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ACC Football This Week - 10/09/04

Posted Tuesday, October 5, 2004

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For the first time, three ACC teams are ranked in the AP Top 10.

ACColades: For the first time the ACC has three teams -- Miami (4), Florida State (8), Virginia (10) -- ranked in Top 10 of the AP poll; Maryland is 23rd. Five ACC teams - Miami (4), Florida State (8), Virginia (9), Maryland (23) and NC State (25) - ranked in coaches' poll ... Miami has been ranked in the Top 5 of the AP poll in 57 of the last 68 polls ... NC State heads up five ACC teams ranked in the top 12 nationally in total defense ... Maryland's Steve Suter needs only four yards to become the league's all-time punt return leader ... Maryland's Nick Novak (367) is the ACC's all-time leading scorer while Florida State's Xavier Beitia (331) is fourth ... Miami has won eight in a row, the 4th-longest win streak in Division I-A; Virginia has won seven in a row and is tied for the fifth-longest current win streak in I-A ... Maryland has won 13-in-a-row at Byrd Stadium, the 6th-longest streak in Division I-A ... Florida State has been ranked in 290 of the last 294 AP polls since the start of the 1987 season ...the Seminoles have been ranked in the AP Top 10 in 253 of those 290 rankings ... FSU owns longest consecutive ranking streak of 201 straight polls from 1989 to 2001 ... Miami has been ranked in the Top 5 in 57 of the last 68 AP polls and in the Top 10 in 70 of the last 75 rankings.

TEAM NOTES

Clemson: Clemson junior Justin Miller leads the ACC and is 2nd nationally in kickoff returns (36.4) ... Miller is fourth in the ACC in punt returns (12.7) and leads the ACC in all-purpose yardage (137.2) ... QB Charlie Whitehurst is 21st on the ACC career passing list (5,958) and 25th in total offense (6,009) ... WRs Airese Currie (5.8) and Kelvin Grant (4.0) rank 1-3 in the ACC in receptions per game ... senior LB Leroy Hill leads the ACC in tackles (10.2), tackles for loss (2.1) and is tied for third in QB sacks (1.0) ... the Tigers are 3-3 in their last six games versus Top 10 opponents.

Duke: QB Mike Schneider threw two touchdown passes in Saturday's 28-10 win over The Citadel ... the Blue Devils have forced 13 turnovers in the first five games and are tied with Wake Forest for the lead in the ACC with eight interceptions ... sophomore CB John Talley is second in the ACC with three interceptions and has returned two of them for touchdowns ... Duke is fifth in the ACC and 43rd nationally in turnover margin (+0.43) and over the last eight games has forced 22 turnovers ... freshman Justin Boyle leads the team in rushing with 165 yards on 33 carries (5.0 average).

Florida State: Leon Washington ran for a career-high 153 yards in Saturday's 38-16 win over North Carolina ... Washington is fourth in the ACC in rushing (94.2) and is averaging 7.9 yards per carry ... in their current three-game win streak, the Seminoles have out-rushed their opponents by 175 yards per game (228.7 to 53.7) ... senior PK Xavier Beitia has made 57 straight PATs and is fourth on the ACC career scoring list with 323 points ... FSU has scored in 202 straight games ... over the last seven quarters, QB Wyatt Sexton and WR Chauncey Stovall have combined for 13 receptions for 167 yards and three TDs.

Georgia Tech: Despite missing Saturday's game with Miami, junior TB P.J. Daniels is second in the ACC in rushing (108.0) ... Daniels has eight 100-yard games and is tied for seventh place on Tech's career rushing list with William Bell (1989-93) with 2,026 yards ... sophomore QB Reggie Ball is tied for the lead in the ACC with seven TD passes ... Ball ranks ninth in Tech history in career passing yards (2,680) and 11th in total offense (3,486) ... WR Calvin Johnson leads all ACC freshmen in receptions (3.5) and receiving yardage (56.8) ... junior LB Gerris Wilkinson is third in the ACC in tackles per game (10.0).

Maryland: Senior PK Nick Novak has made nine of his 11 field goal attempts in 2004 and is the ACC's all-time leading scorer with 367 points ... Novak has made 73 of 96 career field goal attempts (76%) and is the leading active scorer in Division I-A ... junior TB Josh Allen is 13th on the Terps' all-time rushing list (1,621) ... Steve Suter is second among ACC career punt return leaders (1,188) and needs only four yards to become the league's all-time leader ... under head coach Ralph Friedgen, the Terps are 30-0 when leading at halftime and have a 13-game win streak at Byrd Stadium.

