ACC

Saturday morning blitz

Joe and James Giglio's sports picks of the week

Watch News & Observer sports writer Joe Giglio and his son James give their yellow pad sports picks of the week.
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Watch News & Observer sports writer Joe Giglio and his son James give their yellow pad sports picks of the week.

Inside the ACC

3 to watch

1. Miami at No. 17 UNC, 3:30, ESPNU: The Tar Heels (8-1) can clinch the Coastal Division title with a win and a Pittsburgh loss. The Canes (6-3) can still win a tiebreaker over the Heels but not without a third straight win over UNC.

2. N.C. State at No. 19 Florida State, 12:30 p.m., WRAL: The Wolfpack (6-3) can equal the school record of five road wins in a season. The Seminoles (7-2) are out of the ACC race for the first time since 2011 and out of the national title race for the first time since 2012.

3. Pittsburgh at Duke, noon, ESPNews: The Panthers (6-3) need help to catch UNC in the division race. The Blue Devils (6-3), who might be without a banged-up Thomas Sirk at quarterback, are trying to salvage some pride after last week’s 66-31 disaster at UNC.

Observations

▪ Wake Forest (3-6) would qualify for a bowl game if it wins out. The Demon Deacons would only have to win at Notre Dame (8-1), at Clemson (9-0) and at home against Duke (6-3) to get there.

▪ The Orange (3-6) gave LSU everything it wanted on Sept. 26 at the Carrier Dome. LSU won, 34-24, but wasn’t exactly impressive in the process.

▪ Clemson, No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings, should stay there if it wins out, but who knows?Florida State was the only unbeaten major team last year and was the No. 3 seed. The Tigers are going to need some style points this week and next (at home vs. Wake Forest).

▪ North Carolina has scored 206 points in five ACC games, or 41.2 points per game. That’s the best average in the conference. Given UNC’s strength on offense last year, that wasn’t totally unexpected going into this year.

But the Tar Heels have given up an average of 21.6 points per ACC game, sixth-best in the ACC. That’s down from 36.4 per game last year, which ranked last in the conference.

Number to know

153.8 Florida State running back Dalvin Cook leads the ACC, and ranks second in the country, in rushing yards per game. Cook has 1,231 yards on the season and averages 8.2 yards per carry.

Top 25 schedule

Saturday

No. 1 Clemson at Syracuse, 3:30 p.m.

No. 2 Ohio State at Illinois, noon

No. 3 Alabama at No. 20 Mississippi State, 3:30 p.m.

No. 4 Baylor vs. No. 12 Oklahoma, 8 p.m.

No. 5 Oklahoma State at Iowa State, 3:30 p.m.

No. 6 Notre Dame vs. Wake Forest, 3:30 p.m.

No. 7 Stanford vs. Oregon, 7:30 p.m.

No. 8 Iowa vs. Minnesota, 8 p.m.

No. 9 LSU vs. Arkansas, 7:15 p.m.

No. 10 Utah at Arizona, 10 p.m.

No. 11 Florida at South Carolina, noon

No. 13 TCU vs. Kansas, noon

No. 14 Michigan State vs. Maryland, noon

No. 15 Michigan at Indiana, 3:30 p.m.

No. 16 Houston vs. No. 25 Memphis, 7 p.m.

No. 17 North Carolina vs. Miami, 3:30 p.m.

No. 18 UCLA vs. Washington State, 10:45 p.m.

No. 19 Florida State vs. N.C. State, 12:30 p.m.

No. 21 Temple at South Florida, 7 p.m.

No. 22 Navy vs. SMU, 3:30 p.m.

No. 24 Northwestern vs. Purdue, noon

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