The Washington Times - September 29, 2011, 09:13AM

Not a good week in the prediction department.

Miami lost at home to Kansas State.


Clemsonliness did not strike and the Tigers beat Florida State.

And the less said about Maryland, the better.

Anyway, it’s a new week and a chance to do a bit better than 5-4 on Saturday’s nine-game slate.

As always, all games Saturday and times p.m. unless otherwise noted …

* Air Force at Navy (Noon, CBS): Midshipmen 24-21. It’s safer to pick this game to clock in at three hours or less than to actually name a winner. Seven of the last eight games in the series were decided by eight points or less, and the ball-control nature of both teams’ offenses leads to fewer possessions than most contests. Look for a big day on the ground for Navy quarterback Kriss Proctor, who already has 267 yards through three games.

* Wake Forest at Boston College (12:30, ACC Network): Demon Deacons 28-23. The Eagles are looking to avoid some unpleasant territory – becoming the first ACC team to lose at home to both Duke and Wake Forest since 1994 (Georgia Tech). Wake, meanwhile, comes off a bye week; the Demon Deacons had won six of their previous seven games when having at least 12 days to prepare before losing badly at Maryland last season.

* Georgia Tech at N.C. State (3:30, ABC/ESPN regional): Yellow Jackets 41-21. The Wolfpack’s feeble defensive performance at Cincinnati offers little reason to believe they can halt Georgia Tech’s offensive juggernaut. The Yellow Jackets might have a history of an unexplainable hiccup, but it will have to be self-inflicted if they are to have many problems with an N.C. State bunch that left September in rough shape.

* Towson at Maryland (3:30, CSN): Terrapins 38-17. Chances are, Towson puts together 20 competitive minutes or so at some point. Whether that’s the first 20, the last 20 or somewhere in between remains to be seen. Maryland owns a talent advantage, but was in complete disarray last week against Temple. The Terps should survive, but this doesn’t look like the gimme it once appeared to be.

* Bethune-Cookman at Miami (3:30, ESPNU): Hurricanes 41-10. Former Maryland quarterback Jamarr Robinson should be able to lead his Bethune-Cookman teammates to the visiting team’s locker room at Dolphin Stadium. Snagging a win out of the trip will be trickier, regardless of which running backs Miami has at its disposal this week.

* Idaho at Virginia (3:30, Cavaliers 35-13. The Vandals haven’t won in a power conference school’s stadium since 2000. That streak won’t come to an end as Virginia snaps a two-game skid and reaches the midpoint in its drive to bowl eligibility.

* Clemson at Virginia Tech (6, ESPN2): Hokies 28-24. Virginia Tech is 4-0 and hasn’t proven much of anything after navigating a manageable nonconference schedule. The Hokies’ defense, though, has shown plenty of good things and might be as capable of anyone in the ACC in slowing down the potent Tigers. This pick isn’t predicated on Clemsonliness, just the impressive Virginia Tech secondary and a capable running game.

* Duke at Florida International (7, ESPNU): Blue Devils 31-30. Florida International was Team Close-But-Not-Quite last season. It already owns victories over Louisville and Central Florida (and, to be fair, a loss to UL Lafayette). The Golden Panthers are the second-best team the Blue Devils have faced this season, and escaping with a victory won’t be easy.

* North Carolina at East Carolina (8, CBS Sports Network): Tar Heels 31-24. North Carolina should have enough on defense to hold off the Pirates, but playing a night game in Greenville isn’t going to be the least bit fun for the Tar Heels. Expect an especially rowdy environment so long as the game remains close.

Week 4 record: 5-4 (1-1 conference)

ACC record: 29-10 (4-2 conference)
Navy record: 3-0
Total: 32-10

Preseason Week 5 picks changed: Wake Forest-Boston College, Georgia Tech-N.C. State
Preseason ACC record: 27-12 (3-3 conference)

Patrick Stevens