ACC and Big East Week Five Preview
In-state rivals Florida State and South Florida face off for just the second time in history. The Seminoles have been lighting up the scoreboard, averaging 56 points a game. Quarterback EJ Manuel is a serious contender for the Heisman after throwing for 380 yards and two touchdowns against then-No. 10 Clemson. Bulls QB B.J. Daniels started the first game of his career in a 17-7 win against FSU in 2009, and has actually totaled more yards than Manuel to this point in the season.
NC State and Miami square off for the first time since 2008. Wolfpack QB Mike Glennon, who threw four picks in the opener against Tennessee, has not thrown an interception since and looks to continue the streak against a Hurricanes team that ranks second-to-last in the conference in total defense. Miami QB Stephen Morris was impressive last week in his team’s victory over Georgia Tech. The junior threw for 436 yards, fifth-most in school history and the most from a Hurricane QB in 21 years.
Virginia Tech meets Cincinnati for the first time since a 20-7 win in the 2009 Orange Bowl. The game will be played at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., the fifth different site in the series. The Hokies have not been shutout in 221 games, the last coming against the Bearcats in 1995. Tech boasts the ninth-best pass defense in the country but will need to slow down a Cincinnati rushing attack that leads the Big East with 259 yards per game.
After allowing 661 yards of offense last week, Clemson looks to rebound defensively against the ACC’s leading passer, Boston College junior Chase Rettig. The Eagles have racked up the passing yards but hope to improve on the worst red zone scoring percentage in the conference. Clemson needs to win the remainder of its conference games and hope for two Florida State losses to secure its third trip to the ACC Championship in the last four years.
Duke travels to Wake Forest looking to snap a 12-game losing streak to the Demon Deacons. Five of the last six games in the in-state rivalry have been decided by less than a touchdown, including last year’s one-point win for Wake. The player to watch is Duke WR Connor Vernon, who needs just six catches to become the ACC’s all-time leader in receptions.
Louisville battles former Conference USA foe Southern Miss for the first time since the 2010 Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl, a 31-28 Cardinals win. Charlie Strong and Louisville are 4-0 for the first time in six seasons, but the Golden Eagles hold an 18-10-1 advantage all-time.
The rest of the ACC hosts non-BCS opponents in week five. Middle Tennessee travels to Georgia Tech, Idaho takes on North Carolina and Louisiana Tech faces Virginia. In non-BCS Big East action, Buffalo squares off with Connecticut.