2008 Around the ACC: Week 12

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This week, we’ll break down the Coastal Division tiebreaker scenarios. Yes,
the Hokies still have a chance to make it to Tampa. However, VT must win out,
and Georgia Tech must beat Miami on Thursday night.

The ACC race was expected to become clearer after this past weekend’s games.
Two teams, Maryland and Miami, control their own destiny. However, they also
play games against tough opponents down the stretch, and one slip up will send
them right back into the pack.

Current Standings

School Conference Overall




Florida State



Wake Forest



Boston College






NC State


School Conference Overall




Georgia Tech



North Carolina



Virginia Tech









The Coastal Division Race

Five teams in the Coastal Division still have a chance to go to Tampa. You
can read the ACC tiebreaker rules here:

We’ll break it down in simple terms for you.

Miami: The Hurricanes will win the Coastal if they win out. They would also
win head-to-head ties with Virginia and Virginia Tech. However, they lost to UNC, so they would lose that head-to-head tiebreaker against the Tar Heels.

Georgia Tech: If no one else in the Coastal wins more than four games and the
Jackets beat Miami on Thursday, they would go to Tampa. Georgia Tech would also
win a head-to-head tie over Miami, if they beat the ‘Canes on Thursday. The
Yellow Jackets can’t win any three-way ties or four-way ties.

North Carolina: UNC must win out. They would win a head-to-head tie over
Miami, and they would also win a three-way tie with Miami and Georgia Tech. They
can’t win any tiebreakers involving Virginia or Virginia Tech.

Virginia: UVA must win out, and they also must depend on Georgia Tech beating
Miami. If Miami beats Georgia Tech on Thursday, the Cavs are eliminated. They
would win a head-to-head tie against Georgia Tech and UNC, and also a three-way
tie against Georgia Tech and UNC. They would also win a four-way tie against
Georgia Tech, Miami and UNC.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies must win out. If Miami beats Georgia Tech on
Thursday, the Hokies will be eliminated. Virginia Tech would win a head-to-head
tie over Georgia Tech and UNC. They would also win three-way ties over Georgia
Tech and UNC, and Georgia Tech and Miami. In the event of a four-way tie, VT
wins over Georgia Tech, Miami and UNC.

In short, if you want to see the Hokies in Tampa, pull for Georgia Tech on
Thursday night and pull for the Hokies to win out. If the Yellow Jackets don’t
win Thursday, VT can’t go to the ACC Championship Game. If the Yellow Jackets do
win Thursday, and VT wins out, the Hokies own the two-way, three-way, and
four-way tiebreakers. The only exception is that VT does not hold the two-way tiebreaker over Miami, but that tiebreaker won’t occur if GT wins Thursday night.

This Week’s Schedule





11/20/08 Miami @ Georgia Tech Atlanta, Ga. ESPN 7:30
11/22/08 Clemson @ Virginia Charlottesville, Va. RAYCOM (Split) 12:00
NC State @ UNC Chapel Hill, N.C. RAYCOM (Split) 12:00
BC @ Wake
Winston-Salem, N.C. ABC / ESPN / ESPN2 3:30
Duke @ VT Blacksburg, Va. ESPNU 5:30
FSU @ Maryland College Park, Md. ESPN 7:45

Atlantic Division

Maryland (7-3, 4-2)

A week after a Thursday night defeat at the hands of Virginia Tech, Maryland
came back strong to knock off a good UNC team on Saturday afternoon in College
Park. The Terps did quite a bit to help themselves in the ACC Atlantic Division
race, but they still have key matchups with Florida State and Boston College.

Maryland kick Obi Egekeze nailed the game-winning 26 yard field goal with
1:42 remaining to down the Tar Heels. The field goal represented the only three
points scored in the second half by either team.

Maryland held UNC to 285 yards of total offense, and a lot of that came on a
couple of big plays. The Tar Heels struggled moving the chains for most of the
day against a Terp defense that plays much better at home.

