Friday, August 29, 2008
ACC: What to watch
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Here are 10 things to keep an eye on in the ACC this Saturday:
- Clemson's offensive line: Enough with the questions already. Let's see if these guys can hold their own against Alabama. The Tigers had to replace four of five starters, but these guys are not inexperienced and they're eager to prove it.
- Boston College offense: Quarterback Chris Crane will be making his first start as leader of this young group and another torch will be passed to freshman running back Josh Haden. For the first time in a while, the Eagles' receivers will be the ones bringing everyone else along.
- East Carolina upset over Virginia Tech: With possibly no Macho Harris in the mix (ankle), this becomes even more of a possibility. Odds are the Hokies get a good scare in the first half before sneaking out of Charlotte with the win.
- Virginia's quarterback: Finally. We'll find out which one of the mystery trio will start against USC. We haven't heard much about who's leading the race between Peter Lalich, Marc Verica and Scott Deke.
- Brian Toal's comeback: The BC linebacker was missed last season, and he was out for a few days last week with a pinched nerve in his trapezius, but Toal is finally 100 percent. Will he be used again in those short-yardage situations?
- Clemson freshman Da'Quan Bowers: How much of an impact will he have in his debut with the Tigers? About 25-30 snaps against Alabama will give him a chance to show us.
- Maryland's offense: With James Franklin running the show and Jordan Steffy at quarterback, how much different can this offense be? And how much will the Terps really show against Delaware?
- Virginia Tech's wide receivers: When it comes to experience, depleted is an understatement. True freshmen will have to grow up quickly. Now that we know who the Hokies' quarterback will be, let's find out who Sean Glennon's favorite target is.
- North Carolina's defense: This is the first chance we get to see the impact of first-year coordinator Everett Withers, particularly his work in the secondary. It's also the first opportunity to see how the Tar Heels replaced Hilee Taylor and Kentwan Balmer.
- Duke's first win: You wouldn't want to miss that, would you? James Madison could very easily win this game, but the excitement around that program and the high expectations of David Cutcliffe make 1-0 a real possibility.