Around the ACC

Here are a few random thoughts from around the ACC:


Usually I mentally divide the conference into three sections…the elite, the bottom dwellers, and the great mess in the middle. Thru last Saturday, it is pretty hard to figure out where to draw either line:

BC looked to be the most balanced team in the conference, but they have looked pretty unstable the last two weeks. VT is playing without much of an offense. I can’t figure out how UVA and WF are winning anything, let alone the majority of their games. Clemson???….did you see GT and VT destroy them? I have decided that, not only does the ACC not have a nationally elite team, the conference doesn’t even have a team capable of separating themselves from the mess in the middle.

Maryland has lost three straight to move into the bottom tier. State has won three straight and is trying to climb out of the bottom tier. UNC is one loss away from being eliminated from bowl consideration….but is currently tied for third in their division. There’s even time for Miami to finish with a losing record.

Duke is…..well Duke is still Duke.


What do Chris Rix and Reggie Ball have in common?

a) Proof that an erratic QB is not the worst thing that can happen to a team.
b) They are only appreciated in hind sight.
c) They are laughing at the fans that criticized them.
d) All of the above


There is nothing much more boring than watching a one-dimensional offense (GT) after it has lost its only dimension (Tashard Choice). That’s what I was thinking as I watched the Thursday night game between VT and GT. The second half of that game had to be one of the most boring halves of FB that I have ever watched. And the announcers were simply horrible. They couldn’t seem to find one intelligent thing to say.

– “This helps VT put the BC game behind them.”

Surely you jest. A loss like that will stay on the VT players’ and coaches’ mind through out the rest of the season.

– “You know that Jon Tenuta hates to get beaten like that on a pass down the middle of the field.”

Really? So Tenuta is the only DC in the country that hates giving up a big pass play. You think?


OK, Jon Tenuta is a good DC. However he should not be beyond criticism….and I think that his defensive philosophy has a huge hole…GT crowds 8 and 9 men in the box and dares you to run (or throw those horrid WR screens that Mazzone and Trestman loved).

I wrote about this last year….GT is vulnerable if throw the ball 5-15 yards down the field and see if your WRs can make a play against man coverage with no safety help deep.

Do you remember the Thursday night a couple of years ago when a State receiver caught a nice 10-12 yard slant….and took it to the house? (This was the game where the winning TD pass was knocked out of Calvin Johnson’s hands.) I saw an eerily similar play this year when MD was playing GT. Third down and four yards to go, turned into a 75+ yard pitch, catch, and long run for a TD.

– Note that both the State and UMD TD pass were down the middle of the field. Something that would obviously come as a surprise to the ESPN crew.

VT (93rd ranked passing team) just passed for nearly 300 yds against the vaunted GT defense. I broke down VT’s plays in the first quarter against GT:

– Glennon was 11/12 for 150 yards
– Glennon was sacked 3 times and scrambled two other times
– Ore had 7 rushes for 21 yards

So in the first quarter, VT passed, or attempted to pass, 17 times and ran the ball 7 times. If you think that this is a typical example of Beamer ball, then you just haven’t seen them play very much.


I haven’t seen MD play much this year, but after a three-game losing streak they are in danger of missing a bowl…again. They are sitting at 4-5 with BC, FSU, and State left to play. If UMD finishes with a losing record, that will make three times in the last four years.

Are these injuries from before the UNC game enough to deflect attention from the Fridge?

Injuries Taking a Toll…

– The Terps have been hit by the injury bug in some key areas, RG Andrew Crummey, a preseason All-American, could miss the rest of the regular season after fracturing his left fibula vs. Georgia Tech (Oct. 6).
– Reserve DT Travis Ivey has missed the last two weeks. He suffered a knee injury vs. the Yellow Jackets.
– LB Rick Costa, who was starting for an injured Erin Henderson, incurred a sprained neck vs. the Yellow Jackets and is out indefinitely.
– QB Jordan Steffy sat out vs. Georgia Tech and Virginia after suffering a concussion vs. Rutgers (Sept. 29). He was cleared to play vs. Clemson (Oct. 27).
– The injuries continued the last two weeks. vs. Starting left guard Jaimie Thomas was lost for the season when he fractured his right fibula vs. Virginia (Oct. 20).
– FB Cory Jackson also played most of the Virginia game with a broken hand and missed the Clemson game.
– In addition, DE Mack Frost injured his right knee vs. the Cavaliers and is lost for the season.
– TE Dan Gronkowski left the Clemson game wth a knee injury. He is most likely out this weekend.
– The Terps also lost Alex Wujciak, who was expected to vie for one of the starting linebacker roles, during the preseason.
– In all the Terps will have 13 members of the two-deep miss at least one game (including this weekend) this season due to injury.

