lost 28-26. Georgia Tech has kind of owned this series over the years with a 14-6 record, but just 5-5 at Maryland. It will be their first trip there since 2007, the final year of the Chan Gailey era (never forget). Georgia Tech has a worse record against Navy (16-9) than Maryland. Maryland head coach Randy Edsall has never beaten Georgia Tech (0-1 at Maryland and 0-3 at UConn). But the last three meetings have been decided by a total of 11 points, so maybe we’re in for a thriller! Set your DVR’s, everyone!

This doctor is using the Maryland quarterback situation as a starting point to teach us all about ACL’s. Sort of. Like, he mentions it in passing and that’s it.

Reggie Ball had a huge game against Maryland in 2006. No, seriously.

Who could ever forget Maryland’s unstoppable Jafar Williams? And is it me, or does Ralph Friedgen look skinny in this clip? (Relatively speaking, of course.)

“What’s the term, Rob? Flame spraying?” That is a quote from this clip, re: Paul Johnson being mad at a player:

Prediction: Maryland, 16-14. Guess who’s still alive in the Coastal Division? Georgia Tech! They’re like the Michael Myers of the Coastal, except Virginia Tech generally is their Laurie Strode. Killing them off might not be necessary this year, though. Last week, BYU held the Yellow Jackets without a rushing touchdown. Georgia Tech’s defense has looked better since they fired Al Groh, but that’s not saying much.

Georgia Tech seems to be playing uninspired football, while that scrappy Maryland team just keeps fighting. Of Maryland’s seven season-ending injuries this season, four have been to quarterbacks and one to their starting kicker. They lost C.J. Brown prior to the season, then lost three quarterbacks – Perry Hills, Devin Burns and Caleb Rowe – in the last two weeks. Converted linebacker Shawn Petty will be the next in line. He ran the triple option in high school, and he’s going to use some of that within Maryland’s zone-read offense (for more on that, check out this great piece from Testudo Times). Hard not to root for that bunch, and maybe wanting it more will finally somehow translate into a win?

Boston College (2-6, 1-4) at Wake Forest (4-4, 2-4), 3:30 PM, RSN

Boston College-Wake Forest has been one of the better series in the ACC in the last ten years.

Moments in Boston College-Wake Forest history: When thinking about the ACC’s best rivalries, BC-Wake likely wouldn’t be among the first ten mentioned. Or 20, for that matter. But since 2003, the teams have played nine times and all have been decided by ten points or less. BC has a 5-4 lead in that span. Wake was able to end a four-game losing streak last year at BC with a 27-19 win, but BC had won the last four before that.

Perhaps my favorite moment in recent BC-Wake Forest history (albeit tangentially) is BC head coach Frank Spaziani saying this about the Eagles’ win over Maryland last week: “We had some spontaneous excitement in the locker room.” Whoa, don’t get carried away!

In 2006, a Wake Forest win at home over BC put the Deacs in the driver’s seat to win the league, and they rushed the field.

Um, this is a very cute cheerleader, but I don’t understand the music choice for this video.

A “welcome to Winston-Salem” parkour video? Yes, please!

Prediction: Wake Forest, 24-22. After all that spontaneous excitement in the locker room last week, how could I possibly pick against Boston College? Well, because they’ll be visiting the BB&T Black Hole of (Jim) Grobe at Wake Forest. And because they were facing Maryland’s fourth-string quarterback who was playing on a torn ACL a week ago.

 

Week 9: 2-3 (2-3 ACC)

TOTAL: 45-15 (18-9 ACC)

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