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Nov. 10, 2010
North Carolina Hosts 20th-Ranked Virginia Tech With Coastal Division Honors On Line... Atlantic Division Race Remains Wide Open with Florida State a Half Game Ahead of NC State and Maryland with Clemson One Game Back
Though the focus of the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division race appears to be narrowing, the ACC's Atlantic Division berth is once again up for grabs, as ACC Football heads into the stretch run of the Road to Charlotte and the 6th Dr Pepper ACC Championship Game...20th-ranked (BCS) Virginia Tech heads to Chapel Hill for a Coastal Division clash this Saturday with North Carolina in a game which will be regionally televised by ABC (3:30 pm) at Kenan Memorial Stadium...A win for coach Frank Beamer's Hokies would further solidify Tech's hold on the Coastal lead... A win by the Hokies, who have won seven straight, combined with a Miami loss at Georgia Tech, would clinch Tech's fourth Coastal title in six years... But wins by the Tar Heels and Hurricanes would create a three-way battle for the crown similar to what is happening on the Atlantic side of the ACC equation...With a two-game lead, Beamer's crew can afford only one slip-up over their final three games: at UNC, at Miami and at home against Virginia... Two losses, however, would throw the division race wide open again...Tech is led by QB Tyrod Taylor and a trio of talented RBs in Darren Evans, Ryan Williams and David Wilson...the Tar Heels look to QB T.J. Yates and WR Dwight Jones who were a potent passing combination in UNC's upset win over Florida State last Saturday...Yates threw for a career-high 439 yards against the Seminoles--his second 400-yard effort of the year against a ranked team--while Jones has 612 receiving yards in his last four games, including 233 against FSU...In Atlanta, Georgia Tech is looking for bowl eligibility as well as keeping its own hopes alive in the Coastal Division...Tech will host Miami in a noon game at Bobby Dodd Stadium (ACC Network)...The Jackets, though, will be without senior QB Joshua Nesbitt, who suffered a season-ending broken arm last week... Tech is expected to turn to backup QB Tevin Washington against the Hurricanes, who will counter with either senior QB Jacory Harris, if healthy, or true freshman QB Stephen Morris, who guided the `Canes to a come-from-behind win over Maryland in his first career start... All three Atlantic leaders--Florida State (4-2), Maryland (3-2), and NC State (3-2)--suffered losses last weekend and are looking to get back on the winning track...The Seminoles of Jimbo Fisher host Clemson Saturday in a prime-time (8 pm) ABC telecast from Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee...Led by QB Christian Ponder, they face a Clemson squad which would gladly make the Atlantic a four-team race... The Tigers of Dabo Swinney lean on QB Kyle Parker and an aggressive defense built around DE Da'Quan Bowers, who leads the nation in sacks, and big-play S DeAndre McDaniel, who is, ironically, a Tallahassee native...In Raleigh, the Wolfpack of N.C. State hosts Wake Forest in the 104th gridiron meeting of the schools in a 2 pm (ESPN3.com) game at Carter-Finley Stadium....A lot more than tradition is on the line, though, as coach Tom O'Brien's team looks to QB Russell Wilson and LB Nate Irving in its hopes of landing a berth in Charlotte...Wake counters with senior WR Marshall Williams, a dual purpose threat, who has caught 10 TD passes in his career and thrown a pair of TD strikes as well...In Charlottesville, Va., the Cavaliers of coach Mike London host the Terrapins in a 3:30 pm (ESPN3.com) game at Scott Stadium...UVa, led by QB Marc Verica, needs to win its final three games to be bowl eligible, while coach Ralph Friedgen's Terrapins, led by LB Alex Wujciak and WR Torrey Smith, can claim a spot in the ACC title game with wins at UVa, at home versus FSU and at NC State over the next three weeks...In Durham, Boston College and Duke have each won their last two games and are looking to keep their bowl hopes alive in a noon game (ESPN3.com) at Wallace Wade Stadium...Coach Frank Spaziani's Eagles look to RB Montel Harris, who topped 1,000 yards rushing for the second straight year, and LB Luke Kuechly, who has 18 consecutive games with 10 or more tackles... Duke features a high-powered offense led by QB Sean Renfree and TE Cooper Heflet that has put 89 points on the scoreboard in the past two weeks.