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2013 ACC Conference College Football Predictions: Atlantic Division

2013 ATLANTIC DIVISION ACC CONFERENCE PREDICTIONS2013 ACC Conference College Football Predictions: Atlantic Division

Boston College Eagles:
New coach Steve Addazio moves over from Temple to take over the Eagles. Boston College ranked 115th in rushing in 2012 so the biggest issue for Addazio is trying to develop a running game. There were a few candidates for the number one back in the spring led by Andre Williams, who had 599 yards last year. Tajh Kimble and Rolandan Finch are also in the mix. Boston College had just one FBS victory and only two losses decided by a touchdown or less. They have three non-conference winnable games and are in the easiest division in the conference.

Clemson Tigers:
The Tigers lose running back Andre Ellington and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The good news is that quarterback Tajh Boyd is back for his senior season as well as receiver Sammy Watkins. At running back, Roderick McDowell (5.4ypc) and D.J. Howard will battle Zac Brooks. Clemson has all the tools on offense, but finding consistency on defense is the key. They allowed 24.8 points per game last season and return just six starters on defense including LB Spencer Shuey (93 tackles).

Florida State Seminoles:
The Seminoles lost quarterback E.J. Manuel, who was drafted in the first round surprisingly. Jacob Coker, Clint Trickett and freshman Jameis Winston will battle it out for the starting quarterback job. The defense, which was one of the nation’s best last year, adds Alabama assistant Jeremy Pruitt as as the new coordinator. The secondary will miss CB Xavier Rhodes and DE Bjoern Werner. But the Seminoles re-load and are led by a terrific recruiting class and a defensive line with emerging stars. Junior Timmy Jerrigan and sophomore Mario Edwards are potential stars. Last year, the defense allowed just 14.7 points per game and will be tough to duplicate this year.

Maryland Terrapins:
This will be Maryland’s last year in the ACC as they move to the Big 10 next season. They also have just five returning starters on defense, which played well last year considering how poor the offense was last year. A.J. Monroe is back after a knee injury and safety Cole Farrand moves to linebacker. The other key is finding a quarterback as they lost three starting quarterbacks to injuries last year. The number one option is athletic C.J. Brown, a who tore his ACL in fall practice. They brought in former New Mexico quarterback Ricardo Young, who played in the spring as insurance. This is a big year for coach Randy Edsall, who needs to make headway going into a new conference.

NC State Wolfpack:
The Wolfpack will have a new man in charge in Dave Doeren, taking the place of Tom O’Brien. Doeren lost just four games in two seasons at Northern Illinois. They have to replace quarterback Mike Glennon, who was drafted by Tampa Bay. Sophomore Manny Stocker and junior Pete Thomas will battle it out. Stocker is more of a dual-threat quarterback and good fit for Matt Canada’s offense. Thomas was a big-time recruit coming out of high school and things didn’t work out at Colorado State. The Wolfpack ranked ninth in pass defense last year, despite having a lot of talent. They loss three of four starters including CB David Amerson. New coordinator Dave Huxtable has his work cut out for him.

Syracuse Orange:
Syracuse moves to the ACC with a new quarterback as Ryan Nassib moved on to the NFL. There are four quarterbacks for first-year coach Scott Shafer to choose from. Sophomore Ashton Broyld, sophomore Terrel Hunt, junior John Kinder and senior Charley Loeb offer little experience. Broyld played running back in 2012 and could move back to quarterback. They are also losing two good receivers in Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales, who combined to catch 136 passes for 1,952 yards and 15 touchdowns last year. They may have to play a bunch of true freshmen right away, including Corey Cooper. There are a lot of question marks with a new coaching staff, this will likely be a rebuilding season.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons:
The Demon Deacons return 16 starters back this fall. Now they need to find some stability for an offense, which finished 10th or worse in the ACC in rushing, passing, total and scoring offense. They need a healthy Michael Campanaro, who missed time with a hand injury. The defense allowed 2.5 points per drive (81st nationally). The offensive line is the key as they allowed 2.3 sacks per game and struggled to open holes in the running game (3.0 yards per carry). Finding a starting five and replacing center Gerrick Williams will be the key to their success on offense this year.

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