FSU-Oklahoma State headlines ACC opening weekend

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 28, 2014 at 3:16 am •  Published: August 28, 2014
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A look at things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference during Week 1 of the season:

GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 1 Florida State vs. Oklahoma State. The reigning national champion Seminoles and Heisman winner Jameis Winston face the Cowboys in the home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night. The Seminoles can tie a school record with their 17th straight win. The Cowboys have just four returning defensive starters from a 10-win team. FSU opened as a 17-point favorite in this Big 12-ACC matchup, though Oklahoma State has won 11 of 13 in Texas since 2010.

BEST MATCHUP: Miami at Louisville. Plenty of story lines here. It's Louisville's first ACC game. It's coach Bobby Petrino's return to the Cardinals after an off-field scandal derailed his career. It's a rematch of the Russell Athletic Bowl won easily by the Cardinals. And the Hurricanes are starting true freshman Brad Kaaya at quarterback as they begin pursuit of the Coastal Division title with a Labor Day night game.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Lost amid Virginia's struggles has been the play of senior tailback Kevin Parks, the league's No. 2 rusher with 1,031 yards last year. Parks has three straight 100-yard rushing games coming into Saturday's opener against No. 7 UCLA and was the first Virginia player to run for 1,000 yards in a season since 2004. "He's had a very, very good summer, good August camp," Virginia coach Mike London said, "and we expect production from him as well."

LONG SHOT: Georgia Southern took down Florida to close last season. Is North Carolina State next? The Eagles, playing their first season in the bowl subdivision, opened as a 23-point underdog on the road but returns quarterback Kevin Ellison to lead a spread option attack under new coach Willie Fritz. N.C. State is coming off its first winless ACC record since 1959, though second-year coach Dave Doeren is counting on Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett to spark the offense.

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