Will the diamond shine? Georgia Tech introduced its diamond formation against Duke on Saturday and used it to break a number of big plays, both running and passing. It required North Carolina coaches to redo their game plan and teach their players how to defend it, but maybe only coach Paul Johnson knows how much the Yellow Jackets actually will use it.

How will the Tech defense handle the Tar Heels? In the ACC opener Saturday, the Jackets took care of Duke — forcing punts on nine of 12 possessions, with six three-and-outs. However, that was an offense led by a backup quarterback. The Tech defense clearly is better, but North Carolina and quarterback Bryn Renner will test it in a way that Duke couldn’t.

Can DeAndre Smelter keep it up? Smelter, Tech’s junior wide receiver, caught a pair of touchdown passes against Duke and demonstrated he could become a threat in the passing game. As Johnson put it, “He caught three balls Saturday, and that’s great. Three balls don’t make a career.”


North Carolina TE Eric Ebron vs. Georgia Tech OLB Brandon Watts. The NFL-bound Ebron might be the Tar Heels’ most dangerous offensive weapon. Watts, rugged enough to take on the run and fast enough to cover slot receivers, will have his hands full when the two are matched.


All I’m Hearing Is The Rise Of The ACC, But No One Is Mentioning Georgia Tech — @bshow_53 (Tech offensive tackle Bryan Chamberlain)

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Ken Sugiura