Miami: Larry Coker is 39-3 (.927) in his four seasons with the Hurricanes ... Miami's defense has allowed only one offensive touchdown this season ... the Hurricanes lead the nation in pass efficiency defense (66.28) and are the only team in Division I-A to have limited their opponents to under a 40 percent completion percentage on the season ... Devin Hester leads the nation in punt returns (33.7) ... the Hurricanes have 14 QB sacks in the first four games ... QB Brock Berlin is fourth in the ACC in passing efficiency having completed 57 percent of his passes for 676 yards and five touchdowns.

North Carolina: UNC's first four opponents are a combined 16-4 (.800) on the season while the next three - NC State, Utah and Miami - are a combined 12-1 (.923) ... in all, five of UNC's first eight opponents are currently ranked, including four in the top 11 of this week's AP poll ... Jawarski Pollock had eight catches for 100 yards against Florida State; Pollock has at least one reception in 28 straight games and is eighth among UNC career receptions (119) ... QB Darian Durant is 11th in ACC career total offense (8,109), 16th in passing yardage (7,355) and has thrown a TD pass in 29 of his last 34 regular season games.

NC State: NC State leads the nation in passing defense (92.2) and is second in total defense (189.7) ... State has allowed opponents to complete only 45.7 percent of their passes ... ACC rushing leader T.A. McLendon ran for 139 yards and two scores in Saturday's 27-21 overtime win over Wake Forest and moved into ninth place on the NC State career rushing list with 2,035 yards ... junior QB Jay Davis completed 16 of 21 for 228 yards and one TD against the Deacons and moved from 85th to 44th among passing leaders nationally ... the Wolfpack defense has allowed an ACC-low 49 first downs in the first four games.

Virginia: The Cavaliers are ranked 10th in this week's AP poll, their highest listing since being ranked 7th on Oct. 11, 1998 ... UVa leads the ACC in scoring (45.5), rushing (284.0) and total offense (500.5) and has trailed for only 3:22 of 240 minutes played in 2004 ... Wali Lundy leads the nation in scoring (15.0) and is third in the ACC in rushing (99.4) ... Lundy is tied for 6th on UVa's career scoring list with 204 points ... QB Marques Hagans leads the ACC and is fourth nationally in passing efficiency (182.9); Hagans is averaging 10.57 yards per play - the top per play average among Division I-A quarterbacks.

Virginia Tech: Saturday's 19-13 win over sixth-ranked West Virginia marked the second-highest ranked opponent that the Hokies have ever beaten ... in his first collegiate start Saturday, junior TB Mike Imoh ran for 115 yards on 30 carries and totaled 206 all-purpose yards ... Tech has blocked 104 kicks in 206 games under head coach Frank Beamer, including three this year ... freshman Eddie Royal leads the team in receiving (12-178) while fellow freshman Josh Hyman is second (11-230) ... FS Vincent Fuller sealed the win Saturday with his third interception of the season; he now has eight for his career.

Wake Forest: Saturday's game with Virginia Tech will be the third game of a four-game stretch against teams that are a combined 13-5 (.722) on the season ... more than half of the games in Grobe's four years at Wake Forest (21 of 41) have been decided by a touchdown or less ... LB Jonathan Abbate leads all ACC freshmen in tackles (7.4) ... Chris Barclay is sixth in the ACC in rushing (87.2) and is sixth among school career rushing leaders with 2,331 yards ... QB Cory Randolph has thrown only two interceptions in his last 160 pass attempts over his last 10 games ... P Ryan Plackemeier is sixth nationally in punting (46.1).

BY THE NUMBERS

1 - Quarterback sacks allowed by the Virginia offensive line in the Cavalier's first four games of the 2004 season.

1 - Offensive touchdowns allowed by Miami through the Hurricanes first three games of the 2004 season.

2 - Interception returns for touchdowns by Duke sophomore cornerback John Talley, tying the ACC single-season record held by seven different players ... Talley has five interceptions over the last six games dating back to 2003.

2 - Wins needed by Maryland's Ralph Friedgen to become the league's winningest fourth-year head coach. Fridegen is currently tied for second with 34 career wins.

3 - For the first time ever, the ACC has three teams ranked in the Top 10 of this week's AP poll ... the ACC has had two Top 10 teams in 64 previous AP polls ... in the 1991 AP pre-season poll, Florida State was ranked 1st, Georgia Tech 8th and Clemson 9th, but the Seminoles did not play an ACC team that season and did not compete for the league championship.

3:22 - Virginia's 12th-ranked Cavaliers have trailed for only 3:22 of 240 minutes played in 2004.

