Around the ACC: October 19, 2009

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With Virginia Tech’s defeat at the hands of Georgia Tech on Saturday night,
there remains just one team in the ACC with no conference losses: Virginia. They
sit atop the Coastal Division standings, while Boston College pounded NC State
to reassert themselves in the Atlantic Division. Clemson knocked off Wake
Forest, and it appears the Eagles and Tigers could battle it out for the
Atlantic crown.

Four teams have two losses in the Atlantic Division. In the Coastal, Virginia
is undefeated and four other teams have just one loss. As we approach late
October, both divisions are still very much up for grabs.

It will probably come down to tiebreakers in at least one of the divisions,
and we’ll run an article later in the week that covers the tiebreaker scenarios.
For now, let’s get caught up on what happened this week in the ACC.

School Conference Overall This

Boston College
3-2 5-2
at Notre Dame, 3:30pm, NBC

Wake Forest
2-2 4-3
at Navy, 3:30pm, CBSCS

2-2 3-3
at Miami, 3:30pm, ABC

1-2 2-5
at Duke, 1:30pm,

NC State
0-3 3-4

Florida State
0-3 2-4
at UNC (Thursday), 8pm, ESPN
School Conference Overall This

2-0 3-3
vs. GT, Noon, Raycom

Georgia Tech
4-1 6-1
at UVA, Noon, Raycom

2-1 5-1
vs. Clemson, 3:30pm, ABC

Virginia Tech
3-1 5-2

1-1 3-3
vs. Maryland, 1:30pm,

North Carolina
0-2 4-2
vs. FSU (Thursday), 8pm, ESPN


Atlantic Division

Boston College (5-2, 3-2)

Boston College came back strong from their blowout loss at Virginia Tech with
a blowout win of their own. The Eagles routed NC State 52-20 on Saturday.
Sophomore tailback Montel Harris ran for 264 yards and rushed for five
touchdowns. Both marks are new Boston College records.

Quarterback Dave Shinskie also came back from his awful performance at
Virginia Tech to go 13-of-25 for 187 yards, with two touchdowns and no
interceptions. It seems that as long as Shinskie isn’t playing Virginia Tech on
the road, he’s a pretty solid quarterback for the Eagles.

Montel Harris is now second in the ACC in rushing, averaging 108 yards per
game. He is averaging 5.6 yards per carry on the season.

The Eagles now go back on the road to take on Notre Dame in South Bend this
Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30pm and the game will be televised by NBC.

Wake Forest (4-3, 2-2)

Wake Forest looked like a decent bet to win the Atlantic Division, until they
were hammered 38-3 at Clemson on Saturday. Now the Demon Deacons have lost the
head-to-head tiebreaker against both Boston College and Clemson, so their
chances of winning the Atlantic aren’t particularly good.

Wake was outgained 382 to 178. The Tigers took it easy on the Demon Deacons
in the second half, as this game was 31-3 at halftime. Quarterback Riley
Skinner, who was putting up huge numbers in the first half of the season, was
just 11-of-24 for 82 yards and two interceptions.

It was a bad day at the office for Wake, but they can still get back on track
and go to a bowl game for the fourth straight season. They play at Navy this
Saturday at 3:30pm on CBS College Sports network.

Clemson (3-3, 2-2)

Clemson pounded Wake Forest 38-3 on Saturday. They hold the head-to-head
tiebreaker over Wake and Boston College, so it’s fair to consider them the
Atlantic Division favorites at this point in the season.

Clemson running back C.J. Spiller had a huge day, carrying the ball nine
times for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Kyle Parker was 10-of-17 for
132 yards and a touchdowns, one of his best outings of the season.

As usual, the Clemson defense was dominant. They held Wake to just 178 yards
of total offense. The Tigers are allowing just 270.2 yards per game on defense,
and just 15.3 points per game. With better quarterback play, Clemson could have
a much better record. As it stands, they are just a few plays away from being
undefeated. They lost to Georgia Tech 30-27 after leading late in the game, then
fell to a very good TCU team 14-10. They were also upset by Maryland 24-21.

Clemson plays at Miami this Saturday at 3:30pm on ABC.

Maryland (2-5, 1-2)

Maryland is still tied in the loss column for first place in the Atlantic
Divison. However, they lost 20-9 at home to Virginia on Saturday, and the Terps
will have to go 4-1 or better down the stretch to become bowl eligible. This is
a bad football team that had an overtime win against 1-AA James Madison, and
basically got lucky in their 24-21 upset of Clemson.

The Maryland defense actually played well in this game, limiting UVA to just
201 yards of total offense. They sacked quarterback Jameel Sewell five times.
However, the offense let them down. Quarterback Chris Turner threw two costly
interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by defensive lineman
Nate Collins.

