Around the ACC: October 26, 2009

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The Atlantic Division finally showed some signs of life this past week,
picking up two big wins against the Coastal. Thanks to one of the upsets,
Georgia Tech is now in complete control of the Coastal Division. The Hokies will
have to hope for a Yellow Jacket loss if they want to play in the ACC
Championship Game.

Three teams are tied in the loss column in the Atlantic, while four teams
have just one loss in the Coastal.

Atlantic
Division
School Conference Overall This
Week

Boston College
3-2 5-3
vs. CMU, 3:30pm, ESPNU

Clemson
3-2 4-3
vs. Coastal Carolina, 1:30pm, ESPN360.com

Wake Forest
2-2 4-4
vs. Miami, 3:30pm, ABC

Florida State
1-3 3-4
vs. NC State, Noon, Raycom

Maryland
1-3 2-6
Bye

NC State
0-3 3-4
at FSU, Noon, Raycom
Coastal
Division
School Conference Overall This
Week

Georgia Tech
5-1 7-1
at Vanderbilt, 7:30pm, CBSCS

Virginia Tech
3-1 5-2
vs. UNC (Thursday), 7:30pm, ESPN

Duke
2-1 4-3
at UVA, 3:30pm, ESPN360.com

Virginia
2-1 3-4
vs. Duke, 3:30pm, ESPN360.com

Miami
2-2 5-2
at Wake, 3:30pm, ABC

North Carolina
0-3 4-3
at VT (Thursday), 7:30pm, ESPN

Atlantic Division


Boston College (5-3, 3-2)

Boston College almost picked up a big non-conference win for the ACC, but
they fell at Notre Dame 20-16. It was the end of BC’s six game winning streak
against the Irish. The loss obviously doesn’t hurt BC’s chances of winning the
Atlantic Division, but a win would have helped add to the ACC’s legitimacy.

Tailback Montel Harris came into this contest averaging 108 yards per game,
but he was limited to 38 yards on 22 carries by a stout Notre Dame defense. True
freshman quarterback Dave Shinskie did throw for 279 yards, but he was also
intercepted three times.

Boston College had a total of five turnovers on the day, and all five came in
Notre Dame territory, including one fumble inside the five. The Irish had no
turnovers, so they were able to escape with the win.

BC returns home this Saturday to host Central Michigan. Kickoff is scheduled
for 3:30pm on ESPNU.



Clemson (4-3, 3-2)

Clemson knocked off Miami 40-37 in overtime on the road on Saturday. It was a
huge win for the Tigers. As a result of their head-to-head victories over Boston
College and Wake Forest, if the season ended today Clemson would earn a spot in
the ACC Championship Game.

Clemson’s offense has struggled for most of the year, but they put up 410
yards against the Hurricanes. Kyle Parker, who has struggled for much of the
year as a r-freshman, was 25-of-37 for 326 yards, with three touchdowns and an
interception. C.J. Spiller ran for 81 yards, had six catches for 101 yards and a
touchdown, and he also returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

The Tiger defense gave up some yardage, but they sacked Jacory Harris three
times and intercepted him three times. Clemson has three losses on the year by a
combined 10 points. They are getting a lot better, averaging 39 points over
their last two games.

Clemson gets a break this weekend by hosting 1-AA Coastal Carolina. Kickoff
is scheduled for 1:30pm, and the game can be seen on ESPN360.com.



Wake Forest (4-4, 2-2)

Wake Forest appears to be fading fast. After getting hammered by Clemson last
week, the Demon Deacons lost to Navy 13-10 on Saturday. The Midshipmen didn’t
throw a pass the entire game, but ran for 338 yards and averaged 5.3 yards per
carry.

Wake has scored just 13 total points over the last two weeks. Riley Skinner
was having a great season, but he has run into difficulty in his last two
contests. At this point, Wake is in serious trouble. If they keep playing like
this down the stretch, their chances of going to a bowl aren’t great. They have
to win two of their final four games to be bowl eligible. They have home games
against Miami and Florida State, and road trips to Duke and Georgia Tech.

The Demon Deacons host Miami this Saturday at 3:30pm on ABC.


Florida State (3-4, 1-3)

Florida State finally showed some heart last Thursday, rallying from a 24-6
deficit to defeat North Carolina 30-27 on the road. It was FSU’s first ACC win
of the season. If they had lost that game, their bowl hopes would have taken a
turn for the worse.

The Seminoles have had problems this year, but quarterback Christian Ponder
has not been one of them. The r-junior was 33-of-40 for 395 yards, with three
touchdowns and no interceptions. For the season he has completed 70% of his
passes for 2,176 yards, with 12 touchdowns and just one interception. This guy
would be mentioned for the Heisman Trophy if he played for a team that had a
defense.

FSU gets struggling NC State this Saturday in Tallahassee. Kickoff is
scheduled for noon, and Raycom will carry the game.


Maryland (2-6, 1-3)

Thanks to a 17-13 setback at Duke on Saturday, Maryland now must win the
remainder of their games to become bowl eligible. The Terp offense was shut down
by an average Duke defense, gaining just 249 yards. Chris Turner threw an
interception, and Maryland could never get the running game going.

