ACC Blogger Power Poll – Week Eight

Posted by Brandon Rink on October 25, 2011 under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article

Clemson kept rolling with a 59-38 win over UNC - becoming the third ACC team to ever score 56 or more points in back-to-back games. (Pic per ranks the ACC after week nine…

1)..(1)..Clemson Tigers………………….8-0 (5-0 ACC)
The Clemson express train to Charlotte kept rolling with a 59-38 win over UNC. Tiger QB Tajh Boyd threw for five touchdowns (to five different receivers) and rushed for another. They travel to Georgia Tech for a primetime contest this week – a real litmus test for a defense that’s struggled to stop the run.

2)..(2)..Virginia Tech Hokies………………7-1 (3-1 ACC)
A clear No. 1 and 2 have developed in the ACC with Georgia Tech’s struggles and the Hokies taking care business after a 30-14 home win over BC. The Hokies hit Duke this weekend before a pair of Thursday nighters with a trip to GT and hosting UNC.

T-3)..(4)..Wake Forest Demon Deacons…5-2 (4-1 ACC)
Wake Forest made it 12-straight over Duke in yet another close game, 24-23 in Durham. If Clemson wasn’t such a success story, more people would be talking about this team that’s still in the thick of the Atlantic race after losing nine games last season. Counting the Vandy finale, Grobe’s Deacs have won six of their last eight games going into another winnable game at UNC this week. 

T-3)..(T-5)..Miami Hurricanes………………………4-3 (2-2 ACC)
I’ve been on Miami’s defense, but they deserve a ton of credit after holding Georgia Tech to 211 total yards in the 24-7 win. That masked a so-so day from Jacory Harris (8-for-23/140 passing yards/INT), but another solid performance by Lamar Miller (27-93 yards/TD). The Hurricanes now get a national showcase of how well they’re playing with Virginia this Thursday.

T-6)..(T-5)..Florida State Seminoles………….4-3 (2-2 ACC)
The Seminoles have a running game now – averaging 230 per game in their last two contests (granted, against bad rush defenses) anchored by freshman running back Devonta Freeman’s back-to-back 100-yard performances in back-to-back 41-16 wins against Duke and Maryland last Saturday. NC State comes to town this Saturday.

T-6)..(3)..Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets…………..6-2 (3-2 ACC)
Out of sync – almost no other way to describe it…they just haven’t looked near the team they were in September, mainly at quarterback where Tevin Washington has been very underwhelming to the 24-7 loss at Miami. Credit the Hurricanes for some defensive stops, but the Yellow Jackets are just not playing good football in all three phases of the game.

7)..(7)..North Carolina Tar Heels…………4-3 (1-3 ACC)
Six turnovers – you’re not going to beat a top-10 team on the road with that. Sophomore first-year starter Bryn Renner was inconsistent, and the Heels were hurt with a banged-up Gio Bernard, who didn’t start but played a limited role.

8)..(10)..North Carolina State Wolfpack ………..4-3 (1-2 ACC)
The Wolfpack stepped up when they needed to an ACC road win with another big game from Mike Glennon (three TD passes), despite one receiver sustaining a concussion in pregame warmups and another suspended for a half to the 28-14 win. The road gets no easier with a trip to FSU this week. 

9)..(8)..Virginia Cavaliers…………………..4-3 (1-2 ACC)
One step forward (Georgia Tech), two steps back (NC State) on the push to bowl eligibility. The Cavaliers weren’t able to take advantage of NC State’s slow start, nor able to keep up with the Wolfpack in the second half to a 28-14 loss. Virginia has to win two out of trips to Miami, Maryland and FSU – hosting Duke and Virginia Tech for that elusive postseason trip.

10)..(9).. Maryland Terrapins………..2-5 (1-3 ACC)
Maryland took on top Atlantic teams back-to-back and gave up 50 points per game, hard to overcome that. In addition, sparkplug dual-threat quarterback C.J. Brown took a brutal hit in the third quarter which knocked him out of the 41-16 loss in Tallahassee. We’ll see if Brown can keep the job over Danny O’Brien this week against Boston College.

