ACC: what to watch week 5

What to watch in the ACC: Week 5

September, 26, 2008
9/26/08
8:45
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

1. Florida State's offense -- After a touchdown-less performance in their home stadium last weekend, can these guys finally get something going against real competition? Will the coaching staff make good on its talk to use running back Jermaine Thomas more and Preston Parker less at the position?

2. Boston College quarterback Chris Crane -- After a tale of two halves against UCF, can Crane put together four quarters of better decision-making against an FCS opponent? Jeff Jagodzinski is trying to get Crane to understand it's OK to throw the ball away on occasion.

3. NC State's attitude before kickoff -- If these guys come out hanging their heads because they don't have their starting quarterback, or their best defensive playmaker, Wolfpack fans could be in for a long afternoon. If they come out like they did against East Carolina, though, we all should be calling that staff for a pep talk when we have a bad day.

4. Old vs. new in Lincoln, Neb. -- Bo Pelini, a defensive-minded coach, is in his first season at Nebraska while veteran Frank Beamer is in his 22nd season. Here's the problem for the Hokies: Pelini was the defensive coordinator at LSU last year when the Tigers beat Virginia Tech 48-7.

5. Old vs. new in Durham, N.C. -- Veteran quarterback Thaddeus Lewis will try to lead the Blue Devils to their first ACC win since 2004, and third-string-turned-starting-quarterback Marc Verica will try to pull the Cavaliers out of their slump in their league opener.

6. Skinner's streak -- Wake's veteran quarterback, Riley Skinner, has thrown 131 passes without an interception. He should be able to keep it alive against Navy, as the Midshipmen rank 104th in the nation in pass defense.

7. Clemson's chart climbers -- Running back James Davis needs two rushing touchdowns to become the school's career leader and quarterback Cullen Harper needs 46 passing yards to reach 4,000 for his career.

8. UNC's quarterbacks -- Can backups Cam Sexton and Mike Paulus combine to replace injured starter T.J. Yates against Miami? It's going to be tough, considering the quantum leaps the Hurricanes' defense has taken under first-year coordinator Bill Young.

9. Florida State's other team -- That's right, the one yielding about a half-dozen suspended players is back. The emotional boost guys like Dekoda Watson can provide, along with the physical one players like Caz Piurowski can bring should make a difference on both sides of the ball.

10. The Hokies' offensive scheme -- Coaches said this week they're looking at more spread offense concepts. Will that trend continue against the Huskers, and will it help quarterback Tyrod Taylor? Virginia Tech ranks 114th out of 119 FBS teams in passing offense.

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