Maryland tailback Da’Rel Scott is still out with a broken wrist. The loss of
Scott, one of the top tailbacks in the ACC, certainly isn’t helping Maryland.
Without Scott, only Duke’s three turnovers kept this game from being a
comfortable win for the Blue Devils.

Maryland has an off weekend, then will play at NC State on November 7th.



NC State (3-4, 0-3)

NC State was off this past week. They play at Florida State on Saturday at
noon, and the game will be televised by Raycom.

Coastal Division



Georgia Tech (7-1, 5-1)

Georgia Tech blew out Virginia 34-9 on Saturday, and they remain the only ACC
team with just one overall loss on the season. The Yellow Jackets put up 447
yards of offense in heavy rain and limited the Hoos to just 198 yards. It was
Georgia Tech’s first win in Charlottesville since 1990.

All three of Georgia Tech’s major running threats had a big game on Saturday.
Jonathan Dwyer had 25 carries for 125 yards, while Anthony Allen finished with
103 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 carries. Quarterback Josh Nesbitt
chipped in with 82 yards and two touchdowns of his own.

For Georgia Tech, it’s quite simple. If they win their remaining ACC games
against Wake Forest and Duke, they will represent the Coastal Division in the
ACC Championship Game.

The Yellow Jackets play at Vanderbilt this Saturday at 7:30pm. The game will
be televised by CBSCS.



Virginia Tech (5-2, 3-1)

Virginia Tech was off this weekend. They host North Carolina this Thursday
night in Lane Stadium at 7:30pm on ESPN.



Duke (4-3, 2-1)

Don’t look now, but as a result of their 17-13 victory over Maryland,
Duke is tied in the loss column for first place in the ACC Coastal Division. The
Blue Devils put up 394 yards of total offense in their home win over Maryland,
and they’ve now won back-to-back ACC games for the first time since 1994. That’s
the last time Duke went to a bowl game, and with three more wins they’ll be bowl
eligible.

Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis was 30-of-43 for 371 yards, with two touchdowns
and an interception. Lewis is completing 64.1% of his passes this season, and he
has thrown for 1,972 yards, with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. He now
ranks in the Top 10 in career passing yardage in the ACC.

Duke has road games against Virginia, North Carolina and Miami remaining, as
well as home games against Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. If they win three of
those games, they’ll be bowl eligible.

The Blue Devils travel to Charlottesville this Saturday to take on UVA.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30pm on ESPN360.com.



Virginia (3-4, 2-1)

Virginia got hammered at home 34-9 by Coastal leader Georgia Tech on
Saturday. The Hoos played pretty well on defense for much of the game, but an
anemic offense gained just 198 yards.

Despite playing in heavy rain for much of the game, Virginia handed the ball
to their tailbacks just seven times, and they gained a total of four yards. The
Cavs let Jameel Sewell throw it a lot, and he was 18-of-32 for 168 yards with no
interceptions. He had an efficient day, but he couldn’t connect on any big plays
down the field.

Virginia needs three more wins to gain bowl eligibility. They’ll host Duke,
Boston College and Virginia Tech, and they have road games at Miami and Clemson.
It’s going to be tough to find three wins in those five games, but it’s
possible.

Virginia hosts Duke on Saturday at 3:30pm, and the game can be seen on
ESPN360.com.


Miami (5-2, 2-2)

Miami was upset at home by Clemson 40-37 in overtime. The Miami defense,
ravaged by injuries, allowed over 400 yards of total offense to a Clemson team
that has struggled to move the football for most of the year. The Canes are now
a long shot to win the Coastal Division. Both Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech
must lose an ACC game for Miami to have a chance.

As much hype as Jacory Harris has gotten this year, the TV experts are
forgetting one important stat: interceptions. Harris threw three picks in
Miami’s loss to Clemson. For the season, he has 13 touchdowns and 10
interceptions, not a very good ratio. He is completing 64.6% of his passes, but
his turnovers are hurting the Canes.

Miami will try to get well on the road against a struggling Wake Forest
defense on Saturday. That game will be televised by ABC at 3:30pm.



North Carolina (4-3, 0-3)

UNC was a media darling heading into the season, but a struggling offense has
limited them. The Tar Heels and NC State remain the only winless teams in the
ACC. UNC’s latest lost was a 30-27 setback at home in which they led 24-6 in the
third quarter. UNC allowed 395 passing yards to Florida State, while their own
offense struggled.

The Tar Heels managed only 333 yards of offense against a Seminole defense
that has been torched all season. Quarterback T.J. Yates was just 12-of-25 for
64 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.

UNC can count themselves out of the Coastal Division race, but if they can
manage two wins down the stretch they can get themselves bowl eligible. They
have road games against Virginia Tech, Boston College and NC State, while they
host Duke and Miami.

UNC has their work cut out for them on Thursday night when they travel to
Blacksburg to take on the Hokies at 7:30 on ESPN.



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