4 - Punt return yardage needed by Maryland's Steve Suter to pass NC State's Ledel George (1990-93) and become the ACC's all-time leader ... Suter is currently second with 1,188 yards.

10.6 - NCAA-best yards per play average among Division I-A quarterbacks by Virginia's Marques Hagans.

Yards per Play by I-A Quarterbacks Marques Hagans, UVa 10.6
Stefan Lefors, Louisville 8.9
Kyle Orton, Purdue 8.8
Dale Rogers, San Jose State 8.7
Bruce Gradkowski, Toledo 8.6

18.7 - Career yards per reception average of Wake Forest wide receiver Jason Anderson ... Anderson has 1,929 yards and 15 touchdowns on 103 catches.

42 - Passing yards needed by Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst to become only the eighth player in ACC history to throw for 6,000 yards or more by his junior season.

33.7 - NCAA-leading punt return average of Miami sophomore Devin Hester ... Hester has 202 yards, and two touchdowns, on six returns.

104 - Blocked kicks by Virginia Tech in 206 games under head coach Frank Beamer.

686 - Rushing yardage by Florida State over its last three games ... for the first time since 1994 (a span covering 115 games) the Seminoles have had more yards rushing than passing in three straight games.

31.3 - ACC-best career kickoff return average by Clemson junior Justin Miller ... Miller has 43 career kickoff returns for 1,346 yards and three touchdowns.

39 - Wins by Miami head coach Larry Coker in his first 42 games as head coach of the Hurricanes.

45.01 - Wake Forest's Ryan Plackemeier is the ACC's all-time punting leader with a 45.01 yards per punt average.

165.33 - NC State leads the NCAA in total defense allowing only 165.3.0 yards per game ... the Wolfpack finished 89th nationally a year ago in total defense, yeilding an average of 421.0 yards per game.

165.90 - Career passing efficiency rating of Virginia junior quarterback Marques Hagans ... Hagans has completed 70 percent of his passes for 1,131 yards and eight touchdowns.

367 - Duke had a season-high 397 yards of total offense in Saturday's 28-10 win over The Citadel.

3,548 - Virginia's Alvin Pearman is currently 13th among NCAA active career all-purpose yardage leaders with 3,548 yards. Teammate Wali Lundy is 18th with 3,327 yards while Maryland's Steve Suter (3,276) is 20th.

GAME PREVIEWS

Thursday, October 7
Clemson (1-3, 1-2 ACC) at #9 Virginia (4-0, 1-0 ACC)
ESPN; 7:30 p.m.
Scott Stadium (61,500)

THE GAME: Clemson travels to Virginia as both conference teams square-off under the lights in front of a national television audience on ESPN's Thursday night college football. The Tigers lead the all-time series 35-7-1 and head to Charlottesville owning a mark of 15-4 against the Cavaliers. Clemson won the first 29 games of the series, but since Virginia's first win over the Tigers in 1990 the Cavs are 7-6-1. Each of the last three meetings have been decided by five points or less.

LAST TIME OUT: Last year in Death Valley, Clemson's Charlie Whitehurst found Kevin Youngblood for a four-yard game-winning touchdown as the Tigers downed the Cavaliers 30-27 in overtime. Clemson got out to a 10-0 lead at halftime before Virginia bounced back and scored 17 unanswered in the third quarter. The Tigers held the Cavaliers to only 53 yards rushing and Whitehurst threw for 265 yards and tallied three TD's including a one-yard score. Virginia TE Heath Miller registered a team-high eight receptions for 52 yards and a TD in the loss.

THE COACHES: Tommy Bowden is 39-27 in his sixth season at Clemson and 57-31 in eight years overall. Virginia head coach Al Groh is 26-17 in his fourth year at Virginia, and 52-57 in 10 seasons overall.

FAST FACTS

Through the first four games this season, Virginia has accumulated 25 touchdowns, 19 of which have come on the ground. The number is two more than last year's 17 rushing touchdowns scored by the Cavaliers. Wali Lundy, the nation leader in scoring (15.0), leads all Cavaliers with 10 TD's on the season.

Clemson's Justin Miller set an NCAA record for kickoff return yards in a single game gaining 282 yards two weeks ago vs. Florida State. In that game, Miller set an ACC record and tied an NCAA mark tallying two kickoff returns for a TD. Miller is first in the ACC and second in the nation in kick returns at 36.4.

Virginia leads the ACC and is ranked in the top ten nationally in four of five offensive categories including scoring offense (4th), rushing offense (5th), pass efficiency (5th) and total offense (7th).

Tiger RB Yusef Kelly needs 27 yards to reach 1,000 yards for his career. In two previous games vs. Virginia, Kelly has gained 160 yards on 42 carries and one touchdown.


