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Monday, September 12, 2011
Back and forth in the ACC: Weeks 2/3

By Heather Dinich

Every week we take a look back at the highlights and lowlights in the ACC, and look ahead to the upcoming games.

The good: Virginia Tech’s defense. For the second straight weekend, the Hokies built more evidence in the case that their defense has improved from last year. They held East Carolina to just 112 yards of total offense, minus-15 yards of rushing, and Dominique Davis was sacked five times and failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in his career.

The bad: Boston College. The 30-3 win came easy for Central Florida. Too easy. BC was just 1-of-12 on third downs, and quarterback Chase Rettig was sacked three times and intercepted twice. UCF is 2-0 for the first time since 1998. BC is 0-2 for the first time since 1994. Bowling for BC? Not at this rate.

The ugly: North Carolina’s 24-22 win over Rutgers. Five turnovers? It’s a good thing the Tar Heels were playing one of the worst teams in the Big East. UNC also racked up 94 yards worth of penalties. That won’t fly against most teams.

The stat: Georgia Tech averaged 21.4 yards per passing attempt in its win over Western Carolina. Over the past 30 years, the Jackets have produced a higher average per attempt just once -- in the season opener against Western Carolina.

The record-setter: Virginia Tech receiver Jarrett Boykin became the school’s all-time leader in receptions with a 20-yard catch from quarterback Logan Thomas in the second quarter of the Hokies’ win over ECU. He finished with four catches for 48 yards. Boykin, a senior, now has 129 catches for his career, breaking the previous record of 126 held by former receiver Ernest Wilford.

Top games of Week 3

1. Oklahoma at Florida State: National title contender or not? We’ll find out on Saturday if Florida State should be in the conversation. It won’t if it repeats last year’s performance. The Sooners led 34-7 at the half. Oklahoma has won the last five games in this series, but it’s Oklahoma’s first trip to Tallahassee.

2. Ohio State at Miami: Miami hasn’t started 0-2 since 1978, and first-year coach Al Golden has had a bye week to prepare for the depleted Buckeyes. Both programs have been the target of NCAA investigations, but Miami will have a more complete roster, as five of the eight players suspended for the season opener will return.

3. Auburn at Clemson: Auburn has won 17 straight games, the longest active winning streak in the nation, but it hasn’t been easy. Much like last year, though, Auburn continues to find a way to win. Clemson struggled against unheralded opponents Troy and Wofford, and this will be the first of three games against ranked defending champs.