5 Star Purvis picks Pack

Posted by J.J. Greenstein on September 30, 2011 under ACC Basketball | Comments are off for this article

Taking a very brief break from football, NC State’s basketball program received some outstanding news just a few moments ago.

Five-star shooting guard Rodney Purvis of Raleigh’s Upper Room Christian Academy announced that he will play for new Head Coach Mark Gottfried at NC State next season.

“I came to the conclusion that there’s no place like home,” Purvis announced much to the enjoyment of the State fans in attendance. “I will be joining my brother Tyler Lewis (aka white chocolate) and the North Carolina State Wolfpack.”

Purvis, rated the fifth-best shooting guard in the 2012 class, and the 15th best player in the class overall, is projected to make an impact immediately for the Pack. His skill set has been compared to that of Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, as he can play either guard position and be effective.

After his de-commitment from Louisville following Cardinals Assistant Coach Tim Fuller’s departure to Missouri, Gottfried and his staff were all over Purvis, leading to his eventual commitment to play for the Pack.

“I’m really looking forward to helping to turn things around and bringing some excitement back to State,” said Purvis, a thought shared by Wolfpack Nation.

Purvis will be on hand for tomorrow’s football game against Georgia Tech at Carter-Finley Stadium, and I’d bet he will receive a strong welcome from those wearing red and white.

ACC Football Pick’em – Week Five

Posted by Brandon Rink on September 29, 2011 under ACC Football | 2 Comments to Read

Will star Clemson freshman wide receiver Sammy Watkins ease into the endzone again, at Virginia Tech Saturday night? (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)

ACCBlogger.com picks week five in the ACC…

Last week (Overall)

Brandon Rink – 6-3 (31-8)

Griffin Wong – 6-3 (29-10)

J.J. Greenstein – 4-5 (28-11)

  • 10/01/11  Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-1, 1-0 ACC) @ Boston College Eagles (1-3, 0-1 ACC) / ACC Network / 12:30 p.m. ET

The Lead: Wake Forest, coming a bye, hits Chestnut Hill against a BC team coming off their first win, over Massachusetts 45-17, last week.

Watch 4: BC to grind out yards, contain Deacs just enough

Wake Forest is favored here and the stats sway in their favor, but this a show-me game to see if they can pull off a road win.

The Picks: Brandon Rink – BC 21-20; Griffin Wong – BC 17-13; J.J. Greenstein – BC 24-10

  • Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (3-1) @ Miami Hurricanes (1-2, 0-1 ACC) / ESPNU / 3:30 p.m. ET

The Lead: Miami tries to get back on track hosting Bethune-Cookman.

Watch 4: Miami to pound the ball, punish the Wildcats

Bethune-Cookman is giving up 157 rushing yards per game, while Lamar Miller isn’t quite 100 percent – somebody should be breakthrough here.

The Picks: Brandon Rink – Miami 48-17; Griffin Wong – Miami 31-10; J.J. Greenstein – Miami 38-10

  • Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-0, 1-0 ACC) @ NC State Wolfpack (2-2, 0-1 ACC) / ABC-ESPN / 3:30 p.m. ET

The Lead: Georgia Tech’s No. 1 scoring (53.25 points per game) and total offense (630.50 yards per game) takes its show on the road to Raliegh for a 2-0 ACC start.

Watch 4: The Jackets to just keep coming, NC State not to keep up

Without injuries across the board, it would’ve been tough for the Wolfpack to stop Georgia Tech, and even more now. Besides no Russell Wilson, what’s different in 2011 from NC State’s 45-28 win in Atlanta last year is a more balanced Jackets’ attack (5-18 for 116 passing yards last season).

The Picks: Brandon Rink – Georgia Tech 35-21; Griffin Wong – Georgia Tech 38-14; J.J. Greenstein – Georgia Tech 35-21

  • Towson Tigers (3-0) @ Maryland Terrapins (1-2, 1-0 ACC) / RSN / 3:30 p.m. ET

The Lead: Before diving back into ACC play, Maryland hosts Towson – trying to shake the memory of Bernard Pierce and the Temple Owls.

