? Virginia (5-0) at Georgia Tech (4-1)
The Yellow Jackets have knocked off highly ranked Virginia teams twice in this decade. In 1990 they outscored the then No. 1 Cavaliers 41-38. The win propelled Georgia Tech, then No. 16, to a share of the national title. Two years ago Tech stunned No. 12 Virginia 13-7 with a spectacular defensive performance.
Expect the score this time to fall somewhere between the above two. These Cavaliers don't produce points the way their 1990 forebears did, but they don't let anyone else score much, either. Led by safety Anthony Poindexter, seventh-ranked Virginia is both opportunistic (+10 in turnovers) and stingy (273.6 yards allowed per game).
The 25th-ranked Yellow Jackets play aggressive defense under new coordinator Randy Edsall, who worked for Tom Coughlin for six seasons at Boston College and then the Jacksonville Jaguars. Tech, too, is +10 in turnovers, and it has scored at least one defensive touchdown in each of its last four games. But the Yellow Jackets, with their new, gambling defense, are giving up 21.2 points per game.
Getting a read on the ACC isn't easy, but this game will help clarify the picture. Virginia hasn't been tested by a quarterback as resourceful as Tech's Joe Hamilton, whose accuracy, brains and quick feet more than make up for his stature (5'10", 189 pounds). But it's too early for the Cavs to begin their November swoon. This is usually the time of year when Virginia peaks. That trend should continue.
? Oregon (5-0) at UCLA (4-0)
These two might hang a hundred on the Rose Bowl scoreboard. The 11th-ranked Ducks (50.6 points per game) and the second-ranked Bruins (48.0) may threaten the Pac-10 scoring record of 127 points in a game. UCLA, however, will know how to score more than Oregon.
?BYU (3-3) at Hawaii (0-5)
Before the Cougars lost to Fresno State on Oct. 3, only two WAC teams had beaten BYU at least twice in the 1990s: archrival Utah and the Rainbow Warriors. Cougars coach LaVell Edwards says the round trip to Honolulu is like "losing a couple of days." It's even longer when you lose the game.