In the Crosshairs: Week 10 ACC, Pac-12 Picks

Ken Cross

October 31, 2018 at 10:23 pm.

Oct 27, 2018; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers quarterback Bryce Perkins (3) passes the ball against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the third quarter at Scott Stadium. Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 27, 2018; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers quarterback Bryce Perkins (3) passes the ball against the North Carolina Tar Heels in the third quarter at Scott Stadium. Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Atlantic Coast Conference

Pitt at No. 23 Virginia – The Cavaliers are the hottest team in the ACC this side of Clemson as they have won three in a row and four out of five. They whipped Miami and North Carolina at the line of scrimmage with an ever-improving defense. Pitt can bring the physicality as the Panthers seem to be getting stronger. They have won two out of three with the loss coming from a near-miss at Notre Dame. Dynamic Wahoos quarterback Bryce Perkins is the difference.

Cavaliers 27, Panthers (+ 7 1/2) 24

Louisville at No. 2 Clemson – The Cardinals cannot stop anybody as the defense seems to be even worse than a year ago. Last week, struggling Wake Forest lit the Cardinals up for 56 points behind 243 yards rushing from Matt Coburn. Enter Travis Etienne and the Clemson rushing attack which helps show a balanced Cardinals offense. Dabo Swinney will go for the style points in this one.

Tigers 58 Cardinals (+40) 24.

No. 22 Syracuse at Wake Forest – The Orange is ranked and at 6-2, has an opportunity to run the table, finish 10-2 and get a really strong bowl bid. The ‘Cuse is at a plus-9 in turnover ratio, while Wake Forest is a minus-2 as Sam Hartman has thrown seven of the nine picks.

Orange (-7 1/2) 38, Demon Deacons 21

Ga. Tech at North Carolina – The Yellow Jackets played their best game of the season in blasting Virginia Tech, 49-28, in Lane Stadium last Thursday. The Yellow Jackets threw one, yes that’s ONE, pass. Coach Paul Johnson is such a student inside his triple options scheme that it gives most anyone a problem. The Tar Heels are No. 100 in the nation as they give up 191.3 yards rushing per game.

Yellow Jackets (-6) 42, Tar Heels 27.

Florida State at NC State – Who gets up off the deck faster? A Seminoles team whose 59-10 loss to Clemson was the worst home loss in history or a Wolfpack squad that went to the Carrier Dome and couldn’t stop the high octane Orange in a 41-27 loss as the Orange rolled up 561 total yards. Common sense says the Wolfpack, who are playing at home and have the firepower behind quarterback Ryan finally who threw for 473 yards in the loss to Syracuse.

Wolfpack (-7 1/2) 45, Seminoles 14.

No. 24 Boston College at Virginia Tech – The Hokies have to get up off the deck and face another physical running attack in Boston College, which averages 226 yards on the ground, which is ranked 23rd in the nation. Tech is very average this season and it will take more than a very average game to beat the streaking Eagles. BC is a plus-7 in turnover ratio as the physicality transfers to that defense and in the secondary where they have 13 picks.

Eagles (-2) 31, Hokies 21.

Duke at Miami – These are two teams that are disappointed with their plight as Duke is generally out of the Coastal Division race, while Miami needs to reboot as at 2-2, it is still in the mix. It’s a quarterback issue in Miami where Malik Rosier still doesn’t take ownership of the offense, while N’Kosi Perry’s maturity has been called into question.

Hurricanes 23, Blue Devils (+9 1/2) 20.

Pac-12 Conference

Cal at No. 10 Washington State – The Cougars need to keep winning and then they should be in position to play for the national championship if indeed they finish 12-1 and are the Pac-12 champs. Gardner Minshew continues to amaze after rallying the Cougars from seven down at the end of the third quarter last week at Stanford. Cal is an easy out no longer. The Bears’ 12-10 win over Washington proves their defense can be lethal in holding the Huskies to only 250 yards and then keeping them out of the end zone after their first drive.

Cougars (-7) 34, Bears 20.

Colorado at Arizona – The Buffaloes have only only one fumble all year and valuing the football will be a premium at resurgent Arizona. The Wildcats played their best game of the season last week in a 44-15 win over Oregon as Khalil Tate threw for three touchdown passes in the rout. The Wildcats are making a presence at home and will win over the Buffs.

Wildcats (-3 1/2) 33, Buffaloes 24.

Utah at Arizona State – Figuring out how to navigate Utah’s defense will be the Sun Devils’ task after last week’s 38-35 win over USC. The Utes only give up 287 yards per game, which is seventh in the nation, and the rush defense is No. 3 in allowing 81 yards per game. Manny Wilkens will need a big day in the passing game with N’Keal Harry as a primary receiver.

Utes 27, Sun Devils 10.

UCLA at Oregon – No doubt the Ducks are angry after that embarrassment at Arizona, so 2-6 UCLA gets no reprieve after being thumped at home by Utah. For Oregon, both quarterback Justin Herbert and his top wide receiver Dillon Mitchell are in concussion protocol and are questionable for Saturday’s game. Oregon will be heavy in the running game with C.J. Verdell, Travis Dye and Tony Brooks-James as UCLA gives up 209.3 yard rushing per game.

Ducks (-7 1/2) 35, Bruins 17.

Stanford at Washington – The luster has fallen off this matchup as the Huskies have taken a free-fall to 6-3 after last week’s quizzical 12-10 loss at Cal. The Cardinal are in the same situation with an offense that struggles most nights. This looks like a low scoring contest with the home team getting the edge because of its defensive prowess.

Huskies 20, Cardinal (+10) 13.

USC at Oregon State – Trojans coach Clay Helton could be in survival mode if the Trojans lose this game. USC came into the season with lots of youth and then injuries have sidelined several key players. Quarterback J.T. Daniel is back this week although third-stringer Jack Sears had a big game in throwing for 235 yards with two touchdowns. The Beavers’ 41-34 overtime win over Colorado showed that the program is moving forward. The team should be emotionally up and ready to go with potential for another win.

Trojans 34, Beavers 27.