While controlling Virginia quarterback Shawn Moore may be the most difficult task for Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons will have to do much more Saturday to upset the nation's top-ranked team.
"We're going to try and prevent one thing - the big play that Virginia's been so capable of doing," Wake Forest coach Bill Dooley said. "But what concerns me is you can't stop just one big-play football player; they've got so many of them."But Moore, leading the nation in passing efficiency, has been particularly troublesome for Wake Forest. He had 396 yards of total offense against the Deacons in 1988 and 357 last season.
Top-ranked Virginia, 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, is averaging 48 points and 540 yards total offense per game - both tops in the country. The Cavaliers are fifth in the nation on defense, allowing 11 points per game.
"All of them can run on defense," Dooley said. "They're very strong up front and the secondary hasn't gotten the credit it deserves."
Virginia coach George Welsh hopes the Cavaliers keep their perspective.
"I hope the players don't read too much about how good they are because if they start believing some of that stuff, then they'll forget to play well," Welsh said.
Wake Forest enters the game 2-4 overall and 0-3 in the ACC.
In other action involving the Top Ten, it will be No. 2 Miami at No. 6 Notre Dame, Alabama at No. 3 Tennessee, No. 4 Nebraska at Oklahoma State, No. 5 Auburn vs. No. 7 Florida State, No. 8 Illinois vs. No. 24 Michigan State, No. 9 Houston at Southern Methodist, and No. 10 Michigan vs. No. 23 Iowa.
In the second 10, it will be No. 11 Georgia Tech at North Carolina, No. 13 Washington at Stanford, No. 14 Colorado at Kansas, No. 15 Southern Cal vs. Arizona, No. 16 Oklahoma vs. Iowa State, No. 17 Florida vs. Akron, No. 18 Mississippi vs. Arkansas State, No. 19 Texas vs. Arkansas, and No. 20 Indiana at Minnesota.
Also, it will be No. 21 Wyoming vs. Weber State, No. 22 Clemson at North Carolina State and No. 25 Texas A&M vs. Baylor.
Miami meets Notre Dame for the final time, and the game has the makings of another bitter contest similar to the last two. The teams fought in the runway leading to the playing field in both 1988 and 1989.
The Notre Dame fans will be ready with the insults.
"People will be fired up again," said Phil Shaffalo, a Notre Dame senior. "It's a party."
And many of the party-goers will be wearing the T-shirt of the day.
"You see them everywhere. `Catholics v. Convicts,' " Shaffalo said. " `This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs,' with a Miami sign."
Both teams are 4-1. The loser will be out of the national championship picture, a rarity considering Miami has won two of the last three years while Notre Dame won in 1988 and finished second to the Hurricanes last season.
The Irish lead the series 14-7-1.
Florida State needs to find a way to stop Auburn receiver Greg Taylor.
"He's one of the top receivers in the country, in my opinion," Auburn coach Pat Dye said. "I haven't seen anyone who can cover him one-on-one."
Taylor played the last three years in the shadows of Lawyer Tillman and Alexander Wright, both now in the NFL. Now he's the main man.
Taylor leads the Southeastern Conference in receptions and touchdowns (six) and is among the nation's leaders with an 86-yard average per game.
Like the Miami-Notre Dame matchup, the loser won't have a shot at No. 1. Auburn is 4-0-1. Florida State is 4-1.
Tennessee (4-0-2) should have no motivational difficulties against Alabama. The Volunteers' only two losses in their last 24 games were to the Crimson Tide.
Teams hoping to remain perfect are Houston (5-0), Nebraska (6-0), Georgia Tech (5-0) and Wyoming (7-0).