Welcome to your weekly ACC Midweek Links that hopefully bridges your week to the weekend with good reads…
- 09/17/10 West Virginia Mountaineers @ Maryland Terrapins / ESPNU / 12:00 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Terps QB Danny O’Brien vs. WVU QB Geno Smith
Both lead their conferences in average total offense – O’Brien after a brilliant performance in the Labor Day win over Miami, and Smith in home victories over Marshall and Norfolk State.
Quotable Coach (Randy Edsall): On rivalry – “I can remember when I was in here being announced as the head coach I had people telling me that I had to beat West Virginia. I understand the importance with them being a neighboring state, the rivalry that builds. We had a continuous rivalry for about fifty years that we played them. It’s something that is very important. Even though they aren’t in the ACC it is a bordering state that has developed a great rivalry.”
Bringing the Noise Testudo Times Q&As with a WVU blog on the new Mountaineers’ offense and more. Maryland RB D.J. Adams (who led MD in TDs last season) is back in the fold. Testudo Times with more on the depth chart. Can Maryland keep up momentum?
Watch This Over…: Pittsburgh at Iowa (ESPN2), two high-flying offenses on display in College Park (though Maryland may kick 10 field goals once they get to the red zone).
- Auburn Tigers @ Clemson Tigers / ABC / 12:00 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Gus Malzahn and Auburn O vs. Kevin Steele and Clemson D
After two weeks, Auburn ranks 76th in total offense, and through two games, Clemson ranks 90th in total defense. These are two really good coaches, who are trying to fix some issues right now – whoever figures it out this week wins.
Quotable Coach (Dabo Swinney): On defensive issues and Auburn – “We have to tackle better. Their QB (Barrett Trotter) is a good player. He’s a winner, but he’s not Cam Newton – he’s Barrett Trotter. Their coaches feel like he’s the best guy to give them a chance to gain a win, and we have to get after him early.”
Bringing the Noise: Clemson defensive coordinator Kevin Steele likes his starting 11, but depth is an issue. Swinney says they’ve got a great opportunity this week. The connection between the opposing offensive coordinators has been the talk of the week. Tiger OC Chad Morris wants to see more toughness this week. OrangeandWhite.com scouts Auburn with how Clemson wins and loses.
Watch This Over…: BMW Championship (NBC), I’d get conditioned this week for some channel-changing skills between Clemson-Auburn and WVU-Maryland.
- Kansas Jayhawks @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets / RSN / 12:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Georgia Tech revenge vs. Kansas confidence
The Yellow Jackets’ terrible loss at Kansas last year gave us an early sign as to where their season was going – this year, both teams are 2-0 and Georgia Tech has a chip on the shoulder to make an example of the Jayhawks.
Quotable Coach (Paul Johnson): On Kansas – “They’ve got a bevy of running backs with some new guys there. Their quarterback I think is remarkably better than he was a year ago as you would imagine after playing. And they’re a little bit more physical. They’ve given up some junk yardage on defense at the end of the first game like we did with some of the reserves and skewed their stats a little bit.”
Watch This Over…: Penn State at Temple (ESPN), seriously, ESPN?
- Duke Blue Devils @ Boston College Eagles / ACC Network / 12:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: 0-2 team with struggling offense & defense vs. the same
Good news, Blue Devil and Eagle fan! Somebody has to win this game – we have overtime and everything! But seriously, these teams are licking their wounds coming in and desperate for that first W.
Quotable Coach (Frank Spaziani): On rushing game – “We feel we’re not satisfied with our running game. I don’t think we were consistent the first game and (against UCF), I don’t think we had enough at-bats, if you will. It’s a combination of things, but there’s no question about it. We have to run the ball to win.”
Quotable Coach (David Cutcliffe): On his QB Sean Renfree – “He’s doing so many things well, that we want to get him to a point where the entire game end-to-end, that he plays as good as he can play. He needs to be playing really well for us to be as good a team as we can be. Sean is the kind of young man that wants to make every play. If he’s in there 70 snaps, he wants to have 70 great snaps. It’s impossible to do in that position.”
Bringing the Noise: Soaring to Glory breaks down BC’s offense versus Duke’s defense (Duke O vs. BC D here). Time for excuses is over for Duke. Sean Renfree and co. talk about turning it around at Chestnut Hill. BC Interruption hits on the depth chart. Earlier this week, we found out BC offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers is on an indefinite leave for health issues. Duke kicker Will Snyderwine is questionable.
Watch This Over…: Along Came Polly (ABC Family), hey, it’s a conference game.
- Virginia Cavaliers @ North Carolina Tar Heels / ESPNU / 3:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: UNC passing offense vs. UVa passing defense
Led by Bryn Renner, the Heels’ passing attack is averaging 275 yards per game through the air (good for 27th nationally), while Virginia is allowing 146 yards per game (good for 21st nationally).
Quotable Coach (Mike London): On UNC – “Bryn Renner is a player. I know his father, Bill Renner well since he’s a coach up there in northern Virginia. They have height at the wide receiver positions. Coach Shoop has been running their offense for a while. They’re very productive and throw the ball. They have a pretty good running game. Just like the defense is athletic and talented, their skill positions are athletic and talented as well.