The Terps play at Duke this Saturday at 1:30pm. The game can be seen on

NC State (3-4, 0-3)

With their 52-20 loss to Boston College, NC State has now lost three games in
a row. That includes two blowouts at the hands of the Eagles and the Duke Blue
Devils. Considered an Atlantic Division contender to start the season, the
Wolfpack are going to struggle just to become bowl eligible.

Quarterback Russell Wilson, after throwing just one interception all of last
season, has tossed four picks in his last three games. The NC State defense has
been horrendous in that span. They allowed 391 yards in the loss to Wake Forest,
502 in the home loss to Duke and another 480 yards in this setback to BC.

NC State is off this week. They’ll return to action on October 31 to face
Florida State.

Florida State (2-4, 0-3)

Struggling Florida State got a much needed bye over the weekend. They travel
to North Carolina this Thursday night on ESPN.

Coastal Division

Virginia (3-3, 2-0)

What a difference a month makes. Virginia has won three straight games in the
month of October, and now find themselves perched atop the Coastal Division
standings. Their latest victim was hapless Maryland, with the Hoos picking up a
20-9 victory in College Park on the strength of their defense.

The Virginia defense has been stout all season. They are allowing just 293.8
yards per game and only 18.7 points per game. Both numbers rank third in the
ACC, which is a pretty good defensive conference. They’ve allowed just 19 total
points in their last three games.

Jameel Sewell is shaking off the rust of missing the 2008 season due to
academic difficulties, and the offensive line is playing well in the running
game. The Hoos were missing Mikell Simpson against Maryland, but Rashawn Jackson
stepped in and ran for 90 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

Virginia has a big Coastal Division showdown with Georgia Tech in
Charlottesville this Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for noon, and the game will
be televised by Raycom.

Georgia Tech (6-1, 4-1)

Georgia Tech defeated Virginia Tech 28-23 in Atlanta on Saturday night,
putting themselves in a good position to win the Coastal Division. The Yellow
Jacket defense had allowed over 1,000 yards of total offense in their previous
two games, but they held the Hokies to just 334 yards.

Georgia Tech’s offense couldn’t get much going in the first half, but with
some halftime adjustments they dominated the second half. The Yellow Jackets
didn’t punt in the second half, and the only two times they were stopped were
because of a fumble and an interception.

Quarterback Josh Nesbitt had a huge day carrying the football. He had 23
carries for 122 yards and three touchdowns, while B-back Jonathan Dwyer had 20
carries for 82 yards. The Yellow Jackets also got the outside pitch working in
the second half, with A-back Anthony Allen rumbling for 59 yards on just six

Georgia Tech travels to Charlottesville on Saturday for a big matchup with
UVA. The game is at noon and will be shown on Raycom. Check your local listings.

Miami (5-1, 2-1)

Miami defeated Central Florida 27-7 on the road on Saturday night. The Miami
defense is banged up. Defensive end Eric Moncur, defensive tackle Marcus Fortson
and safety Randy Phillips all missed the game. Fortson is out for the season,
depriving the Hurricanes of one of their top defensive linemen.

Despite the defensive losses, the Miami defense played well, holding UCF to
just 229 yards of total offense. The Miami offense didn’t fare as well, with
Jacory Harris getting sacked six times. That forced the ‘Canes into long yardage
situations, and the offense struggled somewhat as a result.

Miami gets Clemson at home this weekend at 3:30pm. The game will be televised
by ABC.

Virginia Tech (5-2, 3-1)

Virginia Tech was knocked off 28-23 on the road by Georgia Tech on Saturday
night. It was VT’s second loss in Atlanta this season. The Hokies are still very
much in the Coastal Division race, but the Yellow Jackets knocked them out of
the National Championship picture.

The VT offense had the ball in Georgia Tech territory three times in the
first quarter, but failed to come away with any points. The Hokie defense was
amazing in the first half, but the offense couldn’t take advantage. They flip
flopped in the second half, with offense scoring three touchdowns and the
defense unable to stop Paul Johnson’s option attack. In the end, it was a team

Tyrod Taylor was 10-of-14 for 159 yards, with a touchdown and two
interceptions. The picks are misleading, as one was batted down and intercepted
by a defensive lineman, and the other was on a hail mary before halftime. Taylor
is now #1 in the ACC in passing efficiency.

Ryan Williams was bottled up for most of the night, but he did have a 66 yard
touchdown run. That enabled him to finish with 100 yards on the ground on just
14 carries. He now has five 100 yard rushing games on the season, and he still
leads the ACC with 119.1 yards per game rushing. Montel Harris of BC is now
second at 108.0 ypg.

The Hokies are off this week, then host North Carolina on Thursday, October

Duke (3-3, 1-1)

Duke was off this week. They’ll host Maryland on Saturday at 1:30pm on

North Carolina (4-2, 0-2)

The Tar Heels took the weekend off. They host Florida State for a big
Thursday night game this week. The game can be seen on ESPN.

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