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Tech-NC State One of Several Big ACC Games
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #452, October 1, 2010
All 12 ACC teams are in action this weekend, and it should be an exciting Saturday of football. The action gets started at noon with two big games, and continues into primetime Saturday nigh football.
Here's a look at Saturday's ACC schedule.
The best game of the day starts at noon on ESPN2. Clemson looks like a contender in the Atlantic Division, and Miami is probably the best team in the ACC right now. The Tigers outplayed Clemson for most of the game last week, though they lost in overtime. This should be an excellent game, and the loser will be behind the eight ball in the ACC standings.
Virginia is 2-1, with two wins over 1-AA teams and a narrow loss at Southern Cal. They appear to be a much improved football team under new head coach Mike London. They'll get their first ACC test on Saturday afternoon with the Seminoles come to town. A loss at Florida State would put a damper on Florida State's early season. The Noles have already been blown out at Oklahoma.
The big 3:30pm game is between Virginia Tech and NC State, in Raleigh. The Hokies got off to a disappointing start, but they are now 2-2 and the defense has allowed just three points over the last six quarters of football. They'll face red-hot Russell Wilson and NC State, who is ranked in the top 25 for the first time since the Philip Rivers era. With ACC contests still remaining against Georgia Tech, UNC and Miami, the Hokies can't afford to lose this game.
East Carolina hasn't played since they lost at Virginia Tech, and they'd like nothing better than to get a win over in-state rival North Carolina while the Tar Heels are shorthanded. However, the game is in Chapel Hill. ECU's high-powered offense will present a great challenge to the UNC defense.
Duke isn't as good as head coach David Cutcliffe thought they would be. It's one thing to lose to Alabama, but the Blue Devils were whipped by Army last weekend. Now they'll travel to Maryland, and if the Terps win they will be 4-1 on the season. That's just two wins away from bowl eligibility, and Ralph Friedgen keeping his job for at least another year
Wake Forest is a non-factor in the ACC race this year, but Georgia Tech is in a must-win position. They were blown out at home by NC State last Saturday, and they won't be able to stay in the Coastal Division race if they lose on the road to Wake. They still have Miami and Virginia Tech, and can't afford any losses to bottom feeders such as the Demon Deacons.
The day concludes with Boston College trying to get back in the win column, hosting 1-3 Notre Dame. It's been a tough year for the Irish and new head coach Brian Kelly, but it would be a major disappointment if they lost to Boston College with all the offensive struggles of the Eagles.
Despite the bad start to the season for Virginia Tech, it's important to remember that the Hokies still have a very good shot at a Coastal Division Championship. If Tech beats NC State tomorrow, they'll be 2-0 in the league and won't face another team who can seriously threaten them until they play Georgia Tech in early November.
If Tech wins tomorrow, and Miami loses at Clemson, the Hokies will have a full game lead on all three of the other Coastal Division contenders: Miami, UNC and Georgia Tech.
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