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Nov. 3, 2010
22nd-Ranked Virginia Tech hosts Georgia Tech in Key Coastal Clash on ESPN Thursday Night... 25th-Ranked NC State Travels to Clemson, North Carolina visits 24th-Ranked Florida State and Maryland visits Miami in Impact Games Affecting Both Atlantic and Coastal Division Races
With just one month remaining in the ACC's Road to Charlotte, the competition for a berth in the Conference's 2010 title game really heats up in both the Coastal and Atlantic Divisions... Heading into this week three teams--Virginia Tech, Florida State and NC State--are ranked in the BCS Standings and both the AP and USA Today Football Coaches polls... Four league schools (Virginia Tech, FSU, NC State and Maryland) are bowl eligible, while three more (Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina) need just a single victory to secure postseason berths... In all, nine league schools begin the week at .500 or better overall... The weekend begins early in the Coastal Division, where 22ndranked (BCS) Virginia Tech hosts Georgia Tech at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va., in a Thursday night, nationally televised ESPN game (7:30 pm)... The winner of this game has represented the Coastal Division in each of the first five ACC Championship games and has won four league titles over the past six seasons... The Hokies of coach Frank Beamer feature a potent offense led by QB Tyrod Taylor, who ranks 4th nationally in pass efficiency... The Yellow Jackets of Paul Johnson feature the nation's leading rushing offense (317.4 yds/gm), with senior QB Joshua Nesbitt at the controls... The Hokies hold a game-and-a- half advantage over the Jackets and Miami and a victory would put them in the driver's seat for Charlotte... Saturday's action starts with three league games at noon, led by the Atlantic Division battle in Clemson, S.C., as 25th-ranked NC State, fresh from a win over Division leader Florida State, travels to Death Valley (ACC Network)... The Wolfpack of Tom O'Brien are led by QB Russell Wilson, who ranks 4th nationally in total offense and big-play LB Nate Irving... The Tigers of coach Dabo Swinney counter with a stingy defense built around DE Da'Quan Bowers, who is 2nd nationally in sacks and tackles for loss, and an offense led by QB Kyle Parker, ... The Wolfpack are just a half-game behind the Seminoles and State's title hopes can't afford a misstep in Tigerland... In Miami, the Hurricanes of coach Randy Shannon host Atlantic Division contender Maryland in a game televised by ESPNU... The status of Miami starting QB Jacory Harris is in doubt, as Harris suffered a concussion last week against Virginia... If he is not able to play, true freshman QB Stephen Morris will make his first career start... Coach Ralph Friedgen's Terrapins are tied (3-1 in the ACC) with NC State for second place in the Atlantic need to keep pace with the Wolfpack and Seminoles... Maryland is receiving strong play from freshman QB Danny O'Brien and SS Kenny Tate while Miami responds with WR Leonard Hankerson, who leads the ACC with 9 TD catches... In Durham, N.C., Virginia and Duke (ESPN3.com) meet for the 62nd time, looking to keep bowl hopes alive... Both teams are coming off impressive victories in which QB's Sean Renfree of Duke and Marc Verica of UVa played well... In Tallahassee, Atlantic Division leader Florida State hosts North Carolina at Doak Campbell Stadium in a game regionally televised by ABC (3:30 pm)... Coach Jimbo Fisher's team is looking to maintain its half-game lead over NC State and Maryland behind QB Christian Ponder, while UNC, coached by Butch Davis and led by QB T.J. Yates is one of three Coastal teams with two league losses trailing the unbeaten Hokies... Finally, in Winston-Salem, N.C., Wake Forest, looking to snap a six-game losing streak, hosts Boston College (3:30 pm, ESPN3.com) at BB&T Field... The Eagles of Coach Frank Spaziani feature the ACC's leading rusher in RB Montel Harris (104.5 yds/gm) while the Deacons of coach Jim Grobe feature their own talented RB with a Harris surname, this one named Josh, who is averaging an impressive 6.3 yards per carry.