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Miami Hurricanes Rooting Guide: Week 5

Here’s who to pull for in all the ACC games this weekend.

NCAA Football: North Carolina at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday, September 27th

No.16 Miami (4-1, 1-0 ACC) 47, UNC (1-3, 1-1 ACC) 10

The North Carolina Tar Heels came into Hard Rock Stadium on a Thursday night hoping to at least provide a little competition for the Miami Hurricanes, but instead they found themselves out of the game halfway through the second quarter. UNC was soundly beaten in every single phase of the game, and they’ll need to go back to the drawing board in order to salvage their season.

Meanwhile, things in Miami look pretty bright. After a disappointing loss to LSU the Hurricanes have rebounded and made strides forward in the last few weeks. The defense has played lights out over the first few games of the season, and the offense looks dangerous with N’Kosi Perry at the helm.

Saturday, September 29th

Syracuse (4-0, 1-0 ACC) at No.3 Clemson (4-0, 1-0 ACC), 12:00 P.M Eastern, ABC

This game is interesting. Syracuse has gotten off to a fantastic start, and has been one of the most surprising teams in the nation. Meanwhile, Clemson has lived up to expectations, but has gone through a roller-coaster of a week with Trevor Lawrence taking over the starting job from Kelly Bryant, and the latter’s transfer. Additionally, this is a rematch of one of the best upsets of last season, Syracuse will look to somehow pull off that feat again in Death Valley.

You should root for Clemson in this game, if Miami plans on making the ACC Championship Game and College Football Playoff, then they need to play Clemson in that game and have the Tigers be as strong of an opponent as possible. The ‘Canes simply need Clemson to win so that Miami can have an opportunity to build a résumé.

Temple (2-2) at Boston College (3-1, 1-0 ACC), 12:00 P.M Eastern, ESPNU

The Boston College Eagles had a fantastic start to the season before suffering a momentum destroying loss against Purdue last week. The Eagles are still a very good team, but that loss will dampen the optimism that had previously surrounded the program. Fortunately this week BC should be able to bounce back against a struggling Temple team. Temple simply won’t be able to matchup with BC physically, and it should put the Eagles back on a positive trajectory.

Root for Boston College in this game, it’s Miami’s other Atlantic Division crossover game this year, and it’d be nice for the Eagles to get back on track with a win.

Bowling Green (1-3) at Georgia Tech (1-3, 0-2 ACC), 12:00 P.M Eastern, ACCNE

Georgia Tech has really struggled this season, continuing a trend of disappointing years in Atlanta. This game should be easy for the Yellow Jackets, but in all likelihood it will do nothing to cool the seat of Paul Johnson, who may be the first FBS coach fired this season. GT has continuously suffered from the same problems in the last few years, and after last week’s embarrassing loss to Clemson, it doesn’t appear that much progress has been made.

Root for the Yellow Jackets in this game. Georgia Tech will be viewed as an easy opponent on Miami’s schedule no matter what, but if they lose this game all respect for them would be lost.

Virginia (3-1, 1-0 ACC) at NC State (3-0, 0-0 ACC), 12:20 P.M Eastern, ACCNE

Virginia absolutely handled Louisville in the first game of their conference season, but they’ll face a tougher challenge when they play the Wolfpack this weekend. NC State had their biggest game of the early season, against then No.14 West Virginia, cancelled due to Hurricane Florence, so it’s not clear just how good they are this season. What is known however, is that Ryan Finley is one of America’s best collegiate Quarterbacks, it’ll be no easy task for the Cavaliers to defend him on the road.

You should root for Virginia in this game, they’re on the schedule for Miami this year, and they are one of the few teams left that has a real chance to become a respectable opponent for Miami this season.

Florida State (2-2, 0-2 ACC) at Louisville (2-2, 0-1 ACC), 3:30 P.M Eastern, ESPN2

This is a battle of two teams that have had rough starts to the season. Louisville was blown out by Virginia last weekend, and FSU has lost to both Syracuse and Virginia Tech in the conference this year. Both teams struggle on offense in a major way, but FSU has a major advantage on the defensive side of the ball. Expect this game to be low scoring, and it will ultimately come down to which offense plays better this weekend.

As much as it pains me to say, root for FSU in this game, Miami plays them next week, and if the Seminoles win it could mean the game would be a prime-time broadcast from Hard Rock Stadium. Additionally, it helps Miami’s strength of schedule, especially if the rivalry game next weekend turns out to be closer than many expect.

Pittsburgh (2-2, 1-1 ACC) at No.13 UCF (3-0, 0-0 American), 3:30 P.M Eastern, ESPNU

To be quite honest this game won’t even be close. UCF is far better than Pittsburgh, and that’ll be proven Saturday. The Panthers are still in rebuilding mode after losing several star players over the last few years, and it doesn’t seem like they have found a way to push themselves over the edge back into contention in the ACC Coastal this year. Meanwhile, UCF continues to be one of the best Group of Five teams in the nation, and they should be in contention to make a New Year’s Six Bowl Game Appearance yet again this season.

You should root for Pitt in this game, even if they almost certainly don’t win. It would be a huge boost for the ACC Coastal if they pulled an upset off, but it seems extremely unlikely.

Rice (1-3, 0-1 C-USA) at Wake Forest (2-2, 0-2 ACC), 3:30 P.M Eastern, ACCNE

Wake Forest has been one of the more surprising teams in the ACC this season, and despite not having a win in conference they’ve impressed several in the College Football world. This week they play one of the worst programs in the FBS. Rice has struggled for the last several years, and this game should hopefully provide a good opportunity for Wake Forest to bounce-back after a blowout loss last week.

Root for Wake Forest in this game. A win for them helps the ACC maintain credibility as a conference, which only goes to help the Hurricanes.

Virginia Tech (2-1, 1-0 ACC) at No.22 Duke (4-0, 0-0 ACC), 7:00 P.M Eastern, ESPN2

This is the big game in the ACC this week, life doesn’t get any easier for Virginia Tech as they look to bounce back after what can only be described as an embarrassing loss against Old Dominion last weekend. Meanwhile, Duke has surged to a 4-0 start in impressive fashion, despite losing star QB Daniel Jones for a few weeks, and losing equally talented CB Mark Gilbert for the season. Both teams will be forced to start backup QBs in this game, and it might just come down to how each passer responds to the pressure of an immensely important ACC game.

Ultimately, you should decide who to root for based off who you think will turn out to be the better team this season. Personally, I think you should root for the Blue Devils, Virginia Tech is still a good football team, and Miami has to play them on the road, as opposed to getting Duke at home.

That’s it for this week, enjoy another week of college football.