Taking a tour around the ACC (and Navy) for this week’s predictions …
* Bowling Green at Virginia Tech (Noon, ESPNU): Hokies 34-14. Whatever ails Virginia Tech at the moment —- and it would seem quite a bit does after Saturday’s loss at Pittsburgh —- it shouldn’t prove overly bothersome against Bowling Green. But if it does? Maybe a little panic would be acceptable.
* Maryland at West Virginia (Noon, FX): Mountaineers 44-14. Against good defenses and bad, West Virginia is going to get its points. The Terrapins’ direly need an offense ranked 119th in total yardage to stay on the field. That will be even trickier this week than it was in the first three games.
* Virginia at Texas Christian (Noon, ESPN): Horned Frogs 35-10. It doesn’t matter if TCU is in the Mountain West or the Big 12. It possesses a superb program, and one that figures to handle the reeling Cavaliers.
* Army at Wake Forest (12:30, ACC Network): Demon Deacons 38-35. The Black Knights have given up 40 points in back-to-back weeks. Wake, fresh off its 52-0 thumping at the hands of Florida State, should happily flirt with that figure in the Dash.
* Miami at Georgia Tech (3, CSN): Yellow Jackets 45-17. Tevin Washington isn’t quite Collin Klein, but he could find the end zone three times on the ground like the Kansas State quarterback did against Miami three weeks ago.
* East Carolina at North Carolina (3:30, ESPNU): Tar Heels 41-31. East Carolina has a way of being especially competitive in these in-state games against ACC foes. North Carolina impressed in an aborted second-half rally against Louisville and has the offensive firepower to outlast the Pirates.
* VMI at Navy (3:30, CBS Sports Network): Midshipmen 38-10. Priority No. 1 for Navy: Don’t turn the ball over. This should be an opportunity for the Mids to get well after a pair of lopsided losses.
* Memphis at Duke (6, ESPN3): Blue Devils 45-20. Duke has won at least three of its first four exactly twice since 1989 (1994 and 2008). That should change with a visit from the woeful Tigers.
* The Citadel at N.C. State (6, ESPN3): Wolfpack 31-14. This could be an aggravating game for N.C. State. The Citadel is coming off back-to-back wins against Georgia Southern and Appalachian State and runs the ever-difficult-to-prepare-for triple option. Still, the Wolfpack should be deep enough to improve to 3-1.
* Clemson at Florida State (8, ABC): Seminoles 35-20. Florida State isn’t going to continue to give up just one point a game, but its defense remains stout. The Seminoles may yet stumble in conference play, but here’s guessing it doesn’t come against Clemson. The home team has won nine of the last 10 games in the series.
Week 2 record: 10-1 (2-0 conference)
Overall record: 28-5 (3-2 conference)
ACC record: 26-5 (3-2 conference)
Preseason ACC record: 26-5 (3-2 conference)
Navy record: 2-0
Preseason Week 4 picks changed: None
—- Patrick Stevens