2007 Around the ACC: Week 13

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The ACC race has been decided. Boston College and Virginia Tech will play in
Jacksonville for the ACC Championship this Saturday. Other teams will have to
wait for this game to conclude before they know their bowl destinations, though
we do know that eight ACC teams are going bowling this season.

Final Regular Season Standings

ATLANTIC DIVISION
School Conference Overall
Boston College * 6-2 10-2
Clemson 5-3 9-3
Wake Forest 5-3 8-4
Florida State 4-4 7-5
Maryland 3-5 6-6
NC State 3-5 5-7
COASTAL DIVISION
School Conference Overall
Virginia Tech * 7-1 10-2
Virginia 6-2 9-3
Georgia Tech 4-4 6-6
North Carolina 3-5 4-8
Miami 2-6 5-7
Duke 0-8 1-11
* Clinched division title, will
play in
ACC Championship Game


Boston College (10-2, 6-2)

Boston College defeated Miami 28-14 in their tune-up game for the ACC
Championship Game. The Eagles got over 300 passing yards from Matt Ryan, as
usual, and a solid defensive effort to beat the Hurricanes.

Boston College is also getting outstanding play from tailback Andre Callender
in the running game and passing game. However, the Eagles have suffered some
very tough injuries on the defensive side of the ball since their last game
against Virginia Tech. More on that in Wednesday’s game preview.

The win over Miami was BC’s first victory over the Canes in 15 years, since
the Flutie Hail Mary. (You might have seen a replay of that play at some point
in your life.)

  • Offensive MVP: Andre Callender. 15 carries, 96 yards, 1 touchdown. 4 catches,
    51 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Kevin Akins. 4.5 tackles, 3 TFL, 2 sacks


Clemson (9-3, 5-3)

The Tigers tried their hardest to lose to in-state rival South Carolina on
Saturday night, but in the end they couldn’t overcome the Gamecocks’ own
terrible play. Mark Buchholz kicked a 35 yard field goal as time expired to win
the rivalry game, and most likely keep Tommy Bowden around for another season.

Clemson intercepted two passes, recovered a fumble, and blocked two punts.
Nevertheless, they were never able to put South Carolina away in a game that
nobody appeared to be good enough to win. In the end, the Tigers were less bad
than the Gamecocks.

Now Clemson will await its bowl fate. Much will hinge on next week’s ACC
Championship Game. It looks like Clemson is heading to either the Chick-fil-A
Bowl or the Gator Bowl.

  • Offensive MVP: James Davis. 23 carries, 122 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Chris Chancellor. 3 tackles, 1 interception


Duke (1-11, 0-8)

Duke lost … again. They lost to UNC … again. They lost to UNC because
they have no field goal kicker … again. The Blue Devils lost to the Tar Heels
20-14 in overtime. Duke missed a potential game-winning field goal as time
expired in regulation, and missed another in the overtime period.

Ted Roof has been fired as Duke’s head coach. Who will be the next guy to
destroy his head coaching future?

  • Offensive MVP: Thad Lewis. 18-of-27, 219 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Catron Gainey. 7 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 interception


Florida State (7-5, 4-4)

FSU linebacker Geno Hayes certainly had a lot to say about Tim Tebow
throughout the week, basically promising to shut down the Gators’ Heisman
Hopeful. Florida beat FSU 45-12 on Saturday, shutting up Hayes and sending the
Noles back to Tallahassee soundly whipped.

Florida racked up 541 yards of total offense against FSU. The Gators were
very balanced, with 279 yards rushing and 262 yards passing. Tim Tebow broke his
hand, but that didn’t stop him from passing for three touchdowns and rushing for
two more.

Trash talking expert Geno Hayes finished with a whopping one tackle.

FSU is going bowling, but we aren’t sure where as of yet. They could be
headed to Nashville for the Music City Bowl.

  • Offensive MVP: Gary Cismesia. 4-of-4 on field goal attempts, long of 60 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Dekota Watson. 6.5 tackles, 0.5 TFL.


Georgia Tech (7-5, 4-4)

Georgia Tech lost to Georgia 31-17 on Saturday, and Chan Gailey has
apparently lost his job. Georgia Tech has gone to a bowl game every year under
Gailey, but they have never managed to beat the Georgia Bulldogs, their in-state
rival.

As usual, Georgia Tech had a lot of success running the football with Tashard
Choice, but their passing game was almost non-existent. Their defense was also
slammed by the running back combo of Thomas Brown and Knowshon Moreno.

The Yellow Jackets are going bowling, but they might end up in Boise for the
Humanitarian Bowl.

  • Offensive MVP: Tashard Choice. 25 carries, 134 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Morgan Burnett. 6 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 3 passes
    defended


Maryland (6-6, 3-5)

Maryland thumped NC State 37-0 in Raleigh in the battle for the ACC’s last
bowl spot. The Terps are heading to a bowl game, either in San Francisco or
Boise. San Francisco took Georgia Tech just two years ago, so it’s possible
they’ll want a different team from the ACC this year.

