2008 Around the ACC: Week 14

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The regular season is now complete, and Boston College will face Virginia
Tech for the ACC Championship in Tampa on Saturday in a rematch from last year’s
title game. In other big conference news, the ACC went 3-1 against the SEC this
week. The wins came against Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Georgia, three
bowl-eligible teams.

Final Standings

School ACC Overall
Boston College 5-3 9-3
Florida State 5-3 8-4
Clemson 4-4 7-5
Maryland 4-4 7-5
Wake Forest 4-4 7-5
NC State 4-4 6-6
School ACC Overall
Virginia Tech 5-3 8-4
Georgia Tech 5-3 9-3
North Carolina 4-4 8-4
Miami 4-4 7-5
Virginia 3-5 5-7
Duke 1-7 4-8

Atlantic Division

Boston College (9-3, 5-3)

Boston College defeated Maryland 28-21 on Saturday to clinch their second
straight appearance in the ACC Championship Game. If they beat Virginia Tech,
they’ll represent the ACC in the Orange Bowl on January 1.

BC quarterback Chris Crane is out with a broken collarbone. He has been
replaced by r-freshman Dominique Davis. Davis isn’t as advanced in the passing
game as Crane, but he hasn’t turned the ball over. He was 12-of-24 for 134
yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Boston College held Maryland to -6 rushing yards. Currently, BC has the #2
defense in the ACC. They’ll be facing the #1 defense in the conference, Virginia
Tech, on Saturday.

  • Offensive MVP: Montel Harris. 25 carries for 116 yards.
  • Defensive MVP: Robert Francois. 10 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT
    returned for a TD

Up Next: Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game, December 1, 1pm, ABC

Florida State (8-4, 5-3)

Florida State was soundly thrashed 45-15 by Florida on Saturday. It was no
shame, as Florida is arguably the best team in the country. The Seminoles would
have advanced to the ACC Championship Game if Maryland had knocked off BC, but
that didn’t happen.

FSU will still be heading somewhere warm for the Holidays. The Gator Bowl in
Jacksonville must be highly interested in the ‘Noles at this point. FSU would
take a lot of fans to Jacksonville, thanks to the close proximity to

  • Offensive MVP: Antone Smith. 12 carries for 57 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Honorary MVP to rover Myron Rolle for winning a Rhodes

Clemson (7-5, 4-4)

Clemson had a huge win for the ACC on Saturday, thrashing South Carolina
31-14 in Death Valley. As a result of the win, the Tigers are set to hire
interim head coach Dabo Swinney as their full-time head coach. That will
certainly relieve many Hokie fans, who were worried that Bud Foster would be
offered the job.

Swinney went 4-2 in six games as Clemson’s coach. He won four of the last
five games of the season. He had to win the last three games of the year against
Duke, Virginia and South Carolina to become bowl eligible, and he did.

It’s not clear where the Tigers are going at this point, but they are going

  • Offensive MVP: James Davis. 24 carries for 91 yards and 3 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Michael Hamlin. 8 tackles, 1 interception, 2 passes broken

Maryland (7-5, 4-4)

Maryland was soundly thrashed at the line of scrimmage in a 28-21 loss at
Boston College on Saturday. The Terps were held to -6 yards rushing on the day,
while allowing BC’s Montel Harris to run for 116 yards.

Maryland once held out hopes of winning the Atlantic Division. However, they
lost their last two games and didn’t get it done. The Terps will still get a
decent bowl game, however, and overall it was a good season.

An EagleBank Bowl bid in Washington, D.C. against Navy could be appealing.

  • Offensive MVP: Danny Oquendo. 9 catches, 111 yards, 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Alex Wujciak. 11 tackles

Wake Forest (7-5, 4-4)

Wake Forest won their seventh game of the season on Saturday night, knocking
off visiting Vanderbilt 23-10 in Winston-Salem. This will be the Demon Deacons’
third straight bowl game under head coach Jim Grobe, a new record for the

Wake limited Vanderbilt to 249 yards of total offense, while gaining 331. The
Deacs ran for 158 yards, one of their best performances of the year on the
ground. Wake’s basic strategy was to not turn the ball over, because the
Vanderbilt offense is so limited that they weren’t likely to put up many points.
That strategy proved successful.

  • Offensive MVP: D.J. Boldin. 8 catches for 73 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Chip Vaughn. 9 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 1 fumble recovery, 1

NC State (6-6, 4-4)

Tom O’Brien has made a decent case for ACC Coach of the Year honors. The
Wolfpack won their last four games of the season to become bowl eligible. This
week it was Miami’s turn to lose to NC State. The final score was 38-28, but
Miami tacked on a late touchdown to make it more respectable.

Russell Wilson, NC State’s dynamic r-freshman quarterback, was again
impressive. He threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns, and added another 58
yards and a touchdown on the ground. Wilson earned First Team
All-ACC honors.

NC State isn’t guaranteed a bowl at this point. The ACC has nine bowl
tie-ins, and 10 eligible teams. However, they have made a strong case with their
late season run and could get an at-large bid somewhere.

