In the Crosshairs: ACC, Pac-12 Week Six picks

Ken Cross

October 03, 2018 at 10:44 am.

Sep 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) rolls out against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 22, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) rolls out against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports


(6) Notre Dame @ (24) Virginia Tech – Ian Book has become the Fighting Irish starter at quarterback the last two outings, which were decisive wins over Wake Forest and Stanford. The Irish should be more of a threat to move the football through the air if Coach Brian Kelly decides to play more open in a revved up Lane Stadium. Jafar Armstrong and Tony Jones, Jr. are more than capable of running the football well against the Hokies, who boast the fourth best defense in the nation against the run.

Irish (-6) 34, Hokies 17

Georgia Tech @ Louisville – The Cardinals lost last week’s 28-24 decision to Florida State in an unlikely manner when they had the ball not the FSU 21-yard line with 2:00 to play.  Quarterback Juwon Pass was picked off by A.J. Westbrook and the Cardinals’ defense allowed a 58-yard pass for a touchdown with 1:13 left which cemented the loss. No doubt, Bobby Petrino’s Birds are licking their wounds. A visit from the struggling Yellow Jackets will test the defense’s ability to get off the field against GT’s running game and it also could be a chance for the struggling Pass to once again get some consistency in his game.

Cardinals (+4) 26, Yellow Jackets 24

Syracuse @ Pitt – The Orange lost a heartbreaker in the fourth quarter at Clemson when the Tigers’ running game and the heat index seemed to stymie Syracuse in the fourth quarter. The Panthers’ defense was shredded by Central Florida’s McKenzie Milton last week and will have as tough a time with Eric Dungey, who leads an offense averaging 480 total yards per game.

Orange (- 3 1/2) 35, Panthers 16

Clemson @ Wake Forest – The Tigers dodged two bullets last week as Travis Etienne and the Tigers’ rushing attack allowed Clemson to slip past Syracuse, who led 23-13 early in the fourth quarter. They also are fortunate to have Trevor Lawrence back up and running after he suffered a hit and left the game for good as he went through concussion protocol. With the unceremonious pulling the rug out from under senior quarterback Kelly Bryant, Dabo Swinney’s team has much less margin for error. The Demon Deacons are plenty capable of winning this game. Can a defense, ranked 111th in the nation that has been shredded by Notre Dame and Boston College, find a way to win the turnover battle and keep it close going to the fourth quarter?

Tigers 35, Demon Deacons (+18) 21

Florida State at Miami – The Seminoles are 3-2 and have personally placed pacifiers in the mouths of those who started whining about coach Willie Taggert only two games into his tenure in Tallahassee. Taggert has been a winner everywhere he has gone and will win big after he is able to get the Seminoles into the recruiting battles for more 4-star and 5-star athletes. Miami’s defense is No. 2 in the nation, as it has allowed only 244 yards per game. The unit peaked last week with three defensive touchdowns in the 47-10 rout of North Carolina.

Hurricanes 31, Seminoles (+12 1/2) 20


Arizona State @ (21) Colorado – Steven Montez has turned into an assassin at quarterback for the Buffaloes as he has already thrown for almost 1,100 yards while competing about 75 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns and only two picks. Laviska Shenault, Jr., is a tough matchup with 38 catches for 591 yards through the first four games. The Sun Devils only have three picks so far and will struggle with the Buffaloes’ offensive diversity.

Buffaloes (-2) 34, Sun Devils 23

(10) Washington @ UCLA – The Bruins led Colorado, 16-14, midway through the third quarter, but the dam broke and they fell, 38-16, as Montez threw three touchdowns against the struggling Bruins defense. This could get ugly early as Chris Peterson’s team has paid attention to detail after the opening loss to Auburn. Myles Gaskin will have a big day on the ground as the Huskies take an easy ‘W’.

Huskies (-21) 42, Bruins 7

Cal @ Arizona – The Bears and the nation saw how good Oregon really is on the bounce back off that emotional 38-31 loss to Stanford. The Bears spotted the Ducks two defensive touchdowns in that loss as they have 10 turnovers now on the season. They need to get back to playing efficient error-free football and accentuate that two-headed running game of Brandon McIlwain and Patrick Laird.

Bears (-2) 31, Wildcats 23

Utah @ (14) Stanford – The Cardinal may have to throw to win this game as they average only 94.4 yards per carry and face a Utah defense that is second in the nation in stopping the run at 83.3 yards per game. Bryce Love’s health will be a key to the game as he only had 73 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown before going to the locker room last week with an injury with around 11 minutes to play. The Utes’ top-rated defense is smarting after being exposed by Washington State for 445 yards in the 28-24 loss last weekend. This should be entertaining to watch and the Cardinal should prevail at home on a late K.J. Costello-to-J.J. Arcega-Whiteside touchdown pass.

Cardinal 27, Utes 20