Saturday, October 9
Virginia Tech (3-2, 1-1 ACC) at Wake Forest (3-2, 0-2 ACC)
JP, 12:00 p.m.
Groves Stadium (31,500)

THE GAME: In the 33rd meeting between both teams, Wake Forest welcomes Virginia Tech to Groves Stadium for the first time since 1984 in the Jefferson Pilot/Raycom ACC Game of the Week. The Hokies are 20-11-1 all-time against the Demon Deacons while maintaining an overall mark of 10-5 in games played in Wintson-Salem. Virginia Tech has won five straight on the Deacs home turf and has held Wake Forest to under ten points in four of those five contests.

LAST TIME OUT: In the opening game of the 1984 season at Groves Stadium, Virginia Tech escaped with a 21-20 victory over Wake Forest as a last second 40-yard field goal attempt by the Demon Deacons sailed to the right. Wake Forest outgained Virginia Tech in total offense 327-208, but the Hokies' Eddie Hunter would score the game-winner from 5-yards out with just over two minutes in the game for the victory. RB Michael Ramseur tallied 127 yards on the ground to lead Wake Forest.

THE COACHES: Frank Beamer enters his 18th season at Virginia Tech with a record of 128-76-4. In 24 seasons as head coach, Beamer has amassed an overall record of 170-99-4. Jim Grobe is 21-20 in three seasons at Wake Forest and 54-53-1 in nine years combined.

FAST FACTS

The Virginia Tech defense has held the opposition to under 100-yards passing for the third consecutive week. The Hokies rank third in the league and seventh in the nation in pass defense allowing 143.0 yards a contest.

Wake Forest's Marcus McGruder picked off his second pass in three games and returned it for his second touchdown of the season. It was the eighth interception for the Demon Deacons in 2004, tying them with Duke for the league lead.

Virginia Tech's Brandon Pace connected on a career-high four field goals including a career long 46-yarder in the Hokies' 19-13 win over sixth-ranked West Virginia Saturday. Pace has kicked nine field goals in the last three games and is 11 of 14 on the season.

The Demon Deacons are ranked second and third in the ACC in rushing and total offense, respectively. Chris Barclay, who has rushed for 458 yards this season, leads a Wake Forest rushing attack that is averaging 238.2 yards per contest.


Saturday, October 9
Georgia Tech (2-2, 1-2 ACC) at #23 Maryland (3-1, 1-0 ACC)
ABC; 3:30 p.m.
Byrd Stadium (51,500)

THE GAME: A sold-out Byrd Stadium is the site of this conference match-up as the Maryland Terrapins hosts the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a game slated for a 3:30 pm kickoff on ABC. Georgia Tech leads the overall series 11-5 and has won five of the last seven meetings. The Terrapins are 4-3 in games played at College Park and have won three of the last four outings at home. This is the first time in the last three games that the Terps and Jackets are not playing on Thursday night.

LAST TIME OUT: In a defensive battle between both teams last year, Georgia Tech turned a fourth quarter Maryland turnover into a five play, 18-yard scoring strike erasing a 3-0 deficit. Georgia Tech QB Reggie Ball hit Jonathan Smith with a four-yard scoring pass for the game's only touchdown and a 7-3 Yellow Jacket victory. Maryland's Joel Statham, who replaced the injuried Scott McBrien, saw his first significant playing time and went 10 of 22 for 110 yards in the loss. Ball and P.J. Daniels combined for 109 of the 130 total rushing yards for the Yellow Jackets.

THE COACHES: Chan Gailey is in his third year at the helm of Georgia Tech where he has posted a mark of 16-14 and an overall record of 40-25 in five plus seasons. Ralph Friedgen is 34-9 in his fourth season at Maryland.

FAST FACTS

Maryland QB Joel Statham leads the ACC in passing yards per game (226.8) and total offense (248.8) and is second in passing efficiency with an overall rating of 140.7. Statham needs 93 yards passing to reach 1,000 yards for the season.

Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson leads all freshman wide outs and ranks fourth in the ACC in receiving yards per game (56.8) and tied for fifth with 3.5 receptions a game. Johnson's three TD catches are tied for the league lead.

Sammy Maldonado and Josh Allen have led a Maryland rushing attack that is averaging over 200-yards a game in 2004. Both backs have combined for seven of the eight rushing TDs for the Terps this season.

LB Gerris Wilkinson leads all Yellow Jackets on the defensive end and is third in the conference averaging 10.0 tackles a contest, 40 tackles in four games. Wilkinson has also registered one INT and a team leading 4.5 tackles for loss in 2004.


