Week 9 in the ACC

Around the ACC:

The ACC is ranked seventh in the latest ESPN Conference power rankings behind the SEC, Pac-10, Big 10, Big 12, MWC and WAC…..Something will have to give in the Florida State vs NC State matchup. The FSU defense surrenders an average of only 16.1points per game but will be tested by QB Russell Wilson and a Wolfpack offense that averages 36 points per game. Wilson has accounted for 76 career touchdowns….Florida State QB Christian Ponder busted the bursa sac in his right elbow in the win over Boston College on Oct. 16 and missed three practices a week ago during FSU’s bye week…..Florida States first year head coach Jimbo Fisher has put himself in some very select company by winning his first four ACC games. Only four other coaches have done this previously. Former Maryland and Georgia Tech head coach Bobby Ross won his first five league games as head coach at Maryland in 1982 and Maryland’s Ralph Friedgen (2001), Duke’s Fred Goldsmith (1994) and Boston College’s Jeff Jagodzinski (2007) each won the first four ACC games of their head coaching careers. No coach has ever won his first six ACC games. When Florida State senior G Rodney Hudson was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week last week he earned the eighth Offensive Lineman of the Week honor of his career…..Georgia Tech led the nation in third-down conversions last season. This year they are sixth in the ACC. Tech QB Joshua Nesbitt is only 44 yards from the ACC career rushing record for quarterbacks but was held to only two rushing yards vs. Clemson…..There is a chance that Miami’s impressive freshman OT Seantrel Henderson will move from right tackle to left tackle in place of the injured Orlando Franklin…..Virginia brings a nine game conference losing streak into this week’s home game vs. Miami….Following last week’s 24-21 loss to Maryland, Boston College sits at 2-5 overall and is staring directly at the possibility of its first losing season since 1998…..Maryland redshirt freshman Pete DeSouza was hospitalized in intensive care after a breaking two bones in both legs last Thursday in a scooter accident near Cole Fieldhouse. DeSouza underwent a 12-hour surgery on Friday….Dukes current six game losing streak matches their longest under Head Coach David Cutcliffe.

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 18: Andre Ellington  of the Clemson Tigers against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 18, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Blind Squirrels ACC picks:

Clemson (4-3) at Boston College (2-5): Is Andre Ellington the NFL back from Clemson?

My pick: Clemson 27  Boston College 21

Miami (5-2) at Virginia (3-4): The conference losing streak grows to ten games for Virginia.

My pick: Miami 31  Virginia 17

Duke (1-6) at Navy(5-2): Navy runs their option offense as well as any team in the country. Just ask Notre Dame.

My pick: Navy 38  Duke 10

Wake Forest (2-5) at Maryland (5-2): Jim Grobe may start as many as five freshman for Wake Forest this week. Terps need this win to become bowl eligible.

My pick: Maryland 35  Wake Forest 14

William and Mary (6-1) at North Carolina (4-3): UNC had a four game winning streak snapped last week vs Miami. They’ll get back on track this week.

My pick: UNC 38 William and Mary 17



ACC Power rankings:

 1.     Florida State (6-1, 4-0) Christina Ponder used the bye week to get healthy.

 2.     Virginia Tech (6-2, 4-0) Is playing Duke the week before and official bye week actually two consecutive bye weeks?

 3.     Miami (5-2, 3-1) No major tests on the horizon until Nov. 20 vs Virginia Tech

 4.     NC State (5-2, 2-1) Huge contest this Thursday vs FSU

 5.     Clemson (4-3,2-2) They appear to have righted the ship with two straight wins but NC St and FSU loom on the horizon.

 6.     Maryland (5-2, 2-1) First road win for the Terps since 2008 last week.

 7.     Georgia Tech (5-3, 3-2) Things aren’t good when the Tech running game is struggling.

 8.     North Carolina (4-3,2-2) Not good last week offensively or defensively.

 9.     Wake Forest (2-5, 1-3) Currently on a five game losing streak. Only BCS win was vs Duke in week two.

10.  Virginia (3-4, 0-3) Got their first BCS win last week vs Eastern Michigan.

11.  Boston College (2-4, 0-4) Also on a five game losing streak with no BCS wins this season.

 12.  Duke (1-6, 0-4) Only win was in the opener vs Elon. There are a couple of possible wins on the horizon vs UVA or BC.

Written by John Huber. Follow him on Twitter @Fort80.


Around the ACC: Week 7

The bad news keeps coming at North Carolina. Defensive tackle Marvin Austin was dismissed from the team while wide receiver Greg Little and defensive end Robert Quinn have been ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA.  The NCAA ruled that Little and Quinn received improper benefits and then lied about it to NCAA investigators.

Going into last week’s Florida State at Miami match-up a key to the game was obviously going to be which offensive line could do the ‘ job of protecting their qb considering the game matched up the number one and two teams in the country in quarterback sacks.  Big kudos go to the Seminole line. Not only was Christian Ponder not sacked once but the Noles rushed for 298 yards  in their 45-17 beat-down of the canes.

