2007 Around the ACC: Week 4

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The ACC standings look funny. Two teams are 3-0, another is 2-0, while Miami
and Virginia Tech haven’t even played their first conference game yet. It
appears that Clemson and Boston College are the teams to beat in the Atlantic
Division. Georgia Tech is a disappointment in the Coastal, while UVA sits atop
the Coastal standings with a 3-0 record.

Current Standings

School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Boston College 3-0 1.000 4-0 1.000
Clemson 2-0 1.000 4-0 1.000
Wake Forest 1-1 .500 2-2 .500
Florida State 0-1 .000 2-1 .667
Maryland 0-1 .000 2-2 .500
NC State 0-2 .000 1-3 .250
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Virginia 3-0 1.000 3-1 .750
Miami 0-0 .000 3-1 .750
Virginia Tech 0-0 .000 3-1 .750
Duke 0-1 .000 1-3 .250
North Carolina 0-1 .000 1-3 .250
Georgia Tech 0-2 .000 2-2 .500

Boston College (4-0, 3-0)

Boston College ran their record to 4-0 with a 37-17 victory over Army. Matt
Ryan again had a big game, going 35-of-51 for 356 yards, with three touchdowns
and two interceptions. The Eagles also ran the ball better this week, rushing
for 202 yards as a team. Andre Callender had 87 yards on the ground.

Defensively, the Eagles held Army to 44 rushing yards, although Army did
manage to throw for 215. BC’s rush defense has been excellent so far this

Probably the most concerning thing for BC was Ryan’s interceptions. One was
returned for a touchdown. That was the second time this season that he’s thrown
an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

  • Offensive MVP: Kevin Challenger. 9 catches, 104 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Jolonn Dunbar. 7.5 tackles, 0.5 TFL

Up Next: UMass at Chestnut Hill

Clemson (4-0, 2-0)

Clemson bombed NC State 42-20 in Raleigh on Saturday. The Tigers racked up
608 yards of total offense. James Davis had 24 carries for 166 yards and two
touchdowns, and also added a receiving touchdown. C.J. Spiller had 21 carries
for 114 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 34 yards and a touchdown
through the air.

Despite all the rushing stats, Clemson was not one dimensional. Quarterback
Cullen Harper was 25-of-39 for 268 yards, with two touchdowns and no
interceptions. For the season, Harper has thrown 12 touchdown passes and no

Clemson’s defense held NC State to just 202 yards of total offense, including
55 on the ground. The Tigers also intercepted three passes. Clemson dominated
this game, although they did give up a 99 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

  • Offensive MVP: Do I have to pick just one? Nah, I’ll give it to the
    offensive line. Can’t put up 608 yards unless you are dominant up front, and
    despite losing four starters off last year’s OL, the Tigers are dominant up
  • Defensive MVP: Ricky Sapp. 6 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks, 1 pass broken up

Up Next: Georgia Tech in Atlanta

Duke (1-3, 0-1)

If Duke had their defense from a year ago, they’d be 2-2. Instead, they are
1-3 after losing to Navy 46-43 on a last second field goal in Annapolis on
Saturday. Duke was outscored 14-0 in the fourth quarter.

The Blue Devils’ offense was amazing. Quarterback Thad Lewis went 23-of-36
for 428 yards, with four touchdown passes and one interception. Wide receiver
Eron Riley had six receptions for 235 yards and four touchdowns. Unfortunately,
Duke’s defense couldn’t stop Navy, who racked up 540 yards of total offense.

  • Offensive MVP: Eron Riley. 6 catches for 235 yards and 4 touchdowns.
    Touchdown receptions of 76 yards, 35 yards, 9 yards and 69 yards.
  • Defensive MVP: Vince Oghobaase. 10 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks

Up Next: Miami in Coral Gables

Florida State:
Bye week

Up Next: Alabama in Jacksonville

Georgia Tech (2-2, 0-2)

Coming off their home loss to Boston College, Georgia Tech ventured north to
Charlottesville, where they had not won since 1990. They still have not won
there since 1990 following Saturday’s 28-23 loss to UVA.

The Yellow Jackets fell behind 21-7 but rallied to take a 23-21 lead in the
fourth quarter. It appeared that they were going to hold on and win the game,
but Andrew Smith muffed a punt return, and UVA recovered. On the next play, the
Cavaliers scored, and GT wasn’t able to rally.

Expected by many to contend for the ACC Coastal Division title, Georgia Tech
is now 0-2 in conference play, with a game against Clemson coming up. Things are
going south quickly for the Yellow Jackets.

  • Offensive MVP: Jonathan Dwyer. 15 carries, 75 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Philip Wheeler. 9 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 sack

Up Next: Clemson in Atlanta

Maryland (2-2, 0-1)

Leading 24-3 late in the third quarter, Maryland had the ball at Wake’s three
yard line on third down, ready to stick a dagger in the Deacons’ hearts.
Instead, quarterback Jordan Steffy was intercepted by Alphonso Smith, who
returned the pick 100 yards to make the score 24-10. That play was the beginning
of a rally that saw the Demon Deacons eventually win the game 31-24 in overtime.

It was a meltdown of colossal proportions for the Terps and Steffy, who did
not complete a pass after the interception. Despite such a heartbreaking loss,
Maryland has to regroup quickly. They play Rutgers next, then have their ACC

  • Offensive MVP: Keon Lattimore. 27 carries, 112 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Erin Henderson. 12 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 forced fumble, 1
    fumble recovery, 1 interception

Up Next: Rutgers in Piscataway

Miami (3-1, 0-0)

The Miami Hurricanes spanked Texas A&M 34-17 last Thursday in Coral
Gables. Kyle Wright had one of the best games off his college career, completing
21-of-26 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns. The ‘Canes didn’t accomplish a
lot on the ground, but they didn’t need to.

