Around the ACC: September 28, 2009

Share on your favorite social network:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit

Yet again, the ACC performed poorly in non-conference games against other BCS
programs, though NC State managed to stage a late comeback to salvage the
weekend. In the weekend’s biggest game, media darling Miami found out they
aren’t quite as “back” as they thought they were.

Florida State and Maryland lost home games to two other BCS conference teams,
thanks in large part to turnovers. All-ACC quarterback Russell Wilson led NC
State back in the fourth quarter against Pitt to give the conference a decent
non-conference win. Clemson had an opportunity to defeat a very good TCU team,
but they couldn’t quite get it done.

In Blacksburg, the Hokies sent Miami back to south Florida with the message
that Virginia Tech is still the team to beat in the ACC.

Atlantic Division

Boston College (3-1, 1-1)

Boston College defeated Wake Forest 27-24 in overtime on Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles controlled most of the game, but Wake quarterback Riley Skinner
rallied his team to force overtime. However, a fumble gave Boston College the
chance to win the game, and they took advantage.

The Eagles tried a new quarterback in this game. After r-freshman Justin
Tuggle threw three interceptions at Clemson last week, BC went with 25-year old
true freshman Dave Shinskie. Shinskie, a former minor league baseball player,
responded by going 18-of-29 for 228 yards, with three touchdowns and one
interceptions. With his performance on Saturday, Shinskie appears to have locked
up the starting quarterback position.

Wake Forest outgained Boston College 496-398, but Wake had three turnovers to
BC’s one, and that was the difference in the game.

BC hosts Florida State on Saturday at 3:30 on ABC. ESPN’s College GameDay
will be in town for this game.

Clemson (2-2, 1-1)

Clemson led #15 TCU in the fourth quarter, but a touchdown pass put the
Horned Frogs up 14-10, and they held off an anemic Tiger offense for the road
victory. C.J. Spiller had 26 carries for 112 yards, but r-freshman quarterback
Kyle Parker was just 17-of-37 for 192 yards. Clemson advanced inside the TCU 20
on two occasions late in the game, but they couldn’t come away with a score.

Despite their record, the Tigers have shown many signs of improvement. They
are a more mentally tough team, and their losses have been very close games to
two ranked opponents. With the rest of the Atlantic Division struggling, Clemson
has a shot to compete for the ACC Championship.

The Tigers face Maryland on the road this Saturday at noon. The game will be
televised by ESPNU.

NC State (3-1, 0-0)

The Wolfpack concluded their non-conference schedule with a 38-31 home win
over Pitt on Saturday. NC State trailed 31-17 late in the third quarter, but
they scored three consecutive touchdowns to end the game. It was a great win for
the Wolfpack, who have their sights set on playing for the ACC Championship this

With Russell Wilson at quarterback, that is a realistic goal. Wilson was
outstanding against Pitt, going 21-of-35 for 322 yards, with four touchdowns and
no interceptions. He also ran for 91 yards, leading his team in rushing. Wilson
looks like he could repeat as First Team All-ACC quarterback.

The NC State offense totaled over 500 yards in this game. While the defense
did allow 31 points, Pitt had some short drives in the game, and hit a couple of
big plays. They had just 300 yards of total offense.

NC State will play at Wake Forest on Saturday at 3:30pm. The game will be
televised by ESPNU.

Maryland (1-3, 0-0)

Maryland is making a strong bid to be the worst team in the ACC. Despite
outgaining Rutgers 299 to 249, the Terps lost to the Scarlet Knights 38-13 at
home. Maryland lost the game because quarterback Chris Turner threw three
interceptions, and there were also two fumbles lost to Rutgers, who scored two
defensive touchdowns.

Defense had been a major problem for Maryland this year, but their stop unit
was actually solid in this game. They allowed just 42 yards passing. However,
Rutgers did run for 207 yards, so the game plan against the Terps is obvious:
run the football.

Maryland hosts Clemson on Saturday at noon on ESPNU.

Florida State (2-2, 0-1)

Fresh off a road thrashing of then-Top 10 BYU, FSU returned home and promptly
lost to South Florida 17-7. South Florida quarterback B.J. Daniels was starting
his first game, to add insult to injury. Daniels ran for 126 yards, passed for
215 and threw two touchdown passes.

Even with the big day by Daniels, it was the turnovers that cost FSU the
game. The ‘Noles lost four fumbles on the day, and the South Florida defense
sacked quarterback Christian Ponder five times.

Four games into the season, it’s hard to get a read on this FSU team. Their
defense is below average, and while the offense looks very good at times, they
are very inconsistent.

The ‘Noles will get another test on Saturday at Boston College. The game will
kickoff at 3:30 on ABC.

