2007 Around the ACC: Week 8

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There are still three teams undefeated in ACC play, but after this Thursday
night, there will only be two. The Coastal Division is down to Virginia and
Virginia Tech, with Miami holding on to some slim hope. Boston College is the
frontrunner in the Atlantic, with Wake Forest close behind. It’s crunch time in
the ACC, starting Thursday night.

Current Standings

ATLANTIC
DIVISION
School Conference Overall
Boston College 3-0 7-0
Wake Forest 3-1 5-2
Clemson 2-2 5-2
Maryland 1-2 4-3
Florida State 1-3 4-3
NC State 0-3 2-5
COASTAL
DIVISION
School Conference Overall
Virginia 4-0 7-1
Virginia Tech 3-0 6-1
Miami 2-2 5-3
Georgia Tech 2-3 5-3
North Carolina 1-2 2-5
Duke 0-4 1-6


Boston College (7-0, 3-0)

Bye

Up Next: Virginia Tech in Blacksburg


Clemson (5-2, 2-2)

Clemson played for the first time since losing to Virginia Tech, and they
easily dispatched Central Michigan 70-14. The Tigers rolled up over 600 yards of
total offense and looked dominant, as they generally do against less talented
teams from a smaller conference.

Quarterback Cullen Harper had an amazing line. He was 20-of-22 for 273 yards,
with five touchdowns and one interception. He’s having a great season, and he’s
clearly one of the better quarterbacks in the ACC.

The Tigers play at Maryland and at Duke in the next two weeks, then conclude
ACC play with home games against Wake Forest and Boston College. That’s a very
manageable schedule.

  • Offensive MVP: Cullen Harper. 20-of-22 for 273 yards, 5 touchdowns, 1
    interception
  • Defensive MVP: Phillip Merling. 5 tackles, 1 TFL

Up Next: Maryland in College Park


Duke (1-6, 0-4)

Bye

Up Next: Florida State in Tallahassee


Florida State (4-3, 1-3)

Florida State virtually eliminated themselves from contention in the Atlantic
Division by falling 37-29 to a Miami team they had dead to rights. The ‘Noles
were in control of the game, but allowed a fake punt for a touchdown and a
fumble return for a touchdown, and Xavier Lee threw two interceptions.

The Seminoles managed to lose to Miami and quarterback Kirby Freeman, who was
in for Kyle Wright, who injured his foot in the second quarter. At one point in
the third quarter, Freeman was just 1-of-6 with an interception. FSU scored a
defensive touchdown, established a running game with Antone Smith running for
114 yards, Miami’s quarterbacks were terrible as usual, but the ‘Noles managed
to find a way to lose at home to a very banged up Hurricane team.

Luckily for FSU, they get Duke at home this week. It won’t cure their
problems, but it should get them back in the win column.

  • Offensive MVP: Antone Smith. 22 carries, 114 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Derek Nicholson. 10 tackles

Up Next: Duke in Tallahassee


Georgia Tech (5-3, 2-3)

Georgia Tech won a football game on Saturday, but may have lost their best
offensive player. The ACC’s leading rusher, Tashard Choice, left the game with
an injured knee. There has been speculation that he tore his ACL, but we won’t
know until the results of today’s MRI are in.

The Yellow Jackets have several other good running backs to choose from
should Choice have to miss an extended period of time, but there is no
replacement for the ACC’s leading rusher. It would be a big loss for Georgia
Tech down the stretch.

  • Offensive MVP: Rashaun Grant. 11 carries, 119 yards, 1 touchdown. 2
    catches, 16 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Darrell Robertson. 6 tackles, 4 TFL, 1 sack

Up Next: Bye


Maryland (4-3, 1-2)

With an offensive line decimated by injury, Maryland faced the unenviable
task of going up against Virginia and the best defensive lineman in the ACC,
Chris Long. Long dominated the game, and Virginia won on a late touchdown,
18-17. The Terps need to get healthy.

Maryland’s offense looked lethargic against Long and the UVA defense, and the
Terp defense was carved up by UVA’s fourth string tailback, Mikell Simpson.
Simpson had 119 yards rushing and 152 yards receiving.

