Around the ACC: November 23, 2009

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The 2009 ACC Championship Game has been set. Clemson will represent the
Atlantic Division, and they will take on Georgia Tech from the Coastal Division
in Tampa on December 5. The rest of the ACC is still fighting for bowl slotting,
and the Hokies have a good chance to go to an upper-tier bowl game if they can
knock off Virginia in their regular season finale.

Clemson beat the Hoos over the weekend to clinch the Atlantic Division in
Dabo Swinney’s first full season as head coach. The Tigers have earned a rematch
with Georgia Tech, with the Yellow Jackets taking the first meeting 30-27 in
Atlanta. The Tigers are a much better football team now than they were in
September, so the ACC Championship Game should be a great game.

Atlantic Division

Clemson (8-3, 6-2)

Clemson let Virginia hang around, but the Tigers’ superior talent came
through in a 34-21 win in Death Valley. Clemson led 34-21 at the end of the
third quarter, and spent the fourth quarter running out the clock.

Kyle Parker, Clemson’s r-freshman quarterback, had a big game against
Virginia. He was 19-of-26 for 234 yards, with two touchdowns and an
interception. The Tigers have not lost a game since October 3, and they’ve
scored at least 34 points in each of their last six games. Parker’s improvement
has a lot to do with the increase in Clemson’s offensive output. They scored
more than 30 points just once in their first five games.

The Tigers are done with ACC play. They will take on in-state rival South
Carolina this Saturday at noon on ESPN.

Boston College (7-4, 4-3)

Boston College fell behind North Carolina 21-0 in the first 10 minutes of the
game, tried to rally, but eventually lost 31-13. The Eagles were undefeated at
home heading into the game, but suffered their first home loss of the season on
Senior Day.

BC did manage to cut the UNC lead to 21-13, but the Tar Heels scored 10
points in the fourth quarter to finish off the home team.

Turnovers were the primary culprit. UNC scored on fumble and interception
returns for touchdowns, both in the first quarter. BC lost a fumble and Dave
Shinskie threw four interceptions. The BC defense picked off Tar Heel
quarterback T.J. Yates three times, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a bad
offensive performance.

The Eagles will go for an 8-4 record when they travel to College Park to take
on Maryland this Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30pm, and the game will be
televised by ESPNU.

Florida State (6-5, 4-4)

Lonnie Pryor’s three yard touchdown run with 32 seconds remaining lifted
Florida State to a 29-26 home victory over Maryland on Saturday. It was a big
win for the Noles, because they are now bowl eligible before their season finale
with #1 Florida. The Seminoles hold the nation’s longest bowl streak at 28
seasons, including this season, and Florida (19 straight bowls) and the Hokies
(17 straight) have the second and third-longest streaks.

E.J. Manuel, Florida State’s r-freshman quarterback who is starting in the
place of the injured Christian Ponder, threw three interceptions that helped
keep the Terps in the game. however, FSU ran for 198 yards and averaged 8.2
yards per carry. Their ability to control the line of scrimmage against the
Maryland defense was the key to this win.

The Noles play at Florida this Saturday at 3:30pm on CBS.

Wake Forest (4-7, 2-5)

Wake Forest was off this weekend. They play their regular season finale this
Saturday at Duke. The game will kickoff at noon on Raycom.

NC State (4-7, 1-6)

NC State’s latest loss was a 38-10 setback in Blacksburg. The Wolfpack had to
travel without offensive coordinator Dana Bible, who remained behind in Raleigh
with an undisclosed medical condition. The absence of Bible didn’t help the NC
State offense, which struggled against a fired up Tech defense.

Russell Wilson was sacked five times, and Mike Glennon was also greeted with
a sack when he entered the game for NC State’s final possession. The Wolfpack
had just 259 yards of total offense, and they were limited to just 14 rushing
yards by a stingy Tech defense.

The Wolfpack have just one game remaining, against in-state rival UNC. NC
State can’t make a bowl game, but they could spoil the end of the season for the
hated Tar Heels. Kickoff is scheduled for noon on ESPN2.

Maryland (2-9, 1-6)

Maryland got star tailback Da’Rel Scott, but it wasn’t enough to beat Florida
State. The Terps lost a heartbreaker 29-26 in the final minutes, despite a good
game by quarterback Jamarr Robinson.

