ACC teams out to rebound after lost weekend

By Steve Yanda
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, September 12, 2010; 5:44 PM

Three of the Atlantic Coast Conference teams that suffered crushing defeats in Week Two will have an opportunity to redeem themselves this weekend. All four of the ACC's ranked teams lost on Saturday. Of that quartet, only No. 12 Miami - which lost at No. 2 Ohio State, 36-24 - will sit out next weekend's action with a bye.

At the season's outset, No. 15 Georgia Tech and North Carolina were billed as two of the conference's top teams, and while that still might be true, both squads have lost much of their respective luster. The Yellow Jackets will play at North Carolina on Saturday fresh off an embarrassing 28-25 road loss at Kansas.

The Jayhawks had managed only three points the week before in a loss to North Dakota State, a reminder that didn't sit particularly well with first-year Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh.

"That was then; this is now," Groh told reporters. "That's not the game coaches play. Coaches play the game that's played today. The rest is talk radio, those guys who have all the answers."

Ah. Got it.

North Carolina, meantime, continues to sift through internal and NCAA investigations into potential academic misconduct and improper contact with agents. The Tar Heels were without 13 players during their season-opening loss to Louisiana State and will be coming off their bye week.

After being thrashed by 30 points at No. 10 Oklahoma, No. 17 Florida State returns home to face Brigham Young. The Seminoles allowed Oklahoma to rack up 394 passing yards and will be looking to take out some frustration on BYU. Florida State suffered its third-worst loss Saturday since joining the ACC in 1991.

Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder - who at one point was considered a Heisman Trophy candidate - has some work to do to get back in the race after throwing interceptions on consecutive throws in the third quarter and completing less than half his passes against Oklahoma.

And then there's No. 3 Virginia Tech. The Hokies entered the season expecting to contend for a national title behind a dynamic ground game and an improved passing attack. So much for that.

After falling to No. 3 Boise State in its season opener, Virginia Tech lost at home to 1-AA James Madison on Saturday. And now the Hokies will host East Carolina, a team that has averaged 50 points in its first two games. Sure, those wins came against Tulsa and Memphis, but after losing to JMU, Hokies fans aren't really in a position to be discounting anyone else's accomplishments.

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