2008 Around the ACC: Week 5

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Saturday was a very interesting day in the ACC. Wake Forest was knocked off
by an opponent that appeared to be overmatched, while Virginia Tech and Florida
State had big wins over the Big 12. Games in Miami and Clemson also had a major
impact on the ACC standings, and the results were somewhat surprising.

Current Standings

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


Boston College (3-1, 0-1)

Boston College defeated Rhode Island 42-0 on Saturday, but there are still
deep problems within the team. After starter Chris Crane couldn’t get the ball
into the end zone, Dominique Davis entered in relief. The r-freshman gave the
Eagles a spark, but quarterback remains a question mark.

Jeff Jagodzinski says Crane is still the starter. However, neither player is
providing much of a passing threat right now. Crane and Davis combined to go
3-of-9 for 27 yards against Rhode Island. If the Eagles don’t get their one
dimensional offense on track before ACC play begins, they could have major
difficulties.

  • Offensive MVP: Montel Harris. 18 carries, 143 yards, 3 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Mark Herzlich. 6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 forced fumble, 1
    interception

Up Next: at NC State, Saturday, October 4, Noon, Raycom


Clemson (3-2, 1-1)

Clemson was outscored by Maryland 14-0 in the second half on Saturday,
falling 20-17 at home to the Terps. In was Clemson’s second straight home loss
to Maryland, and yet again, the Tigers are looking like the ACC’s most overrated
team.

James Davis ran for 126 yards while C.J. Spiller added 98. However, it was
the passing game that let Clemson down this time. Cullen Harper was 15-of-22,
but he passed for just 151 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception.
Despite outgaining Maryland 372-295, Clemson lost the game.

Just like in past seasons, Clemson just couldn’t find a way to win a close
game down the stretch. The Tigers still have a shot in the Atlantic Division,
but they can’t afford any more games like this.

  • Offensive MVP: James Davis. 17 carries, 126 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Ricky Sapp. 5 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 pass broken up

Up Next: at Wake Forest, Thursday, October 9, 7:30pm, ESPN


Duke (3-1, 1-0)

Duke had lost 25 straight ACC games until Saturday, when they met the
foundering Virginia Cavaliers. The game was tied at 3 at halftime, but Duke
dominated the second half and won 31-3. The UVA defense played better than
expected, holding Duke to just 258 yards of total offense, but they could not
overcome six turnovers by the UVA offense.

If you’ll look at the ACC standings, you’ll see an interesting sight.
Virginia Tech is at the top of the Coastal Division standings, but they aren’t
trailed by Miami or Georgia Tech. Duke is all alone in second place in the ACC
Coastal Division.

  • Offensive MVP: Thad Lewis. 18-of-32 for 160 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2
    interceptions
  • Defensive MVP: Michael Tauiliili. 16 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble
    recovery, 1 interception

Up Next: at Georgia Tech, Saturday, October 4, Noon, ESPNU


Florida State (3-1, 0-1)

Colorado couldn’t match Florida State’s speed, as the �Noles beat the Buffs
39-21 in Jacksonville on Saturday. FSU had some good things happen on the
offensive side of the ball, but as usual, the same question lingers: Do the ‘Noles
have a decent quarterback?

Christian Ponder struggled against Colorado, though he wasn’t as bad as he
was against Wake Forest. Ponder was 10-of-22 for 119 yards, with no touchdowns
and an interception. It was the running game of FSU that knocked off Colorado.
Antone Smith 154 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries.

FSU is off to a solid start overall, but that ACC loss to Wake Forest will
hurt them. If they don’t get better play from their quarterbacks, it won’t be
their last ACC loss of the season.

  • Offensive MVP: Antone Smith. 25 carries, 154 yards, 3 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Dekoda Watson. 10 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 blocked kick

Up Next: at Miami, Saturday, October 4, 3:30pm, ABC


Georgia Tech (3-1, 1-1)

Georgia Tech was off this week.

Up Next: Duke, Saturday, October 4, Noon, ESPNU


Maryland (4-1, 1-0)

Who knows how Maryland does it, but they do it a lot. The Terps beat two Top
10 teams last season, and they’ve beaten two Top 25 teams so far this season.
The latest victim was Clemson in Death Valley. In typical Ralph Friedgen style,
the Terps didn’t look like the better team on the field, but they were the
better team on the scoreboard.

Except for one 76 yard reverse to Darrius Heyward-Bey, Maryland’s running
game was completely shut down. Chris Turner was efficient and Maryland did not
turn the ball over, while Clemson had three turnovers. The Terps have now won in
Death Valley twice in a row.

Maryland also finds themselves in contention for the Atlantic Division crown.
That division is up for grabs, with no clear leader.

  • Offensive MVP: Chris Turner. 16-of-30 for 172 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Alex Wujciak. 16 tackles, 0.5 TFL

Up Next: at Virginia, Saturday, October 4, 7pm, ESPNU


Miami (2-2, 1-1)

Miami looked good early against North Carolina, but couldn’t get it done in
the end, falling 28-24 in Dolphin Stadium. The �Canes lost a big chance to
begin the season near the top of the Coastal Division standings, but now they’ll
have to claw their way up from the bottom.

