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The Predictions: Miami to hold despite North Carolina’s offense

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Prediction: Points.

And passes.

And more points and passes.

Saturday’s game between North Carolina and Miami simply might not finish in one day. The Tar Heels’ Mitch Trubiski is the 14th-rated passer as far as efficiency. The Hurricanes’ Brad Kaaya is 15th. Yeah, yeah. When most people talk about quarterbacks in the ACC, they talk about Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, but the league is deep in passers this season.

So who gets last-ups in the Miami-North Carolina game?

North Carolina is at home, but Miami has the nation’s 10th-ranked defense. That should be enough to stop the Tar Heels a few times. But if Trubiski starts wheeling and dealing, the Tar Heels could pull it off.

Prediction: Miami 24, North Carolina 23

Wake Forest at FSU

The Seminoles finally get a break from a great quarterback. That should allow their defense to put up a second-straight good game. Look for a monster game from running back Dalvin Cook.

Prediction: FSU 34, Wake Forest 6

Missouri at Florida

The Gators get quarterback Luke Del Rio back, and that should be enough to beat the Tigers. The Florida defense is second in the nation, which should be enough to keep the Gators in control.

Prediction: Florida 20, Missouri 10

UConn at USF

The Huskies traditionally make the Bulls look slower than most teams. Yes, USF has more weapons, but the question is how much can USF slow down UConn.

Prediction: USF 17, UConn 10

Temple at UCF

First-year coach Scott Frost has performed well. Can the Knights perform well enough to stop Temple quarterback Phillip Walker, who threw 59 times for 455 yards last week? We’ll see.

Prediction: Temple 23, USF 17

Florida International at Charlotte

Charlotte got its first Conference USA win against FAU. It doesn’t figure to win both games against Florida’s league teams, however. FIU barely let a game slip away last week. They won’t this week.

Prediction: FIU 21, Charlotte 14

FAU at Marshall

FAU coach Charlie Partridge keeps talking about a breakthrough game, but the Owls are 1-5. Still, they have a good shot against Marshall, who has lost five games in a row.

Prediction: FAU 9, Marshall 6

The Pros

Jacksonville Jags at Chicago Bears

The Jags have more talent than a one-win team. Of course, the Bears could say the same. If Blake Bortles can take care of the football, the Jags are talented enough to beat the Bears at Soldier Field.

Prediction: Jags 28, Bears 14

Pittsburgh at Miami

The Steelers are usually one of the most efficient football teams in the NFL. The Dolphins? Well, not so much. There is still the air of underachievement to Miami.

Prediction: Steelers 31, Dolphins 16

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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