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Atlantic Coast Conference football team notes

Posted Wednesday, August 27, 2008

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Atlantic division team notes

Boston College
The Eagles are one of four ACC teams (GT, Miami, UVa) who will definitely start a new QB in its season opener, with fifth-year senior Chris Crane taking over for last year's ACC Player of the Year Matt Ryan...BC is also one of three ACC teams opening their season in a neutral site stadium, facing Kent State at Cleveland Browns Stadium...TE Ryan Purvis, who had more pass catches last year (54), than any other TE in ACC history except for UVa's Heath Miller, was named to the pre-season watch lists for the John Mackey and Lombardi Awards...BC, which finished 2nd in the nation in rushing defense last year, has LB Brian Toal selected to the pre-season watch lists for the Bednarik and Nagurski Awards, and LB Mark Herzlich tabbed to the pre-season watch list for the Lott Trophy...Purvis, Toal, and DT Ron Brace were all selected to the ACC's Pre-Season Football team.

Clemson
Clemson will be playing its second straight game in the Georgia Dome when it meets Alabama there on Aug. 30....The Tigers ended the 2008 season against Auburn in the Dome in the Chick-fil-A Bowl...The Tigers' QB Cullen Harper and RB's James Davis and C.J. Spiller fi nished 1-2-3 in the pre-season ballotting for ACC Player of the Year, the fi rst three teammates to have done so...All three were named to the pre-season watch list for the prestigious Maxwell Trophy...Harper was also chosen as the ACC's Pre-Season Player of the Year by the media, and named to the watch lists for the Johnny Unitas and Davey O'Brien Awards... DE Patrick Sapp was named to the pre-season watch list for the Bednarik Award...DB Michael Hamlin was named to the pre-season watch list for the Nagurski and Jim Thorpe Awards...DT Dorell Scott was named to the pre-season watch list for the Outland Trophy.

Florida State
The Seminoles are the only ACC team which will not be in action on the season's fi rst weekend, opening on Sept. 6 against Western Carolina...FSU has enjoyed 31 consecutive winning seasons under head coach Bobby Bowden...DB Myron Rolle was named to the pre-season watch lists for the Nagurski, the Bednarik, the Lott Trophy and the Jim Thorpe Award...QB Christian Ponder, a redshirt sophomore in eligibility, and Rolle, a true junior, have already earned their bachelor's degree...DE Everette Brown was been tabbed to the pre-season watch lists for the Bednarik, Nagurski and Ted Hendricks Awards...Both QB Drew Weatherford and RB Antone Smith were named to the watch lists for the Maxwell Trophy...Weatherford led the nation in 2007 in pass interception avoidance, throwing only 3 interceptions in 318 pass attempts...C Ryan McMahon was named to the watch list for the Rimington Award.

Maryland
Head coach Ralph Friedgen has recorded the 3rd-best start by a head oach in ACC history after his fi rst 7 seasons, posting a mark of 56-31, which is eclipsed only by former Terrapin head coach Jerry Claiborne and Clemson's Danny Ford...Friedgen named senior QB Jordan Steffy as the Terps starter...Steffy, who began 2007 as the starter, had been locked in a pre-season battle with QB Chris Turner, who started the fi nal 8 games last year and junior Josh Portis, for the starting job...WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, who has 96 career receptions for 1,480 yards, was named to the pre-season watch list for the Maxwell Trophy...The Terps return 9 starters on offense including TE Dan Gronkowski who was named to the watch list for the John Mackey award...Senior LB Dave Philistin, who was named to the watch lists for the Nagurski and Bednarik Awards, is the 2nd leading returning tackler from last year in the ACC...C Edwin Williams was named to the watch list for the Rimington Award

NC State
When NC State travels to South Carolina in its season opener, the Wolfpack will make the first of two appearances on ESPN's Thursday night package...State is scheduled to host Florida State on Oct. 16 in a nationally-televised ESPN Thursday contest... Redshirt freshman QB Russell Wilson has been named the starter with graduate student Daniel Evans, who started the final 7 games at QB last fall as the backup...True freshman Mike Glennon, the younger brother of Virginia Tech QB Sean Glennon was in the pre-season competition for QB but will now be redshirted...TE Anthony Hill, who missed all of 2007 with a knee injury, has been named to the pre-season watch list for the John Mackey Award...DE Willie Young, who ranked 4th in the ACC in tackles for loss last year, was named to the watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award...Thursday's game will be the 56th meeting between the two teams, but first since 1999.

Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons are one of four ACC teams who begin their season Thursday night, facing Baylor in a nationally televised game on Fox Sports Net...The Deacons, under Jim Grobe, have posted a 20-7 record the past two seasons, the best two-year mark in school history...Wake features a lineup that includes the last two ACC Rookies of the Year in QB Riley Skinner and TB Josh Adams...Skinner led the nation last year in pass completion percentage, Adams fi nished 2nd in the ACC in rushing... PK Sam Swank has made 75% of his FG attempts (9 of 12) from a distance of 50 yards or more...DBs Alphonso Smith and Chip Vaughn both were named to the watch lists for the Jim Thorpe Award...Smith and LB Aaron Curry were also named to the watch lists for the Nagurski and Bednarik Awards...Curry was also named to the Lott Trophy watch lists.

