2008 Around the ACC: Week 9

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Another week of ACC football is in the books, and there are still just two
teams in the conference with more than two losses. Clemson and NC State are
pretty much done in the Atlantic Division, but every other team in the league
has a chance to play its way to Tampa.

Current Standings

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

Atlantic Division

Florida State (6-1, 3-1)

Florida State knocked off Virginia Tech 30-20 in Tallahassee on Saturday
afternoon. The Seminoles knocked Tyrod Taylor out of the game on the first play,
and then Sean Glennon joined him on the bench in the third quarter. The Hokies
had to finish the game with third string quarterback Cory Holt.

FSU held the Hokies to 243 yards of total offense, and although they gained
just 248 yards of their own, it was enough. Defensive end Everette Brown had a
huge game, finishing with three sacks.

The ‘Noles now have a great shot to win the Atlantic Division for the first
time since 2005. They are playing better football than anyone else in the
Atlantic at this point.

  • Offensive MVP: Greg Carr. 3 catches, 100 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Everette Brown. 5 tackles, 4 TFL, 3 sacks

Up Next: at Georgia Tech, Saturday, November 1, 3:30pm, ABC

Maryland (6-2, 3-1)

Maryland kicked a 20 yard field goal with six seconds remaining to defeat NC
State 27-24 in College Park on Saturday. As a result of the win, the Terps are
now tied with Florida State for the lead in the Atlantic Division. Maryland
isn’t the most impressive team, but they are figuring out ways to win.

The Terps got outgained 342 to 329 against NC State, but a strong running
game behind Da’Rel Scott and Davin Meggett propelled them to the victory.

If the Terps can win their next game at Virginia Tech, they’ll really open
some eyes around the conference.

  • Offensive MVP: Da’Rel Scott. 23 carries, 163 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Alex Wujciak. 15 tackles

Up Next: Bye, then at Virginia Tech, Thursday, November 6, 7:30pm, ESPN

Boston College (5-2, 2-2)

BC had won two ACC games in a row, but their luck ended on Saturday afternoon
in Chapel Hill. The Eagles were crushed by North Carolina 45-24. BC jumped out
to a 10-0 lead, and then scored the final touchdown of the game. In between
those scores, UNC outscored them 45-7.

BC finally played a team that could exploit their weakness: pass defense. The
Eagles allowed 238 yards through the air, and Hakeem Nicks had three receiving
touchdowns. Chris Crane threw three interceptions, including one that was
returned for a touchdown.

The Eagles are still in contention for the Atlantic Division crown, but
they’ll have to play better down the stretch and take better care of the

  • Offensive MVP: James McCluskey. 8 catches, 58 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Mark Herzlich. 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack

Up Next: Clemson, Saturday, November 1, 3:30pm, ESPNU

Wake Forest (4-3, 2-2)

The offensive struggles continue for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons scored 10
points in the first 17 minutes of the game, but couldn’t get it done the rest of
the game. As a result, they lost to Miami 16-10 on the road on Saturday

The running game had been holding Wake Forest back earlier in the season.
This time they got 111 yards from Josh Adams and another 54 yards from Brandon
Pendergrass. However, the Demon Deacons didn’t even try to establish a passing
game. Riley Skinner was just 3-of-8 for 57 yards. He was carrying the team
earlier this year.

Wake has now scored just 34 points in four conference games. Their anemic
offense will ultimately cost them a shot at the Atlantic Division crown.

  • Offensive MVP: Josh Adams. 21 carries, 111 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Aaron Curry. 6 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 sack, 1 pass defended

Up Next: Duke, Saturday, November 1, 3:30pm, ESPN360.com

Clemson (3-4, 1-3)

Clemson was off this week.

Up Next: at Boston College, Saturday, November 1, 3:30pm, ESPNU

NC State (2-6, 0-4)

NC State is perhaps the most hard luck team in the ACC, losing three
conference games in a row by a total of 19 points. The Wolfpack dropped a road
game to Maryland 27-24 on Saturday. They are just too young, inexperienced and
injury depleted to win close games in the fourth quarter.

The Wolfpack is getting very good play from r-freshman quarterback Russell
Wilson. He was 18-of-28 for 187 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
For the season, Wilson is completing over 57% of his passes for 900 yards, with
eight touchdowns and just one interception.

NC State isn’t going bowling this year, but the continued development of
Wilson is critical for the future.

  • Offensive MVP: Russell Wilson. 18-of-28, 187 yards, 2 touchdowns. 53 rushing
  • Defensive MVP: Ray Michel. 7 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 pass broken up

Up Next: Bye, then at Duke, Saturday, November 8

Coastal Division

Virginia (5-3, 3-1)

At one point this season, Virginia was 1-3 with blowout losses to USC, UConn
and Duke. Now they are in first place in the Coastal Division after ripping off
four straight wins. Their latest victim was Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The Hoos
won that game 24-17 on Saturday afternoon.