Watch 4: A more focused Terps team to cruise

Towson is outscoring opponents 38.3 to 10 through games with Morgan State, Villanova and Colgate, so again, if Maryland takes them lightly – they will struggle, but if they can’t come out focused after last week’s beating, they should just pack it up the rest of the season.

The Picks: Brandon Rink – Maryland 38-17; Griffin Wong – Maryland 28-17; J.J. Greenstein – Maryland 31-10

  • Idaho Vandals (1-3) @ Virginia Cavaliers (2-2, 0-1 ACC) / ESPN3 / 3:30 p.m. ET

The Lead: Virginia concludes their out-of-conference slate with the Idaho Vandals, in their first matchup against an ACC opponent.

Watch 4: Virginia injuries to keep this from blowout it should be

With Michael Rocco in question for starting QB and leading rusher Kevin Parks slowed by an ankle injury, the Cavaliers win comfortably, but not by as much as it should be.

The Picks: Brandon Rink – Virginia 31-17; Griffin Wong – Virginia 27-10; J.J. Greenstein – Virginia 35-10

  • Clemson Tigers (4-0, 1-0 ACC) @ Virginia Tech Hokies (4-0) / ESPN2 / 6:00 p.m. ET

The Lead: Unbeaten top-15 ranked teams square-off in a night game in Blacksburg with the surging Tigers and home Hokies – check us out at @accblogger on Twitter as I’ll be updating live from Lane Stadium this weekend.

Watch 4: Mistakes to catch-up with young Tigers on road, Hokies to edge them out

This is another show-me game – I need to see Clemson actually pull one of these off (they’ve come close in a raucous environment – see 2010 Auburn loss). Clemson made a number of mistakes to let FSU back in the game and continue to run with them last week – facing an environment like they haven’t seen before, the Tigers’ offense won’t get that extra play to pull off the big road win.

You pick'em game of the week: Clemson at Virginia Tech

  • Hokies (56%, 14 Votes)
  • Tigers (44%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 25

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The Picks: Brandon Rink – Virginia Tech 24-17; Griffin Wong – Clemson 24-20; J.J. Greenstein – Virginia Tech 24-21

  • Duke Blue Devils (2-2) @ FIU Golden Panthers (3-1) / ESPNU / 7:00 p.m. ET

The Lead: Duke hits South Florida and a matchup with an improved FIU squad coming off a 36-31 home loss to LA-Lafayette.

Watch 4: A Duke passing game in gear to pick apart FIU’s secondary

I’ve gone back-and-forth on this game – and FIU is favored, but Blue Devils QB Sean Renfree is 71-for-83 with 646 passing yards and three touchdowns over his last two games – I’d say he’s in the zone right now, and against an 88th-ranked pass defense, he should feast.

The Picks: Brandon Rink – Duke 35-31; Griffin Wong – Duke 20-10; J.J. Greenstein – FIU 28-25

  • North Carolina Tar Heels (3-1) @ East Carolina Pirates (1-2) / CBS Sports Network / 8:00 p.m. ET

The Lead: Hosting Virginia Tech in week two, East Carolina made the Hokies work in a 17-10 loss – they go for a better outcome this week with UNC hitting Greenville, NC.

Watch 4: Revamped Heels running game to lead the way

NC State lost here last year – UNC did so in their last trip in 2007, ECU is used to downing ACC opponents at home. Pirates QB Dominique Davis had his best game yet last week in a 28-23 win over UAB with 361 passing yards, three TDs and three INTs. It’s a situation where if UNC lets down – they’ll drop this one, but their ability to run with RB Gio Bernard will help them pull away.

The Picks: Brandon Rink – UNC 31-21; Griffin Wong – UNC 24-9; J.J. Greenstein – UNC 21-17

ATS Section

Last week (Overall): 2-6 (12-15)

Last week was really bad…

  • BC +2.5 vs. Wake Forest

Take to Bank %: 15%

Don’t trust Wake Forest on the road just yet – maybe BC will get Montel Harris going to a big day.

  • Idaho +16.5 at Virginia

Take to Bank %: 5%

Probably an overreaction to last week, but Idaho sneaks it under the number.