Wake Forest (2-2, 0-1)

Wake had a chance to get off to a great start in ACC play. Trailing 27-24 in
their first possession of overtime, they advanced the ball to the BC 3, and were
looking to punch in the winning touchdown. With a first and goal, quarterback
Riley Skinner went back to handoff, but there was no running back in the area.
He was immediately hit, and he coughed up the football. BC recovered, preserving
the win.

Skinner played a great game, going 25-of-35 for 354 yards, with two
touchdowns and an interception. The Demon Deacons trailed 24-10, but Skinner led
them on two touchdown drives late in the game to force overtime. Wide receiver
Marshall Williams had 12 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown.

Wake now gets to host a rapidly improving NC State team. Kickoff is scheduled
for 3:30, and the game will be on ESPNU.

Coastal Division

#6 Virginia Tech (3-1, 1-0)

Instead of treating the last minute comeback against Nebraska as a big win,
the Virginia Tech coaching staff treated it as a loss. After a spirited week of
practice, the Hokies played their best game of the season, trouncing then-#9
Miami 31-7 in Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Hokies got contributions from the offense, defense and special teams.
Tech put up 370 yards of total offense, including 272 on the ground. Ryan
Williams ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns, while Tyrod Taylor and Josh
Oglesby ran for 75 yards and 48 yards respectively.

The Tech defense, which hadn’t been playing very well through the first three
games, held Miami’s vaunted offense to just 209 yards. Jacory Harris was just
9-of-25 for 150 yards, and he also had two turnovers that led to touchdowns.
Tech’s special teams also piled on, blocking a punt that Matt Reidy returned for
a touchdown.

Tech looks like the team to beat in the Coastal Division right now. They
travel to Duke for a noon game this Saturday. The game can be seen on

#17 Miami (2-1, 2-1)

Against Virginia Tech, Miami didn’t look like the same team that averaged 465
yards per game against Florida State and Georgia Tech. They were limited to 59
rushing yards, and just 209 yards overall. Jacory Harris was sacked three times,
after being sacked just once in his first two games.

The Miami defense was also dominated in the trenches by the Tech offensive
line. The ‘Canes didn’t record a sack, and they had just two tackles for loss.
The Hokies rushed for 272 yards, despite the fact that Miami was expecting the
run all day long.

All in all, it was a miserable day for the Hurricanes, who where thoroughly
beaten on both sides of the ball.

Miami must now regroup in time to host Oklahoma at 8pm on ABC this Saturday

#25 Georgia Tech (3-1, 2-1)

Georgia Tech came back after their blowout loss to Miami with a blowout win
of their own. They pounded UNC 24-7 on Saturday afternoon in Atlanta, and
Jonathan Dwyer finally got a big game against a decent opponent for the first
time this season. Dwyer ran for 158 yards, while quarterback Josh Nesbitt added
another 97 yards on the ground.

Nesbitt had been struggling passing the football this year, but against UNC
he was 7-of-11 for 89 yards. Georgia Tech totaled 406 yards of total offense
against a UNC defense that appeared to have the personnel to play effectively
against the option.

Meanwhile, the Georgia Tech defense limited UNC to just 154 yards of total
offense. The Tar Heels had only 17 rushing yards, while quarterback T.J. Yates
was intercepted twice.

The Yellow Jackets return to action on Saturday night at 7:30, when they
travel to Starkville to play Mississippi State. The game will be televised by

Duke (2-2, 0-0)

Duke knocked off 1-AA North Carolina Central 49-14 on Saturday. The big story
was true freshman tailback Desmond Scott, whose red shirt was burned last week
in an effort to help the Blue Devils’ struggling ground game. It worked, as
Scott ran for 100 yards on just 16 carries. As a team, Duke ran for 233 yards.

Scott was a Super Prep All-American who was rated as a Top 150 player
nationally, as well as the #1 running back prospect in the state of North
Carolina. If the Blue Devils can continue to establish a run to complement their
already very good passing game, their offense could be hard to handle this year.

Duke hosts Virginia Tech this Saturday an noon, and the game can be viewed on

Virginia (0-3, 0-0)

Virginia was off this week. They return to action on Saturday with a road
game at UNC. Kickoff is scheduled for noon, and Raycom will televise the game.

North Carolina (3-1, 0-1)

North Carolina has a talented defensive line, particularly at defensive
tackle, and fast linebackers. That seems to be the key to stopping Georgia
Tech’s option attack, but the Tar Heels couldn’t do it on Saturday. They were
pummeled by the Yellow Jackets 24-7.

The biggest problem for UNC is their offense. The running game totaled just
17 yards against Georgia Tech, and T.J. Yates had a very poor day against a
Georgia Tech defense that had been shredded through the air by Jacory Harris and
Kyle Parker. At this point, the Tar Heels don’t look like the Coastal Division
contender that they were expected to be.

UNC hosts Virginia at noon on Saturday, and the game will be on Raycom. Check
your local listings.

Share on your favorite social network:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someoneGoogle+share on TumblrShare on Reddit