ACC Game Previews

The game of the week in the ACC is in Atlanta, Georgia, as the Clemson Tigers battle the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. After last week's upset loss and with 7 starters questionable for Saturday's game (3:30 ABC), the Tigers are 11 point underdogs. We've highlighted the Tigers' game as well as other contests around the ACC this weekend.

North Carolina (1-3, 1-1) at NC State (2-0, 0-0)
JP-TV, Noon
Spread: NC State by 1 & 1/2
Carter-Finley Stadium (51,500)

THE GAME: A full house is expected for this one as the two long-time rivals clash for the 91st time in a series that started in 1894 ... UNC has won seven of the last eight meetings and leads the series 59-25-6, including a 26-10-4 mark in games played in Raleigh ... the Tar Heels have not lost in Raleigh since a 24-7 decision in 1991.    LAST YEAR: Cotra Jackson ran for two fourth-quarter touchdowns as NC State snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Tar Heels with a 38-20 victory ... Wolfpack QB Philip Rivers threw for 202 yards and one TD.

THE COACHES: John Bunting(North Carolina '72) is 1-3 in his first season at UNC and 39-16 in five years overall ... Chuck Amato (NC State '69) is 10-4 in his second year at the helm of the Wolfpack.

GAME NOTES: UNC junior Julius Peppers keys a Tar Heel defense that ranks 19th nationally in total defense ... Peppers has 25 career QB sacks, which ranks second all-time at UNC and 11th in ACC annals ... NCS senior LB Levar Fisher heads up a Wolfpack defense that ranks 38th in the nation in total defense (296.0) ... Fisher is fourth on the school's career tackle list with 372 tackles ... UNC has 13 QB sacks in its first four games while the Wolfpack has allowed only two QB sacks in its first two outings of the 2001 season ... NC State (+2.0) is sixth nationally in turnover margin while the Tar Heels (-1.3) are 88th ... NCS QB Philip Rivers is second in the ACC and 22nd nationally in passing efficiency and eighth among Pack career passing yardage leaders (3,512) and fifth in career TD passes (28) ... in three career games against the Tar Heels, NCS tailback Ray Robinson has rushed for 215 yards and three TDs on 52 carries ... UNC QB Ronald Curry is second at UNC in career total offense (5,284) and third in passing yardage (4,279) ... the Tar Heels have held the Wolfpack to under 100 yards rushing in six of the last eight meetings.

West Virginia (2-1) at Maryland (3-0, 2-0)
Spread: Maryland by 9
Byrd Stadium (48,055)

THE GAME: Maryland takes a break from conference play when the undefeated Terrapins host Big East foe West Virginia in Byrd Stadium ... the Mountaineers have won four of the last five series meetings to take a 19-17-2 edge in a series that first played in 1919 ... the two teams have split the 19 previous meetings in College Park 9-9-1.

LAST YEAR: Cooper Rego scored two TDs and West Virginia made a fourth-quarter goal line stand en route to a 30-17 win over visiting Maryland ... Calvin McCall completed 19 of 29 passes for 215 yards for the Terps.

THE COACHES: Ralph Friedgen (Maryland '69) is 3-0 in his first season with the Terps ... Rich Rodriguez (West Virginia '86) is 2-1 in his first season at West Virginia and 47-37-2 in nine years overall.

GAME NOTES: Saturday's game feature's a matchup of two of the nation's leading rushers - Maryland's Bruce Perry and West Virginia's Avon Cobourne ... Perry has rushed for 100 yards or more in three-straight games and leads the nation in rushing, averaging 175.0 yards per game ... Perry is coming off a 276-yard performance in Saturday's win at Wake Forest ... Cobourne is 10th among Division I-A rushers with a 138.7 per game average ... Maryland is ninth nationally in rushing offense (246.0) while West Virginia is 108th in rushing defense, yielding 241.3 yards per game ... Terp QB Shaun Hill directs an offense that has averaged 38.5 points and 497.5 yards of total offense over the last two games ... the Terps are tied for the lead in the ACC with six interceptions and rank 21st nationally in turnover margin (+1.3) ... Brooks Barnard leads the ACC and is 10th in the nation in punting (46.1) ... junior LB E.J. Henderson had a team-high 17 tackles against Wake Forest; leads the team in tackles per game (12.3).