  • Clemson +7 at Virginia Tech

Take to Bank %: 20%

It’s a risky pick, knowing what happened the last time a highly-ranked Tigers team went into Lane (lost 24-7 in 2006), but I like what I’ve seen from Clemson so far.

  • UNC –8 at ECU

Take to Bank %: 25%

ECU has been a house of horrors for ACC teams, but I’ll trust UNC to recover well from the loss at Georgia Tech by at least winning by 10.

  • Duke +3.5 at Duke

Take to Bank %: 30%

Like I said above, love the Blue Devil passing game picking FIU’s secondary apart.

ACC Football Midweek Links – Week Five

Posted by Brandon Rink on September 28, 2011 under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article

Virginia Tech's defense faces a tall task in going against Clemson's 13th-ranked total offense. (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)

Welcome to your weekly ACC Football Midweek Links hopefully getting you through the week to the weekend…

  • 10/01/11  Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-1, 1-0 ACC) @ Boston College Eagles (1-3, 0-1 ACC) / ACC Network / 12:30 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Tanner Price vs. BC defense

Through three games, Wake Forest ranks 14th  nationally in passing offense.

Quotable Coach (Frank Spaziani): On Montel Harris out of UMass game – “For the limited amount of practice he had, he looked rusty and did some good things.  There were flashes of the real Montel.  If’s he’s able to stay healthy, practice some more and get in the groove, he’ll elevate his game.”

Quotable Coach (Jim Grobe): On the Deacs out of a bye – “I wouldn’t say in any way that we’ve arrived right now, but we’re better than we were last year and we’ve got the talent to win some football games. We haven’t shown maturity with the lead in a couple of our games, so I think we’ve got to grow up mentally but I think physically we’re capable of going and winning some football games.”

Bringing the Noise: Soaring to Glory previews Tanner Price and the Deacs offense vs. the Eagles D and the basics in the game.

  • Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (3-1) @ Miami Hurricanes (1-2, 0-1 ACC) / ESPNU / 3:30 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Miami vs. second letdown

Kansas State walked in and did what Ohio State was expected to do the week before – well, the MEAC’s Bethune-Cookman comes to town with the 16th-ranked offense in the FCS at 3-1…the Hurricanes might want to come to play in this one.

Quotable Coach (Al Golden): Slipping back into last season’s failures? – “This is a different team. There are a different set of circumstances, and an extraordinary set of circumstances that we have been faced with here. I can’t really go back to last year, but for us we had a chance to win. We just have to execute down there, better”

Bringing the Noise: Miami Herald takes a look at the updated depth chart. Eye of the Hurricane previews the game, which includes a former ACC QB leading the Wildcats. Lamar Miller practicing despite being banged-up against K-State. Miami center Tyler Horn talks penalties. ‘Canes respect Bethune-Cookman.

  • Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-0, 1-0 ACC) @ NC State Wolfpack (2-2, 0-1 ACC) / ABC-ESPN / 3:30 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: What else? GT rushing offense vs. NC State defense

Can the Wolfpack slow it down? If not, it’ll be a long day in Raliegh.

Quotable Coach (Tom O’Brien): Key to GT improvement – “The thing they’re doing so much better right now is they’re throwing the ball. I think it’s 230-some per game. They’re rushing for 400 yards a game. That’s 630 yards a game. That’s mind-boggling right now. One kid is averaging 40 yards a catch. Those are pretty big numbers.”

Quotable Coach (Paul Johnson): This Jackets’ team – “This team has been fun to coach. They work hard, they don’t complain, not to say that other guys do, but they’re fun to be around. They’re fun to coach and they want to be good.”

Bringing the Noise: From the Rumble Seat previews the game with Riddick and Reynolds. FTRS looks at the effort NC State has put forth so far. The injury-plagued Wolfpack D braces for the Georgia Tech attack.

  • Towson Tigers (3-0) @ Maryland Terrapins (1-2, 1-0 ACC) / RSN / 3:30 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Top-12 Towson offense/defense vs. reeling Terps

We saw Temple run up-and-down the field against Maryland last week – another lackluster performance and it’s loss No. 3 for Maryland.

