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September 6, 2006
Best matchup: The Clemson-Boston College contest is the game of the week in the ACC and should feature the best matchup. The traditionally strong offensive line of Boston College vs. the talented front seven of the Clemson defense. The winner of this matchup will determine the winner of a game that should be a low-scoring affair.
Worst matchup: One almost has to feel sorry for Florida A&M this week. Not only do they have to share Tallahassee with the Seminoles, but now they get to travel to Miami to play a sure-to-be-angry bunch of Hurricanes. Simply no fun all around for the Rattlers.
The pressure is on: It's almost a take-your-pick selection here. Miami coach Larry Coker is feeling a little more heat after Monday's loss to Florida State. John Bunting and Al Groh did little in the opening week to dismiss their detractors. For that trio a win is a must this week, but Bunting would appear to be the odd man out on getting one. Clemson's Will Proctor has a different pressure on him this week. The fifth-year senior quarterback faces his first true test as he leads the Tigers into Boston College.
Upset alert: Hard to envision any major surprises this week, but that's usually when the most come to fruition. Still, the N.C. State-Akron contest is the only one that readily comes to mind. The Zips put up a valiant effort at Penn State last week. With talented quarterback Luke Getsy, anything is possible. While N.C. State has its flaws, the Wolfpack should be good enough to turn back the efforts of the road-weary Zips.
BCS implications/Most to gain or most to lose: With its victory over Miami, every game played by Florida State has serious BCS ramifications. But playing Troy and the Men of Troy (i.e., USC) are two different things. Thus, attention turns to Clemson. The Tigers have a contest with Florida State looming. Clemson's best chance at receiving a BCS berth would be with the Tigers entering ? and leaving Tallahassee undefeated.
Who's hot: Micah Andrews rushed for 142 yards on 20 carries as Wake Forest opened the 2006 season with a 20-10 win over Syracuse. ? In his first collegiate start, sophomore quarterback Sean Glennon completed 15 of 18 passes for 222 yards and three TDs as Virginia Tech opened the 2006 season with a 38-0 win over visiting Northeastern. ? Matt Ryan completed 32 of 48 passes for a career-high 323 yards and three TDs in the Boston College's season-opening 31-24 win over Central Michigan.
Who's not: Virginia. The Cavaliers defense surrendered two one-play touchdown drives of 70 or more yards in their loss to Pittsburgh. The Panthers also returned two interceptions for scores. ? Duke was shut out 13-0 at home by Division I-AA Richmond. The Blue Devils had nine consecutive wins against I-AA foes until Saturday's loss to the Spiders. ? Miami has now lost three of its last four games, and its offense has averaged just 7.7 points per game in those setbacks.
Must see TV: Clemson-Boston College is the only game worth watching this week, and it will likely get lost in the mix of other national games.
Newcomer/Backup that could have an impact: With All-ACC linebacker Anthony Waters lost for the season with a torn ACL, Tommy Bowden might look to the trio of Antonio Clay, Kavell Conner and Cortney Vincent to replace him.
Key stat: In home openers under Tom O'Brien, BC is 8-1 and is riding a current two-game win streak.
Take the line: If the Florida A&M-Miami had a line (There is no line for I-AA vs. I-A games) that would be the obvious take here. The Troy-Florida State contest is another possibility. Still, Virginia Tech favored by 12 at North Carolina just sticks out here. Take the Hokies and the number because if North Carolina can't beat Rutgers at home, they can't stay within 12 of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
They said it/Best quote: "We're very disappointed. Embarrassed. To allow four one-play touchdowns makes it impossible for our offense to overcome. Pitt's star players played like stars tonight. We did not have any stars." ? Virginia coach Al Groh after his team's 38-13 loss at Pittsburgh.
Injury update: Clemson's Anthony Waters (ACL) and Wake's Ben Mauck (broken right arm) are both likely out for the season. ? N.C. State starting cornerback A.J. Davis is questionable with a hamstring strain. ?
Worth noting: Three of Duke's next four games are on the road, and four of the next five are against teams currently ranked. ? The ACC opened the 2006 season posting a 6-4 mark in non-conference play. ... In the first two seasons of divisional play in the ACC, the Coastal and Atlantic divisions have split their first 20 games. ? Duke's John Talley is tied for first among I-A active players with 11 career interceptions; Virginia's Marcus Hamilton is fourth with 10. ? Florida State's Bobby Bowden is the winningest active coach with 360 career wins in 40 years, while Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer is third with 189 victories over 25 seasons.
Looking back: Florida State rallied from a 10-3 halftime deficit to notch a 13-10 victory at Miami. In a game marked by defense, the teams combined for just three yards rushing. It marked the second consecutive season the Seminoles beat the Hurricanes after losing five straight to their rivals. The win now gives Florida State the chance to run the table. The Seminoles' schedule features only a few bumps before the season-ender against Florida and a potential spot in the ACC title game.
Freshman who impressed: In perhaps the lone bright spot for North Carolina, Hakeem Nicks had seven receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 21-16 loss to Rutgers.
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