Atlantic Coast Conference News And Notes

11:50 AM, Sep 23, 2013   |    comments
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BOSTON COLLEGE: After opening up the 2013 season with back-to-back victories, Steve Addazio and the Eagles suffered their first loss of the campaign last week with a 35-7 drubbing at USC. The Eagles enjoyed a much-needed bye this past weekend and will get back to work on Sept. 28 when the team plays host to Florida State.

CLEMSON: Following a shaky start, the Clemson Tigers turned up the heat in the second half and escaped their ACC opener at NC State last Thursday night with a 26-14 victory. All-American quarterback Tajh Boyd threw a pair of touchdown passes to Martavis Bryant after halftime to earn the victory and move to 3-0 on the young season. Although not the typical offensive onslaught that the Tigers are capable of, Clemson was still able to generate 415 yards of offense against the Wolfpack. Boyd was a steady 24-of-37 passing, for 244 yards and three touchdowns. Wideout Sammy Watkins didn't find the end zone in the victory, but did lead the team with 10 catches, for 96 yards. The defense got into the act as well with five sacks. The team now has 12 sacks over the first three games, the most over the first three games of a season since 1999. The Tigers will open up their ACC home slate this weekend, as the team plays host to Wake Forest.

FLORIDA STATE: The Seminoles took a break from FBS action this past weekend and made light work of Bethune Cookman, blasting the Wildcats, 54-6. A good portion of FSU's starters played only a couple of quarters in the lopsided win, including quarterback Jameis Winston, who completed just 10-of-19 passes, for 148 yards and two TDs in just over two quarters of action. Tailback Devonta Freeman made the lost of his 10 carries, totaling 112 yards and one TD. Karlos Williams added 83 yards and two scores, as Florida State churned out 266 yards on the ground on a hefty 7.4 yards per carry. Overall, FSU finished with 492 total yards of offense, while allowing Bethune Cookman a mere 242 yards. The Seminoles are now 3-0 on the season and will get back to ACC action this weekend with a road trip to Boston College.

MARYLAND: The Terrapins continue to be on the most surprising programs in the FBS ranks, as they moved to 4-0 on the season (best start since 2001) with a 37-0 shutout win over West Virginia. Junior defensive back A.J. Hendy was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week, recovering two fumbles and posting an interception he returned 28 yards for a touchdown. The Terrapin defense as a whole was masterful, limiting the Mountaineers to just 175 yards of total offense. The unit also forced six turnovers, the most in a game for Maryland since 2001. On the other side of the ball, quarterback C.J. Brown passed for 217 yards and one TD, while rushing for another score. The victory ended a seven-game losing streak to rival West Virginia. Maryland will enjoy a well earned bye and won't get back on the field until a showdown with Florida State in Tallahassee on Oct. 5.

NC STATE: The Wolfpack did a stellar job against an offensive juggernaut, limiting No. 3 Clemson to its lowest scoring output over its last 10 conference games, but it wasn't enough, as the Tigers pulled out a 26-14 win thanks to a couple of second-half touchdowns. Senior LB Robert Caldwell led the team with 13 total tackles, including four TFL. Dontae Johnson added 11 tackles, while D.J. Green and Hakim Jones each finished with 10 stops for the Wolfpack. Quarterback Pete Thomas was 20-of-36 passing, for 213 yards, but threw one interception and was sacked five times in the loss. The loss was the first on the season for NC State and the first for new head coach Dave Doeren, dropping the Wolfpack to 2-1 on the year. NC State steps out of conference play this weekend when the Wolfpack welcome Central Michigan to Raleigh.

SYRACUSE: The Orange became just the 16th team in FBS history to reach the 700-win plateau, as Syracuse blasted Tulane, 52-17 this past weekend at the Carrier Dome. The Orange scored touchdowns on each of their first three series and posted 21 first-quarter points to set the tone early. Syracuse was able to generate 405 yards of total offense with a balanced attack, with 205 yards rushing and 200 yards passing. Quarterback Terrel Hunt was masterful in his first career start, completing 16-of-21 passes, for 175 yards and four TDs, adding a fifth score on the ground. The 2-2 Orange have now won six straight games at home, winning those games by an average of 25 ppg. Syracuse will have a bye this week, but will look to extend its win streak at home to seven games when the Orange play host to Clemson on Oct. 5.

WAKE FOREST: The Demon Deacons used a trick from the Army playbook and rode a strong rushing attack to a 25-11 win over the Black Knights to even their record on the season at 2-2. Wake Forest churned out 228 yards on the ground on 5.1 yards per carry, led by Josh Harris, who amassed 96 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Tanner Price added 66 yards on the ground, to offset meager passing numbers (6-of-17 passing, 132 yards, one TD, one INT). All- American candidate Michael Campanaro hauled in four balls, for 91 yards and a score (all team-highs). The defense gave up just over 280 yards rushing to Army, but it was more than 40 yards under Army's season average. Senior nose guard Nikita Whitlock led the way in the middle of the line, finishing with a career-high 14 tackles, including a career-high tying three TFL. The Demon Deacons will have a tough time going over .500 this weekend, as they must travel to Death Valley this weekend for an ACC showdown with conference favorite Clemson,


DUKE: Wide receiver Jamison Crowder amassed a career-high 279 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving one on a punt return), but it wasn't enough, as Duke dropped a shootout with the Pittsburgh Panthers, 58-55 at home. Quarterback Brandon Connette had quite the outing as well, accounting for a career-high 424 yards of offense. Connette passed for 323 yards and four TDs, while rushing for 101 yards and two more scores. Unfortunately, Connette also threw four interceptions and Duke relinquished 598 yards of offense to the Panthers. Duke's 55 points were the most points scored in a loss in school history. Now at 2-2 on the year, the Blue Devils will attempt to move over .500 this weekend when the team continues its current four-game homestand with a matchup with Troy.