  • Offensive MVP: Russell Wilson. 11-of-23 for 220 yards, 2 touchdowns. 58
    rushing yards and 1 touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Nate Irving. 11 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 interception

Coastal Division

Virginia Tech (8-4, 5-3)

Virginia Tech controlled their own destiny going into their game with UVA.
Thanks to their 17-14 win over the Hoos, the Hokies are heading back to the ACC
Championship Game for the second year in a row and the third time in the past
four years. Despite all the personnel losses from a year ago, Tech is still the
most consistent team in the ACC.

The Hokies outgained UVA 392 to 249, and had a 36:25 to 23:35 advantage in
time of possession. However, the Tech offense failed to score on three of their
trips to the red zone. That kept the game close into the fourth quarter, where
the Hokies eventually won it on a 28 yard field goal from Dustin Keys.

If Tech beats Boston College on Saturday, they’ll return to the Orange Bowl
for the second straight year. Cincinnati would be the likely opponent. If the
Hokies lose, most bowl projections have them in the Chick-fil-A Bowl against
either LSU or South Carolina.

  • Offensive MVP: Tyrod Taylor. 12-of-18 for 137 yards and a touchdown. 16
    carries for 137 yards
  • Defensive MVP: Jason Worilds. 7 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack

Up Next: Boston College in the ACC Championship Game, December 1, 1pm, ABC

Georgia Tech (9-3, 5-3)

Despite Virginia Tech winning the Coastal Division, Georgia Tech looks like
the best team in the ACC right now. Their offense is rolling. The Yellow
Jackets’ option attack steamrolled an overmatched Georgia defense in a 45-42 win
between the hedges in Athens on Saturday.

Ranked #15 in the AP Poll, Georgia Tech is the highest-ranked team in the ACC
right now. They racked up 409 rushing yards against the Bulldogs. A-back Roddy
Jones, a r-freshman, had 214 yards and two touchdowns. B-Back Jonathan Dwyer
added 137 yards and two touchdowns. This offense looks almost unstoppable right

  • Offensive MVP: Roddy Jones. 13 carries, 214 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Morgan Burnett. 6 tackles, 1 INT returned for a TD

North Carolina (8-4, 4-4)

UNC struggled to a 28-20 win over Duke on Saturday, continuing their late
season plunge. The Tar Heels were the media favorites in the ACC for most of the
season, but faded down the stretch.

Carolina was 7-2 at one point and the favorites to win the Coastal Division.
However, after a 17-15 loss at Maryland, the Tar Heels got blown out 41-10 by NC
State. The narrow win at Duke in the season’s final game will still send them to
a decent bowl game.

  • Offensive MVP: T.J. Yates. 15-of-19 for 190 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 INT
  • Defensive MVP: Quan Sturdivant. 13 tackles, 1 forced fumble

Miami (7-5, 4-4)

Miami hit their high water mark with their Thursday night win over Virginia
Tech. However, the ‘Canes were trounced in their final two games, including a
38-28 setback at NC State on Saturday. That will send Miami to a
middle-of-the-pack ACC bowl game.

Miami had 391 yards of total offense, but quarterbacks Robert Marve and
Jacory Harris combined to throw four interceptions. The ‘Cane defense was
shredded by the NC State offense to the tune of 411 yards and 39 points. Miami
had no answer for Wolfpack quarterback Russell Wilson.

Overall, it was a decent season for Miami. However, the ending was a

  • Offensive MVP: Dedrick Epps. 4 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown
  • Defensive MVP: Marcus Robinson. 10 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 QB hurries

Virginia (5-7, 3-5)

Virginia held a seven-point halftime leader over in-state rival Virginia
Tech, but the Hokies scored 10 unanswered points in the second half to escape
with a 17-14 victory. With their latest lost to Virginia Tech, the Hoos finish
5-7 and are one of just two ACC teams that are not bowl eligible.

UVA pulled a trick and used cornerback Vic Hall as the quarterback for most
of the day. It worked in the first half, but the Hokies shut it down for the
most part in the second half. The Hoos used Marc Verica in passing situations,
and he threw an interception in the end zone late in the game that was a
backbreaker for UVA.

  • Offensive MVP: Vic Hall. 16 carries, 109 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • Defensive MVP: Vic Hall. 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble

Duke (4-8, 1-7)

Duke lost a hard fought 28-20 battle with North Carolina on Saturday. The
Blue Devils are the only team in the conference to finish with less than two ACC
wins. Still, Duke had only won four games total in the previous four seasons.
This year was a big step in the right direction for David Cutcliffe.

Duke quarterback Thad Lewis came back from his ankle injury and played a good
game, throwing for 278 yards and a touchdown. However, the Blue Devils ran for
just 72 yards. As usual, their lack of a running game arguably cost them a win.

  • Offensive MVP: Thad Lewis. 34-of-49 for 278 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 INT
  • Defensive MVP: Michael Tauiliili. 20 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1 interception
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