2007 Around the ACC: Bowl Results

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The ACC had a poor showing in the bowls, going 2-6, the worst of the six BCS
conferences and ninth out of the 12 conferences that put teams in bowl games.
The league also lost its eighth straight BCS Bowl game. We bring you the rundown
of all eight ACC bowls, and the offensive and defensive MVPs for each ACC team.

Boston College (11-3, 6-2)

Boston College beat Michigan State 24-21 in the Champs Sports Bowl in
Orlando, giving the Eagles an 11-win season. In the process they extended the
nation’s longest bowl winning streak to eight games. BC had an excellent season,
coming within a game of going to the Orange Bowl.

The Eagles had to rally against Michigan State, but that’s nothing new for
Matt Ryan. The r-senior is now off to the NFL, and he’ll be greatly missed by
Boston College.

  • Offensive MVP: Matt Ryan. 22-of-47, 249 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1
  • Defensive MVP: Jamie Silva. 10 tackles, 2 interceptions

Clemson (9-4, 5-3)

Once again, Clemson was locked in a tight battle with a team with equal
talent. Once again, Clemson failed. Auburn defeated Clemson 23-20 in the Chick-fil-A
Bowl in Atlanta, giving the SEC yet another win over an ACC team.

Cullen Harper, who was magnificent all season, had a terrible bowl game. What
is it about ACC quarterbacks and the Georgia Dome? Harper was just 14-of-33 for
104 yards. James Davis and C.J. Spiller had to carry the team, but it’s tough to
defeat an SEC team like Auburn with a one-dimensional attack.

  • Offensive MVP: C.J. Spiller. 8 carries, 112 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Kavell Conner. 11 carries, 1 TFL

Florida State (7-6, 4-4)

Considering they were missing 36 players due to injury or the academic
scandal (mostly the latter), Florida State probably played as well as any ACC
team in their bowl game. Despite missing so many key players, the Seminoles
nearly knocked off Kentucky, losing 35-28 in the Music City Bowl.

Florida State was forced to start three freshmen on the offensive line, at
left tackle, left guard and center. Despite that, the ‘Noles rushed for 204
yards as a team, and Antone Smith had a huge day.

FSU was missing many key players from their defense, and their defensive line
had literally no depth. Still, the ‘Noles showed up. That’s more than some other
ACC teams can say about their bowl performances.

  • Offensive MVP: Antone Smith. 17 carries, 156 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Tony Carter. 7 tackles, 1 interception returned for a TD,
    1 fumble recovery, 1 pass defended

Georgia Tech (7-6, 4-4)

Georgia Tech was the anti-Florida State. They went out to Boise for the
Humanitarian Bowl and got beat by Fresno State 40-28. They allowed 571 yards of
total offense in the process, and looked like a lost football team who didn’t
particularly care. New coach Paul Johnson will have to install some discipline
this spring.

Taylor Bennett started what is likely his last game at Georgia Tech, as he is
not cut out to run the Paul Johnson option attack. Calvin Booker also saw a lot
of action in the game, and he could be the man at the helm next season for the
Yellow Jackets.

  • Offensive MVP: Demaryius Thomas. 4 catches, 69 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: No such thing when the defense gives up 571 yards

Maryland (6-7, 3-5)

Maryland is perhaps the most undeserving bowl team to ever come out of the
ACC. The Terps finished the season 6-7 after their 21-14 loss to Oregon State in
the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco. A bowl appearance, but a losing record? That
should never happen.

The Terps scored both touchdowns in the first quarter, and then managed to
get shut out for the rest of the game against a Pac-10 defense. To top off the
season, stud junior linebacker Erin Henderson recently declared for the NFL

  • Offensive MVP: Chris Turner. 17-of-29, 209 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2
  • Defensive MVP: Trey Covington. 9 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks

Virginia (9-4, 6-2)

Virginia held a 28-14 lead over Texas Tech in the fourth quarter of the Gator
Bowl, but the Red Raiders scored 17 points over the final 3:31 to come away with
the 31-28 victory. The loss denied the Cavaliers their second 10-win season in
school history.

Virginia arguably lost the game when quarterback Jameel Sewell went down with
an injury. True freshman Peter Lalich had to play, and he wasn’t ready. Lalich
had a critical fumble late in the game that led to a touchdown that tied the
game. Virginia’s defense played well against Texas Tech’s powerful offensive
attack, but it wasn’t enough.

  • Offensive MVP: Mikell Simpson. 20 carries, 170 yards, 1 touchdown. 5
    catches, 36 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Jeffrey Fitzgerald. 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 pass
    defended, 1 hurry

Virginia Tech (11-3, 7-1)

Virginia Tech got off to a horrible start in their bowl game, trailing 17-0
at one point in the second quarter. It is the third time in four years that the
Hokies have trailed by double digits in a bowl before attempting a rally.
Louisville led 14-3 early in the Gator Bowl following the 2005 season, and
Auburn jumped up 16-0 in the Sugar Bowl following the 2004 season.

The Hokies’ defense played very well, holding the vaunted Kansas offense to
344 yards, but it wasn’t enough. The Jayhawks won the Orange Bowl 24-21. They
returned an interception for a touchdown, returned another interception to the
2-yard line, and got a short field goal drive off an interception.

Tech’s defense put up a valiant fight, but in the end, the offense made too
many mistakes.

  • Offensive MVP: Branden Ore. 23 carries, 116 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Orion Martin. 7 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks

Wake Forest (9-4, 5-3)

Wake Forest trailed UConn 10-0 at halftime, but dominated the second half on
their way to a 24-10 Meineke Car Care Bowl victory. The Demon Deacons dominated
the box score in every way in the second half, finding success on the ground and
through the air, all the while playing tremendous defense.

Wake Forest has now won 20 games over the past two seasons, an amazing feat
for such a small school. The Demon Deacons return a lot of talented players next
year, and could contend for the Atlantic Division Championship again.

  • Offensive MVP: Kenny Moore. 11 catches, 112 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Stanley Arnoux. 8 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks, 1
    interception, 1 pass defended.
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