ACC Week 7 Overview: Turnover Chain to Sparkle for Miami at Virginia

Jay Pryce

Monday, October 8, 2018 2:05 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 8, 2018 2:05 PM UTC

The Miami defense will hunt Virginia QB Bryce Perkins all game long and see the Hurricanes through to a decisive double-digit victory. Our thoughts on this game and all the ACC Week 7 action here.

ACC Spotlight: No. 16 Miami (-6) at VirginiaSaturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)Free NCAAF Pick: Miami -6Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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"Defense, turnovers, and taking advantage of it offensively," Miami (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS) head coach Mark Richt joyfully explained as the catalyst for the largest comeback in series history against Florida State on Saturday. The Hurricanes won 28-27, erasing a 20-point third-quarter deficit with three unanswered touchdowns to close out the game.

The defense proved it could easily carry Miami to the ACC title game. Past performances under similar market conditions suggest it will have its way against a Virginia (3-2 SU, 4-1 ATS) offense averaging an unexpected 30.2 points per tilt. Under Richt, the Hurricanes allow 16.7 points per game in seven ACC road tests as the betting favorites. Opponents have never scored more than 24 points in a contest.

The Cavaliers posted 22.5 points per game in each of head coach Bronco Mendenhall’s first two seasons in Charlottesville, but is buoyed this year by junior college QB transfer Bryce Perkins. Perkins has totaled 14 TDs, 1,466 passing yards, and an eye-catching 63.5 completion percentage. He is a big-play threat with both his legs and his arm.

Defensively, the Virginia defense yields a respectable .340 points per play (43rd nationally). Mendenhall’s unit has been overwhelmed under similar conditions in the past, however. As a home underdog hosting ACC rivals, the Cavaliers allow 32.0 points per game, thrashed for over 200 yards per outing both on the ground and through the air.

The difference in this matchup will be the lack of a Virginia offensive line. The front is Swiss cheese and could barely hold its own against FCS Richmond and MAC foes Ohio. Perkins will be running for his life on every snap. Hurricanes win 31-17 and cover the point spread with ease.

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What a scene. Highlights of last night's win over FSU: pic.twitter.com/8VTmq9nLF1

— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) October 7, 2018
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Around The ACC (All Games Saturday)

Louisville at Boston College (-13.5), 12:30 p.m. ET, on ACC Network: The line initially was off the board with Boston College (4-2 SU, 3-2-1 ATS) star running back A.J. Dillon questionable with an ankle injury. The ACC’s leading rusher may not be needed, however, against a lowly Louisville (2-4 SU, 1-5 ATS) squad ranking last among all FBS programs with a -15.83 average ATS margin.

Duke at Georgia Tech (-2.5), 12:20 p.m. ET, on ACC Network: Duke (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) is just 3-7 SU and 6-4 ATS against Georgia Tech (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS) when longtime head coaches David Cutcliffe and Paul Johnson clash. The Blue Devils have kicked off the underdogs in every matchup. They have won three outright in four catching a touchdown or less on the college football oddsboard. Upset alert?

Pitt at No. 5 Notre Dame (-21.5), 2:30 p.m. ET, on NBC: The last three matchups in the Pitt (3-3 SU, 2-3-1 ATS)-Notre Dame (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) rivalry, in which the Fighting Irish are ranked in the top 10, has seen an average combined score of 64.4 points. All have gone "over" the projected total by double digits.

Virginia Tech (-8) at North Carolina, 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN2: Virginia Tech (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS) is 6-1 ATS and covering a -19.6 average line by a whopping 12.3 points per game behind head coach Justin Fuentes when squaring off against a passing attack accruing 6.5 yards per passing attempt or less. Opponents post just 6.7 points per game in this spot. North Carolina (1-3 SU, 1-2-1 ATS) enters with a 5.5 average mark against FBS opponents, ranking 125th in the country.

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