The Terps need to get over it quickly, because they have a tough schedule
down the stretch.

  • Offensive MVP: Lance Ball. 17 carries, 72 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Erin Henderson. 18 tackles, 1 tackle for loss

Up Next: Clemson in College Park


Miami (5-3, 2-2)

Miami kept their Coastal Division title hopes alive by beating Florida State
37-29 in Tallahassee on Saturday. Although the ‘Canes trail UVA and Virginia
Tech by two games in the loss column, they still hold out hope of winning the
conference.

Miami beat Florida State despite Kyle Wright and Kirby Freeman combining to
go 10-of-21 for 147 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions. They won
the game because they picked off Xavier Lee twice, returned a fumble for a
touchdown, and scored a touchdown on a fake field goal.

The ‘Canes are still alive, but they probably have to win out in ACC play to
stand a good chance to win the division.

  • Offensive MVP: Darnell Jenkins. 4 catches, 106 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Tavares Gooden. 10 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 forced fumbles

Up Next: Bye


North Carolina (2-5, 1-2)

Bye

Up Next: Wake Forest in Winston-Salem


NC State (2-5, 0-3)

NC State hadn’t beaten a 1-A team this year, until they ran into East
Carolina. The Wolfpack knocked off the Pirates 34-20 on the road. Most years
that wouldn’t be an upset, but this year it is.

NC State went back to Daniel Evans at quarterback, and this time he
responded. Evans was 29-of-44 for 335 yards, with three touchdowns and one
interception. The Wolfpack didn’t have an effective running game, so they had to
win it on Evans’ arm, and he came through for them.

They’ll have their chance to pull another upset this weekend when they
entertain Virginia.

  • Offensive MVP: Daniel Evans. 29-of-44, 335 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1
    interception
  • Defensive MVP: 3 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 quarterback hurries

Up Next: Virginia in Raleigh


Virginia (7-1, 4-0)

Virginia won its seventh straight game by beating Maryland 18-17 on the road
Saturday night. The Hoos have won their last three games by a total of four
points, and have come through down the stretch each time.

Virginia outgained Maryland 439-233 in Byrd Stadium. With starting running
back Cedric Peerman out, Mikell Simpson got most of the work. He was listed as
the fourth string tailback on the depth chart, but that will change this week.
He ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns, and also caught 13 passes for 152
yards.

Virginia’s defense was very impressive as well, shutting down Maryland’s
offense in all phases of the game. Chris Long dominated Maryland’s banged up
offensive line all night, and the Cavs are legit contenders for the Coastal
Division crown.

  • Offensive MVP: Mikell Simpson. 16 carries for 119 yards, 2 touchdowns. 13
    catches for 152 yards.
  • Defensive MVP: Chris Long. 10 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2 sacks, 2 pass broken up,
    1 safety

Up Next: NC State in Raleigh


Virginia Tech (6-1, 3-0)

Bye

Up Next: Boston College in Blacksburg


Wake Forest (5-2, 3-1)

If Virginia didn’t exist, Wake Forest would be the hottest team in the ACC.
The Demon Deacons have won five straight games, including a 44-24 win at Navy on
Saturday. Wake is a team that is playing with a lot of confidence right now.

Wake Forest was very balanced offensively. They finished with 409 yards,
including 196 on the ground and 213 through the air. With Riley Skinner
completely over his shoulder injury, they are starting to develop an identity.
Had he not missed the Nebraska game, they’d likely be sitting at 6-1 right now
and ranked in the top 25.

As it stands, the Demon Deacons need to win just one more game to qualify for
a bowl. If Boston College falters, and Wake continues their winning ways, they
could find themselves back in Jacksonville for the ACC Championship Game

  • Offensive MVP: Riley Skinner. 22-of-28 for 213 yards, 2 touchdowns. 3
    carries, 28 yards.
  • Defensive MVP: Aaron Curry. 12 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

Up Next: North Carolina in Winston-Salem

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