  • Offensive MVP: Da’Rel Scott. 29 carries, 129 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Moise Fokou. 7 tackles, 0.5 TFL

Up Next: Florida State, Saturday, November 22, 7:45pm, ESPN

Florida State (7-3, 4-3)

Florida State lost to Boston College 27-17 at home on Saturday night. The
passing game struggled, with Christian Ponder throwing three interceptions to
BC’s ball hawking defense. Five FSU receivers were suspended for the game:
Taiwan Easterling, Bert Reed, Corey Surrency, Cameron Wade and Richard Goodman.
Their suspensions, which were not announced until the day before the game, hurt
the ‘Noles in this one.

FSU’s offense also struggled because their freshmen laden offensive line
could not handle mammoth BC defensive tackles B.J. Raji and Ron Brace. The ‘Noles
netted just 73 yards on the ground in this game.

Florida State can still win the Atlantic Division, but losing to Maryland on
Saturday night is not an option. Unfortunately for FSU, Maryland is undefeated
at home this season. Because they’ve lost the head-to-head tiebreaker against
both Wake Forest and Boston College, the ‘Noles need some help.

  • Offensive MVP: Preston Parker. 6 catches, 53 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Dekoda Watson. 8 tackles, 3.5 TFL

Up Next: at Maryland, Saturday, November 22, 7:45pm, ESPN

Wake Forest (6-4, 4-3)

Wake Forest dropped a tough 21-17 game to NC State on Saturday afternoon in
Raleigh. The Demon Deacons have now put themselves in a corner, and they must
defeat Boston College this weekend to have a shot at winning the Atlantic

Wake outgained NC State 338-301 and the turnover margin was even at 1-1. The
Wolfpack just beat them straight up. Riley Skinner had a solid day, going
21-of-33 for 176 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. However, playing
behind a poor offensive line, he was sacked four times.

Wake Forest owns the tiebreaker against Florida State, but in the event of a
tie with Maryland, the Terps would head to the ACC Championship Game.

  • Offensive MVP: D.J. Boldin. 8 catches for 66 yards and 1 touchdown,
    1-of-1 passing for 64 yards and a touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Aaron Curry. 8 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack

Up Next: Boston College, Saturday, November 22, 3:30pm, ABC

Boston College (7-3, 3-3)

Boston College got a strong effort from the defense in their 27-17 victory
over Florida State on Saturday night. The Eagle defense intercepted three passes
and shut down a good Florida State running attack. With the win, Boston College
is back in the race for the Atlantic Division championship.

BC dominated the game in the trenches on both sides of the ball. The Eagles
ran for 176 yards, while holding FSU to just 73 yards rushing. True freshman
tailback Montel Harris had 121 yards rushing and a touchdown, a surprisingly
good effort against a very good FSU defense.

Boston College has two games remaining against Atlantic Division contenders
Wake Forest and Maryland. The Eagles are in a must-win situation if they want to
win the division.

  • Offensive MVP: Montel Harris. 25 carries, 121 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Mike McLaughlin. 9 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass
    broken up

Up Next: at Wake Forest, Saturday, November 22, 3:30pm, ABC

Clemson (5-5, 3-4)

Clemson is a game away from bowl eligibility following their easy 31-7
victory over Duke on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers dominated in all phases of
the game, racking up 466 yards of total offense while limiting the Blue Devils
to just 168.

C.J. Spiller had another big game for Clemson. He carried 10 times for 71
yards and a touchdown, and he also hauled in seven catches for 108 yards and a
touchdown. Cullen Harper was 20-of-26 for 292 yards, with a touchdown and no
interceptions. It was his best game in quite some time.

  • Offensive MVP: C.J. Spiller. 10 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown. 7
    catches for 108 yards and a touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Brandon Maye. 8 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack

Up Next: at Virginia, Saturday, November 22, Noon, Raycom (Split)

NC State (4-6, 2-4)

NC State is playing the role of spoiler now, and they are playing it well.
The Wolfpack knocked off Wake Forest 21-17 on Saturday, seriously damaging the
Demon Deacons’ hopes for an Atlantic Division title.

Not enough can be said about the performance of NC State quarterback Russell
Wilson this year. Wilson is arguably the best quarterback in this conference as
a r-freshman. For the season, he is 111-of-201 (55.2%) for 1,270 yards. He has
thrown 12 touchdowns and just one interception. Those are excellent numbers for
such a young player, and he appears to have a very bright future in Raleigh.

