Welcome to your weekly ACC football early preview filled with links from across the conference, which hopefully bridges your week to the weekend with good reads…
- 09/01/10 Western Carolina Catamounts @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets / ESPN3 / 7:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: GT QB Tevin Washington vs. himself
Western Carolina was one of the worst FCS programs last season so I wouldn’t worry about a ‘James Madison’ here…so, this is a big confidence game for Tevin Washington, who hasn’t experienced much success so far on the field for the Jackets.
Quotable coach (GT, Paul Johnson): On facing on a lesser opponent to start – “Well I consider Western big and strong that’s where I went to school. I don’t think it makes any difference who you play. You’re concerned about yourself when you first open and I’m sure they’re going to be excited to come in here and play. It’s a big opportunity for them.”
Watch This Over…: Rat Busters (Animal Planet), what’s amazing about Animal Planet is that “Rat Busters” (a show about folks who exterminate rats) precedes “Hillbilly Handfishin.’ ” I have no further comment.
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons @ Syracuse Orange / ESPN3 / 8:00 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Syracuse passing attack vs. Deacs’ secondary
Neither unit was all too impressive last season, but both could turn into strengths in 2011 with experience back – Wake Forest needs to put up points…and make some stops to pull off the road opener in the Carrier Dome.
Quotable coach (Wake Forest, Jim Grobe): On Tanner Price’s progression – “You know, I was a Tanner Price fan last year. I thought that, at times, our supporting cast was not very good, whether it be catching the football, running the ball, blocking or those types of things. Tanner has come a long way, as has the rest of the offense. I think that he is going to get better support out of the other 10 guys on the field, and I think that Tanner Price is a much better quarterback today than he was at this time last year.”
Watch This Over…: UNLV at Wisconsin (ESPN), it’s the only BCS vs. BCS game Thursday night.
- 09/03/10 Northwestern Wildcats @ Boston College Eagles / ESPNU / 12:00 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: BC’s RB corps vs. Wildcats’ rush defense
Northwestern finished 92nd nationally in rush defense last season – they return a majority of their starters. With Montel Harris out, sophomore RB Andre Williams has to have a big day, along with reserves like sophomore Rolandan inch.
Quotable coach (Boston College, Frank Spaziani): RB corps without Harris – “The loss of Montel [Harris] is certainly a big loss because of who he is – he’s closing in on the all-time ACC rushing record and the ACC Preseason Player of the Year. But we’re fortunate in that we have Andre Williams who stepped up and played for us. He’s a proven commodity.”
Bringing The Noise: BC corner Donnie Fletcher didn’t practice. Soaring to Glory breaks down the battle of offenses here. HD says the BC offense is ready to step up this season. BC Interruption talks depth chart. STG has the basics of the game and opening line.
Watch This Over…: Akron at Ohio State (ESPN), another BCS vs. BCS matchup bumped to a lower network down the Mickey Mouse chain because of one team involved.
- Appalachian State Mountaineers @ Virginia Tech Hokies / ACC Network / 12:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Hokies vs. health
Yes, I know, James Madison, but this isn’t five days after a national TV loss – Virginia Tech needs to put up the points and get the starters out without injury.
Quotable coach (Virginia Tech, Frank Beamer): On Logan Thomas – ”Just watching him, I think he’s going to do fine. He’s a smart guy and I don’t think the situation is going to be too big for him. I think the thing he knows is that he has good players around him. He just needs to manage the game and do what he does and everything will be fine, he’ll play well.”
Bringing The Noise: Gobbler Country has his pick and what to watch for. VT Effect scouts the Mountaineers. Gobbler Country with some depth chart notes going into App State. GC debuts the ‘matchups that matter’ with the Hokies talking Whip. And why not, more Gobbler Country - the game guide. Virginia Tech Fan has the keys to a Hokies win. Things to remember about Logan Thomas.
Watch This Over…: U.S. Open (CBS), do people watch tennis still?
- LA Monroe Warhawks @ Florida State Seminoles / ESPNU / 3:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: ‘Noles vs. health
See Virginia Tech capsule – nothing to worry about here.
Quotable coach (FSU, Jimbo Fisher): Optimism on the season - “I feel confident in it and I believe in our guys, I really do. Hopefully, they understand living in the now and controlling what we can control and continue to do that consistently week after week. If something bad happens that we also don’t panic and go crazy. How you handle each situation each week is going to be key.”
Bringing The Noise: LA Monroe set to start two freshmen on the o-line. Tomahawk Nation says FSU’s D will be top 10 in the country this season. FSU RB Chris Thompson still listed atop the depth chart despite injury issues. Notes from Monday’s media session with Jimbo Fisher. The d-line should help out senior LB Nigel Bradham this season. FSU’s depth chart. Getting to know the Warhawks.
Watch This Over…: Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (Comedy Central), you can flip to it in the commercials.
