Clemson University

Miami, Va. Tech in pivotal game

If No. 9 Miami can go into Blacksburg at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and defeat No. 11 Virginia Tech, a game televised on ABC, the Hurricanes will hold a commanding 3-0 lead in the Coastal Division.

Raise your hand if you had the Hurricanes as Coastal champs in your preseason picks.

Miami has already logged two impressive wins at Florida State and at home against Georgia Tech. Saturday's game will arguably be the toughest yet, and if the Canes win, the road to Tampa will run through Miami in the ACC's toughest division.

There are other intriguing games in the ACC Saturday.

North Carolina can really put Georgia Tech in a hole with a win at Atlanta, South Florida could add further in-state legitimacy with a win at Florida State, and Clemson could get back in the national conversation with a win against No. 15 TCU.


The Coastal Division

The Coastal features three top 25 teams in the AP poll: Miami (9), Virginia Tech (11) and North Carolina (22). Florida State (18) is the only team ranked in the Atlantic.

Florida State

So much for the early season death spiral. After the opening loss at Miami, and near meltdown to I-AA's Jacksonville State, Florida State tied the ACC record for points against a top-10 opponent with a 54-28 win at No. 7 BYU. It matched Florida State's 54-point output in a win against 10th ranked Clemson in 2000.

Florida State running back Ty Jones

The sophomore displaced Jermaine Thomas as the Seminoles No. 1 running back and produced his first 100-yard game (108) at BYU.


The Georgia Tech defense

The Yellow Jackets had no answers for Miami's Jacory Harris or Mark Whipple last Thursday, a week after allowing a freshman quarterback in Kyle Parker to nearly lift Clemson from a 24-0 first-half deficit. Tech is allowing 420 yards a game to ACC opponents.

The Boston College offense

The Clemson defense might be as good or better than advertised, but still, 54 total yards?

Virginia entire

Duke finally has someone to look down upon. The Cavs are the only winless team in the ACC (0-3).



The number of field goals by Clemson kicker Richard Jackson against Georgia Tech, tying the ACC single-game record set by Duke's Vince Fusco against Clemson in 1976 and since matched by Clemson's Jad Dean (2005) and North Carolina's Josh McGee (1999).


Number of pass completions by Georgia Tech at Miami, and the number of receptions by Georgia Tech receiver Demaryius Thomas in the game. Thomas finished with 133 yards. It is the second time Thomas has caught every Tech pass completion in a game, accounting for all eight pass (netting 230 yards and a touchdown) against Duke last season.


Consecutive passes by N.C. State's Russell Wilson without an interception, the longest streak in NCAA history. Wilson surpassed former Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson (325) last week.


"The big problem with our offense is we never had the ball," said Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson of last week's loss at Miami.