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Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Separation in the Coastal Division?

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

After a month of play, strengths and weaknesses have been revealed for every team -- some more than others -- but there appears to be some separation starting in the Coastal Division, where four teams already have at least two losses, including defending ACC champ Georgia Tech.

Miami and Virginia are the only teams remaining in that division with only one loss, and Miami has separated itself by beating Pittsburgh on the road, while Virginia's two wins have come against FCS opponents. The Cavaliers have a great chance at home this weekend to make a statement in the ACC race against Florida State. If UVA plays the way it did at USC, it will give itself a chance to win.

Virginia Tech has rebounded from its loss to James Madison with back-to-back wins and is 1-0 in ACC play heading into Saturday's game against NC State, but there is still something unconvincing about the Hokies. Maybe it's the struggles in the red zone or the pedestrian offensive performances despite a talented cast of playmakers.

North Carolina continues to play without six starters, and the win against Rutgers didn't come without a price, as starters Quan Sturdivant and Johnny White were both injured. Their status is undetermined right now with East Carolina approaching.

And Duke? Well, the Blue Devils have struggled on both sides of the ball and it has added up to a 1-3 start.

And there you have it -- Miami stands alone.

The Hurricanes aren't without their problems, though, as quarterback Jacory Harris has now thrown six interceptions in the past two games. If Miami can eliminate the mistakes, penalties and turnovers, it has a defense capable of winning an ACC title.