Thursday, September 9, 2010
What to watch in the ACC: Week 2
By Heather Dinich
It’s a big week for the ACC, so there’s plenty to keep an eye on. As the title indicated, here’s what to watch in Week 2:
1. Florida State and Miami’s rise -- or fall. This is it. The weekend that determines which one -- if either -- of the two former powers are ready to make a statement on the national level. The Seminoles have a chance at Oklahoma and Miami takes on No. 2 Ohio State. Both are road trips. If either or both of these teams lose, the buzz around the ACC will disappear faster than Greg Reid on a punt return.
Greg Reid returned a punt 74 yards for a TD against Samford.
2. Florida State cornerback Greg Reid. Samford did its best not to punt to Reid (smart move), but couldn’t avoid him the entire game. He fielded one punt, and that’s all he needed to score. With 8:17 remaining in the second quarter, Reid took a punt back for a 74-yard touchdown.
3. Georgia Tech’s pass defense. Much has been made of the transition up front to a 3-4 defense, but the Jackets’ secondary will be tested. Eight different Kansas receivers caught passes against North Dakota State, including Johnathan Wilson, who had six receptions.
4. How good is Tajh Boyd? FCS school Presbyterian has lost 15 consecutive games, so Kyle Parker could spend the second half of this game across the street in Kingsmore Stadium taking batting practice in preparation for his Colorado Rockies assignment next spring. Boyd should get plenty of playing time in this one.
5. Boston College quarterback Dave Shinskie. He threw two interceptions last weekend against Weber State and his job is in question heading into Kent State. Can he perform well enough to keep it, or will Frank Spaziani give Mike Marscovetra the reins?
6. Virginia’s offense vs. USC’s defense. Nine different UVA receivers caught passes against Richmond, Marc Verica threw for a career-high 283 yards, and the Cavaliers rushed for another 205. UVA rushed for over 100 yards just four times last year. Meanwhile, USC’s defense allowed almost 600 total yards to Hawaii.
7. Defenses in Winston-Salem. Both Duke and Wake Forest were successful in Week 1 under first-year starting quarterbacks, which indicates their offenses are in good hands. Whoever makes the stops in the first conference game will come out on top.
8. Virginia Tech receiver Jarrett Boykin. He’s had over 100 yards receiving in four of his last five games and needs 81 more to climb into eighth place in career receiving yards at Virginia Tech.
9. NC State receiver T.J. Graham. Heading into the season, Graham had just one touchdown reception for his career. After one quarter last weekend, he had three. Graham scored on 26- and 25-yard passes from Russell Wilson, gaining a career-high 96 yards on a career-high six receptions. He also had a 50-yard kickoff return.
10. Maryland’s passing game. The Terps threw the ball just five times against Navy, and coach Ralph Friedgen said it’s possible all three of his quarterbacks could play against Morgan State. Maryland has a deep, fast, talented group of wide receivers -- too good to be ignored.