SAPAKOFF COLUMN: Pigskin Picks: Clemson's speed worries Duke, sort of
DURHAM, N.C. — Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said the Deacons failed to respect Clemson's speed during a 42-13 thumping last week.
“I think they caught our secondary off-guard in the first half,” Grobe went on.
Duke seems more prepared for Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins and the rest of the No. 10 Tigers coming into tonight's game at Wallace Wade Stadium.
“We have some guys that can match up with that, and hopefully we can match up with them pretty well,” Duke senior safety Walt Canty said this week.
Canty has faced Florida State, Stanford and Alabama since graduating from Spartanburg's Dorman High School.
“We just got finished with Florida State (48-7 loss) and we've played some other teams with great speed,” Canty said. “I can't say one team is faster than another.”
Slight glitch in the Pigskin Picks last week; I actually picked North Carolina and Warren Peper picked N.C. State, not the other way around. We hope to keep up with your Pigskin Picks' speed this week:
Clemson at Duke
The Tigers are healthier (and faster) in their thin defensive backfield tonight with cornerback Bashaud Breeland likely back in the lineup.
Sapakoff pick: Clemson, 35-14
Peper pick: Clemson, 40-20
Elon at The Citadel
Freshman linebacker James Riley with 12 tackles in his first college game led the Bulldogs' effort that blanked Wofford in the second half, but it wasn't quite enough in a 24-21 loss.
Sapakoff pick: Citadel, 28-27
Peper pick: Citadel, 24-21
CSU at Liberty
Charleston Southern and the Flames are 2-1 in the Big South, tied with Coastal Carolina for second place behind 4-0 Stony Brook.
Sapakoff pick: Liberty, 24-21
Peper pick: Liberty, 30-24
Alabama at LSU
Steve Spurrier says Alabama is so good, the Tide would beat an NFL team. OK, but what if it's just Nick Saban vs. the Panthers? Or Nick Saban vs. Mike Ditka?
Sapakoff pick: Alabama, 24-0
Peper pick: Alabama, 27-17
Oregon at Southern Cal
The Ducks know a comparison to Notre Dame might come down to how the teams do against a common foe, Lane Kiffin's Trojans.
Sapakoff pick: Oregon, 49-24
Peper pick: Oregon, 29-27
Texas A&M at Mississippi State
Only 47 yards rushing for the Bulldogs (7-1) in 38-7 loss at Alabama. Aggies are 6-2 with a 20-17 loss to Florida and 24-19 loss to LSU.
Sapakoff pick: Mississippi State, 31-28
Peper pick: Texas A&M, 24-20
Mississippi at Georgia
This game will decide the SEC East title. Because Missouri will not defeat Florida and Georgia won't lose to Auburn.
Sapakoff pick: Georgia, 28-24
Peper pick: Georgia, 24-14
Vanderbilt at Kentucky
Shhh! Vandy has won two straight. And finishes with Ole Miss, Tennessee and Wake Forest. Would you believe 8-4?
Sapakoff pick: Vanderbilt, 28-10
Peper pick: Vanderbilt, 27-20
Virginia at N.C. State
Wolfpack QB Mike Glennon threw for 467 yards and five TDs in last week's 43-35 loss to North Carolina.
Sapakoff pick: N.C. State, 27-7
Peper pick: N.C. State, 30-19
Georgia Tech at Maryland
Maryland is 4-4 with four injured QBs and three losses by three points or less.
Sapakoff pick: Georgia Tech, 24-17
Peper pick: Maryland, 24-17
Last week: Sapakoff 7-3, Peper 5-5
Season: Sapakoff 67-23, Peper 60-30