The picks: Week 12

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Running through this week’s picks throughout the ACC …

* North Carolina at Virginia (Thursday, 7:30, ESPN): Tar Heels 28-24. It’s a guessing game wherever the Tar Heels are concerned … except for the two touchdowns Giovanni Bernard will inevitably score. Think North Carolina worked on defense a bit during its truncated practice week after getting shredded for 68 points last week? Expect a better performance, even if Virginia is much improved since its bye week.

* Florida State at Maryland (Noon, ESPNU): Seminoles 31-3. Florida State doesn’t play great on the road, and Maryland’s defense (even after the last two weeks) is ranked second in the ACC in total yardage allowed, against the run and against the pass. Still, this is No. 1 (Florida State total defense) against No. 120 (Maryland total offense), and it’s hard to see Maryland mustering much while facing the Seminoles.

* Virginia Tech at Boston College (12:30, ACC Network): Hokies 27-20. This game is notable for only two reasons: A loss knocks Virginia Tech out of bowl contention, and it almost certainly will be Frank Spaziani’s last game at Alumni Stadium as the Eagles’ coach.

* South Florida at Miami (3, RSN): Hurricanes 21-6. In the spirit of last year’s 6-3 gem between the teams, this pick projects nine total field goals between the teams.

* N.C. State at Clemson (3:30, ABC/ESPN2): Tigers 38-27. N.C. State has done a rather fair approximation of Clemson, what with the season-long unpredictability. As for Clemson, you know they’re scoring 35 points at minimum. Moreover, the Tigers have their lowest level of Clemsonliness in a long time. Look for Dabo Swinney and Co. to improve to 10-1.

* Duke at Georgia Tech (3:30, ESPNU): Yellow Jackets 38-31. Maybe Paul Johnson should know he’s getting a new athletic director more often. A win clinches a share of the Coastal Division crown for Georgia Tech.

* Wake Forest at Notre Dame (3:30, NBC): Fighting Irish 24-7. Didn’t Notre Dame just play this game last week?

* Texas State at Navy (3:30, CBS Sports Network): Midshipmen 34-21. A week after a poor defensive outing, Navy should bounce back and clinch a winning season by securing a Senior Day victory for the 10th consecutive season.

Week 11 record: 4-3 (3-2 conference)
Overall record: 67-24 (25-14 conference)
ACC record: 60-21 (25-14 conference)
Preseason ACC record: 58-23 (24-15 conference)
Navy record: 7-3

Week 11 preseason picks changed: None.

Patrick Stevens

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