What to watch in the ACC

October, 24, 2008
10/24/08
11:10
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

1. Miami's quarterbacks -- C'mon, tired subject or not, you know you want to see who plays more -- starter Robert Marve or his backup, Jacory Harris. Marve has struggled in the past two games while Harris scored five touchdowns off the bench against Duke.

2. The struggling offenses -- Can Wake Forest and Virginia Tech muster up enough yardage to win against two of the ACC's stingiest defenses? Whoever gets the better performance from their offensive lines and wide receivers has the best chance to win in the Sunshine State.

3. FSU's defense vs. Tyrod Taylor -- It's been the main focus in Tallahassee this week, stopping the Hokies' mobile quarterback. They can't afford to let him get out in space. We'll see if FSU linebacker Dekoda Watson is able to help.

4. Turnovers in Chapel Hill -- North Carolina still leads the nation in interceptions and will be happy to take advantage of another five-turnover performance, but it's the Eagles who have the best pass defense in the ACC.

5. NC State quarterback Russell Wilson vs. Maryland's depleted secondary -- This could be the difference in the game, as cornerback Kevin Barnes, the Terps' leader in the defensive backfield, is out with a shoulder injury, and Wilson is getting better every weekend.

6. Virginia's linebackers -- They've been playing well the past few weeks, but they haven't seen the offense that will be coming at them on Saturday. Limiting the Yellow Jackets' big plays will be key.

7. North Carolina's tweaked offense -- After having another week to get used to his original position since moving from running back, receiver Greg Little should feel a little more comfortable running routes.

8. Bowl eligibility -- It's a weekend where Boston College, Florida State, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and North Carolina have a chance to become bowl eligible. And Duke is trying to prevent Vanderbilt from its first bowl game since 1982.

9. David Cutcliffe vs. Bobby Johnson -- Cutcliffe might be one of the ACC's hottest coaches this year, but his experience is in the SEC. He knows Vanderbilt, but can he beat the Commodores with Duke's starters instead of Tennessee's?

10. Virginia offensive lineman Eugene Monroe vs. Georgia Tech defensive end Michael Johnson -- You want to watch two future NFL linemen have at it, this is your chance. It will be the highlight between an offensive line that has allowed just eight sacks all season -- tied for fewest in the ACC -- and a defensive line that has 20 sacks, the most in the ACC.

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