Quotable Coach (Randy Edsall): On Maryland right now – “I told them the other day that we have played three games but have only played well a full game and a half. I am trying to find out about these guys. I am making changes to get guys in there who are going to play with that energy, excitement, and passion for 60 minutes every time they go out there.”

Bringing the Noise: Maryland starting some true freshman Saturday. Testudo Times breaks down the depth chart.

  • Idaho Vandals (1-3) @ Virginia Cavaliers (2-2, 0-1 ACC) / ESPN3 / 3:30 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Young Cavaliers vs. bouncing back

Another OOC opponent, another struggle? Or something more like the 40-3 win in the William & Mary opener?

Quotable Coach (Mike London): On Idaho – “Their offensive style is sort of that pistol offense – spread offense.  They’ll run some two tight ends, they’ll run 2-1-personnel-one tight end, two backs-and they’ll run the ball.  They’re big.  Their front guys on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively, are big linemen.  Their defensive guys are guys that secondary‑wise can run and make plays.  On special teams, they have a kicker that’s a Lou Groza Award candidate.”

Bringing the Noise: Virginia trying to force more turnovers and get out of the gates faster offensively starting Saturday. Rocco is still the guy at QB if healthy.

  • Clemson Tigers (4-0, 1-0 ACC) @ Virginia Tech Hokies (4-0) / ESPN2 / 6:00 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Clemson’s Chad Morris (13th-ranked offense) vs. VT’s Bud Foster (4th-ranked defense)

Morris said it will be a “heavyweight fight” in Blacksburg Saturday night, and I wouldn’t disagree – the Hokies will get their biggest test yet and vice versa for the young Tigers’ O.

Quotable Coach (Dabo Swinney): On playing in the Lane Stadium environment – “My big thing is – if you’re a good player, you’re going to be a good player anywhere. They don’t change the field, the ball is the same – if your performance is determined by where you play, then you’re not mentally where you need to be. External things cannot affect performance. You have to be focused and dialed in and have to execute whatever’s called.”

Quotable Coach (Frank Beamer): On Clemson WR Sammy Watkins, Tigers offense – “The Watkins kid is another Percy Harvin, except bigger; what a threat he is. They have a lot of dynamic players and they are a dynamic football team. We understand that we have a really good football team coming in Saturday.”

Bringing the Noise: Frank Beamer calls defending the Clemson attack a “real, real challenge.” Shakin the Southland Q&As it up with Gobbler Country on the game. Gobbler Country is picking Clemson here. Hokies ready for a ranked challenge Saturday night. Looks like Hokies WR Jarrett Boykin will be back. Clemson prepares for raucous Lane Stadium. OrangeandWhite.com gives the keys to a Hokies and Tigers win. GC game guide.

  • Duke Blue Devils @ FIU Golden Panthers / ESPNU / 7:00 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Duke vs. three-game winning streak(?)

FIU is off to a 3-1 start and host a home night game, but Duke has a chance here to keep to the positive momentum going.

Quotable Coach (David Cutcliffe): Going to FIU – “We’re playing a very fast football team in Florida International this week, so we’re going to have to rev up. Obviously, it’s on the road and in an environment that none of our guys have been in. But I think we’ll be somewhat ready for the heat and the weather.”

Bringing the Noise: Coming in hot, Duke can’t afford to overlook FIU. Blue Devils still battling injuries.

  • North Carolina Tar Heels (3-1, 1-1 ACC) @ East Carolina Pirates (1-2) / CBS Sports Network / 8:00 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: UNC RB Gio Bernard vs. ECU defense

Bernard went off at Georgia Tech last week (155 rushing yards, 2 TDs), and should have a good shot to back that up in Greenville Saturday night.

Quotable Coach (Everett Withers): Facing ECU’s air-it-out attack – “This week it will be about being able to line up against a bunch of formations that really spread the field. And being able to stop the run and obviously stop the pass because this team will have a little bit more of an emphasis on throwing the football down the field.

Bringing the Noise: Inside Carolina gives the matchups to watch. UNC looking for longer drives this week.