Miami ran the ball well, with Graig Cooper gaining 110 yards. In the end
however, the ‘Canes couldn’t hit many passes downfield. Robert Marve was
18-of-27, but for just 135 yards. He threw three touchdowns, but he also tacked
on two interceptions.

In the end, this was a battle of two evenly matched Coastal Division teams.
In the end, North Carolina won the game. They probably had a bit more to play
for, as a loss would have probably eliminated them from the Coastal Division
race.

  • Offensive MVP: Graig Cooper. 19 carries, 110 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Eric Moncur. 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack

Up Next: Florida State, Saturday, October 4, 3:30pm, ABC


North Carolina (3-1, 1-1)

The Tar Heels kept themselves alive in the Coastal Division with a 28-24 win
over Miami on Saturday. An interception in the end zone by Trimane Goddard as
time expired sealed the win.

UNC started Mike Paulus at quarterback, but he struggled, going just 1-of-4
for 10 yards. They brought in r-junior Cameron Sexton off the bench, and he was
11-of-19 for 242 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. It looks like
the Tar Heels have found their quarterback for the extent of T.J. Yates’ injury.

UNC still couldn’t run the ball. They had just 35 yards on 33 carries, and
that number includes two sacks. If the Tar Heels want to legitimately challenge
for the Coastal, they need to get more physical up front and their backs have to
start running with some authority.

  • Offensive MVP: Cameron Sexton. 11-of-19 for 242 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Trimane Goddard. 8 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 pass broken
    up

Up Next: Uconn, Saturday, October 4, 7pm, ESPN2


NC State (2-3, 0-1)

NC State couldn’t pull off another upset. A week after beating East Carolina,
NC State was beaten 41-10 by South Floirda in Raleigh. Quarterback Russell
Wilson was out, so the Wolfpack really had no chance in this game.

Harrison Beck got the start, and he was 9-of-32 for 239 yards, with no
touchdowns and 3 interceptions. You aren’t going to beat many teams with your
quarterback putting up numbers like that.

Despite the big win over East Carolina, NC looks like they could potentially
battle Virginia for the ACC cellar.

  • Offensive MVP: Owen Spencer. 3 catches, 94 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Ray Michel. 13 tackles

Up Next: Boston College, Saturday, October 4, Noon, Raycom


Virginia (1-3, 0-1)

After Saturday’s humiliating 31-3 loss to Duke, UVA is now 1-3 on the season.
They have scored 10 points or less in three of their four games, with their
highest scoring effort coming against 1-AA Richmond. The Hoos scored 16 on the
Spiders.

Virginia was the underdog heading into Durham, but things looked decent at
halftime with a 3-3 tie. However, they came unglued in the second half, with the
Blue Devils scoring 28 unanswered points. UVA committed six turnovers, with
starting quarterback Mark Verica throwing four of them.

It was an ugly game for the Hoos, who now host rival Maryland.

  • Offensive MVP: John Phillips. 5 catches, 59 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Clint Sintim. 6 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 3 sacks

Up Next: Maryland, Saturday, October 4, 7pm, ESPNU


Virginia Tech (4-1, 2-0)

Virginia Tech knocked off Nebraska 35-30 in the Sea of Red on Saturday night.
The game was not as close as the score indicated. The Hokies controlled the
ball, controlled the Huskers, and won the game, despite some late rallying from
Nebraska.

Tyrod Taylor got it done with his legs, and the passing game looked improved.
As always, his poise in a big road environment was exceptional. He was aided by
an offensive line that played well, and a group of wide receivers who appear to
be getting better.

Defensively, the Hokies dominated for much of the game. 126 of Nebraska’s 333
yards of total offense came in the final 2:28, when the game was pretty much out
of reach.

  • Offensive MVP: Tyrod Taylor. 9-of-15 for 171 yards, 15 carries for 87
    yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Jason Worilds. 7 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 0.5 sacks

Up Next: Western Kentucky, Saturday, October 4, 1:30pm


Wake Forest (3-1, 1-0)

Wake Forest suffered a very disappointing loss on Saturday, losing to Navy
24-17 at home. The Demon Deacons could not overcome six turnovers and a running
game that is not getting it done.

Riley Skinner came into the game having thrown no interceptions against
Baylor, Ole Miss and Florida State. He threw four on Saturday against Navy. Wake
could also manage just 43 yards on the ground and allowed 3 sacks. The offensive
line is their major weakness right now, and someone finally took advantage of
it.

Wake is still at the top of the Atlantic Division, but they’ve shown their
weaknesses.

  • Offensive MVP: D.J. Boldin. 8 catches, 116 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Boo Robinson. 6 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks

Up Next: Clemson, Thursday, October 9, 7:30pm, ESPN

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