Thursday, Nov. 8
Florida State (8-1, 5-1) at Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3)
Where: Blacksburg, Va., Lane Stadium (66,233)
When: 7:30 p.m.
The blitz: If the Seminoles can lose at N.C. State they can fall in chilly Blacksburg before a raucous Thursday night crowd. Florida State must run the ball well and hit on some long pass plays, which have been issues for the Hokies on the road. Virginia Tech must force turnovers to give its offense some short fields and not commit so many self-inflicted wounds on offense and special teams, which have been anything but special. Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel will be the difference.
Pick: Florida State, 27-14.
Saturday, Nov. 10
Miami (5-4, 4-2) at Virginia (3-6, 1-4)
Where: Charlottesville, Va., Scott Stadium (61,500)
The blitz: Maybe the open date prior to Virginias 33-6 win at NC State last weekend was a rebirth for the Cavaliers. If so, the youthful Hurricanes could struggle getting out of Scott Stadium with a needed victory. Miami has had problems on the road, and if Virginia sticks with Phillip Sims at quarterback it should more effectively move the ball. The key is if the Wahoos can slow Miamis capable offense, though. An upset is very, very possible.
Pick: Miami, 23-20.
Georgia Tech (4-5, 3-3) at North Carolina (6-3, 3-2)
Where: Chapel Hill, N.C., Kenan Stadium (63,000)
When: 12:30 p.m.
The blitz: Teams that get an open date before taking on Georgia Techs triple option offense usually do better than if they had no extra time to prepare for the unique approach. UNC's defense, however, has been mostly bad against teams not named Elon or Idaho, so Tech should have some success moving the ball. But Carolinas offense is way too fast for the Yellow Jackets, especially tailback Giovani Bernard.
Pick: UNC, 44-21.
Wake Forest (5-4, 3-4) at N.C. State (5-4 2-3)
Where: Raleigh, N.C., Carter-Finley Stadium (57,583)
When: 3 p.m.
The blitz: Wake Forest may have issues without wide receiver Michael Campanaro, who missed time with an injury earlier this season, but the Demon Deacons are a solid team with him. He will play in Raleigh on Saturday, and if the last several contests are any indication, the Wolfpack will have problems slowing him down. It stands to reason N.C. State will be ticked off after getting blown out at home to Virginia last weekend, but the Wolfpack said it was ticked off after losing late at UNC the week before and look at what happened. If the defense gives him a chance, Mike Glennon should be good enough to win this game for the Pack.
Pick: N.C. State, 33-24.
Maryland (4-5, 2-3) at Clemson (8-1, 5-1)
Where: Clemson, S.C., Memorial Stadium (81,500)
When: 3:30 p.m.
The blitz: This contest could be record-setting ugly. Maryland has no quarterbacks left, so even Clemsons oft-criticized defense should have a field day with the Terrapins. The Terps are pretty good defensively, but if the teams morale is squashed, its defense will have no answers for the Tigers high-octane attack.
Pick: Clemson, 58-6.
Notre Dame (9-0) at Boston College (2-7)
Where: Chestnut Hill, Mass., Alumni Stadium (44,500)
When: 8 p.m.
The blitz: The Fighting Irish were taken into overtime at home by Pittsburgh last weekend before winning and their offense hasnt been very potent, so maybe theres a glimmer of hope for the Eagles. That said, Notre Dame is much better in every facet of the game, and Boston College's confidence will shatter if the visitors net a couple of early scores.
Pick: Note Dame, 34-10.
Last week: 3-2
Season record: 59-15