2008 Around the ACC: Week 6

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After six weeks of action, things are starting to get narrowed down a bit in
the ACC race. Miami and NC State are the first teams with two ACC losses, and
their hopes of winning their respective divisions are likely finished. The ACC
also got another big out-of-conference win, with UNC whipping the Connecticut
Huskies of the Big East.

Current Standings

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

Boston College (4-1, 1-1)

Chris Crane threw for 428 yards and two touchdowns in BC’s 38-31 victory at
NC State on Saturday. What’s surprising about that? BC threw for just 27 yards
as a team the previous week against Rhode Island, and the passing game was
struggling quite a bit all year long.

In the end, it took every yard. A touchdown run by Crane with 23 seconds
remaining in the game gave BC the victory. The Eagles dominated the game in the
box score, but they turned the ball over three times, allowing NC State to hang

Chris Crane was terrific overall. He had a hand in all five Boston College
touchdowns. Last week against Rhode Island, he was booed off the field by the
home crowd in Boston.

  • Offensive MVP: Chris Crane. 34-of-51, 428 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1
    interception, 42 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: B.J. Raji. 3 tackles, 3 TFL, 3 sacks

Up Next: Bye, then Virginia Tech on Saturday, October 18

Clemson (3-2, 1-1)

Clemson was off this week.

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

Duke (3-2, 1-1)

Duke hung in for a half against Georgia Tech, trailing just 3-0, but
ultimately ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. The Yellow Jackets took home
the 27-0 win over the Blue Devils, who could not stop the balanced offensive
attack of GT.

Duke’s defense allowed 454 yards of total offense, while the offense could
only manage 132 yards of their own. The Blue Devils were manhandled up front by
the Georgia Tech defensive line. Duke only possessed the football for 21:14.
It’s tough to win games when you don’t have the ball.

The Blue Devils had a nice start to the season, but things will be tough from
here on out.

  • Offensive MVP: None
  • Defensive MVP: Michael Tauiliili. 11 tackles, 2 TFL

Up Next: Bye, then Miami on Saturday, October 18

Florida State (4-1, 1-1)

Florida State was physically better than Miami on Saturday, and beat the
‘Canes 41-39. However, the ‘Noles did all they good do to hand the game to their
instate rivals. Miami wasn’t quite good enough to take advantage.

FSU outgained Miami 440-256. Christian Ponder had another inconsistent game
passing, completing less than 50% of his passes and throwing two interceptions.
However, he did run for 144 yards. Antone Smith added 92 yards on the ground,
and as a team the ‘Noles ran for 200+ yards for the second straight week.

The FSU defense was very good, as usual. The 39 points scored by Miami came
mostly as a result of special teams or the FSU offense handing them points.

  • Offensive MVP: Christian Ponder. 14-of-31, 159 yards, 1 touchdown, 2
    interceptions, 19 carries for 144 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Tony Carter. 4 tackles, 2 interceptions

Up Next: Bye, then @ NC State on Thursday, October 16

Georgia Tech (4-1, 2-1)

Georgia Tech might have found themselves a new quarterback. True freshman
quarterback Jaybo Shaw appears to give the Jackets a balanced attack. He was
9-of-14 passing for 230 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions. He’s not
as effective on the ground as Jonathan Nesbitt, but he doesn’t turn the ball
over and he knows how to run the offense.

Over the last two weeks, with Shaw at the helm, Georgia Tech has outscored
their two opponents 65-7. The Jackets had 454 yards of total offense against
Duke, including 159 from B-Back Jonathan Dwyer. Shaw completed all nine of his
passes to Demaryius Thomas. That’s not a misprint. Thomas had 9 catches for 230
yards and a touchdown.

Overall, Georgia Tech looks very tough right now, on both sides of the ball.
They are still very much in the race in the Coastal Division, but their
head-to-head loss to Virginia Tech will hurt them.

  • Offensive MVP: Demaryius Thomas. 9 catches, 230 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Sedric Griffin. 5 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack

Up Next: Gardner-Webb, Saturday, October 11, 3:30pm

Maryland (4-2, 1-1)

Maryland was drawing a lot of praise for their 4-1 start, and were coming off
a big win at Clemson, the preseason ACC favorite. Virginia is probably a couple
of months away from getting a new coach, and they had just been trounced by Duke
31-3. Maryland wins this one easily, right? Wrong. 31-0 UVA was the final.

This is typical Maryland football. They’ve beaten two ranked teams this year,
but got trounced by UVA and Middle Tennessee State. Last year they finished 6-7,
but beat two Top 10 teams.

The Terps were totally dominated on both sides of the ball by Virginia, who
had been whipped on both sides of the ball pretty much all season.

