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Saturday, November 13, 2010
Can the Hokies clinch the Coastal?

By Heather Dinich

Enjoy today, ACC fans, because we're quickly running out of college football Saturdays, and if Virginia Tech wins today and Miami loses, the Coastal Division will be wrapped up early.

Can the Hokies pull it off?

That depends, since half of the equation is out of their control. Can Georgia Tech get its offense going without injured quarterback Joshua Nesbitt? Both rookie quarterbacks -- Georgia Tech's Tevin Washington and Miami's Stephen Morris -- have great potential but lack experience. They're going to wow you and frustrate you, which will leave the outcome in the hands of veteran defenders. Somebody on defense will make a play that will change the game or, one defense won't be able to make the stops when it matters most.

In Chapel Hill, both Virginia Tech and North Carolina have to overcome injuries to starters, and the loss of UNC leading rusher Johnny White (collar bone) and Virginia Tech starting defensive end Chris Drager and kickoff returner/tailback David Wilson could be a difference in what should be a close game.

Having seen the Hokies last week against Georgia Tech, they didn't do anything spectacular that made them seem that much better than anyone else in the Coastal Division. What they do have, though, are two talented tailbacks, which immediately gives them an edge over the depleted Heels heading into this game.

There's no reason Virginia Tech can't end the day as Coastal Division champs, but in the ever-unpredictable ACC, it also wouldn't surprise me in the least if UNC and Miami both won. I'll stick with my Thursday prediction, though, and say the Hokies are kings of the Coastal once again by this evening.