Robinson had a big day running the football against Virginia Tech, but he put
together a complete game against the struggling Florida State defense. He was
20-of-27 for 214 yards, with a touchdown and no interceptions. Robinson also ran
for 58 yards. He looks like he has potential as Maryland’s quarterback of the

Da’Rel Scott ran for 83 yards in his first game since early October, but it
wasn’t enough. The Terps haven’t won since October 3, and they have just one
game remaining.

Maryland hosts Boston College this Saturday at 3:30pm on ESPNU.

Coastal Division

Georgia Tech (10-1, 7-1)

Georgia Tech was off this week. They host in-state rival Georgia this
Saturday at 8pm on ABC.

Virginia Tech (8-3, 5-2)

The Hokies knocked of NC State 38-10 in Lane Stadium on Senior Day, and
remain alive for a sixth consecutive 10-win season. The Hokies put up 397 yards
of total offense, including 200 on the ground and 197 through the air. It was a
very balanced day at the office for the Tech offense.

Ryan Williams ran for 120 yards and scored a career-high four touchdowns. He
now holds the Virginia Tech freshman records for rushing yards (1,355) and
rushing touchdowns (15). Tyrod Taylor added 197 yards and a touchdown through
the air. Sophomore wide receiver Jarrett Boykin caught six passes for a
career-high 164 yards and a touchdown.

The Tech defense held NC State to just 259 yards of total offense. Cody Grimm
tied an NCAA record with three forced fumbles in the game. All three of Grimm’s
forced fumbles came in the first four plays from scrimmage for the Wolfpack, and
they resulted in 10 points for the Hokies.

Tech returns to action this Saturday at UVA. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30pm.
Television coverage has changed since originally being announced as ESPN.
Virginia Tech at Virginia will now be seen in a regional area on ABC – mainly
Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, DC and North Carolina. The game will be
carried everywhere else in the nation on ESPN.

Miami (8-3, 5-3)

Miami completed their ACC schedule with a 34-16 victory over Duke on
Saturday. The Canes trailed for most of the game, but scored 24 unanswered
points over the final 21 minutes of the game to come away with the win.

Miami put up 496 yards of total offense, mostly on the arm of quarterback
Jacory Harris. The true sophomore was 25-of-43 for 348 yards, with two
touchdowns and an interception. Leonard Hankerson caught eight passes for 148
yards and a touchdown as the Miami offense rolled.

Defensively, Miami gave up 303 passing yards to quarterback Thad Lewis, but
linebacker Darryl Sharpton did come away with a key interception return for a
touchdown late in the game.

Miami plays at USF this Saturday to close the regular season. Kickoff is
scheduled for 3:30pm on ABC.

North Carolina (8-3, 4-3)

UNC picked up their fourth win in a row with a 31-13 triumph at Boston
College on Saturday. The Tar Heel defense forced five turnovers and scored two
touchdowns, overcoming a four-turnover performance by their own offense.

Cornerback Kendric Burney returned an interception for a touchdown, one week
following a three interception, one touchdown performance last week against
Miami. Free safety Deunta Williams picked off three passes against the Eagles,
giving the Tar Heels a player with three interceptions in back-to-back games.

UNC will look to keep up their winning ways when they travel to Raleigh to
take on NC State this Saturday. The game will be televised by ESPN2 at noon.

Duke (5-6, 3-4)

As a result of their 34-16 loss at Miami on Saturday, Duke can’t become bowl
eligible. One of the Blue Devils’ wins came against North Carolina Central, a
team that is transitioning from Division II to Division 1-AA, which means that
win does not count towards bowl eligibility.

Despite the disappointing finish, Duke has nothing to be ashamed of. Last
year they won just four games, and two years ago they finished 1-11. David
Cutcliffe has done a great job in his two seasons at the helm.

The Blue Devils still have a chance to finish with a .500 record. They host
Wake Forest this Saturday at noon, and the game will be televised by Raycom.

Virginia (3-7, 2-5)

Virginia lost to Clemson 34-21 in Death Valley on Saturday. The Hoos played a
pretty good game overall, but the more-talented Tigers prevailed in the second
half. Virginia is playing for pride now, and they host in-state rival Virginia
Tech this week.

By all indications, the Al Groh era is just one game away from being over.
Groh got off to a hot start at Virginia, hauling in highly-touted recruits and
firing up the fan base. Things eventually fizzled out, and this season marks the
third year in the last four that the Hoos will not be going bowling.

UVA’s game with Virginia Tech is scheduled for 3:30pm on Saturday, and it
will be televised by ABC regionally and by ESPN around the rest of the nation.

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