ACC Atlantic Preview
By: Kenneth Harrison Jr.
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
Let’s take a look at the ACC Atlantic division and predict how the teams will finish this season.
Clemson: The last time we saw the Tigers they manhandled Alabama in the national championship.
They finished the year 15-0 and I expect 2019 to be more of the same. Clemson is by far the most talented team in the conference and it’s not even close. They remind me of Florida State in the 90’s when they ran through the ACC.
They have one tough game at home Week 2 against Texas A&M. That was a close game last season but it was on the road in a hostile environment. Trevor Lawrence is a Heisman frontrunner and he should win it. They will go undefeated again.
Syracuse: The Orange went 10-3 in 2018, which was a big surprise. We will see if they can sustain that success in 2019. They have 7 starters returning on defense and quarterback Tommy DeVito is a rising star. They play Clemson at home September 14th and that will be the biggest ACC game of the year.
They have had some success against Clemson recently, so I think that will be a close game. The ‘Cuse should win 9 games.
Florida State: The Seminoles are the gold standard for a dynasty in the modern ACC era.
Former head coach Jimbo Fisher had a ton of success but they did not play well in his final 2017 season. He was replaced with Willie Taggart and so far, it looks like a bad hire.
In his lone season in Oregon, the Ducks were 7-5. After he left, they were 9-4. FSU was 7-6 in 2017 and they slipped to 5-7 under Taggart.
The ‘Gulf Coast’ offense he brought to Tallahassee was terrible. Tailback Cam Akers is really the only bright spot for the team and he’s hoping to have a bounce back year. He rushed for over 1,000 yards as a freshman in 2017 but last year only had 706 yards. I think they can win 7 games.
NC State: The good news is the Wolfpack have 8 starters returning on defense. The bad news is on the other side of the ball.
Offensive coordinator and QB coach Eli Drinkwitz left to become the head coach at Appalachian State. They also lost three starters from a standout offensive line, two 1,000-yard receivers and quarterback Ryan Finley. All of those weapons led them to a 9-4 record and they were 6-2 in the ACC.
I expect them to take a step back because they have so much to replace on offense. They should win 7 games.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons were 7-6 last year, which is very good for this program.
An interesting fact is they have two players from the show QB 1 Beyond the Lights, Tayvon Bowers and Sam Hartman.
Hartman played well as a true freshman, throwing for 1,984 yards and 16 touchdowns in 9 games. They have the opportunity to go to their fourth consecutive bowl game and that should happen. They will win 6 games.
Boston College: The Eagles were 7-5 in 2018. They relied heavily on quarterback Anthony Brown and running back AJ Dillon. Both of them return this season so expect more of the same. They are good enough to win at least 6 games.
Louisville: The Cardinals were terrible last year, which got Bobby Petrino fired.
He was replaced by Scott Satterfield who had the same position at Appalachian State.
This is the worst team in the conference so I think they will win 3 or 4 games.