Ralph Friedgen did a pretty good job with his team this year. Considering
they never had a consistent quarterback, they have a soft defense, and the
offensive line was crushed by injuries and attrition, it’s amazing the Terps are
in a bowl game. This is the second year in a row that Maryland has overachieved,
and Friedgen has to be given a lot of credit for that.

  • Offensive MVP: Chris Turner. 19-of-24, 206 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Dave Philistin. 10 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 interception


Miami (5-7, 2-6)

Miami lost to Boston College 28-14 on Saturday to clinch their first losing
season since 1997. The Canes are staying home for the Holidays. They got bombed
by Matt Ryan through the air, and although they showed a few signs of life in
the passing game, it wasn’t enough to win the game.

Randy Shannon has to regroup this team in the offseason. They have no
swagger, they lack talent on both sides of the ball, and perhaps most
importantly, they are now used to losing football games. That has to change.

  • Offensive MVP: Kyle Wright. 23-of-42, 198 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
  • Defensive MVP: Darryl Sharpton. 9 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 pass defended


North Carolina (4-8, 3-5)

North Carolina managed to knock off Duke 20-14 in overtime on Saturday. For
the second straight year, the Tar Heels are lucky the Blue Devils don’t have a
decent field goal kicker.

Searching for an effective running back, UNC moved hyped freshman wide
receiver Greg Little to tailback. The experiment has worked well so far. Little
ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries against Duke.

  • Offensive MVP: Greg Little. 26 carries, 154 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Mark Paschal, 17 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 pass defended


NC State (5-7, 3-5)

NC State was fighting for a bowl bid in Tom O’Brien’s first season at the
helm, but got rocked by Maryland 37-0 at home on Saturday. It was a surprising
result, as the Wolfpack had been playing good football lately.

NC State is moving in the right direction under O’Brien, and they’ll have a
shot to make their first bowl game under their new coach next season. In the
meantime, they need to improve their rush defense and get consistent quarterback
play.

  • Offensive MVP: Darrell Blackman. 5 catches, 98 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Ernest Jones. 9 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 sack


Virginia (9-3, 6-2)

Virginia was fighting for the ACC Coastal Division Championship on Saturday,
but fell to in-state rival Virginia Tech 33-21 in Charlottesville. The Hoos made
a game of it, but the Hokies dominated the fourth quarter to come away with the
victory.

UVA’s questionable secondary was sliced up by Sean Glennon and Virginia
Tech’s group of veteran receivers. They also gave up 147 yards to Branden Ore,
his best rushing effort of the season. The UVA offense took advantage of their
opportunities, but they were generally shut down by Tech’s outstanding defense.
The Hoos had just 241 yards of total offense for the day.

The Hoos still had a very successful season, and will get a good bowl game
for their efforts. Atlanta, Jacksonville or Orlando are the likely destinations.

  • Offensive MVP: Mikell Simpson. 16 carries, 81 yards, 1 touchdown. 6 catches,
    17 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Clint Sintim. 10 tackles, 3 TFL, 3 sacks


Virginia Tech (10-2, 7-1)

Virginia Tech won the Coastal Division by beating Virginia 33-21 in Scott
Stadium on Saturday. The Hokies will get their shot at revenge against Boston
College in this Saturday’s ACC Championship Game in Jacksonville.

The Hokies dominated this game statistically, out-gaining UVA 430-241. Tech
threw an interception on a wide receiver pass while driving into UVA territory,
and the Hoos recovered a fumble later in the game in Tech territory. They turned
both mistakes into touchdowns.

The Hokies had a balanced attack, with Branden Ore rushing for a season-high
147 yards. Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor combined to pass for 299 yards.

  • Offensive MVP: Sean Glennon. 13-of-19, 260 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Barry Booker. 7 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 2 quarterback
    hurries


Wake Forest (8-4, 5-3)

Wake Forest finished off another good season with a 31-17 win over Vanderbilt
on the road on Saturday. This game was not as close as the final score
indicated, as the Demon Deacons led the game 31-3 at the end of the third
quarter.

Wake Forest’s offense didn’t dominate, but the defense forced five Vanderbilt
turnovers. Alphonso Smith had two interceptions, improving his chances for an
All-ACC award. Riley Skinner was efficient at quarterback, and r-freshman
tailback Josh Adams ran for over 100 yards.

Wake Forest is bowl eligible for the second straight year. Their likely
destination is the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte. It’s worth noting that if
the Demon Deacons had beaten Boston College back on September 1, Wake would be
going to the ACC Championship Game, not Boston College.

  • Offensive MVP: Josh Adams. 24 carries, 111 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Alphonso Smith. 5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 2
    interceptions
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