The season draws night and hopes for a trip to Tampa to play in front of throngs of seats are fleeting at best. Here are you Week 11 matchups in the ACC complete with Star Wars quotes:
#7 Georgia Tech at Duke, Noon, ESPN2
Star Wars Quote: “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope!”
Such is the plea emanating from Coral Gables and Blacksburg to David Cutcliffe that the Quarterback Whisperer might find some method of undoing the Yellow Jacket’s triple option attack. For Georgia Tech it is a simple proposition, win and you’re in. Should Duke find a way to hit that thermal exhaust port two meters wide, then it would create a four way tie in the loss column which would be reduced to three since Miami and Duke play each other down the road. If that happens then all sorts of tiebreaker hijinks kick in and who knows at that point. Duke showed an inability to stop UNC from running Ryan Houston last week. The chances the Devils do any better with the triple option are probably not much better except Cutcliffe is just genius enough to possibly devise some way of stopping it. Plus, if Duke’s defense is disciplined, there might be hope yet. On the flip side, the Jackets did allow FSU and Christian Ponder to pass the football at will so it is possible this turns into a shootout.
Clemson at NC State, Noon, Raycom Sports
Star Wars Quote: “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
Alternate Quote: “It’s a trap!”
This has all the makings of a trap game for Clemson. This is a classic setup. It is November. Clemson just took care of business on national television and seems to have the division race in hand. It is a road game. NCSU has their backs completely against the wall. Oh yeah, one of these teams lost to Maryland and it was not the Wolfpack. Like I said, it would not be shocking to see Clemson lose here and cede control of the division back to Boston College. The only saving grace for Clemson is this: Does anyone in their right mind believe this Wolfpack defense will be able to stop CJ Spiller? Didn’t think so. Still this is a dangerous game for the Tigers all the same. All the pressure is on them and for NCSU there is nothing to lose.
FSU at Wake Forest, Noon, ESPNU
Star Wars Quote: “When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not.”
FSU lost starting QB Christian Ponder to a shoulder separation leaving the once reliable Seminole offense less so. Couple that with the porous FSU defense(Amato!) and Jim Grobe’s recent ownage of all things Florida St., I think this ends up being a good day for the Demons Deacons. The Seminoles are a program on the edge. One more loss before the Florida game almost certainly dooms them to missing a bowl which would break one of those super long streaks that almost never survives a coaching transition(see UNC’s NCAAT streak in basketball.) Wake Forest, on the other hand, can still sneak into a bowl should they win this week and then beat Duke to finish 6-6. Given the number of close games Wake has lost that would be a miracle in itself. For FSU, missing a bowl game might be the proverbial straw that sets the wheels out regime change in full motion.
#21 Virginia Tech at Maryland, 1:00 PM, ESPN360
Star Wars Quote: “Artoo says the chances of survival are seven hundred seventy-five…to one”
Any Jabba the Hut quotes would have been too easy. This is going to be quick. Maryland is the worst team in the ACC, the win over Clemson notwithstanding. If you can only put up 17 offensive points versus the Wolfpack’s flag football defense, I am not sure you deserve to have your season continue in any meaningful way. Expect heavy doses of Ryan Williams and a heaping serving of Tyrod Taylor doing all sorts of risky things with the football but still scoring.
#14 Miami at UNC, 3:30 PM, ABC
Star Wars Quote: “When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the master.”
The media will get plenty of mileage out of the Butch Davis-Randy Shannon connection plus the fact Davis is 2-0 against his former team and assistant. Miami comes to Chapel Hill needing to keep their meager Coastal Division hopes alive, something that will be known by the time this game kicks off. Beyond that, the Hurricanes still harbor dreams of sneaking into a BCS bowl game as an at large should Georgia Tech win the ACC. UNC will be adjusting to the loss of Shaun Draughn and there is no way Ryan Houston runs 37 times against the Hurricane defensive line meaning John Shoop is going to have to get even more created with the running attack. After all, passing the football simply is not an option. Miami’s Jacory Harris will be tested by the UNC defense which is coming off its best two game stretch of the season and seems to have gelled into the unit we all thought they would be.
Boston College at Virginia, 3:30 PM, ESPN360
Star Wars Quote: “Apology accepted, Captain Needa.”
Yes, Al Groh is Captain Needa. It is only a matter of time before Craig Littlepage extends his hand and chokes the life out of Groh’s tenure in Charlottesville. UVa is still in the hunt for a bowl but not really because the chances that the Cavaliers knock off BC, Clemson and Virginia Tech in succession are between slim and none. Boston College is hoping for a Clemson stumble in Raleigh while trying to win out themselves to earn a third straight strip to the ACCCG which would probably result in John Swofford being place under psychiatric care. Honestly this one could go either way. Usually when you count Al Groh out, his teams look like George Welsh is still coaching. BC has been fairly consistent so a loss here would be a tad surprising.