Monday, October 29, 2012
ACC Week 10 sneak peek
By Andrea Adelson
Here is a quick look at the Week 10 matchups across the ACC:
Virginia Tech (4-4, 2-2) at Miami (4-4, 3-2), 7:30 p.m., ESPN. Both teams come in off a bye week for this crucial Coastal Division matchup. The winner of this game could very well end up in the ACC championship game. Miami, Virginia Tech and Duke each have two losses at the top of the division standings. But the Hurricanes and Hokies are the only teams in the Coastal that can claim a berth in Charlotte by winning their remaining ACC games. Virginia Tech has won three straight in the series and has won six of eight since both schools joined the ACC in 2004. This marks the first year since 2008 that at least one team has not been nationally ranked entering the game. The Hokies have struggled on offense all year, but they could take advantage of weaknesses in a Miami defense that has been one of the worst in the country. As for Miami, the Hurricanes are going to need much better performances from Stephen Morris and Duke Johnson if they have any hopes of winning this game. Both have struggled through injuries of late but should be healthy going into this one.
Georgia Tech (3-5, 2-3) at Maryland (4-4, 2-2), 12:30 p.m., ACC Network. Quarterback uncertainty is the theme going into this one. What has happened at quarterback for Maryland simply defies explanation. Two weeks ago, the Terps were undefeated in ACC play and one of the biggest surprises in the young season. Now, they have no scholarship quarterbacks available for the remainder of the season. Maryland will start converted linebacker Shawn Petty in this game. Amazingly, Maryland has been in its past two games with all the upheaval at quarterback, but it has been the defense that has faltered, giving up late scores in both losses. As for the Jackets, coach Paul Johnson yanked Tevin Washington last week in a loss to BYU and could end up starting Vad Lee this week. Georgia Tech is under .500 through eight games for the first time since 1994.
Virginia (2-6, 0-4) at NC State (5-3, 2-2), 12:30 p.m, ACC Network. The Hoos have to win out in order to make it back to a bowl game for the second straight year. They had a bye week to prepare for the Wolfpack, who are coming off a dispiriting loss to in-state rival North Carolina -- pulling them from the driver's seat in the Atlantic Division. Virginia's first priority has to be fixing its inconsistent offense. The Hoos have simply been too inconsistent and turned the ball over too many times during their six-game losing streak. The good news for the Wolfpack is they don't have to worry about anybody like Giovani Bernard in this game. NC State has won three of the past four in the series.
Boston College (2-6, 1-4) at Wake Forest (4-4, 2-4), 3:30 p.m., RSN. Can the Eagles ride the momentum from their win over Maryland into their game against Wake Forest, which was soundly beaten at home by Clemson last Thursday night? Boston College could take advantage of some shaky play in the Deacs secondary with Chase Rettig, Alex Amidon and company. Wake Forest gave up 433 yards passing last week, though the Tigers have many more playmakers than Boston College. Though Michael Campanaro returned against Clemson, the Wake Forest offense remained ineffective. Perhaps that changes this week against a defense that ranks No. 111 in the nation. Wake Forest won this meeting last season, breaking a four-game Boston College winning streak in the series.
Clemson (7-1, 4-1) at Duke (6-3, 3-2), 7 p.m., ESPN2. The Blue Devils are already bowl eligible, but this team has got to prove it can be competitive against the upper echelon teams on their schedule. They simply have not done that this year, getting blown out by No. 14 Stanford (50-13) earlier in the season and No. 9 Florida State (48-7) last week. Now comes another huge test against No. 13 Clemson, a team that found its offensive groove again last week in a 42-13 win over Wake Forest. Clemson has won 15 of the past 18 in the series. Interesting note: this is the first night game played in the series, which began in 1934.