Saturday, October 9
#25 NC State (3-1, 2-0 ACC) at North Carolina (2-3, 1-2 ACC)
6:05 p.m.
Kenan Stadium (60,000)

THE GAME: In the fourth most played series in ACC history, NC State and North Carolina will meet for the 94th time Saturday evening. The Tar Heels are 60-27-6 all-time against the Wolfpack while maintaining an overall mark of 32-16-2 in games played in Chapel Hill. NC State has won two straight and three of the last four meetings including two wins in a row over North Carolina in Kenan Stadium. The Wolfpack have averaged 39.6 points in their last three wins over the Tar Heels.

LAST TIME OUT: Last year, the Wolfpack led 24-21 at the half, but posted 20-points in the opening 11 minutes of the third quarter en route to a 47-34 NC State victory. Both teams combined for 1165 yards of total offense, 53 first downs and a perfect 9 for 9 in red zone chances. North Carolina's Darian Durant led the Tar Heels connecting on 25 of 42 passes for 323 yards and three TD's. Durant also led UNC in rushing with 66 yards on ten carries. The NC State defense limited the Tar Heels to only 81 yards on the ground in the win.

THE COACHES: NC State head coach Chuck Amato is in his fifth year at the helm of the Wolfpack having compiled an overall record of 37-18. John Bunting is 15-27 in his fourth year at North Carolina and 53-41-2 in nine seasons overall.

FAST FACTS

In the last 12 meetings between NC State (4-0) and North Carolina (8-0), the team that has held the rushing advantage has won. In the turnover category in the last four games, the Wolfpack have committed only three, zero during their two game win streak, while the Wolfpack defense has forced eight Tar Heel turnovers.

T.A. McLendon recorded his eighth 100-yard rushing performance Saturday against Wake Forest, running for a season-high 139 yards and two TD's. It was the most yards gained by McLendon since Oct. 24, 2002 at Clemson (178 rushing yards).

UNC WR Jarwarski Pollock registered eight catches for 100 yards, both season-highs, last weekend against Florida State. Pollock ranks seventh in the league in receptions per game (3.4).

North Carolina rankes in the top five in the ACC in passing (2nd), rushing (5th) and total offense (4th), while NC State is in the top five in passing (1st), rushing (4th) and total defense (1st).


Saturday, October 9
#8 Florida State (3-1, 2-1 ACC) at Syracuse (3-2, 1-0 Big East)
ESPN2; 7:00 p.m.
Carrier Dome (42,262)
THE GAME: Florida State and Syracuse will meet for just the fifth time, while all five meetings occurring in different decades. Florida State holds a 3-1 advantage all-time and will make their fourth visit to the Carrier Dome where they have gone 2-1. With Bobby Bowden at the helm of the Seminoles, Florida State has never lost to Syracuse. FSU has won three straight over Syracuse outscoring the Orange 115-24 during the span including a 28-0 shutout in 1978.

LAST TIME OUT: On October 5, 1991, the top-ranked Seminoles tallied 642 yards of total offense and stringed together a 29-point second half to down 10th-ranked Syracuse, 46-14 in Tallahassee. QB Casey Weldon led the Florida State passing attack throwing for 347 yards and three TDs, while Amp Lee and Sean Jackson pounded out 106 and 96 yards on the ground, respectively. The Seminole defense held the Orange to 185 yards of total offense, forced a pair of turnovers and registered a safety in the win.

THE COACHES: Bobby Bowden is 272-68-4 in 28 years at FSU and 345-100-4 in 38 seasons overall. Paul Pasqualoni has posted a record of 104-55-1 in 13 seasons at Syracuse and is 138-72-1 in 18 seasons overall.

FAST FACTS

Florida State RB Leon Washington rushed for a career-high 153 yards against North Carolina. Washington averaged 15.3 yards a carry last weekend and is averaging 7.9 yards a rush in 2004. He currently sits fourth in the ACC at 94.2 yards per game.

The Seminoles Pat Watkins picked off his third pass of the season last weekend tying his career-high for interceptions in a season. Watkins' three interceptions currently ties him for the league lead in that category. Watkins has registered six in his career.

WR Chauncey Stovall leads the Seminoles and is ranked second in the ACC in receptions per game (4.5) and receiving yards per game (60.2). Stovall set career-high numbers in receptions (7) and TDs (2) last weekend against UNC.

Florida State leads the ACC and is ranked fifth in the nation in rushing defense allowing only 67.5 yards a contest. Syracuse is 37th nationally in rushing offense posting 181.20 yards a game.

 
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ACC Football This Week - 10/09/04
UNC's coach John Bunting at the end of the Louisville game
photo by Gene Galin


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