Week Thirteen Bowl Projections
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Mark Schlabach (ESPN) – Miami vs. Louisville
Brad Edwards (ESPN) – Virginia Tech vs. Louisville
Scout.com/CollegeFootballNews.com – Duke vs. Louisville
Jerry Palm – Miami vs. Louisville
ESPN ACC – Duke
SB Nation– Boston College vs. Louisville
Athlon Sports– Miami vs. Louisville
Sporting News– Miami vs. Louisville
Orlando Sentinel– Miami vs. Louisville
Stewart Mandel/SI– Miami vs. Louisville
USA Today– Miami vs. Louisville
It’s another week with mostly the same cast and characters in the Russell Athletic Bowl media projections. Louisville for the sixth week running appeared in every projection out of the American Athletic Conference. The ACC continues to be headlined by Miami and Virginia Tech with Duke remaining for their third straight week, while Boston College makes its first projection of the season as well.
Louisville (10-1, 6-1 The American) pulled out a 24-17 win over Memphis in its final home game of the season. The Cardinals had a 24-3 lead entering the third quarter before allowing two late Memphis touchdowns to cut the lead to seven. Memphis had the ball at its own six with 37 seconds remaining but was unable to complete the comeback. Louisville has the weekend off before ending the regular season at Cincinnati (9-2, 6-1 The American) on December 5th. Louisville remains alive for a BCS bid, but would likely need UCF to lose out to have a shot at the American Athletic Conference championship and the automatic bid that goes along with it.
Miami (8-3, 4-3 ACC) leads the way in projections out of the ACC for the fourth straight week. The Hurricanes rebounded from three straight loses with a 45-26 win over Virginia. The Miami defense led the way forcing four turnovers including a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown by Tracy Howard on Virginia’s first play from scrimmage. The Hurricanes complete their ACC schedule traveling to Pittsburgh (6-5, 3-4 ACC) for a Black Friday matchup. Miami can still win the Coastal Division but would need to win as well as have Virginia upset Virginia Tech and Duke fall to North Carolina.
Duke (9-2, 5-2 ACC) remains in control of the Coastal Division and with a win over North Carolina (6-5, 4-3 ACC) this weekend the Blue Devils will make their first appearance in the ACC Championship Game. Duke pulled out a close 28-21 win over Wake Forest this past weekend. The Blue Devils were down 21-14 early in the second half but scored the final two touchdowns to pull out the win. Junior Anthony Boone threw for 256 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
If Duke were to trip up next weekend, Virginia Tech (7-4, 4-3 ACC) holds the next best chance to head to Charlotte for the ACC Championship Game. With a Virginia Tech win over Virginia and a Duke loss to UNC, the Hokies would win the Atlantic. Tech sat idle this weekend after falling at home to Maryland the week prior before heading to Virginia (2-9, 0-7 ACC) this weekend. The battle for the Commonwealth Cup is decisively in Virginia Tech’s favor with them holding an all-time record of 54-37-5 in the series.
Boston College (7-4, 4-3 ACC) makes its first appearance in the Russell Athletic Bowl projections this season. The Eagles are coming off a 29-26 win over Maryland. Boston College’s Nate Freese, who hasn’t missed a field goal all year, hit a 52 yard field goal as time expired to win the game and match his career long. Eagles’ running back Andre Williams, who is beginning to get some dark horse Heisman consideration, continued where he left off rushing for 263 yards and two touchdowns. Williams leads the nation with 2,073 rushing yards, which is 462 yards more than the closest competitor. Boston College closes out its regular season against ACC newcomer Syracuse (5-6, 3-4 ACC) this weekend.
Georgia Tech (7-4, 5-3 ACC) fell out of the projections this week. The Yellow Jackets had a convincing 66-7 victory over Alabama A&M this weekend. Tech ran the ball 52 times for 428 yards in the win with 15 players receiving at least one carry and no player carrying the ball over nine times. The Yellow Jackets close out the regular season against Georgia (7-4, 5-3 SEC) this weekend. Georgia Tech can still win the Coastal Division but it needs Miami, Virginia Tech and Duke all to lose this weekend.