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Nov. 17, 2010
Aiming to Stay Alive in the Coastal Division Race, 24th-Ranked Miami Hosts 16th-Ranked Virginia Tech... 25th-Ranked FSU travels to Maryland in an Atlantic Elimination Game... NC State faces arch-rival UNC Looking to Keep Pace... Boston College, Clemson and Georgia Tech seek Bowl Eligibility
With leaders of the Coastal and Atlantic Divisions meeting in Miami and College Park, as well as a pivotal interdivisional match-up of in-state archrivals in Chapel Hill, potential berths in the 2010 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship in Charlotte headline the next to last week of the regular season as five teams--Virginia Tech and Miami in the Coastal and Florida State, Maryland and NC State in the Atlantic--remain in contention... In Miami, 16th-ranked Virginia Tech, a winner of eight straight, faces a 24th-ranked Miami squad in a nationally televised (ESPN, 3:30 pm) game at Sun Life Stadium...The Hokies of Frank Beamer hold a game and a half edge on the Hurricanes in the Coastal and need to win either Saturday in Miami or on Nov. 27 at home against Virginia, to make their fourth ACC Championship Game appearance in six years...The Hurricanes of coach Randy Shannon, who have won their last two games led by freshman QB Stephen Morris, need to win Saturday and have UVa upset Tech in Blacksburg, Va., on the final weekend of the season, to gain a bid to Charlotte...In the Atlantic Division, the race is a bit more complicated, with three teams tied in the loss column with two losses each in NC State (4-2), Maryland (4-2) and 25th-ranked Florida State (5-2)...The Wolfpack and Terrapins control their own destinies as each can claim a berth in the Championship Game by winning their final two games, the last a mutual meeting on Nov. 27 in College Park...The Seminoles of coach Jimbo Fisher, though, need a combination of a win this Saturday against Maryland and an NC State loss to either North Carolina or Maryland, to punch their ticket to Charlotte...Saturday’s game in College Park between FSU and Maryland (ABC, 8 pm) is an elimination contest: an FSU win makes it the leader in the clubhouse with a 6-2 record and eliminates the Terps...But a victory by coach Ralph Friedgen’s team allows the Terps to play for the Division title a week later against coach Tom O’Brien’s Wolfpack at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium...Florida State comes into Saturday’s contest unsure of the status of starting QB Christian Ponder (bursa sac, right elbow) but backup QB EJ Manuel improved his relief record as a starter to 4-1 last week in guiding the Seminoles to a dramatic win over Clemson...In Chapel Hill, NC State, led by QB Russell Wilson, who is 7th nationally in total offense, faces arch-rival North Carolina (ACC Network) in a noon interdivisional game at Kenan Memorial Stadium... The Wolfpack are 3-0 against the Tar Heels under O’Brien and need to maintain that success to keep pace with the winner of Florida State- Maryland...Coach Butch’s Davis’ North Carolina squad, led by senior QB T.J. Yates, is hoping to enhance its bowl opportunities... Bowl trips are also on the minds of three ACC teams--Boston College, Clemson and Georgia Tech--which each need one more victory to become eligible for a post-season excursion...Coach Frank Spaziani’s Eagles host Virginia in a noon game (ESPNU) at Alumni Stadium...BC has won three straight and features the nation’s top defense against the run, led by the nation’s No. 1 tackler in LB Luke Kuechly... the Cavaliers of coach Mike London are led by CB Chase Minnifield, who is 4th in the nation in pass interceptions... Coach Dabo Swinney’s Tigers, led by Lombardi Trophy finalist Da’Quan Bowers, face Wake Forest in a 2 pm game (ESPN3.com) at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, N.C...The Deacons of coach Jim Grobe are led by DE Kyle Wilber... and coach Paul Johnson’s Yellow Jackets, led by B-Back Anthony Allen, will host Duke in a 1:30 pm game at Bobby Dodd Stadium (ESPN3. com)...Duke, coached by David Cutcliffe, features a prolific offense led by QB Sean Renfree and WR Conner Vernon.