Duke (0-3, 0-0) at Virginia (2-1, 1-0)
1:00 p.m.
Spread: UVA by 17
Scott Stadium (61,500)

THE GAME: A near-capacity Homecoming crowd is expected as two long-time rivals battle for the 53rd time in a series that started in 1890 ... Duke has a 27-25 edge in the rivalry but the Cavaliers have won four of the last five and 10 of the last 12 meetings, outscoring the Blue Devils 408-164 in the process ... Virginia has won 10 of its last 12 homecoming games ... Duke has won five of the eight games they have been the Cavaliers' homecoming opponent.

LAST YEAR: Virginia's Dan Ellis completed 20 of 30 passes for 333 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Cavaliers to a 26-10 win ... Spencer Romine completed 18 of 36 passes for a season-high 198 yards for the Blue Devils.

THE COACHES: Carl Franks (Duke '83) is 3-22 in his third season at Duke ... Al Groh (Virginia '67) is 2-1 in his first year at Virginia and 28-41 in seven seasons overall.

GAME NOTES: The last time the two teams played in Charlottesville, Duke posted a 24-17 win in the first overtime game in Virginia history ... the Cavaliers have outscored the Blue Devils 359-136 in the last 11 meetings ... Duke's Chris Douglas leads the ACC and is second nationally in all-purpose yardage (216.0) - the ACC single season record for all-purpose yardage is 186.9 yards per game set by Virginia's Frank Quayle in 1968 ... Douglas is also second in the ACC in kickoff returns (24.2) and fifth in rushing (66.3) ... the Cavaliers are fifth in the nation in net punting (43.1) while the Blue Devils are fourth in punt returns (24.9) ... UVa's Arlen Harris is third in the ACC in rushing (83.7) while sophomore QB Bryson Spinner is fourth in the ACC and 30th in Division I-A in passing efficiency (134.1 rating) ... UVa WR Billy McMullen leads the ACC in receptions(6.7) and receiving yardage (79.3) while Duke TE Mike Hart has caught at least one pass in 15 straight games.

#24 Clemson (2-1, 0-1) at #9 Georgia Tech (3-0, 0-0)
ABC, 3:30 p.m.
Spread: Ga Tech by 11
Bobby Dodd Stadium (46,000)

THE GAME: Georgia Tech looks to keep its unbeaten record intact when it hosts a Clemson team coming off a last-second loss to Virginia in the 66th renewal of a rivalry that was first contested in 1898 ... the Yellow Jackets have won the last four meetings and lead the series 43-20-2 ... nine of the 11 meetings since 1990 have been decided by four points or fewer, including the last five, which have been decided by three points.

LAST YEAR: George Godsey threw a 16-yard TD pass to Kerry Watkins with seven seconds left to play to give Georgia Tech a 31-28 win over fourth-ranked Clemson ... Godsey threw for a school-record 454 yards and three scores.

THE COACHES: Tommy Bowden (West Virginia '77) is 17-10 in his first two years at Clemson and 35-14 in four seasons overall ... George O'Leary (New Hampsire '68) is 48-28 in his seventh year at Tech.

GAME NOTES: Fifty-two of the 65 games played in the series have been played in Atlanta with Tech holding a 39-11-2 advantage ... George Godsey directs a Georgia Tech offense that ranks 15th nationally in scoring (39.3) and total offense (461.0) while Clemson QB Woodrow Dantzler heads a Tiger offense that is 39th in total offense (401.7) and 41st in scoring (27.7) ... Godsey has passed for 200 yards or more in 10 of his last 11 games and leads the nation in passing efficiency and enters the Clemson game as the ACC's all-time passing efficiency leader while Dantzler leads the ACC in total offense (259.0) and accounts for 64 percent of the team's total offensive yardage ... Clemson's Travis Zachery ran for 101 yards on 16 carries against Tech last year and has 282 yards and four TD Top Stories