Tell the truth…How many people laugh every time they hear Steve Slaton’s name and realize that he is at WVU instead of UMD because the Fridge pulled his scholarship offer? (Think he might have been able to help the Fridge?)


So far, we have four QB’s in the running for the SFN Phoenix player of the year (ie rising from the ashes): Sean Glennon, Daniel Evans, Kyle Wright, and Drew Weatherford.

It’s unusual for one QB to lose their starting job and then get it back….so far it’s happened four times in the conference. Unfortunately for the teams involved, the QB’s that replaced these four didn’t really raise the bar that high.


No entry from me could be considered complete without at least one table. So here is one summarizing the national rankings of the ACC teams on total offense and total defense:














































– 10 of 12 offenses ranked in the bottom half of Div 1.

– 8 of 12 offenses ranked in the bottom fourth of Div 1.

If you are confused about whether the ACC defenses are that good or the offenses that bad…then you simply haven’t watched enough ACC football this year.

I’m going to ask everyone to do me a favor and hold any comments about the upcoming State vs Carolina game until we do a game-specific entry later in the week.

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

'07 Football

52 Responses to Around the ACC

  1. john of sparta 11/04/2007 at 9:59 PM #

    same ole same ole.
    ACC is basketball not football.

  2. HungryLikeTheWolf 11/04/2007 at 10:16 PM #

    For the record, I think MD has encountered a rash of injuries lately rivaling our own, which might help explain their losing streak.

    Thanks for the heads up.
    Will add this to entry

  3. choppack1 11/04/2007 at 11:02 PM #

    Briank Clark had the receptions against GaTech a couple of years ago.

    Of all the teams I’ve seen play us, Clemson is the most talented and executed the best. I felt like we had every bit the talent of everyone else we’ve played – including BC. Clemson was the only team that I felt had us in talent and seemed to out-coach us. Clemson and BC controls their own destinies…As do UVa and VaTech. I have no idea what happened to them in that 2 week stretch – where the Techs absolutely slaughtered them.

    FSU’s receivers are freaks – how can they not throw for 200 + yards every game?

    Both Wake and UVa wait for their opposition to screw up – usually the opposition will accomidate them.

    Ryan and BC are both overrated. Against athletic defenses capable of generating a pass rush and stopping the run – Ryan struggles. I still think the No. 1 QB in this conference is Skinner. Sewell and Yates can both be good on a given Saturday.

  4. blpack 11/04/2007 at 11:10 PM #

    The teams are so close. Not that far from 5-6 to 8-3. Few good QBs in the league. FSU got great QB play last night and looked better than they have in a while. That UVa win last week looks even better now. Most teams struggle with consistancy and the ACC appears to have written the book on that.

  5. VaWolf82 11/04/2007 at 11:44 PM #

    Few good QBs in the league.

    Ain’t that the truth. No one beside Ryan and Skinner would ever start for anyone in the top 2/3 of the SEC.

  6. Ismael 11/04/2007 at 11:49 PM #

    I thought it interesting that FSU got such a great push on the final drive of BC with a 3 man rush, they definitely hurried Ryan. Had it not been for some seriously buttery fingers, BC would be on a 2 game losing streak. And as was mentioned somewhere, this is BC’s worst OffLine in the past 5-6 years and they are still better than most OL’s in the country. Actually we had a much better game plan against FSU than Jagodickski or whatever his name is…Logan isn’t starting to look so brilliant either.

