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ACC Weekend Primer

By Carlos Pineda
SouthernPigskin.com
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There are nine games on tap for this weekend, including the one in-league matchup between Georgia Tech and Duke.

There are nine games on tap for this weekend, including the one in-league matchup between Georgia Tech and Duke. Boston College travels across the country to face Southern Cal, while Maryland coach Randy Edsall visits East Hartford for the first time since leaving Connecticut.

Here's the action.

Game of the week

Georgia Tech at Duke — Saturday 3:30 p.m. ET ESPNU

Georgia Tech has won the last nine games in the series and it doesn't help that Paul Johnson has a 15-2 record against teams from the state of North Carolina. But this isn't your typical Duke team. The Blue Devils are 2-0 for the first time since 1998 and, despite not having quarterback Aaron Boone, shouldn't miss much of a beat with Brandon Connette under center. Connette had two touchdowns in the fourth quarter last week at Memphis.

The Yellow Jackets' run-game will test Duke's rush defense, which ranks second in the ACC — allowing 85 yards per game.  

Duke will keep it close, but Georgia Tech pulls away in the second half.

Prediction: Georgia Tech 39, Duke 27

East vs. West

Boston College at Southern Cal — Saturday 3 p.m. ET Pac-12 Network

Following a conference win against Wake Forest last week, undefeated Boston College goes out west to face traditional power USC in the L.A. Coliseum. The Trojans are coming off a shocking upset loss to Washington State.

Running back Andre Williams rushed 35 times for a career-high 204 yards versus Wake Forest last week, earning ACC Offensive Back of the Week honors.

USC has struggled offensively this season, giving BC the best shot at pulling off the upset.

Prediction: Boston College 20, USC 16

Payback

Maryland at Connecticut — Saturday 7:30 p.m. ET

After picking up consecutive wins to start off the season, Maryland coach Randy Edsall faces his former squad on the road. The Terrapins have totaled over 575 yards of offense in each of their victories.

Last year, the Huskies beat Maryland 24-21 in College Park.

Prediction: Maryland 23, Connecticut 21

The rest

Nevada at Florida State — Saturday 3:30 p.m. ET ESPN

The Seminoles racked up 553 yards of offense in their season opener at Pittsburgh, including 356 passing yards from freshman quarterback Jameis Winston.

Dating back to 1978, Florida State is 33-2 in home openers.

Prediction: Florida State 48, Nevada 10

Virginia Tech at East Carolina — Saturday 12 p.m. ET Fox Sports 1

Freshman running back Chris Mangus scored his first collegiate touchdown for the Hokies with a 76-yard run last week against Western Carolina.

VT has won five of seven games in Greenville.

Prediction: Virginia Tech 38, East Carolina 19

New Mexico at Pittsburgh — Saturday 12:30 p.m. ET ACC Network

The Panthers received a rude welcome to the ACC on Labor Day at the hands of Florida State. One of the bright spots was the play of receiver Devin Street, who had 141 yards.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 29, New Mexico 17

Louisiana-Monroe at Wake Forest — Saturday 12:30 p.m. ET Fox Sports Network

Following a conference loss to division opponent Boston College, the Demon Deacons look to get back on track.

Quarterback Tanner Price was 18 of 30 for 191 yards and a touchdown last week.

Prediction: Wake Forest 32, Louisiana-Monroe 17

Wagner at Syracuse — Saturday 4 p.m. ET

Syracuse is searching for its first win of the season. The good news is that it is 11-0 against FCS schools. The Orange should win, giving Scott Shafer his career win as head coach.

Prediction: Syracuse 37, Wagner 14

Carlos Pineda - Carlos Pineda is a featured writer for Southern Pigskin. He covered the UCF Knights football team for Florida Today in 2010. Carlos' work has been published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Business Journal. He attended the University of Central Florida. Follow Carlos on Twitter @CarlosFPineda.