Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond (shown playing against Texas State on Aug. 29) takes a shot at top-ranked Clemson (Chuck Burton)
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond (shown playing against Texas State on Aug. 29) takes a shot at top-ranked Clemson (Chuck Burton)|Associated Press

ACC Saturday - Mark Eckel has picks on Ohio vs. Pittsburgh, Texas A&M vs. Clemson

Mark Eckel

There’s a full slate of games involving ACC teams Saturday, but we’re only taking a good look at two of them. Remember, it’s not about quantity here . . .

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Ohio at Pittsburgh (-4 1/2)

11 a.m., ACC Network

Pitt won the ACC Coastal last year with a strong running game, but new pass-first offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, who worked for years in the NFL and briefly with the Eagles, changed the offense. It didn’t work out so well in the Panthers opener against Virginia and it might not again Saturday against a good Ohio team.

Consider these contrasting stats: Ohio is 17-6 ATS in its last 23 non-conference games, while Pitt is 5-17-1 ATS in its last 23 non-conference games. Ohio , behind quarterback Nathan Rourke, could win the MAC this season. And the Bobcats can also upset Pitt on the road.

Pick: Ohio (+4 1/2)

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No. 11 Texas A&M at No. 1 Clemson (-16 1/2)

3:30 p.m., ABC

This might be the game of the day in college football. The Aggies are looking for the major upset, while Clemson is looking to continue to roll toward another national title. Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher knows the Tigers from his days in the ACC at Florida State, but he didn’t have much success against them. He might not today, either. This will likely be Clemson’s toughest game of the regular season, and toughest test until they eventually meet Alabama again in college football’s version of the Final Four. I’m tempted to take the Tigers, who have won 11 straight games by at least 20 points, and would lean that way if push came to shove. But I’m going to stay away from the line and take the over in what promises to be a high-scoring, entertaining affair.

Pick: Over 62 points



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