Georgia Tech at Virginia
Rare Talents: Georgia Tech Coach Chan Gailey worked 16 seasons as an assistant and head coach in the NFL, half of them as a wide receivers coach or offensive coordinator. Gailey worked with all-pro wide receiver Michael Irvin during his two seasons as coach of the Dallas Cowboys, and coached wide receivers such as Chris Chambers with the Miami Dolphins and Vance Johnson and Mark Jackson with the Denver Broncos. None of them, Gailey said, were as good as Yellow Jackets sophomore Calvin Johnson, who leads the ACC with 90.6 receiving yards per game. Johnson, 6 feet 4, is a rare combination of size and speed, the coach said, with extraordinary ability to out-jump defenders.
Four Players Suspended: The Cavaliers will have a makeshift lineup today after four players -- starting defensive nose tackle Kwakou Robinson and safety Tony Franklin and backup defensive end Vince Redd and wide receiver Ottowa Anderson -- were suspended Thursday for an unspecified violation of team rules. Sophomore Keenan Carter (Potomac, Va.), the Cavaliers' only other nose tackle who has played this season, will start in Robinson's absence. Walk-on Byron Glaspy, who hadn't played until he had 38 plays in last week's 51-3 victory over Temple, will start for Franklin.
Back to School: This will be the fourth time Gailey and Virginia Coach Al Groh have faced each other, and it's the only matchup in ACC history between coaches who were once head coaches in the NFL. Groh was head coach of the New York Jets in 2000; Gailey coached the Dallas Cowboys in 1998 and '99. Lou Saban, who coached Maryland in 1966, is the only other coach who led an ACC team after being an NFL head coach.
-- Mark Schlabach
Bethune-Cookman at Howard
No Bones About It: Bethune-Cookman has eight straight winning seasons under Coach Alvin Wyatt, whose option offense is called "the Wyattbone." The Wildcats were tied against No. 3 Hampton in the fourth quarter last week but lost, 24-10.
Foot Soldiers: The Wildcats have a withering rushing attack that has amassed 2,081 yards this year (231 per game). The main cogs are sophomore quarterback Jimmie Russell (583 yards rushing, 9 touchdowns), senior running back Eric Weems (442 yards, 9 touchdowns) and junior running back P.J. Smith (354 yards, 7 touchdowns).
Knowing Their Lines: The Bison rank third in Division I-AA in rushing defense (77.8 yards per game), led by tackles Edwin Piner, a 300-pound junior who has 49 tackles, and Jesse Hayes, a 330-pound senior who has 38 tackles.
Davidson at Georgetown
The Man With a Plan: Davidson Coach Tripp Merritt took over the program in June after being the associate head coach at Bucknell. Merritt, 37, did not play college football -- his school, UNC Greensboro, does not field a team. His staff includes quarterbacks coach Mose Rison, a former assistant at Navy and with the New York Jets and the cousin of Andre Rison.
Don't Throw It Away: Davidson is second in Division I-AA with 18 interceptions, one behind Wagner. They may not have many chances to add to that total: The Hoyas have thrown more than 20 passes in a game just once this year; they also have thrown just three interceptions. Still, Georgetown's 11.1 points per game is 114th in Division I-AA.
Always a Catch: Georgetown is expected to start two freshmen wide receivers -- Sydney Baker (12 catches, 157 yards) and Kenny Mitchell (9 catches, 101 yards). Sophomore Harrison Beacher (St. John's), the starting tight end, has four of the team's seven touchdown receptions.
-- Christian Swezey