It’s crunch time for underperforming Pack

November 2, 2012 

Three to watch

1) Virginia at N.C. State, 12:30 p.m. (WRAL)

N.C. State (5-3) has been very good after a loss, 10-1 since 2010, and the Cavaliers (2-6), losers of six straight, have been bad in just about every scenario since September.

2) Clemson at Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

The Tigers (7-1) need help in the Atlantic but control their fate for an at-large BCS bowl bid. The Blue Devils (6-3) are 1-16 in November games under coach David Cutcliffe.

3) Boston College at Wake Forest, 3:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Net)

The reeling Deacs (4-4) need two more wins to qualify for a bowl game and won’t get a better shot than against the Eagles (2-6), who have lost all four of their road games this season.

Number to know

106 Florida State’s strength of schedule, according to Jeff Sagarin, the worst among the top 35 teams in Sagarin’s computer poll.

Observations

•  Maryland’s defense has carried the team all season, so it’s fitting the Terps (4-4) will turn to a linebacker to run the offense. Maryland is down to its fifth quarterback (sixth if you count Danny O’Brien, who graduated and transferred in the spring) after Caleb Rowe suffered a knee injury in last week’s loss to Boston College.

The Terps will need to squeeze two wins out of freshman linebacker Shawn Petty, who combined for 25 rushing and passing touchdowns as a high school senior, to reach a bowl game.

Between Maryland’s quarterback issues and Georgia Tech’s no-passing philosophy, there might be fewer than 10 total pass attempts in Saturday’s game in College Park.

•  Georgia Tech (3-5) qualifies as the biggest disappointment in the ACC this season. The Yellow Jackets only have one win out of the ACC, against lowly Presbyterian, and were waxed by Middle Tennessee (49-28) and Brigham Young (41-17) with a date with Georgia still left on the schedule. Coach Paul Johnson will probably make a switch at quarterback, from senior Tevin Washington to Vad Lee, a redshirt freshman from Durham, in order to get a head start on the 2013 season.

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