11)..(11)..Duke Blue Devils…………………………3-4 (1-2 ACC)
Heart. Breaker. After trailing 17-0, Duke stormed back to a one-point lead with a little over seven minutes to go, but a 66-yard touchdown pass ended their hopes for getting over .500 in overall and conference play. They get yet another opportunity to knock down a good team with Virginia Tech coming to town this week.

12)..(12)..Boston College Eagles………………1-6 (0-3 ACC)
I’m sure Frank Spaziani would’ve liked the game just to be called at the half in Blacksburg with his team up 7-6, but the Eagles couldn’t hold down the Hokies long enough to a 30-14 loss. They go for that elusive FBS win No. 1 at Maryland this week.


Brandon Rink: 1) Clemson 2) VT 3) Wake Forest 4) Miami 5) FSU  6) GT 7) UNC  8) NC State 9) Virginia  10) Maryland 11) Duke 12) BC

Griffin Wong: 1) Clemson 2) VT 3) Miami 4) Wake Forest 5) GT 6) FSU 7) UNC 8) NC State 9) Virginia 10) Maryland 11) Duke 12) BC

ACC Football Pick’em – Week 8

Posted by Brandon Rink on October 21, 2011 under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article

Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown faces a tall task running on FSU's defense. (Pic per picks week eight in the ACC…

Last week (Overall)

Brandon Rink – 3-2 (45-13)

Griffin Wong – 3-2 (44-14)

J.J. Greenstein – 3-2 (41-17)

  • 10/22/11  Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-2, 3-1 ACC) @ Duke Blue Devils (3-3, 1-1 ACC) / ACC Network / 12:30 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Duke’s Sean Renfree vs. Wake’s Tanner Price

Two of the top three passers in the conference face-off in a rematch of 54-48 shootout for a Deacs win.

Watch 4: The streak to go to 12

Wake Forest is coming in with an 11-game winning streak over the Blue Devils, and from what we’ve seen so far – it should continue. They’re both trying to bounce-back from home losses last week – badly needing a win to keep hopes for a bowl alive. I’m expecting another shootout.

The Pick: Brandon Rink – Wake Forest 38-34; J.J. Greenstein – Wake Forest 28-21; Griffin Wong – Wake Forest 24-10

  • Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-1, 3-1 ACC) @ Miami Hurricanes (3-3, 1-2 ACC) / ESPN / 3:30 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Miami RB Lamar Miller vs. GT defense

The Jackets are still smarting off from the physical beatdown Virginia’s offense put on them last week – only the ACC’s second-best rusher to stop this week (who was last week by UNC to just 29).

Watch 4: Georgia Tech to snap Miami’s two-game series winning streak

How much do we trust Miami at this point? The offense is running on all cylinders with Jacory Harris playing mistake-free football and Lamar Miller carving up defenses (outside of last week), but can they sustain momentum? On the other hand, Georgia Tech has struggled two weeks in a row – they face a defense missing their top defensive lineman Micanor Regis after a cheap shot against UNC last week. I’m betting on the Jackets getting on track to edge out Miami.

You pick'em game of the week: Georgia Tech at Miami

  • Yellow Jackets (80%, 4 Votes)
  • Hurricanes (20%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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The Pick: Brandon Rink – GT 28-24; J.J. Greenstein – Georgia Tech 24-16; Griffin Wong – Georgia Tech 24-23

  • North Carolina Tar Heels (5-2, 1-2 ACC) @ Clemson Tigers (7-0, 4-0 ACC) / ESPN / 12:00 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Sammy Watkins vs. everybody

So far, Virginia Tech is the only team that’s contained the star freshman receiver, but at the expense of leaving other Tigers open. We’ll see if UNC can limit Watkins and the whole offense enough for their offense.

Watch 4: UNC defense to contain Clemson a bit, not enough

Clemson came close to letting down last week, which lends me to think they’ll be ready this week. But the Tar Heel D was impressive in how they limited Lamar Miller last week – they just haven’t proved they can stop a passing attack the caliber of Clemson’s.

The Pick: Brandon Rink – CU 28-17; J.J. Greenstein – Clemson 38-28; Griffin Wong – Clemson 28-24

  • NC State Wolfpack (3-3, 0-2 ACC) @ Virginia Cavaliers (4-2, 1-1 ACC) / ESPNU / 3:30 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Virginia rushing offense vs. NC State defense

The Cavaliers dropped 274 rushing yards on Georgia Tech last week, and NC State is allowing 172.33 yards per game.

