ACC Football: Miami and Florida St. Look To Earn Respect in Week 2
The ACC got off to a good start last week going 10-2, but Virginia Tech couldn't come through with a victory in one of the ACC's biggest non-conference matchups of the season.
Now, Miami and Florida State have the chance to bring positive attention to the conference. These are the two schools that ACC officials thought would be in the conference championship game every year, but that hasn't happened once.
In fact, Miami hasn't even been to an ACC Championship game since joining the conference with Virginia Tech in 2004. The Hokies have dominated the conference and the Coastal Division since joining with Miami, but Miami seems to be on the rise.
Everyone will have a better idea of what to expect from Jacory Harris and company when they go to Columbus to take on second-ranked Ohio State. The Buckeyes are expected to compete for a national title, and the Hurricanes are everyone's BCS dark horse this season.
Each teams' title hopes will be significantly impacted by this game, but it should be a good one down to the end. You can't really look at last week's matchup for either team and try to figure out how this one is going to go. This game will likely come down to whose quarterback plays the best.
Florida State also looked impressive last week, but played Samford. The same can't be said for Oklahoma who played Utah State. The Sooners only beat the Aggies by seven points, which is poor considering Utah State had only four wins in 2009.
DeMarco Murray had a nice game, but if the Sooners play like they did last week against Florida State they're going to get blown off the field.
Christian Ponder will need to be successful, but this game relies more in the hands of the Seminoles' defense. If Florida State can stop the run then the pressure will be put on Landry Jones to make plays. He's a fairly experienced sophomore, but put up pedestrian numbers last week.
The Seminoles' defense isn't the best in the nation, but you can guarantee they're more athletic and quick than Utah State, which could end up giving Jones some problems.
The wild card game for the ACC this week is Virginia at USC. Everyone is expecting a blow out in this one, but don't be surprised if the Cavaliers put up a fight. The Trojans' defense is absolutely horrendous and they were shredded by Hawaii.
The Cavaliers' offense isn't as high powered as Hawaii's, but UVA has a few playmakers on the defensive side of the ball. That being said, if Ras-I Dowling can't go the Cavaliers chances will be even worse than they already are.
Expect this game to be close down to the end. USC is not the power that they once were, and UVA will have to be somewhat motivated after the Trojans came to Charlottesville in 2008 and beat the Wahoos 52-7.
Mike London will have his guys ready to go, and this could be the big upset of week 2.
Virginia Tech, Maryland, Clemson, and Boston College should all take care of business against inferior opponents.
Georgia Tech will be on the road at Kansas. The Jayhawks had a hugely disappointing outcome against North Dakota State in Turner Gill's debut, losing 6-3. Look for the Jayhawks to be a little more motivated for this one, but Georgia Tech should come out on top.
Also keep an eye out on the Yellow Jackets' aerial attack. Josh Nesbitt completed only one pass against South Carolina State last week and threw an interception.
Duke and Wake Forest open up conference play, and N.C. State looks for a victory as they travel to Orlando to take on UCF.
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