Quotable Coach (Everett Withers): On UNC stats/Virginia rivalry – “We lead the ACC in rushing defense and are third in the country. And we lead the league in sacks and we’re seventh in the country in sacks. And we lead the league in sacks allowed, which we have zero. This week is obviously the first ACC game that we will play this season and we consider it our opener. It’s the oldest rivalry in the South and the fifth-oldest rivalry in the country. This is a game that is big for us and we need to get off to a good start in the ACC.
Bringing the Noise: Inside Carolina previews the matchups in the ‘Hoos/Heels game. UNC is working on ball security after last week’s struggles. Freshman Virginia RB Clifton Richardson figures to see the field some more this week after big plays against Indiana.
Watch This Over…: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Comedy), this is an intriguing early season game in the Coastal as teams might be licking their chops after last week’s Virginia Tech performance.
- Arkansas State Red Wolves @ Virginia Tech Hokies / RSN / 4:00 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Arkansas St. passing offense vs. Hokies secondary
Week one: Arkansas State passed for 271 yards in a 33-15 loss at Illinois. Week two: The Red Wolves proceeded to drop 375 yards and four passing TDs in a 47-3 win over Memphis.
Quotable Coach (Frank Beamer): On Arkansas State – “The quarterback is hitting 74 percent of his passes and averaging 282 yards a game. Their defense is athletic and can really run. They’re not as big as some defenses we’ll see but these boys can really, really run. They’re just a good football team coming in here. They hammered Memphis; I’m telling you this is a good football team.”
Bringing the Noise: Keys to a Hokies win over Arkansas State. What to watch for in the matchup. Logan Thomas has had a better start than the stats indicate. Gobbler Country breaks down offensive line vs. attrition (more on o-line injuries). Game guide.
Watch This Over…: Straight Outta L.A. (ESPN Classic), at this point – we’re wondering if Virginia Tech survives the out of conference slate before they get back to dominating in ACC play.
- South Alabama Jaguars @ NC State Wolfpack / ESPN3 / 6:00 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Wolfpack vs. looking ahead
This shouldn’t be close, but as Clemson showed last week (and Duke always shows against Richmond), can’t quite overlook these games.
Quotable Coach (Tom O’Brien): Struggles coming off good season – “When you have your breakthrough year, the next year is always the toughest. People take you a little more serious. The team gets that attitude that ‘Hey, we’re pretty good and we can just go play.’ That’s why we started harping from the 8th of January on that you have to do everything better than you did last year. It’s a thing that you have to always be alert for. I go back through my days through the Navy and at Virginia and Boston College and the same thing always happens after you have a breakthrough year. The next year is always the toughest.”
Watch This Over…: Scary Movie 4 (Comedy), I can’t imagine this game being remotely interesting unless NC State makes it that way (kinda like over-sequel-ing a horror comedy).
- Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs @ Wake Forest Demon Deacons / ESPN3 / 6:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Wake Forest vs. letting down
Gardner-Webb gave Georgia Tech a scare in 2008 to a 10-7 loss, but I’d guess this one won’t go in that direction.
Quotable Coach (Jim Grobe): On the let-down factor – “Our coaches are beating our guys over the head with the idea that every school – whether you’re at the FCS level, FBS level or BCS level – has good players, and you’ve got to go out and the play the game hard and well if you want to come off with a win.”
Bringing the Noise: Dan Collins tackles Nikita Whitlock’s ability to play defensive tackle in the 3-4 scheme of the Deacs.
Watch This Over…: Boise Open (Golf), ha, the Boise Open.
- Ohio State Buckeyes @ Miami Hurricanes / ESPN / 7:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Who else? Jacory Harris vs. Ohio State
This is Harris’ shot to win over a fanbase and America with a nationally-televised game against a prestigious program like Ohio State.
Quotable Coach (Al Golden): On Harris – “I know you guys, where you sit, (say) show me coach. Well, I really believe Jacory is going to show us all Saturday night. He has one a great job. I just want him to go out and relax and play his game. Don’t make it bigger than it is. Do what he has been doing now since we’ve been here. So I’m excited for Jacory and I know in my heart that he deserves this opportunity Saturday night.”
Bringing the Noise: Eye of the Hurricane previews Buckeyes/’Canes. ESPN’s conference bloggers debate the game. Different system, different QB this time around for Miami says the players and HD. Al Golden says tOSU will be ready. Miami looking for stability.
Watch This Over…: Louisville at Kentucky (ESPNU), this is a given since I’m pretty sure ‘Cats/Cards could leave you blind if you watch for too long.
- Oklahoma Sooners @ Florida State Seminoles / ABC / 8:00 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Oklahoma offense (No. 1 in nation) vs. FSU defense (No. 3 in nation)
Powered by QB Landry Jones, the Sooners racked up 663 total yards against Tulsa in week one, in a 47-14 win. Against two cupcakes, FSU’s allowed 137.50 yards per game and 10 points total.
Quotable Coach (Jimbo Fisher): What OU’s offense does – “Execute. They have good feel for what they do. They run it at a high tempo and they execute really well. They keep a good balance of running past – all around.”
Bringing the Noise: Orlando Sentinel helps you get to know OU. Is FSU shaking up the offensive line this week? Chant Rant has five keys to a ‘Noles win. Tomahawk Nation asks if the Sooners will respect the ‘Noles passing game.
Watch This Over: Everything (all channels), seriously – you’re gonna want to watch this one.