ACC Battles National Powers in Week 2
In Week One, Clemson entered the national spotlight and came away with a victory against top 10 Georgia. This week Virginia and Miami will do battle with top teams. Here is a look at what's on tap for the Atlantic Coast Conference in Week 2:
2)Oregon vs. Virginia (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ABC/ESPN2)
Virginia continues their play against teams west of the Mississippi in week 2. Last week, with a late score, the Cavaliers defeated Brigham Young from Charlottesville. It will be a much larger task for the Wahoo's this week as 2nd ranked Oregon comes east.
Oregon will bring a team who put up 66 last week against Nichols State. They are strong with an offense which will likely be top 10 all season. The Ducks are led by Marcus Mariota at quarterback and bring in a solid running game led by the tandem of De'Anthony Thomas and Byron Marshall. The Cavs will have their hands full slowing down these two backs who each rushed for over 120 yards in week 1.
David Watford will need to have a big day at quarterback for Virginia. His numbers were modest in their week 1 win against the Cougars. In that game, the Cavs gave up 187 yards rushing, numbers that must have the Ducks salivating.
It will take a tremendous overachieving game by Virginia to stay in this one, handling all of Oregon's weapons.
Prediction: Oregon by 24
12)Florida at Miami (Saturday, 12 noon, ESPN)
Old rivals meet again, this time from Miami. The Hurricanes bring in a rushing attack that racked up 303 yards last week in a victory against Florida Atlantic. They are led by Duke Johnson who ran for 186 yards and a touchdown. The Canes will look to ride his coat tails against the Gators. Stephen Morris will attempt to manage the game at quarterback againsst a team who is stingy on defense.
When the Gators have the ball, Jeff Driskel will take the snaps and hand off to Mack Brown, frequently. Brown carried the ball 25 times last week and rushed for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns. He and the rest of the Gators will be facing what appears to be an improved Canes defense.
This could come down to which quarterback manages the game more efficiently. Driskel is in his second season as starter while Morris is in his first.
Prediction: Florida by 2
Syracuse at 19)Northwestern (Saturday, 6:00 p.m., Big Ten Network)
The Orange fell short to Penn State last week and will face another Big Ten team this week. They hope to have a better outing by Drew Allen who only completed 16 passes out of 37 attempted for 189 yards against the Nittany Lions.
They will have to take care of the football with more urgency than last week when they turned it over 3 times. They cannot afford to give extra possessions to the Northwestern offense.
Northwestern attacks with a solid running and passing game coming off of a 44-30 win over California. The Wildcats are led by Trevor Siemian who threw for 276 yards and a touchdown. His primary target is Dan Vitale who racked up 101 yards receiving against Cal. The Wildcats are tough to defend with their balanced attack which includes running back Treyvon Green who rushed for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns last week.
Prediction: Northwestern by 18
Middle Tennessee State at North Carolina (Saturday, 12:30p.m. ESPN3)
The Tar Heels look to rebound from a loss to South Carolina in week 1. Despite the loss, they found some positives from the game. Quarterback Bryn Renner continues to impress as a signal caller managing the game well, with very few turnovers in his last several outings going back to last season. UNC was able to rush the ball against the Gamecocks despite the loss of Gio Bernard to the pros. The combo of A.J. Blue and Romar Morris combined for over 100 yards on the ground.
The Blue Raiders enter the ball game at 1-0 after a win in the first week against Western Carolina. They can put up points on offense led by running back Jordan Parker who ran for 156 yards and a touchdown in week one. Defense is their question mark which was not their strength last season.
Prediction: North Carolina by 21
Wake Forest at Boston College (Friday, 8:00p.m. ESPN)
In the second ACC conference game of the season, Boston College will be looking for a big game from Chase Rettig who has the potential to put up big numbers at quarterback. The Deacs will rely on their defense who played well last week. They have a weapon in receiver Jonathan Williams who racked up 143 yards receiving in week 1.
Prediction: Boston College by 3
South Carolina State at 4)Clemson (Saturday, 12:30p.m. ESPN3)
The Tigers hope to avoid a let down from their big win last week versus Georgia. They will ride their offensive weapons in Tajh Boyd at quarterback, Roderick McDowell at running back and Sammy Watkins at receiver. All three had big games against the Bulldogs in week 1.
Prediction: Clemson by 55
Western Carolina at Virginia Tech (Saturday, 1:30p.m. ESPN3)
The Hokies were manhandled by Alabama in week one and will look to take out their frustration against the Catamounts. They will need an improved effort by quarterback Logan Thomas who was abysmal against the Crimson Tide defense last week. Look for a steady dose of Trey Edmunds who rushed for 132 yards in the Alabama game.
Prediction: Virginia Tech by 39
Old Dominion at Maryland (Saturday, 4:00p.m. ESPNN)
The Terps played well against Florida International in the season opener and benefited from a good game by quarterback C.J. Brown who threw for 281 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also rushed for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns. Look for more of the same against the Monarchs who gave up 52 points to East Carolina in week 1.
Prediction: Maryland by 20
Duke at Memphis (Saturday, 4:30p.m. ESPN3)
The Blue Devils shut out N.C. Central in their season opener while putting up 45 points themselves. Anthony Boone went 16 for 20 passing with 176 yards in that game. It is the season opener for the Tigers who went 4-8 last season.
Prediction: Duke by 3
Richmond at N.C. State (Saturday, 6:00p.m. ESPN3)
The Wolfpack defeated Louisiana Tech in their opener led by quarterback Pete Thomas. The junior threw for 212 yards in the game and N.C. State used a number of running backs in the game. The Spiders won their season opener shutting out VMI.
Prediction: N.C. State by 20