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ACC Rooting Guide: Week 12

Down the stretch they come. Who will come in second and play FSU for the ACC chip?

Florida Atlantic v Clemson Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

The Miami Hurricanes can play spoiler on Saturday when they host the Louisville Cardinals this Saturday afternoon. It would be a much needed win for Coach Cristobal and his program. Can Tyler Van Dyke not be a complete disaster at quarterback? I wouldn’t bet on it. There are some decent non-Miami matchups as well this weekend.

Let’s do some rooting.

Boston College @ Pittsburgh - 11/16 at 7:00 PM EST, TV - ESPN

BC’s five-game winning streak ended last week at home against Virginia Tech. Luckily for them, Pitt is the perfect ACC team to play when you want to get right. The Panthers have lost four in a row after their big upset win vs Louisville. I actually might watch some of this game in order to scout Miami’s final opponent of the season in BC. It’s going to be a long few weeks before their bowl game if the Canes can’t beat the Eagles next Friday. That said, I’m still rooting against Pitt. Let’s go Boston College.

Duke @ Virginia - 11/18 at 3:00 PM EST, TV - CW Network

Duke’s season has fallen off due to their stud QB Riley Leonard’s injuries. Still, they are 6-4, with all four losses coming against teams that were ranked when they played. The Blue Devils played an amazing game last Saturday night, falling just short of upsetting their rival UNC on the road. Coach Mike Elko has his team competing hard every week. Assuming Leonard returns for his senior season, they are going to be a formidable team in the ACC in 2024. Oh, and Virginia is back to being back to being a bad football team, having lost three in a row. I still want them to beat Duke though. Let’s go Virginia.

Matchup of the Week

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 03 ACC Championship - Clemson vs North Carolina Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#20 North Carolina @ Clemson - 11/18 at 3:30 PM EST, TV - ESPN

The Tar Heels need to win this game to keep their ACC Championship Game chances alive. UNC’s defense has fallen off after a decent start to the season. They got torched by Georgia Tech for 46 points and gave up 45 points to Duke’s backup quarterback. Clemson is playing much better lately, beating Notre Dame and and Georgia Tech back-to-back. This should be an entertaining and close game between two talented teams having disappointing seasons. Let’s go Clemson.

NC State @ Virginia Tech - 11/18 at 3:30 PM EST, TV - ACC Network

The Wolfpack are on fire lately. They’ve won three games in a row, only giving up 12 points total in their last two against against Miami and Wake Forest. NC State’s defense is legit. Their offense is doing just enough. It’s a great recipe right now. The Hokies are having a nice season playing against ACC opponents and still have an outside chance of playing FSU in Charlotte in a couple weeks. That’s pretty wild considering their start to the year. Let’s go NC State.

Wake Forest @ #19 Notre Dame - 11/18 at 3:30 PM EST, TV - NBC

The Demon Deacons are having a season to forget. They’ve lost six of their last seven games after starting the season 3-0. Other than that, I don’t know much about the 2023 Wake Forest football team. I do know this is the perfect time to pull a massive upset. Notre Dame has played a tough schedule this year, I’ll give them that. Their offense looks good again, despite their loss to Clemson last week. Let’s go Wake Forest.

North Alabama @ #4 Florida State - 11/18 at 6:30 PM EST, TV - CW Network

Ah! The Canes were so close to pulling off the upset in Tallahassee last Saturday! Oh well, another year, another loss to their biggest rival. It didn’t even bother me that much (breaking things in the background). Anyway, the Noles finished undefeated in conference play and clinched a spot in the ACC Championship Game in a couple weeks. I don’t see North Alabama giving FSU their first loss, but I will root for Lions nonetheless. Let’s go North Alabama.

Syracuse @ Georgia Tech - 11/18 at 8:00 PM EST, TV - ACC Network

The Orange is on the board in the ACC! They finally got a win last weekend against lowly Pitt. The Yellow Jackets got whooped by Clemson last Saturday, ending their two-game winning streak. Tech’s offense has been explosive at time this season. QB Haynes King looks much more comfortable in this new offense and is using his athleticism to make plays outside the pocket. They could be an even more dangerous team in 2024. Let’s go Syracuse.