    Interesting stats(in the table). I wish I had the time to write a little code to analyze a week by week change in the rankings, the data is all there…but i think its a little chicken and egg, does the ACC comprise of good defenses that stymy offenses or are the offenses so bad they make the D look good? I don’t know. I think the Defenses of the ACC are pretty good, but the lack of good QB’s top to bottom i think is telling by the stats. The Median Offense is: 95th. Median D is 26th.

    In terms of offensive production…the drop off from the 2nd ranked team in the conference to the 3rd, is 34th to 72nd. And tell me what other conference has the 90th thru 119th positions locked up like the ACC does in offensive futility?

  7. Ismael 11/04/2007 at 11:52 PM #

    Did u guys see that seriously blown super-blatant defensive pass interference against FSU on one of those last drives. I can’t remember if it was the touchdown drive (the drive before the INT) or not, might have been. The officiating in the ACC this year is horrendous.

  8. Ismael 11/04/2007 at 11:58 PM #

    HungryLikeTheWolf, good point about UMD. Their injuries were so severe that it was widely expected that UNC was gonna win that game. The fact that it was close and MD was driving in the end to me is a bad sign for UNC-CH, IMHO.

  9. PackerInRussia 11/05/2007 at 12:07 AM #

    Did you write Calvin Griffith instead of Calvin Johnson on purpose (maybe there’s a joke I’m unaware of).
    Good entry. It seems like the defenses have been much stronger than offenses for at least a few years now. Not that that always means the defenses are good, but just that they are vastly stronger than the offenses (take State’s teams post-PR for example). QB play seems to be a question year after year.
    I think that the oranges MD fans threw on our field have gotten pretty rotten by now as they’ve failed to maintain any consistent eliteness within the conference. Other than last year, the past four years (including this year) have been stinkers for them. When you’re winning the Fridge is cool. When you’re losing the Fridge is, well, just fat.

  10. VaWolf82 11/05/2007 at 12:22 AM #

    (maybe there’s a joke I’m unaware of)

    No joke, but now I’m afraid that I might be dsylexic. Thanks for the correction.

  11. DixieBoy 11/05/2007 at 2:06 AM #

    Great perspective on the Twerps. I always think long and hard about them and have wondered how long it will be before that fat classless Fridge feels the heat. He had two back to back 5-6 before and 8-4 finish last year. This year he is in danger of another losing year. He’s having trouble winning with his own players and to be such an offensive guru his teams are struggling to produce on offense. Players are usually a reflection of their coach and I’ll never forget the classless stuff that was done on our field in the past. My worst sports-related memories EVER.
    Speaking of the league, I’ll say that I’m 24 years old and as a child/teenager I remember Dook, Fairyland, and Wake always competing for the cellar in the league. To see 2 of those teams win league titles in the last 6 years is down right sickening!

  12. jamieinkorea 11/05/2007 at 5:08 AM #

    The scores from the weekend’s games tells a story all in its own.

  13. Wulfpack 11/05/2007 at 8:57 AM #

    It seems to me the college football world, save for the dominant SEC and Ohio State, is way out of whack. We’re talking Oregon for the national championship game? KANSAS??? Just weird.

    As for the ACC, it’s the same ACC that enabled Wake Forest, no disrespect, to run away with the league last year. It’s the same league that has enabled UVA, a team that was waxed by Wyoming to start the season, to be in contention for the title game this late in the season. The whole thing is weird. But it is also oh so good for the Wolfpack. If we can just continue to build little by little, to get better with the passing of every practice, every game, to get healthy, it is NOT too far fetched for us to be a contender. If Wake can do it, if UVA can do it, somebody please tell me why should we not be able to do it with a proven winner leading the charge.

  14. RickJ 11/05/2007 at 9:05 AM #

    I could not help but think of Ryan Glasper every time FSU completed a pass over the middle against BC.

  15. VaWolf82 11/05/2007 at 9:30 AM #

    I have no idea what happened to them [Clemson] in that 2 week stretch – where the Techs absolutely slaughtered them.

    Both Techs absolutely shut down the run. Clemson had something like 60 yds net against GT and 10 yds net against VT. Also against VT, the Clemson offense self-destructed giving up field position and points to VT’s defense.

