ACC football picks: Virginia Tech vs. Miami & 3 more
It’s unlikely defensive coordinator Bud Foster predicted this kind of season for his beloved Virginia Tech Hokies. In his 33th year with the program, Foster undoubtedly hoped for a more positive final campaign. Virginia Tech is 2-2 so far (0-4 against the spread) and enters Week 6 as a significant underdog against Miami.
The two-score spread and the low total hints at the struggles Virginia Tech has had on offense. In the Hokies’ last game against Duke, they were dominated in a 45-10 loss, and while quarterback Ryan Willis has plenty of Division I experience, much of that was at bottom-dwelling Kansas. Head coach Justin Fuente was successful at Memphis and started his career at Virginia Tech well, with 10 and nine wins in his first two years, but things are quite clearly trending in the wrong direction.
Facing the declining Hokies on Saturday are the Miami Hurricanes, a team that may have finally found its quarterback, after several years of uncertainty and mediocrity at the position. Jarren Williams hasn’t been spectacular, but he has a 73.3 completion percentage, more than 1,000 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions this season. Miami’s two losses to start the season weren’t a result of his poor play.
Miami comes into this game off a bye and a wake-up call game prior to that against Central Michigan. The talent disparity in this game is considerable, and with Miami playing at home, the Hurricanes should have plenty of reason to stay focused late.
Pick: Miami -14
This line feels like an overreaction to Boston College’s struggles. Louisville was still a complete disaster less than a year ago, and this feels like an ugly game. I’ll take the points now that the line has drifted up from the opener of 4.5.
Pick: Boston College +6.5
North Carolina showed what kind of heart it has under new head coach Mack Brown when they took Clemson to the wire last week. Quarterback Sam Howell is a gamer, and Georgia Tech isn’t competitive this year (0-4 ATS).
Pick: North Carolina -10
I have been wrong about Pittsburgh games every week this year, so I’m either due or a money-printing machine as a fade. After last week’s obvious letdown against Delaware, in which multiple starters were announced out late, I’ll look for Pitt to regain its positive momentum.
Pick: Pitt +5
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