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Friday, September 5, 2008
What to watch for in the ACC: Week 2

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Here are 10 things worth keeping an eye on this weekend:

1. Reputation: Can the ACC improve upon its 2-4 start against FBS teams? The wins were over Baylor and Kent State and the losses were by an average of 27 points. The spotlight is on Miami and Wake Forest to restore some pride.

2. Robert Marve: All eyes will be on the Hurricanes' redshirt freshman as he makes his collegiate debut against the No. 5-ranked Gators. The number of big passing plays have dropped significantly in the past three seasons. Can two rookies reverse that trend?

3. The other quarterbacks: Daniel Evans is taking over at NC State. Chris Turner at Maryland. Christian Ponder at Florida State. And Tyrod Taylor is back in the mix at Virginia Tech. How will these changes affect each team?

4. Clemson's rebound: Yes, this game is against The Citadel, but Tigers' egos and players have been noticeably bruised. Clemson will be without three key defensive linemen and starting offensive guard Barry Humphries.

5. Virginia Tech's tackling: The Hokies missed open field tackles against East Carolina and safety Kam Chancellor told the Virginia Pilot he missed six of 12. It's something Bud Foster has stressed this week in practice, but this game is the final tune-up before the run-happy Yellow Jackets come to town.

6. Dexter McCluster for Ole Miss: Ole Miss was 0-8 in the SEC last season, but this game is going to be more interesting than people might think, and McCluster is a main reason why. He had 125 all-purpose yards in the season opener. Wake needs this win because it needs to go to Tallahassee 2-0.

7. The X's and O's in Chestnut Hill: It's the debut of Paul Johnson's offense against an ACC opponent, but it's nothing the Eagles haven't seen before, as they beat Navy two years ago in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. What wrinkles will we see from Johnson he didn't reveal in the season opener against Jacksonville State?

8. Wake forcing turnovers: The Demon Deacons have earned a reputation for winning with defense and forcing turnovers, and they made Baylor give the ball back four times. Wake turned three of those miscues into touchdowns. Can they do it again?

9. Richmond coach Mike London: Virginia didn't just lose its best player on defense last season, it also lost its defensive coordinator. Now London has 16 starters back from a CAA championship team that reached the national semifinals of the FCS. Can London pull an upset against his former team?

10. Duke: Can the Blue Devils start 2-0 for the first time since 1998, when they beat Northwestern 44-10 in the second game? They've got home-field advantage and a bit of confidence after winning their season opener, but Northwestern has a score to settle and a talented running back in Tyrell Sutton.