The sellout crowd of 75,115 at Sun Life Stadium for Saturdays Cane – Nole matchup was the first sellout for Miami since 2004 when 78,622 attended the 16-10 Miami win over FSU

Clemson fans are not happy with the fact that running back Andre Ellington who leads the ACC in both yards per game and rushing td’s only had twelve carries in the Tigers 21-16 loss to North Carolina. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has said that Ellington will get more carries this week.  “He’s earned it. He’s been productive. We’ve got to do a better job there. Again that’s on me: I have to make sure that happens. “ , said Swinney.

Boston College is 2-3 following their 44-17 loss at NC State, the third straight for the Eagles, which puts them under  .500 after five games for the first time since the 1998 season. That is also the last time they lost three straight games.

ACC stats and facts:

In its previous 57 years, no quarterback has ever led the ACC in rushing. Georgia Tech QB Joshua Nesbitt leads the conference this week in rushing yards per game, averaging 90.5 yards per game.

The career ratio of touchdown passes to interceptions for NC State QB Russell Wilson is 3.61 to 1. It is the best in ACC history for a player with 40 or more career touchdown passes and it is the best among all current NCAA FBS quarterbacks with 40 or more career TD passes with the exception of Boise State’s Kellen Moore.

It’s been twenty-nine years since an ACC team has rushed for as many yards as Georgia Tech did in its 33-21 win over Virginia. The Yellow Jackets ran for 477 yards, the 6th-best rushing performance in ACC history

Boston College sophomore LB Luke Kuechly leads the nation this week in tackles per game, averaging 14.2 a contest after recording a career-high 20 tackles vs NC State.


Maryland WR Tony Logan leads the nation in punt returns this week after recording his punt returns of 84 and 85 yards on back-to-back weekends.

When North Carolina and Virginia meet this Saturday, it will mark the 115th renewal of the series which is the ACC’s and the South’s oldest. The two teams met originally on Oct. 22, 1892, but did not meet in 1899, 1906 and 1909. Following a break for WWI in 1917-18, beginning in 1919, the two teams have played in each of the 91 succeeding years with the 92nd scheduled for Saturday.


Rising Stock: Florida State – The Seminoles silenced a lot of doubter with their impressive win at Miami.

Falling Stock: Miami – The Canes were outplayed, outcoached and looked uninspired in their loss to FSU.

ACC Power Poll (last week’s ranking in parentheses)

  1. 1. Florida State (2)
  2. 2. Virginia Tech (3)
  3. 3. North Carolina State (4)
  4. 4. Miami (1)
  5. 5. Maryland (6)
  6. 6. Georgia Tech (7)
  7. 7. North Carolina (8)
  8. 8. Clemson (5)
  9. 9. Wake Forest (9)
  10. 10. Boston College (10)
  11. 11. Virginia (11)
  12. 12. Duke (12)


Blind Squirrels weekly picks:

Last week’s results (5-1)

Maryland at Clemson: Clemson needs this win badly. Maryland coming off back to back home wins over FIU and Duke will find this road trip a little tougher. My pick: Clemson 31 – Maryland 28

Boston College at Florida State: FSU needs to avoid a letdown after the big win over Miami. They are clicking on all cylinders and BC is hoping to avoid losing their fourth straight.                                              My pick: Florida State 29 – Boston College 17

NC State at East Carolina: Very interesting matchup. NC States only loss is the heartbreaker to VT. ECU returns home from a three game road trip. The Wolfpack has proven it can win on the road.                  My pick: NC State 38 – East Carolina 31

Miami at Duke: Miami will be looking to erase the bad taste of their embarrassing performance last week. My pick: Miami 35 – Duke 17

Wake Forest at Virginia Tech: Wake is hoping to end a four game losing streak while VT is riding a four game winning streak since the stunning loss to James Madison. VT can’t afford a letdown here.                           My pick: Virginia Tech 34 – Wake Forest 17

Middle Tennessee at Georgia Tech: MTSU has lost on the road at Troy and Memphis or maybe even more embarrassingly they lost at home to Minnesota. On paper this shouldn’t be close.  My pick: Georgia Tech 42 – Middle Tennessee 13

North Carolina at Virginia: Give UNC some credit. They have won three straight with all the turmoil surrounding their program.  Virginia has lost two straight. My pick: Virginia 21 – UNC 20

Written by John Huber.  Follow him on Twitter @Fort80.

Around the ACC:

The Miami vs Florida State rivalry carries some national relevance again.  Miami comes in ranked #13 and FSU at #23 in the AP Poll. It might be a rough night in Miami for Christian Ponder and Jacory Harris as both teams come into this seasons matchup playing ferocious defense.  Miami ranks No. 1 in the country in tackles for loss, No. 2 in sacks and No. 2 in pass efficiency defense. Florida State is No. 1 in the country in sacks, No. 2 in tackles for loss, and No. 4 in rushing defense. Both teams have veteran QB’s and the outcome could depend on which offensive line and QB handles the pressure more effectively.

The career ratio of touchdown passes to interceptions for NC State junior QB Russell Wilson is 3.88 to 1. It is the best in ACC history for a player with 40 or more career touchdown passes and it is the best among all current NCAA FBS quarterbacks with 40 or more career TD passes with the exception of Boise State’s Kellen Moore.

