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Miami Hurricanes host top ACC game of Week Two

An ACC team won the nation's biggest non-conference game in the season's opening week, with Clemson taking down Georgia, and a league team will have a chance for another big victory over a SEC opponent when Florida visits Miami this week.

That is, by far, the best game involving a league team this week. But there is another chance for the league to make some national noise: Virginia plays host to Oregon. Not many folks are giving the Cavs a chance, but an upset of the Ducks obviously would be huge for Virginia and the ACC.

Four other league teams have games against FCS opponents; the league was 4-0 against FCS foes last week.

Here's a look at all the games involving ACC teams this week, ranked from worst to best:

10. South Carolina State at Clemson, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, ACC syndication/ESPN Game Plan

Rating: 0 stars

The skinny: South Carolina State WR Tyler McDonald is solid, but this should be a blowout for Clemson. Offensive coordinator Chad Morris was upset at the Tigers' pace last weekend; he may be upset again because chances are Clemson will have a lot of quick scoring drives against its in-state FCS foe.

9. Western Carolina at Virginia Tech, Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3

Rating: 0 stars

The skinny: Western Carolina was 1-10 last season and has had only three winning records since 1994. In the past seven seasons, the Catamounts have won a combined 12 games; Western Carolina has played nine games against FBS foes in that span and been outscored 485-74. In other words, if Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas can't light up Western Carolina ...

8. Old Dominion at Maryland, Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN News

Rating: 1 star

The skinny: ODU -- which lost 52-38 to East Carolina last week -- will be a full-fledged FBS member next season, competing in Conference USA. This season, the Monarchs are in limbo and ineligible for the FCS playoffs. ODU junior Taylor Heinicke (6-feet-1, 205 pounds) will be one of the most prolific quarterbacks in NCAA history by the time he graduates; he already has thrown for 7,799 yards and 72 TDs in his career. ODU will put pressure on the Terps' defense, but Maryland's offense also should enjoy a huge day.

7. Richmond at NC State, Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN3

Rating: 1 star

The skinny: Richmond is one of the best FCS programs in the nation. Virginia transfer Michael Strauss (6-3, 210) is the Spiders' starting quarterback, and OG Michael Speir (6-7, 295) is a four-year starter who will draw the attention of scouts this fall. NC State's quarterback situation bears watching; with starter Brandon Mitchell out for up to six weeks, it's obvious coach Dave Doeren isn't entirely comfortable with backup Pete Thomas.

6. Duke at Memphis, Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, ESPN3

Rating: 1.5 stars

The skinny: Memphis was one of a handful of teams that didn't play last week. Duke crushed overmatched FCS opponent North Carolina Central, and this will be a better test for the Blue Devils. Memphis has a good defensive front headed by tackle Johnnie Farms (6-2, 300) and end Martin Ifedi (6-3, 265), so the Blue Devils could find it hard to run.

5. Wake Forest at Boston College, Friday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Rating: 2 stars

The skinny: An interesting early-season conference game; the loser might carry the "worst team in the league" moniker, at least for a while. Both beat FCS opponents last week. Wake WR Michael Campanaro vs. Boston College CB Al Louis-Jean should be an excellent matchup. Louis-Jean was suspended for the opener.

4. Middle Tennessee at North Carolina, Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, ACC syndication/ESPN Game Plan

Rating: 2.5 stars

The skinny: Middle Tennessee's offense will put pressure on a UNC defense that didn't look all that physical against South Carolina last week. RB Jordan Parker runs behind a line that returns four starters. UNC QB Bryn Renner likely will get back on the beam against a shaky MTSU secondary, though Blue Raiders SS Kevin Byard is a good player. Tar Heels WR Quinshad Davis should have a big game.

3. Syracuse at Northwestern, Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

Rating: 2.5 stars

The skinny: This is the second -- and last -- ACC-Big Ten meeting of the regular season (Syracuse lost to Penn State last week). Northwestern has some injuries in its offensive backfield, which could help Syracuse. The Orange has to get its running game going. Can Syracuse handle Northwestern DE Tyler Scott, one of the Big Ten's best pass rushers?

2. Oregon at Virginia, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC regional/ESPN2

Rating: 3.5 stars

The skinny: This is Oregon's first trip to the Eastern time zone since 2010, when the Ducks won at Tennessee. Virginia opened with a nice win over BYU, but beating Oregon would be in a different stratosphere. Virginia's new defense performed well vs. BYU, but will the Cavs' attacking style slow Oregon's offense at all? Virginia CB Demetrious Nicholson and SS Anthony Harris get a chance to show off for a national audience. Virginia DEs Eli Harold and Jake Snyder must play well against tough Oregon OTs Jake Fisher and Tyler Johnstone.

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1. Florida at Miami, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

Rating: 4 stars

The skinny: This is Florida's first visit to Miami since 2003, when Ron Zook was the Gators' coach. Miami needs a marquee win to truly get back into the national spotlight, and beating the Gators would do it. QB Stephen Morris throws to a deep receiving corps, but that receiving corps will be going against what might be the best group of cornerbacks in the nation. Miami RB Duke Johnson has speed to burn, but in three games last season against teams that, like Florida, played in BCS games, Johnson rushed for a total of 68 yards. The biggest concern for Miami, though, is whether its front seven can hold up against the run. The Hurricanes' rush defense was atrocious last season, and DTs Curtis Porter and Olsen Pierre and MLB Jimmy Gaines are on the spot to play well.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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