posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 8:13 AM
Mark Schlabach (ESPN) – Miami vs. UCF
Brad Edwards (ESPN) – Miami vs. UCF
Scout.com/CollegeFootballNews.com – Virginia Tech vs. Rutgers
Jerry Palm (CBS Sports)– Miami vs. UCF
Sporting News– Miami vs. UCF
Athlon Sports– Virginia Tech vs. UCF
ESPN ACC Blog – Virginia Tech
Very little has changed in the Russell Athletic Bowl projections after week six as Miami and UCF remain the favorites to appear in this years’ game. The only two minor changes are Virginia Tech jumping into the projections as both the ESPN ACC bloggers and Scout.com’s selections.
UCF remains the odds on favorite out of the American Athletic Conference to head to Orlando as they appear in all but one of the projections. UCF (4-1, 1-0 AAC) rebounded from a tough loss to South Carolina with their first conference victory of the year over Memphis (1-3, 0-1 AAC), 24-17, this weekend. The Knights were down 17-10 late in the fourth quarter before an 80 yard drive notched things up at 17. On the ensuing kickoff the Knights forced a Tiger fumble and returned it for a touchdown to complete the 14 point swing in a matter of nine seconds. UCF has this weekend off before traveling to No. 8 Louisville (5-0, 1-0 AAC) next Friday.
The only other AAC team to appear in a projection this week is Rutgers, who remained Scout.com’s selection to head to Orlando. The Scarlet Knights (4-1, 1-0 AAC) won their first conference game in a shootout over SMU, 55-52 in overtime this past weekend. Quarterback Gary Nova accounted for five touchdowns and threw for 283 yards in the victory. Rutgers has a short week as they head to Louisville on Thursday for a marquee American Athletic Conference matchup.
No. 14 Miami (5-0, 1-0 ACC) and Virginia Tech (5-1, 2-0 ACC) are just about split in the projections for who will represent the ACC in this years’ bowl game. Miami remains the slight favorites appearing in three of the projections while Virginia Tech climbs into the projections as both Scout.com’s and the ESPN ACC Bloggers picks.
The Hurricanes remained perfect on the young season with a, 45-30, win over Georgia Tech this past weekend. Miami held just a one point lead in the fourth quarter before scoring 21 unanswered points to put away the victory. Duke Johnson, who leads the ACC and ranks third in the nation in all-purpose yards, had 325 yards on the day. The Hurricanes are idle this weekend before heading up to Chapel Hill next Thursday to face North Carolina (1-4, 0-2 ACC).
Virginia Tech won its fifth-straight game, continuing a strong stretch following its opening weekend loss to Alabama and earning its first appearance in the USA Today Coaches Poll this week at No. 25. The Hokies defeated North Carolina, 27-17, and were led by quarterback Logan Thomas’ 293 passing yards and three touchdowns. Virginia Tech welcomes ACC newcomer Pittsburgh (3-1, 2-1 ACC) to Blacksburg, Va. for the thirteenth-ever matchup between the schools.
The only team to fall from the projections this week is Maryland (4-1, 0-1 ACC) as it comes off a 63-0 rout at the hands of Florida State. The Terps struggled to move the ball on the ground, amassing only 33 yards on 25 carries against a stout Florida State defense. Maryland returns to action as it hosts Virginia (2-3, 0-1 ACC) this weekend.