    Which makes the Clemson/BC match-up interesting. Is BC’s rushing defense really that good? Will Tammy move back on the hot seat?

  16. Pack92 11/05/2007 at 9:39 AM #

    Clemson is only good if what they start the game with works. If they can overpower you, fine, but if not thay have difficulty making adjustments. Their QB cannot carry the load.
    Why the putdowns of Wake? They had one heck of a good football team last year (still do) and gave a very good Louisville team all they could handle in a BCS bowl. Just because they have not been good in the past is no reason to slam them now. If that’s the case we have no hope either and obviously (from the last 3 weeks) we are improving. I was glad to see Jim Grobe build his program the way he did and have success because TOB does it the same way – we will just have better talent.

  17. roandaddy 11/05/2007 at 10:17 AM #

    Lets see….
    Va Tech is schizo.. who knows which team will show up or qb for that matter
    FSU.. way too many cooks in that kitchen, while the head chef is asleep in the back
    BC.. please tell me you didn’t really think they were #2.. however they are still a good team
    Miami.. they will be good… one day.. just not anytime soon
    Clemson.. Bowden will eventually get fired and they spiral down for a few years
    Wake.. their D gets it done and their O is hard to defend.. but when overmatched, they get rocked
    and for State.. we are up and coming, but our best years will be in 2-3 years.

  18. tvp 11/05/2007 at 10:31 AM #

    I disagree on the comment that only Ryan and Skinner could start for SEC teams. I would add Harper to that group. Numbers can be deceiving but Harper’s numbers are significantly better than Ryan’s.

    Clemson lost those two games partly because of running problems but primarily because of awful special teams play. 4 missed FG and a blocked punt v. GT. VT “Beamer-balled” Clemson – three returns of various kinds for TDs got Clemson into a 21-3 hole early.

    If Clemson can stop them from beating themselves with special teams mistakes, they will win the ACC IMO. They have to beat Wake and BC, both at home, to get to Jacksonville.

    Also not sure I get the Ball and Rix comment. Both of those guys were not just “inconsistent” – they were flat out awful, particularly Ball. I doubt anyone in Tallahassee is “appreciating” Rix in hindsight.

    As for Maryland, from living up in the DC area, I can tell you the natives are very restless. Injuries have surely hampered them, but incredibly a Ralph Friedgen-coached team has thrown 3 TD passes all year, and that isn’t just because of injuries. I think they will lose out.

  19. noah 11/05/2007 at 11:04 AM #

    If Maryland fires Friedgen, I’m going to enjoy their descent back into two-wins-a-year territory. It’s like talking about firing Charlie Weiss.

  20. beowolf 11/05/2007 at 11:10 AM #

    If Maryland fires Friedgen, I’m going to enjoy their descent back into two-wins-a-year territory. Pound for pound, it’s like talking about firing Charlie Weiss.

    Noah, I made a slight addition to your sterling post. 🙂

  21. noah 11/05/2007 at 11:12 AM #


    Well, Friedgen has to be glad for a guy like Mark Mangino at Kansas. Mangino looks like he ate Ralph Friedgen.

  22. JimValvano 11/05/2007 at 11:19 AM #
  23. JimValvano 11/05/2007 at 11:20 AM #
  24. RickJ 11/05/2007 at 11:23 AM #

    Much like Amato, Friedgen coaching staff in his first years was his best. Wasn’t Charlie Taffe his original offensive coordinator? I think Friedgen is the OC now. His original defensive coordinator (can’t remember his name) was terrific and he also left. I have to wonder how their recruiting is going – they have a commitment from a running back in Durham and a linebacker from Raleigh that neither UNC nor State offered.

  25. RedTerror29 11/05/2007 at 11:46 AM #

    Both the coaching and the recruiting have been sub-par for the ACC over the past few years. All that talent that went to the NFL with Mario was not replaced. I expect that to right itself in a few years though, there’s too much BCS money laying around for it to be otherwise (and the NCAA upping its academic standards to meet the ACC’s won’t hurt).

Leave a Reply