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.

Big East Week 4 Preview


Overview: West Virginia had an impressive win against Maryland this weekend as they continue to tune up for their big game this weekend against LSU.  Maryland is coming off of a terrible season but looked decent so far this year so it was a nice win for the Mountaineers.

Connecticut and Cincinnati both looked terrible and have really hurt the credibility of the Big East.  This conference needs solid performances from all their members in order to remain relevant on a national stage.  Both teams really need to step it up for the remainder of the season!

Last but not least we have to give a big hand to Louisville for putting on a good performance against Oregon State.  As far as preseason expectations go Oregon State was suppose to contend for a Pac 10 crown as Louisville was going to be a bottom feeder.  They gave the Beavers a tough fight this weekend and Louisville fans should feel good about the direction Charlie Strong is taking that team.

Standout Players: Geno Smith of West Virginia had the best day of any Big East performer.  He lead his team to a nice victory while going 19-29 for 268 yards and a touchdown.  Smith has proven to be a good passing quarterback and looks to lead the Mountaineers against a tough LSU secondary next week.

Jordan Todman of UConn was the lone bright spot for that team as he rushed for 192 yards and 1 touchdown.  Todman is going to get lost in the shuffle if his team continues to struggle.

CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 07:  Jordan Todman #23 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates with Mike Ryan #71 after running for a touchdownl against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the Big East Conference game at Nippert Stadium on November 7, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Looking Ahead: The conference has two marquee match-ups this week and the outcomes will go along in determining how people perceive this conference.  The top game is #22 West Virginia @ #15 LSU in what is sure to be a great game.  I truly believe that LSU is ripe for the plucking as they shown limited abilities on offense.  Geno Smith is going to have to have a big game against a tough LSU defense that boasts NFL Mocks top rated pro prospect in Patrick Peterson.  I am predicting the upset here for the Mountaineers. The other top game will air Thursday night on ESPN as #19 Miami takes on Pitt.  Pitt desperately needs to pull off the victory here and get a quality out of conference win.  They will be counting on Dion Lewis to return to form and lead them to victory.  Miami is a very talented team and is coming off a disappoint loss to Ohio State so Pitt should expect them to be fully focused and ready to go.

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 26:  Dion Lewis #28 of the Pittsburgh Panthers runs with the ball against the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game on December 26, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Another game that means a lot to the conference is North Carolina @ Rutgers.  UNC is still without the majority of their starting defense as they await word from the NCAA regarding their eligibility.  Rutgers has chance to pull off the win and gain some respect for the Big East.

PISCATAWAY, NJ - NOVEMBER 12:  Tom Savage #7 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights throws a pass against the South Florida Bulls at Rutgers Stadium on November 12, 2009 in Piscataway, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

If I was a Cincinnati fan I would hide my eyes this weekend as they take on #7 Oklahoma.  This game will not be pretty.

Written by Jon Dove @NFLMocks on Twitter

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