Watch 4: Cavaliers to hold NC State offense, keep run-centered attack

The Wolfpack are coming off a bye so they might have new wrinkle or two, but Virginia is second in the ACC in total defense and were impressive in how they limited Georgia Tech last week. It’s all on if Virginia can carry over their impressive running game to this week.

The Pick: Brandon Rink – Virginia 27-21; J.J. Greenstein – NC State 32-27; Griffin Wong – Virginia 21-17

  • Maryland Terrapins (2-4, 1-2 ACC) @ Florida State Seminoles (3-3, 1-2 ACC) / ABC-ESPN2 / 3:30 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown vs. FSU defense

Brown is averaging 143 rushing yards per game in his last two games against the Seminoles’ ninth-ranked FSU rush defense.

Watch 4: Book to be out on Brown, FSU to cruise

Clemson got a little film on Brown after replacing Danny O’Brien mid-game, but FSU has a lot of film on how Maryland OC Gary Crowton is using the sophomore dual-threat QB. Either way, FSU has little trouble scoring on the Terps.

The Pick: Brandon Rink – FSU 38-17; J.J. Greenstein – FSU 35-26; Griffin Wong – FSU 38-28

  • Boston College Eagles (1-5, 0-3 ACC) @ Virginia Tech Hokies (6-1, 2-1 ACC) / RSN / 3:00 p.m. ET

Must-See Matchup: Hokies running back David Wilson vs. BC

Wilson took hold of the top spot in conference rushing yards, while his quarterback Logan Thomas has done work at quarterback in wins over Miami and Wake Forest. The Hokies are a well-oiled machine going into their matchup with the Eagles.

Watch 4: BC to keep it close for a half, Hokies to run away in second

Virginia Tech has patented the slow start and this is a natural letdown game, but BC just isn’t good enough to take advantage fully.

The Pick: Brandon Rink – Virginia Tech 38-13; J.J. Greenstein – Virginia Tech 35-14; Griffin Wong – Virginia Tech 31-10

ATS Section

Last week (Overall): 2-3 (21-21)

Dead-even through seven weeks…

  • Virginia -4 vs. NC State

Take to Bank %: 15%

Could Virginia possibly letdown? Hard to say – this is a crucial game for them if they have any higher aspirations this season.

  • FSU -18 vs. Maryland

Take to Bank %: 15%

The secrets out on C.J. Brown and FSU is adept at stopping the run – he’s going to have to have a big game with his arm to stay in it with the home Seminoles.

  • Georgia Tech +3 at Miami

Take to Bank %: 15%

Love the way Miami played last week, and if they stay consistent with it, they’ll cover this…but consistency and “the U” haven’t exactly meshed in awhile.

  • Clemson -10.5 vs. UNC

Take to Bank %: 25%

Clemson has covered the number in six of seven games, even as a near double-digit favorite last week and trailing as much as 18 points – they’ll have their way on UNC’s secondary to edge past the number.

  • Virginia Tech -21 at Boston College

Take to Bank %: 20%

Will the Hokies letdown against a rested BC team? I’m guessing no.

  • Wake Forest -3 at Duke

Take to Bank %: 10%

Expecting points aplenty, and a Deacs team to keep the streak alive to 12 games.

Editor’s note: Here’s some extra links to preview the weekend…

-Tomahawk Nation and Testudo Times Q&A it up for the Terps-Seminoles game here and here – preview and pick it here and here. The Key Play, Soaring to Glory and Gobbler Country preview and pick Eagles/Hokies here, here and here - BC Interruption Q&As with Gobbler Country. HD has your injury reports from across the ACC. Seldom Used Reserve and Shakin the Southland preview Clemson/UNC here and here – scouts keys to a Clemson win over UNC. Eye of the Hurricane previews Miami/Georgia Tech. Streaking the Lawn and From Old Virginia preview and pick NC State/Virginia here and here. ACCSports picks the weekend in the ACC.

