After getting tripped up by the Triangle schools last week (and ending September with a 28-10 record), it's time to turn things around.
Trouble is, there's more than a few games in the ACC this week that will make that difficult.
Nonetheless, let's see what can be done over a seven-game schedule ...
* Miami at Clemson (Noon, ESPN2): Hurricanes 27-24 (OT). These teams have had three one-possession games since Miami joined the ACC. Clemson is coming off a bye week following an overtime loss at Auburn, while the Hurricanes made a decent claim of emerging as the ACC's standard bearer with a rout of Pittsburgh last Thursday. Look for Miami to back that up in Death Valley, but not without a close call.
* Florida State at Virginia (Noon, ACC Network/Raycom): Seminoles 28-10. This one doesn't look terribly exciting on paper, and it probably won't be all that much fun to watch, either. Florida State's defense reset after its humbling trip to Oklahoma. Last week, the Seminoles recorded their first conference shutout since ... the last time they played Virginia. The Cavaliers are 2-1, but things are about to get a little dicier with conference play on the way.
* Virginia Tech at N.C. State (3:30, ABC regional): Hokies 26-24. This is a really fascinating game that will slip beyond the notice of a lot of fans nationally. There's the Tyrod Taylor-Russell Wilson duel, but each guy will be going against an intriguing defense. Virginia Tech just blanked Boston College, while N.C. State (still a bit of an unknown variable) was good enough to keep Georgia Tech at bay for all but about three minutes.
* East Carolina at North Carolina (3:30, ESPN3.com): Tar Heels 38-27. In case you are wondering: No, Gary Wichard and John Blake won't glide into Kenan Stadium attached to matching parachutes with dollar signs painted on them to deliver the game ball. But an up-tempo game does favor T.J. Yates and trusty tight end Zack Pianalto. Carolina won't score as much as Virginia Tech did a couple weeks back, but it should leave with a win.
* Duke at Maryland (6, ESPN3.com): Terrapins 38-34. Can Duke stop Maryland? Probably not, since it can't seem to stop anyone. Can Maryland stop Duke? That's the real question. If the Terps can get off the field with a little more efficiency, this could be a rare relatively easy conference victory for Maryland. But that's a big if.
* Georgia Tech at Wake Forest (7, ESPNU): Yellow Jackets 28-14. Georgia Tech hasn't looked like its usual self in the first month of the season, while the last two weeks are arguably the ugliest back-to-back games of Jim Grobe's tenure. This game probably doesn't have the stuff of being a visual masterpiece, so let's just go with Paul Johnson and his trusty Mr. October (Al Groh) and move along.
* Notre Dame at Boston College (8, ABC regional): Eagles 16-14. This one's a puzzler, other than the fact Boston College (a) will have a new starting quarterback and (b) it probably won't matter a whole lot. The Eagles are going to have to skate by with their defense winning some ugly games --- perhaps a more extreme version of their highly fortunate 2008 season. That might not hold up in the long term, but it might be enough to pick off a victory over a Fighting Irish bunch trying to break through under new coach Brian Kelly.
Week 3: 5-3 (2-1 ACC)
Season record: 28-10 (2-3 ACC)
Preseason picks record: 29-9 (3-2 ACC)
Preseason picks changed in Week 5: Miami-Clemson, Notre Dame-Boston College