The Miami defense shut down the Aggies’ vaunted running game. Texas A&M
entered the game ranked 5th nationally in rushing offense, but managed only 98
yards against the ‘Canes. It’s not clear how good (or how bad) the Aggies are at
this point, but Miami took a step in the right direction.

  • Offensive MVP: Kyle Wright. 21-of-26, 275 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Eric Moncur. 4 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

Up Next: Duke in Coral Gables

North Carolina (1-3, 0-1)

North Carolina traveled to Tampa and got pummeled by South Florida 37-10. The
Tar Heels looked inept on both sides of the ball as they got pounded by the
undefeated Bulls from the Big East.

T.J. Yates had been impressive for UNC early on, but he hit the proverbial
freshman wall against USF. He threw four interceptions and passed for just 85
yards. Meanwhile, Butch Davis decided to burn the redshirt of true freshman
tailback Ryan Houston, who led the team with 43 yards on 11 carries and scored
the Heels’ only touchdown of the game. Houston is huge, listed at 6-2, 245. He
is a former VT recruiting target.

USF racked up 428 yards against UNC’s defense. It was a very balanced attack,
with 194 on the ground and 234 through the air.

  • Offensive MVP: Ryan Houston. 11 carries, 43 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Hilee Taylor. 3 tackels, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

Up Next: Virginia Tech in Blacksburg

NC State (1-3, 0-2)

NC State got drilled at home by Clemson 42-20. The Wolfpack were dominated on
both sides of the ball. They continue to have a horrible rushing defense. The
Tigers ran for 340 yards on NC State, averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Tom
O’Brien’s team is allowing 247 yards per game on the ground, ranking 115th in
the nation.

Offensively, NC State isn’t much better, ranking 94th nationally in total
offense. This is just a bad, bad football team in Raleigh right now, maybe the
worst in the ACC. Duke has come closer to winning a second game than NC State.

  • Offensive MVP: Darrell Blackmon. 4 catches, 39 yards, 1 touchdown. 99 yard
    kickoff returned for a touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: When you give up 608 yards of offense, nobody really
    deserves this one

Up Next: Louisville in Raleigh

Virginia (3-1, 3-0)

Virginia defeated Georgia Tech 28-23 in Charlottesville to run their ACC
record to 3-0. They now sit atop the Coastal Division. Some people questioned
whether or not the Cavs would even make a bowl game this year, but with games
remaining against Pitt, UConn, Middle Tennessee and NC State, it’s hard to
imagine them not playing somewhere in December or January.

UVA’s offensive line has greatly improved since the start of the season.
Cedric Peerman is the ACC’s leading rusher, averaging 119.8 yards per game. He
ran for 138 yards on Saturday.

Virginia also has arguably the best combination of defensive ends in the
conference. For the season, Chris Long has 6.5 tackles for loss and six sacks,
as well as an interception. Jeffrey Fitzgerald has five tackles for loss, two
sacks and returned an interception for a touchdown against Georgia Tech.

As a defensive end, Chris Long is second on the team in tackles, first in
tackles for loss, first in sacks, first in quarterback hurries, and is even tied
for the team lead in passes broken up.

  • Offensive MVP: Cedric Peerman. 28 carries, 138 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Jeffrey Fitzgerald. 5 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 forced
    fumble, 1 interception returned for a touchdown

Up Next: Pittsburgh in Charlottesville

Virginia Tech (3-1, 1-0)

The Hokies defeated William & Mary 44-3 on Saturday in Lane Stadium. The
game was over before the end of the first quarter, and it was impossible to tell
much about the team, except the offensive line needs work, and Tyrod Taylor is
still a true freshman.

The Tech running game managed just 133 yards against a porous 1-AA rushing
defense. Branden Ore had just 25 yards on 10 carries, 20 yards coming on one
run. No Tech wide receiver caught a pass in the first half. Overall, it was an
ugly day for the Hokie offense.

Defense and special teams picked up the slack. Brandon Flowers returned an
interception for a touchdown, Eddie Royal returned a punt for a touchdown, and
backup linebacker Purnell Sturdivant emerged with two interceptions. We’ll be
able to tell more about the Hokies beginning this Saturday.

  • Offensive MVP: Kenny Lewis, Jr. 10 carries, 43 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Purnell Sturdivant. 8 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 2
    interceptions, 1 QB hurry

Up Next: North Carolina in Blacksburg

Wake Forest (2-2, 1-1)

It looked like Wake Forest was heading to 1-3 on the season, and all of
America calling their 2006 ACC Championship a flash in the pan,
once-in-a-lifetime achievement. However, the Demon Deacons put on a furious
come-from-behind win to defeat Maryland 31-24 in overtime, after trailing 24-3
late in the third quarter.

QB Riley Skinner returned to the starting lineup. Although he threw an
uncharacteristic three interceptions, he made plays when they were needed. He
finished 22-of-35 for 219 yards, with one touchdown and three picks. His three
yard touchdown pass to John Tereshinski with three seconds remaining tied the
game and forced overtime.

It appears that Wake has also found a tailback in r-freshman Josh Adams, who
had 20 carries for 91 yards, including the game winner in overtime. Adams was
one of the top recruits in the state of North Carolina in 2006, and he is a very
good fit at tailback.

Defensively, the Wake defense posted six sacks, including back-to-back sacks
on Maryland’s last two plays of overtime.

  • Offensive MVP: Josh Adams. 20 carries, 91 yards, 1 touchdown, 4 catches
    for 22 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Stanley Arnoux. 9 tackles, 3 TFL, 1.5 sacks

Up Next: Bye Week, then @ Duke Oct. 6th

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