Coastal division team notes

Duke
New Head Coach David Cutcliffe coaches his first game at Duke this Saturday as the Blue Devils host James Madison.... Since 1926, new Duke Head Coaches are 9-5 in the fi rst games for the Blue Devils, though the last Duke head coach to win in his opener was Fred Goldsmith in 1994...Cutcliffe won his first game as a head coach at Ole Miss, a 35-18 triumph over Texas Tech in the 1998 Independence Bowl...RB Re'quan Boyette, LB Vincent Rey, FB Tielor Robinson and LB Michael Tauiliili were elected as team captains...QB Thaddeus Lewis has thrown for 4,565 yards in his fi rst two seasons, more yardage after his sophomore season than only three other players in ACC history--Philip Rivers (NCS), Drew Weatherford (FSU and Charlie Whitehurst (Clemson)...WR Eron Riley was named to the ACC Pre-Season team...His career 20.72 yards per catch average is the 4th-best in ACC history... DT Vince Oghobaase is on the watch list for the Nagurski and Bednarik Awards and the watch list for the Outland Trophy.

Georgia Tech
New Head Coach Paul Johnson begins his first season on the Flats, as Tech hosts Jacksonville State in a Thursday night game...Dating back to Tech's first-full-time head coach, John Heisman, in 1904, Yellow Jacket head coaches are 8-3 in their debut games.... Paul Johnson has won both of his debut games, at Georgia Southern and at Navy.....He is 2-0 against the Jackets' opponent this week--Jacksonville State, both wins coming at Georgia Southern...Tech has two linemen, T Andrew Gardner, and DT Vance Walker, named to the pre-season watch list for the prestigious Outland Trophy...DE Michael Johnson was named to the pre-season watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award... Johnson and Walker were both named to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award...Gardner and Walker were named to the Lombardi Trophy pre-season watch list...The Jackets have now won 7 or more games in 11 straight seasons and have been to 11 straight bowl games.

North Carolina
Sophomore FS Deunta Williams was named the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year last fall...Sophomore DT Marvin Austin was named to the pre-season watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award...WR Hakeem Nicks has made 113 receptions in his fi rst two seasons and enters 2008 second in career receptions among active ACC players...Nicks set a UNC school mark last year with 74 catches...WR-KR Brandon Tate is the ACC's all-time career leader in kickoff return yardage, having totalled 2,383 yards in his first 3 seasons...Tate also enters this year with fi ve returns (23 kickoff, 2 punt) for scores...Redshirt freshman QB T.J. Yates has thrown for 2,655 yards, the 4th-best season by a freshman QB in league history.....Only Drew
Weatherford (FSU), Philip Rivers (NCS) and Chris Rix (FSU) threw for more yards as freshmen...Soph TB Greg Little, who started the fi nal two games of last year, averaged 121.5 yards
a game rushing in those two starts against Coastal Division foes Duke and Georgia Tech.

Virginia
Southern California, UVa's No. 2-ranked season-opening opponent (USA Today), is the highest ranked foe faced by the Cavaliers since Virginia hosted No. 1-ranked FSU in 1999...Virginia is one of 3 ACC Coastal Division teams (GT, Miami) who will be starting new quarterbacks this year...Head Coach Al Groh is expected to choose a starter from among senior Scott Deke and sophomores Pete Lalich and Mark Verica...The Cavaliers only return fi ve starters on defense, but three of them are at linebacker where Antonio Appleby, Jon Copper and Clint Sintim have started 89 games between them...Sintim, who has started 37 games, was named to the pre-season watch list for the Nagurski Award...TB Cedric Peerman, who missed the last the final six games last year with a foot injury, was the leading rusher in theACC at the time of his injury having topped 100-yards rushing in 3 games...He and his replacement, Mikell Simpson, combined for 1,155 yards rushing...T Eugene Monroe has been named to the pre-season watch list for the prestigious Outland Trophy.

Miami
Miami begins its first season in its new home, Dolphin Stadium, after spending 71 years in the Orange Bowl...Randy Shannon begins his second season as the Hurrricanes head coach...Miami is 55-27-1 all-time in its season opening games...TBs Javarris James and Graig Cooper combined for 1,264 yards rushing last year and 8 TDs...James, who has rushed for 1,390 yards in his first two varsity seasons, was named to the pre-season watch list for the Maxwell Trophy...DE Eric Moncur was named to the pre-season watch list for the Hendricks
Award, given to the nation's top defensive end...13 of Miami's 23 senior players in 2008 have already earned their degrees including returning starters Moncur, TE Chris Zellner and
DT Joe Joseph...Shannon announced that redshirt freshman QB Robert Marve will be Miami's starter this year, but will be suspended for the Hurricanes' fi rst game....In his place, Miami will start true freshman Jacory Harris, the first time a freshman has started for UM since since then-redshirt freshman Bernie Kosar opened the 1983 campaign.

Virginia Tech
QB Sean Glennon, who ranked 7th nationally in interception avoidance in 2007, has been selected to the pre-season watch lists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and Davey O'Brien Award...Junior G Sergio Render has been named to the pre-season watch list for the Outland Trophy...DB's Victor Harris and Kam Chancellor were both named to the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award...TE Sam Wheeler has been named to the pre-season list for the John Mackey Award...Harris and Render were both named to the pre-season All-ACC team...The Hokies are one of only 3 teams nationally (USC, Texas) to have won 10 or more games in each of the past four seasons...Since 1995, only Ohio State (130) and Florida (127) have won more games than has Tech (126)... Saturday's game with East Carolina is Tech's fi rst appearance in Charlotte since facing Clemson on Nov. 24, 1900--a span of 108 years.

 
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