  • Offensive MVP: None
  • Defensive MVP: Moise Fokou. 7 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack

Up Next: Bye, then Wake Forest, Saturday, October 18

Miami (2-3, 0-2)

Miami got dominated on both sides of the line of scrimmage by Florida State
in a 41-39 loss on Saturday. Big plays, such as an interception returned for a
touchdown and a double pass on offense, kept them in the game. Despite the
score, it was clear FSU was the better team.

Miami’s defense allowed 440 yards of total offense during the game, but did
make some plays. True freshman linebacker Sean Spence returned an interception
for a touchdown. However, they also didn’t force the ‘Noles to punt the entire

Quarterback Robert Marve was just 17-of-40 for 122 yards, with no touchdowns
and two interceptions.

The ‘Canes look like a better football team this year than last year, but the
record is still 2-3. They are a very young football team with a struggling

  • Offensive MVP: Travis Benjamin. 3 catches, 71 yards, 1 touchdown, 274 all
    purpose yards
  • Defensive MVP: Sean Spence. 10 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 interception returned for
    a touchdown

Up Next: UCF, Saturday, October 11, 3:45pm, ESPNU

North Carolina (4-1, 1-1)

UNC continues to roll without quarterback T.J. Yates. The Tar Heels dominated
a previously unbeaten UConn team 38-12 on Saturday night. They blocked two punts
intercepted three passes, while staying efficient on the offensive side of the

Butch Davis has made a change at tailback. Greg Little is out, and Shaun
Draughn is stepping in. Draughn had 19 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown on
Saturday night. UNC averaged 4.4 yards per carry on the ground. They had been
struggling to run the ball all season.

UNC has another big one with Notre Dame coming to Chapel Hill this weekend.

  • Offensive MVP: Shaun Draughn. 19 carries, 109, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Quan Sturdivant. 11 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack

Up Next: Notre Dame, Saturday, October 11, 3:30pm, ABC

NC State (2-4, 0-2)

NC State got Russell Wilson back at quarterback on Saturday, but it didn’t
matter. The Wolfpack defense allowed 578 yards of total offense to Boston
College, and lost 38-31 in Raleigh on Saturday. Wilson threw for 218 yards and a
touchdown, without throwing a pick, but it wasn’t enough.

How bad is NC State’s defense? Boston College threw for just 27 yards against
Rhode Island in their previous game, but dropped 428 yards through the air on
Saturday against the Wolfpack.

Tom O’Brien’s team stayed in it by being +3 in turnover margin and returning
a kickoff for a touchdown, but it wasn’t enough.

  • Offensive MVP: Russell Wilson. 19-of-33, 218 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: If you allow 578 yards of offense, you don’t have an MVP

Up Next: Bye, then Florida State, Thursday, October 16, 7:30pm, ESPN

Virginia (2-3, 1-1)

Virginia came to play for the first time in 2008 on Saturday night, easily
beating Maryland 31-0 in Charlottesville. Quarterback Mark Verica was 25-of-34
for 226 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions. A week earlier against
Duke, he threw no touchdowns and four interceptions.

The Hoos even managed to get the running game going in this one. Cedric
Peerman had 17 carries for 110 yards, while Mikell Simpson added 77 yards on 14
carries. Kevin Ogletree added 100 yards receiving with two touchdowns.

The UVA defense held Maryland to 302 yards, including just 79 on the ground.
If the Terps can’t run the ball, they aren’t likely to win.

  • Offensive MVP: Mark Verica. 25-of-34 for 226 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1
    rushing touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Clint Sintim. 7 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 pass broken up

Up Next: East Carolina, Saturday, October 11, Noon, Raycom

Virginia Tech (5-1, 2-0)

Virginia Tech ran the gauntlet unscathed against Georgia Tech, UNC and
Nebraska. They returned home on Saturday against Western Kentucky and won 27-13.
They led 27-3 with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter. At that point,
Tyrod Taylor came out of the game, and Kenny Lewis ruptured his Achilles, ending
his season.

The Tech offense was playing fairly well before they lost Lewis and Taylor.
The Tech defense held Western Kentucky to 243 yards, but they did have some
trouble stopping the read option in the second half.

The Hokies will now get a much-needed bye week before playing BC and Florida
State on the road.

  • Honorary Offensive MVP: Kenny Lewis. 7 carries, 38 yards before leaving
    with a season-ending ruptured Achilles
  • Defensive MVP: Orion Martin. 7 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 2 passes broken up,
    1 quarterback hurry

Up Next: Bye, then at Boston College, Saturday, October 18

Wake Forest (3-1, 1-0)

Wake was off this week.

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

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