- James Madison Dukes @ North Carolina Tar Heels/ RSN / 3:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: UNC RB Ryan Houston vs. rehab/rust
Houston hasn’t been on the field in two years and injured himself in the Heels’ spring game.
Quotable coach (UNC, Everett Withers): On Ryan Houston being back – “We just felt like going into the first ballgame with his experience, he should be the guy. But we like to think we have three tailbacks, there is just one guy who has got to take the first snap. But we like to consider Ryan, Gio [Bernard] and A.J. [Blue] as guys who are all going to play a lot for us at tailback.”
Watch This Over…: Millionaire Matchmaker, it’s probably a rerun anyway.
- Troy Trojans @ Clemson Tigers / ESPN3 / 3:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Revamped Clemson rushing attack vs. Troy D
I’ve seen Troy as a sleeper pick here in some places, but with Andre Ellington back and an offense centered around a fast-paced ground scheme – just how effective the new Chad Morris offense is will be the difference between a blowout and a close game.
Quotable coach (Clemson, Dabo Swinney): On freshmen talent – “I think by mid-season, you’re going to see some of these young guys really emerge. They’re talented. We have to play somebody to see what we’ve accomplished in the off-season. Y’all are going to be excited.”
Bringing The Noise: Seldom Used Reserve breaks down the game and picks it. Clemson will be playing a number of freshmen come this Saturday. New Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris is anxious and excited to see what his new offense will do against Troy. Shakin the Southland compares depth charts. Swinney likes coming into this season underrated.
Watch This Over…: LA Monroe at FSU (ESPNU), the ‘Noles will win going away – check out the fancy new offense of the Tigers in action on the Web against Troy.
- William & Mary Tribe @ Virginia Cavaliers / ESPN3 / 6:00 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Virginia QB Michael Rocco vs. Tribe D
Virginia is improved, but the last time these two met, William & Mary won in Scott Stadium (26-14) – last year, Bill/Mary lost by four at UNC – there’s a bit of pressure on newly-crowned sophomore QB Michael Rocco to perform here.
Quotable coach (Virginia, Mike London): On new starting QB Rocco – “You haven’t seen a whole bunch of him. He’s a true sophomore. He didn’t play many games last year. We’re trying to get some depth. Again, I’ve said that Michael comes from a family of coaches. He was a quarterback in high school, taught by his father. Frank Rocco does a great job up there at that school. There’s a calmness about Michael, and there’s an understanding about the style of offense that we have, about how to distribute the ball to the different playmakers. He’s a pocket guy that can make some of the reads.”
Bringing The Noise: Cavaliers Journal breaks down new ‘Hoos QB Michael Rocco. Despite a number of returning starters, Virginia will have a lot of youth on the field according to the depth chart.
Watch This Over…: Deep Blue Sea (G4), I think this movie is on a cable/dish network at some point at all hours 365 days a year.
- Liberty Flames @ NC State Wolfpack / ESPN3 / 6:00 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: QB Mike Glennon’s stats vs. Russell Wilson’s stats from Thursday?
Eh, why not.
Quotable coach (NC State, Tom O’Brien): On scrutiny for Mike Glennon – “I think every quarterback goes through scrutiny. He’s ready. His brother has been through it and I think that gives him a huge advantage. He’s seen his brother perform in a situation at Virginia Tech and he’s been around the game, as I said I think he’s really excited and looking forward to the opportunity to prove his ability.”
Watch This Over…: NASCAR qualifying (Speed), I struggle to watch races, much less one car going around the track.
- Richmond Spiders @ Duke Blue Devils / ESPN3 / 7:00 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Duke vs. the scoreboard
The Blue Devils can send a message by the final score on this one against an FCS team in disarray after their coach recently had to resign.
Quotable coach (Duke, David Cutcliffe): Status of the program – “We are significantly deeper in depth, a significantly faster football team, and systematically way beyond where we were (in 2008). People know what they are doing in the kicking game, offensively and defensively. Now we have guys playing that really other than a few all they have ever known is our system.”
Watch This Over…: Jersey Shore, It’s a repeat – and I can say that I’ve never watched a full episode of the Jersey Shore.
- 09/05/10 Miami Hurricanes @ Maryland Terrapins / ESPN / 8:00 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: MD rushing game vs. ‘Canes D
Maryland has a couple of rushers who can do some damage against a Miami d-line that’s hurting due to the NCAA ruling this week.
Quotable coach (Miami, Al Golden): On the mess of the last couple weeks – “Is it difficult? Sure it’s difficult. I’m not going to lie to you. Is it a distraction? Sure, it can be. But we’ve got to make sure we maintain our focus.”
Bringing The Noise: NCAA makes their ruling – not quite the death penalty, but it will effect this week. D1scourse breaks down the offensive and defensive depth charts. A Miami blog assesses the damage from injuries and suspensions.
Watch This Over…: Everything, it’s an early conference game – would be a good early win for either team.