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Monday, October 4, 2010
Back and forth in the ACC: Weeks 5/6

By Heather Dinich

It’s time to rewind and fast-forward in the ACC:

The good: Florida State and Miami. With the exception of early season road losses to top-10 teams, both programs are right where they need to be heading into Saturday’s rivalry game – undefeated in ACC play and ranked in the AP Top 25. It’s about time.

Tom O'Brien
Tom O'Brien and NC State let a big lead and a 5-0 start slip through their hands against Virginia Tech.
The bad: NC State’s collapse. The Wolfpack had a 5-0 start in its hands and let it slip away in the fourth quarter with missed tackles and turnovers.

The ugly: Boston College. A total of five yards rushing, 12 penalties for 120 yards, an injured freshman quarterback and an underperforming offensive line. In a word, ugly.

The emerging: Virginia Tech. Nobody is going to forget the home loss to James Madison, but the Hokies are taking steps to help put it further behind them. Virginia Tech is off to a 2-0 start in league play and should notch another nonconference win this weekend against Central Michigan.

The leader: Joshua Nesbitt. He took the team on his shoulders once again and made key fourth-quarter plays in a 24-20 win at Wake Forest. And with a surprise twist, Georgia Tech (130) had more passing yards than Wake Forest (107). Nesbitt’s nine-yard touchdown pass with 15 seconds remaining won the game.

The playmaker: Miami wide receiver Leonard Hankerson. He tied a school record with three touchdown receptions. He made seven catches for a career-high 147 yards, and became only the fourth player in UM history to catch three touchdowns in the same game.

Top three games for Week 6:

1. Florida State at Miami: This is the game of the week in the ACC, as both teams have emerged as front-runners in their respective divisions and only have one loss. Florida State’s defense will get its first real test since Oklahoma, and the offense will have to hit its stride against Miami’s defense, which has been one of the best in the country. The Canes will try to eliminate the turnovers and cut down on the penalties.

2. Clemson at North Carolina: Both teams are looking for their first conference win, but the Tigers are down after back-to-back losses. The Tar Heels have started to regroup and will get some more help with the return of Deunta Williams, who has completed his four-game suspension.

3. Boston College at NC State: It’s lost some of its luster since both are coming off losses, but it’s relevant to the Atlantic Division standings nonetheless. The Eagles are hurting (both literally and figuratively) at quarterback, and the Pack is kicking itself (or at least should be) for squandering a 17-point lead against the Hokies.