Clemson RB Andre Ellington leads the ACC in rushing yardage averaging 95 yards a game. More impressively, though, the Tiger sophomore is averaging 7.0 yards per carry on his 54 carries for 7 TDs.

Georgia Tech QB Joshua Nesbitt needs 259 yards to break the ACC career record of rushing yards by a quarterback. Nesbitt currently has 2,503 yards. The current record holder is former Clemson standout Woodrow Dantzler with 2,761 yards.

Clemson QB Kyle Parker threw 20 td passes in guiding the Tigers to a 9-5 season and the 2009 Music City Bowl, then in the spring he hit 20 home runs for the College World Series bound Clemson baseball team. He is the first Division I athlete to accomplish the 20/20 feat in the same academic year..

Rising Stock: Florida State – They’ll face their toughest test since Oklahoma this week vs Miami but the Seminole defense has been impressive during their three game winning streak.

Falling Stock: Clemson – No shame in losing to two ranked teams in Auburn and Miami but have only wins over North Texas and Presbyterian on their resume so far this season. The schedule over the next few weeks provides an opportunity to reverse the fall.

ACC Power Poll

  1. 1. Miami
  2. 2. Florida State
  3. 3. Virginia Tech
  4. 4. North Carolina State
  5. 5. Clemson
  6. 6. Maryland
  7. 7. Georgia Tech
  8. 8. North Carolina
  9. 9. Wake Forest
  10. 10. Boston College
  11. 11. Virginia
  12. 12. Duke     


Blind Squirrels weekly picks:

Boston College at NC State: Playing at home the Wolfpack should rebound from their first loss of the season. My pick: NC State 35  – Boston College 21

Central Michigan at Virginia Tech:  The Hokies should easily make it four in a row since opening the season with two straight losses. My pick: Virginia Tech 38 – CMU 14

Clemson at North Carolina:  Both teams still looking for their first win against a BCS team. UNC did have a nice win last week vs East Carolina…impressive considering all the turmoil around the program.                                   My pick:  North Carolina 24 – Clemson  21

Virginia at Georgia Tech:  Will the fact that former Cavalier head coach Al Groh is now the defensive coordinator at Tech play a role? Virginia gives up 4.1 yards per rush to opponents. Can they handle Josh Nesbitt and the Tech rushing attack? On the other side the Tech defense gives up 25 points per game. My pick: Georgia Tech 31 –  Virginia 28

Navy at Wake Forest: At 2-3 this is a must win game for the Deamon Deacsons bowl hopes. For the second straight week they’ll face an option offense after playing Georgia Tech last week. The Deacons are 93rd in the nation against the run. Not a good matchup against the finely tuned Navy running game.    My pick: Navy 24 – Wake Forest 23

Florida State at Miami: This game will come down to which QB and offensive line can better handle the pass rush and avoid game changing mistakes.  Give Miami a slight edge from the start for playing at home. My pick: Miami 30 – Florida State 27

Written by John Huber.  Follow him on Twitter @Fort80.

Indy Report

Army 35 – Duke 21

Army took a 14-7 lead at the end of the 1st Quarter and scored 21 unanswered points to roll past Duke 35-21.

Army kept up its rushing attack and took advantage of 5 Duke turnovers to make the game result all but academic by the beginning of the final stanza. Trent Steelman passed for two touchdowns and ran in for another score to push Army’s record to 3-1. Army continues its time of possession dominance by winning that battle 2:1 and running for 244 total yards.

Sean Renfree passed for 261 yards, but threw 3 picks in a losing cause.

Next week Army has a resurgent Temple at home while Duke faces another ACC foe in Maryland.

Stanford 37 – Notre Dame 14

Stanford rolled off 24 straight points after Notre Dame pushed the game closer at 10-6 in the 2nd Quarter.

Andrew Luck went 19-32 for 238 yards, but threw two picks in the win. He’ll need to have marquis games in the next two weeks against Oregon and USC if he wishes to be the 2nd Cardinal to grace the New York stage. Today’s game belonged to Owen Marecic. He rushed for one score and made a pick-6 to put the game away for Stanford.

Next week Stanford faces Oregon at Autzen stadium while Notre Dame hopes to avoid 1-4 when travelling to Chestnut Hill to face Boston College.

Thoughts? Criticism? Upset at plucking down $50 for UFC 119? Be sure to let me know on Twitter @prttimesouthpaw.

PGWU Podcast: Week 4

This week we discuss the legal troubles at Florida, talk about the big stories in each conference in The Breakdown, make our selections in the PGWU Pick’Em segment and finish the show off with the World Famous Prospect Quick Fire. Enjoy!

Pregame Warm-Up Podcast Week 3

This week on The Pregame Warm-Up Podcast, we discuss quite a few topics. Tune in for a discussion about Reggie Bush and what he should’ve done with his Heisman Trophy, the Pregame Warm-Up conference breakdown where we discuss the hot topics in each conference for this upcoming weekend, we made our selections for the Pregame Warm-Up Pick’em segment and finished this week off with the World Famous Prospect Quick Fire. Thanks for listening!