What to watch: Week 13 in the ACC

November, 24, 2010
11/24/10
10:15
AM ET
As usual, here are your 10 things to keep an eye on this week, in no particular order.

Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley. He is one interception shy of tying the school record, set by Ron Davidson in 1967. Hosley leads the nation with eight. Coach Frank Beamer led the Hokies with four picks in 1966. Davidson was a junior in ’67 along with Beamer.

BC’s running game. Andre Williams is good, but he’s a true freshman and he’s not Montel Harris. Not yet, anyway. Harris injured his knee against Virginia and his status for Saturday’s game at Syracuse has yet to be determined. Syracuse has the No. 34 rushing defense in the country. If Harris plays, he is 125 yards away from becoming the leading rusher in school history.

The nonconference scoreboard. The ACC is 0-3 against its SEC opponents this year, but has enough chances this weekend to even the score with rivalry games against South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. Wake Forest is also playing at Vanderbilt.

[+] EnlargeJacory Harris
Steve Mitchell/US PresswireJacory Harris has been cleared to play, but whether he starts remains to be seen.
Miami’s quarterbacks. Jacory Harris has been cleared to start, but coach Randy Shannon wants to see what he can do in practice this week before he determines his starter. Freshman Stephen Morris is coming off a shaky performance in the loss to Virginia Tech in which he threw three interceptions in the final nine minutes. South Florida’s pass defense is No. 32 in the country, and has 10 interceptions this year.

Duke’s linebackers. The Blue Devils will be hurt by the loss of starting linebacker Kelby Brown, who is out with a torn ACL and MCL. Duke will look to sophomore Austin Gamble, who replaced Brown when he was injured at Georgia Tech, and finished with eight tackles. The Blue Devils will also get some help from Damien Thornton, Adam Banks, and Tyree Glover.

Georgia’s rushing defense vs. Paul Johnson’s offense. The Yellow Jackets lead the nation in rushing offense with 319.36 yards per game, but the Bulldogs are holding opponents to 125.36. B-back Anthony Allen has reached the 1,000-yard mark.

Clemson’s D vs. Marcus Lattimore. The Tigers have one of -- if not the best -- defenses in the ACC, but South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore has had his way with half of the defenses in the SEC. He had over 200 yards rushing against Florida’s defense, and has topped the 1,000-yard mark this year.

Field position in Tallahassee. Florida leads the nation in punting and is No. 3 in the country in kickoff returns (26.41). FSU is No. 33 in the country in kickoff return defense (20.14).

Turnovers in College Park. Same as last week, and they were indeed a factor. Maryland had only turned it over eight times heading into the game against Florida State, but the Noles forced four turnovers. And in NC State’s three losses, the Wolfpack lost the ball a total of nine times.

NC State quarterback Russell Wilson vs. Maryland’s secondary. NC State has the nation’s No. 17 passing offense, and Maryland is tied for 12th in the country with 16 passes intercepted. The Terps are also No. 12 in pass efficiency defense, but they’re allowing over 200 passing yards per game.

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