ACC Blogger Power Poll – Week Seven

Posted by Brandon Rink on October 17, 2011 under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article

Sammy. Watkins. (Pic per ranks the ACC after week seven…

1)..(1)..Clemson Tigers………………….7-0 (4-0 ACC)
Down 18 points, twice, on the road at Maryland, it appeared the Clemson we all know and love was back, but Sammy Watkins (no typo, that’s all that needs to be said). Clemson hosts UNC this week trying to match their best start since their national-title 1981 season.

2)..(3)..Virginia Tech Hokies………………6-1 (2-1 ACC)
Logan Thomas and the Hokies continued to play mistake-free football at Wake Forest, where after trailing 10-0 after one quarter, dominated the final three quarters – outscoring the Deacs 38-7.  With Georgia Tech showing some weaknesses, the Hokies have a little momentum in the Coastal now.

3)..(2)..Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets…………..6-1 (3-1 ACC)
Virginia ran down Georgia Tech’s throat – 47 attempts and 272 yards to end the Yellow Jackets’ undefeated run. The pass just wasn’t there as quarterback Tevin Washington completed as many to Virginia as his own team (2). An absolutely crucial trip to Miami coming up this week before a primetime game against Clemson next week.

4)..(4)..Wake Forest Demon Deacons…4-2 (3-1 ACC)
They started well with the 10-0 lead after the first quarter, but with no Josh Harris, the Deacs had zero balance – and didn’t have the guns to stay with the Hokies as they turned on the jets in the final three quarters.  

T-5)..(6)..Miami Hurricanes………………………3-3 (1-2 ACC)
The Hurricanes picked up where they left off in Blacksburg with a little more defense this time for the 30-24 road win at UNC. Jacory Harris hit 20-of-30 pases for 267 yards and three touchdowns…and no interceptions.

T-5)..(7)..Florida State Seminoles………….3-3 (1-2 ACC)
FSU meant business in Durham last Saturday – taking a 24-3 lead by the 13:48 mark of the second quarter. E.J. Manuel only attempted 14 passes, but completed nine of them for 239 yards and two touchdowns (ran for one as well).

7)..(5)..North Carolina Tar Heels…………4-2 (1-2 ACC)
UNC backed up a pretty uninspired game against Louisville with an effort, out of the gates, which wasn’t much better against Miami. They made it interesting at the end though, and Gio Bernard is a star as he rushed for his fifth-consecutive 100-yard game.

8)..(11)..Virginia Cavaliers…………………..4-2 (1-1 ACC)
Well, I guess Virginia used their bye week well, eh? The Cavaliers enforced their will on offense behind a strong running game and picked off two passes to contain a top-5 offense in Georgia Tech. Very impressive, and they have a good chance to get within a game of bowl eligibility with NC State coming to town.  

9)..(8).. Maryland Terrapins………..2-4 (1-2 ACC)
They had it – 18-point lead, crowd on their side, oh, and Clemson couldn’t stop them. But the juggernaut Tiger offense kept racking up the points, and poor coverage on a kick return did them in in the fourth quarter. Ton of positives for Maryland out of the Clemson loss – mostly with sophomore QB C.J. Brown, who passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another with 162 rushing yards on the game.

10)..(10)..North Carolina State Wolfpack ………..3-3 (0-2 ACC)
NC State hopes to do to Virginia what Virginia did to Georgia Tech – ambush them coming off a bye week. 

11)..(9)..Duke Blue Devils…………………………3-3 (1-1 ACC)
Well, that wasn’t fun – but they did recover two onside kicks. The uphill climb to bowl eligibility continues with basically a must-win at Wallace Wade against Wake Forest this week.

12)..(12)..Boston College Eagles………………1-5 (0-2 ACC)
The Eagles return to action in Blacksburg for an afternoon contest with the Hokies.


Brandon Rink: 1) Clemson 2) VT 3) GT 4) Wake Forest 5) Miami 6) FSU 7) UNC  8) Virginia 9) Maryland 10) Duke 11) NC State 12) BC

Griffin Wong: 1) Clemson 2) VT 3) GT 4) Wake Forest 5) UNC 6) FSU 7) Miami 8) Virginia 9) Maryland 10) NC State 11) Duke 12) BC

J.J. Greenstein: 1) Clemson 2) VT 3) GT 4) Wake Forest 5) FSU 6) Miami 7) UNC 8) Maryland 9) Virginia 10) NC State 11) Duke 12) BC