GEORGIA TECH: The Yellow Jackets were fueled by a second-half shutout by the defense, as they came from behind to knock off North Carolina in Atlanta this past weekend, 28-20. With the win, Tech moved to 3-0 on the season and 2-0 in ACC play. David Sims finished with 99 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, as the Yellow Jackets overcame a 20-7 halftime deficit to earn the win. Georgia Tech amassed 324 yards rushing, led by Robert Godhigh's career-high 100 yards on just nine carries. The team has now won six consecutive regular- season ACC games dating back to last season, tying for the second-longest ACC win streak in Tech history. The Yellow Jackets have a short week to prepare for Thursday's home clash with Virginia Tech.

MIAMI-FLORIDA: The Hurricanes had a record-setting performance against Savannah State, scoring touchdowns on their first seven possessions and rolling to a 77-7 victory this past weekend. Dallas Crawford and Gus Edwards scored three times each for Miami, which amassed 637 yards of offense, while allowing just 213. The 77 points by Miami set a school record. However, the win came at a price, as starting quarterback Stephen Morris was lost to an ankle injury early on. Edwards led a ground attack that accounted for 324 yards, finishing with 113 yards and the three TDs. The game was shortened by 12 minutes by mutual consent by the coaches in the fourth quarter. With the win, Miami moved to 3-0 on the season and extended its current win streak to five games, the school's longest since 2008. Miami will be a heavy favorite to make it six wins in a row when the team makes the short trip to Tampa to take on USF.

NORTH CAROLINA: The Tar Heels got out to a great start, but wasted a 20-7 halftime lead and fell to Georgia Tech in ACC action in Atlanta, 28-20. The loss dropped UNC to 1-2 on the season and 0-1 in league play. Quarterback Bryn Renner was 14-of-29 passing, for 218 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. Renner's two touchdowns give him 58 for his career, tying T.J. Yates for second in school history. Renner is now just 10 TD passes shy of the all-time mark (68) set by Darian Durant from 2001-04. Renner became the third player in Carolina history to reach 7,000 career passing yards in the first quarter. With his 7,207 career yards, Renner trails only Yates (9,377) and Durant (8,755) on the school's all-time list. Tight end Eric Ebron led all receivers with six catches, for a career-high 108 yards and one score in the setback. UNC will attempt to get back to .500 on the year when they play host to East Carolina this weekend.

PITTSBURGH: Quarterback Tom Savage was named the Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week, as he completed 23-of-33 passes, for 424 yards and six touchdowns in a 58-55 shootout win over Duke this past weekend. Savage's six TD passes tied the ACC record and was the most by an ACC player since 1999. Pittsburgh allowed Duke to amass 532 yards of offense, but was able to churn out 598 yards itself in the win, which moved Pitt to 2-1 on the season and 1-1 in the ACC. James Conner gave the Panthers balance with his 173 yards and one TD, on 6.7 yards per carry. Both wideouts Tyler Boyd and Devin Street had huge games, with Boyd finishing with eight catches, for 154 yards and three TDs, and Street ending up with six catches, for 166 yards and two scores. The Panthers hope to ride the momentum from the big win into a home date this weekend with Virginia.

VIRGINIA: The Cavaliers took on an FCS foe this past weekend and made light work of VMI in a 49-0 shutout. The win marked Virginia's first shutout during the Mike London era and first since (2008).Virginia (2-1) got a surprising performance from freshman walk-on tailback Daniel Hamm, who finished the game with 136 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Tailback Kevin Parks added 135 rushing yards and two scores of his own, as the Cavs rolled up 357 yards on the ground against the Keydets and 580 yards of total offense in the lopsided win. Quarterback David Watford passed for a career-high 206 yards and two touchdowns on 18-of-25 passing. Defensively, Virginia held VMI to a meager 79 yards of total offense. The Cavaliers will open up their ACC schedule this weekend with a road trip to take on Pittsburgh.

VIRGINIA TECH: "Beamer Ball" was in full swing against Marshall this past weekend, as the Hokies used a blocked punt returned for a touchdown to get on the scoreboard early, a blocked field goal in the first overtime session, followed by a two-yard TD run by quarterback Logan Thomas in triple-overtime to prevail over the Thundering Herd, 29-21. The Hokies (3-1) have now scored 133 defensive or special teams touchdowns under Beamer. Thomas was 18-of-34 passing, for 181 yards with one TD and two interceptions, but added two touchdowns on the ground. Tailback Trey Edmunds led the ground attack, which amassed 201 yards, with 110 yards on 22 carries. Virginia Tech will have to get prepared on a short week, as the Hokies head to Atlanta for a Thursday night showdown with Georgia Tech.


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