NC State has also regained the services of linebacker Nate Irving, who has
been injured. He is one of the best linebackers in the ACC.

  • Offensive MVP: Russell Wilson. 16-of-33 for 152 yards and 2 touchdowns. 14
    carries for 69 yards and a touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: 13 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack

Up Next: at North Carolina, Saturday, November 22, Noon, Raycom (Split)

Coastal Division

Miami (7-3, 4-2)

Thanks to their 16-14 victory over Virginia Tech on Thursday night, the Miami
Hurricanes now control their own destiny. If Miami beats Georgia Tech and NC
State in their last two regular season games, they will represent the Coastal
Division in the ACC Championship Game in Tampa.

Miami’s offense only put up 247 yards against the Hokies. Their defense won
this football game, limiting Tech to just 250 yards of offense and 14 points.
Miami won the game in the third quarter, when the Hokie offense had -11 yards of
offense and no first downs.

Miami true freshman defensive end Marcus Robinson entered the Tech game with
9 tackles, two tackles for loss and no sacks on the season. Against the Hokies,
he had 7 tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks.

  • Offensive MVP: Robert Marve. 7-of-16 for 121 yards, 14 carries for 44 yards,
    no turnovers
  • Defensive MVP: Marcus Robinson. 7 tackles, 4 TFL, 3 sacks

Up Next: at Georgia Tech, Thursday, November 20, 7:30pm, ESPN

Georgia Tech (7-3, 4-3)

Georgia Tech was off this past week.

Up Next: Miami, Thursday, November 20, 7:30pm, ESPN

North Carolina (7-3, 3-3)

North Carolina controlled their own destiny entering their game with Maryland
on Saturday, thanks to Virginia Tech’s loss on Thursday night. However, the Tar
Heels couldn’t take advantage, losing 17-15 on a late 26 yard field goal.

UNC’s offense looked completely lost for most of the game against Maryland.
The running game was held to just 75 yards, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry
on 26 rushes. Quarterback Cam Sexton was just 10-of-24 for 166 yards. 59 of his
yards came on a fluke pass play to the little used Cooter Arnold. The Tar Heels
lost the battle in the trenches, allowing the Terps to run for 195 yards as a

UNC owns the tiebreaker against Miami and Georgia Tech, but if they somehow
finish in a tie with Virginia Tech, the Hokies will make the ACC Championship

  • Offensive MVP: Hakeem Nicks. 3 catches for 57 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Quan Sturdivant. 12 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 passes broken up

Up Next: NC State, Saturday, November 22, Noon, Raycom (Split)

Virginia Tech (6-4, 3-3)

The Hokies controlled their own destiny heading into Thursday night’s game
with Miami, but they were defeated by the Hurricanes 16-14. As a result, Tech
now needs to win out and have Georgia Tech to knock off the ‘Canes on Thursday

The Virginia Tech defense was very good in this game, holding Miami to just
247 yards of total offense. However, the Tech offense suffered through as bad a
quarter of offense as you’ll see in the third quarter, gaining no first downs
and finishing the frame with -11 yards of total offense.

Virginia Tech also got back to rotating between Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor
against Miami. It remains to be seen how that situation will play out.

  • Offensive MVP: Tyrod Taylor. 6-of-12 for 75 yards, 14 carries for 43 yards
    and 2 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Jason Worilds. 4 tackles, 2 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 pass defended

Up Next: Duke, Saturday, November 22, 5:30pm, ESPNU

Virginia (5-5, 3-3)

Virginia was off this week.

Up Next: Clemson, Saturday, November 22, Noon, Raycom (Split)

Duke (4-6, 1-5)

Duke lost to Clemson 31-7 on Saturday afternoon, getting thoroughly outplayed
in the process. The Blue Devils lost starting quarterback Thad Lewis early in
the game to an injury, and Zach Asack came in and threw two interceptions. To
become bowl eligible, the Blue Devils must win their final two games against
Virginia Tech and North Carolina, a tall task.

  • Offensive MVP: Eron Riley. 3 catches, 51 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Vince Oghobaase. 4 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks

Up Next: at Virginia Tech, Saturday, November 22, 5:30pm, ESPNU

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