The UVA offense, after being horrible early in the season, is starting to
come together. They put up 396 yards against Georgia Tech, while their defense
shut down the Yellow Jacket option attack for most of the day.

Virginia now looks like a legit contender for the Coastal Division title.
They have tiebreakers over UNC and Georgia Tech, the other two main contenders.

  • Offensive MVP: Marc Verica. 29-of-39, 270 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2
  • Defensive MVP: Clint Sintim. 4 tackles, 3 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble

Up Next: Miami, Saturday, November 1, Noon, Raycom

Georgia Tech (6-2, 3-2)

Georgia Tech finally dropped another game on Saturday, falling from first
place in the Coastal Division. They lost to a resurgent UVA team 24-17 at home.
They could not stop UVA from running the ball or throwing it, and they couldn’t
pick up yardage consistently against a stout UVA defense.

Georgia Tech still has a shot at the Coastal Division, but they’ve now lost
the head-to-head tiebreaker to UVA and Virginia Tech. They still have to play
Miami and North Carolina, the other contenders in the Coastal.

  • Offensive MVP: Roddy Jones. 11 carries, 75 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Morgan Burnett. 11 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 interception

Up Next: Florida State, Saturday, November 1, 3:30pm, ABC

North Carolina (6-2, 2-2)

North Carolina rebounded from their loss to UVA by pounding Boston College
45-24 in Chapel Hill. This game was never as close as the score indicated. The
Tar Heels overwhelmed Boston College with superior athletes, and Hakeem Nicks is
the first receiver this year that has been able to take advantage of a weak
Eagle secondary.

Nicks scored three receiving touchdowns against BC, and Cam Sexton had a
solid day at quarterback. UNC’s defensive speed was too much for quarterback
Chris Crane, who was picked off three times for the second week in a row.

UNC still has a shot in the Coastal Division, but they have already lost the
head-to-head tiebreakers against Virginia and Virginia Tech.

  • Offensive MVP: Hakeem Nicks. 8 catches, 139 yards, 3 touchdowns. 3 carries,
    31 yards 1 rushing touchdown.
  • Defensive MVP: Kendrick Burney. 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 interceptions, 1 pass
    broken up

Up Next: Bye, then Georgia Tech, Saturday, November 8

Miami (5-3, 2-2)

Miami is still hanging around in competition for the Coastal Division after
knocking off Wake Forest 16-10 on Saturday. The ‘Canes still have to play
Virginia, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and NC State, and three of those games are
on the road. It’s unlikely that Miami will get through that unscathed, so a
Coastal Division title seems like a longshot at this point.

Miami was back to two quarterbacks, playing both Robert Marve and Jacory
Harris. Neither was very effective through the air, though both are capable of
making plays with their feet. In the end, it was Wake Forest’s incompetent
offense that cost them this game.

  • Offensive MVP: Robert Marve. 11-of-22 for 153 yards. 9 carries for 56 yards
    and 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Adewale Ojomo. 6 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble

Up Next: at Virginia, Saturday, November 1, Noon, Raycom

Virginia Tech (5-3, 2-2)

Virginia Tech lost a tough 30-20 contest at Florida State on Saturday. It was
the second time in as many weeks that the Hokies have been up 10-0 early, but
failed to win the game. In all three losses, VT has been up by double digits and
hasn’t been able to come away with the win.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor went down with a high ankle sprain on the first
play. Sean Glennon came in and gave the team a spark, but he was knocked out as
well early in the third quarter. Third string quarterback Cory Holt played well
considering he hasn’t had any reps since August (he’s also second string wide
receiver), but it wasn’t enough.

The Tech defense held FSU to 248 yards of total offense, but the ‘Noles were
able to take advantage of good field position on several occasions to score.

Virginia Tech will still win the Coastal Division if they win their last four
games of the season.

  • Offensive MVP: Sean Glennon. 9-of-16, 133 yards, 1 rushing touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Jason Worilds. 5 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack

Up Next: Bye, then Maryland, Thursday, November 6, 7:30pm, ESPN

Duke (4-3, 1-2)

Duke came away with a huge 10-7 win at Vanderbilt on Saturday. That victory
keeps their bowl hopes alive for 2008. The Blue Devil defense held Vanderbilt to
291 yards of total offense. With their fourth victory of the season, Duke needs
just two more wins to become bowl eligible.

Duke’s remaining schedule looks like this: at Wake Forest, NC State, at
Clemson, at Virginia Tech, North Carolina. If the Blue Devils can find a way to
win two of those games, they should be in a bowl for the first time since 1994.

  • Offensive MVP: Thaddeus Lewis. 21-of-36 for 222 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Ayanga Okpokowuruk. 7 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks

Up Next: at Wake Forest, Saturday, November 1, 3:30pm, ESPN360.com

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