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Friday, October 3, 2008
What to watch in the ACC: Week 6


Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

1. Miami quarterback Robert Marve vs. Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder -- Youth versus youth, and the future of both teams. Who has the better day in this storied rivalry, and how will their heralded backups be used this time?

2. Virginia Tech rover Dorian Porch -- He took over for Davon Morgan, who tore his ACL in the Nebraska game. Porch was also the top backup at free safety, and has played about a quarter of the games at rover.

3. The Carolina quarterbacks -- NC State's Russell Wilson will be making a comeback against Boston College after missing the South Florida game with an undisclosed injury, and North Carolina quarterback Cameron Sexton is looking for a repeat performance against UConn.

4. Positive signs in Charlottesville -- Literally and figuratively. The 1-3 Cavaliers need to show fans they're not destined for doom, and the fans need to show them support now that signs are once again allowed in the stadium.

5. Duke's offensive line against Georgia Tech's veteran front four -- This will be the Blue Devils' toughest test to date, and while mobile quarterback Thaddeus Lewis can make things happen, he'll need some time to do it.

6. Paul Johnson vs. David Cutcliffe -- This could be a Coach of the Year elimination game, no? Both of these guys have their programs ahead of schedule in their first seasons. Can Cutcliffe take the next step, and win an ACC road game, or will Johnson stay in the hunt for his first Coastal Division crown?

7. Boston College's passing game -- Have they found it? Offensive coordinator Steve Logan knows the Eagles won't survive the second half of the season without it. There has been instability at quarterback, and either Chris Crane or Dominique Davis needs to assert himself as the leader of the offense.

8. Florida State's defense against Miami's tight ends -- It's been something the Seminoles have been working on all week, and historically a matchup that's made a difference in this game. Miami's Dedrick Epps, who caught the game-winner last year, is the one they're most likely to key in on.

9. Interceptions in Dolphin Stadium -- If there are any. So far, both Florida State and Miami have just one interception each. Both programs are tied for last in the FBS in this category with five other teams.

10. Maryland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey -- Somehow, he left Death Valley with just one touch -- albeit a 76-yard run on a reverse -- and somehow, the Terps still won. Odds are Virginia won't keep one of the most exciting receivers in the league quiet again.