Tajh Boyd and Chad Morris have had this look often down the stretch. (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)
ACCBlogger.com ranks the ACC after week 13…
1)..(1)..Virginia Tech Hokies………………11-1 (7-1 ACC)
The Hokies emphatically punched their ticket to the ACC Championship Game by drilling the rival ‘Hoos in Charlottesville, 38-0. Virginia Tech is rolling going into the rematch with the only that’s beat them this season, Clemson, 23-3 in Blacksburg earlier this season.
2)..(2)..Clemson Tigers………………….9-3 (6-2 ACC)
Clemson’s struggles continued in Columbia to a 34-13 loss, rocking its lowest offensive output of the season by far, 153 yards. Tajh Boyd was named All-ACC first team QB Monday, but was far from it Saturday, completing 11-of-29 passes for 83 yards with a touchdown and interception.
3)..(3)..Virginia Cavaliers…………………..8-4 (5-3 ACC)
Sometimes, the light at the end of the tunnel is a maroon and orange train. Still, a great, great rebound season for the Cavaliers and they’ll get a nice bowl out of it.
4)..(5)..Florida State Seminoles………….8-4 (5-3 ACC)
FSU used three interceptions to take down the Gators in the Swamp 21-7, not even reaching 100 total offensive yards (95).
5)..(4)..Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets…………..8-4 (5-3 ACC)
The Bulldogs reeled off a sixth-straight win in an Atlanta against the Yellow Jackets, 31-17. Odd season for Georgia Tech, similar to Clemson where it looked so much more promising than it ended up being.
6)..(6)..Wake Forest Demon Deacons…6-6 (5-3 ACC)
The Deacs were rolled up 41-7 at home by Vandy, another headscratcher in the ACC.
7)..(7)..North Carolina State Wolfpack ………..7-5 (4-4 ACC)
NC State rallied from down 41-14 midway through the third quarter to the second-largest comeback in ACC history by downing Maryland 56-41. Obviously, it’s a credit to Tom O’Brien still having a grip on his team…and not so much on the other side.
8)..(9)..North Carolina Tar Heels…………7-5 (3-5 ACC)
UNC capped an up-and-down season by dominating the Blue Devils, 37-21. Now, all eyes focus on the coaching search.
9)..(8)..Miami Hurricanes………………………6-6 (3-5 ACC)
Jacory Harris misfired four interceptions in a 24-17 Black Friday loss to BC to conclude the Hurricanes’ year…it’s been that kinda season for Miami.
10)..(11)..Boston College Eagles………………4-8 (3-5 ACC)
Like it or not, Frank Spaziani will be back BC fans, after pulling out a win in Miami to close the season.
11)..(10)..Duke Blue Devils…………………………3-9 (1-7 ACC)
The Blue Devils dropped a seventh-straight to back-to-back 3-9 seasons…at least they’re not Maryland.
12)..(12).. Maryland Terrapins………..2-10 (1-7 ACC)
So, it’s not a good sign when columnists are calling for a coach’s head in year one, right? Eight-straight losses…losing a 27-point third-quarter lead in the finale…not good at all.
Brandon Rink: 1) VT 2) Clemson 3) Virginia 4) FSU 5) GT 6) Wake Forest 7) NC State 8) UNC 9) Miami 10) BC 11) Duke 12) Maryland
Griffin Wong: 1) VT 2) Clemson 3) Virginia 4) FSU 5) GT 6) Wake Forest 7) NC State 8) Miami 9) UNC 10) BC 11) Duke 12) Maryland
J.J. Greenstein: 1) VT 2) Clemson 3) FSU 4) Virginia 5) GT 6) NC State 7) Wake Forest 8) Miami 9) UNC 10) BC 11) Duke 12) Maryland
Coach Turgeon and the Terps went down to San Juan for the Puerto Rico Tip-off, and things did not go well. However, many saw this coming because of Maryland’s lack of depth and experience. Despite the struggles, I was able to pick up a couple early things about the team.
This Team Goes as Terrell Stoglin Goes
Well, this isn’t a surprise. It’s more of a confirmation instead of a discovery. This Maryland team has 7 scholarship players available right now. 7. And I don’t want to knock any of the student-athletes, but none of them are even close to as good as Stoglin is. Against Colorado, Stoglin took control of the game in the 2nd half, and lead the Terps to victory. If the Terps ever find themselves in a position to beat a great team, it will be because of Stoglin.
Both Alabama and Iona (a good team, by the way) ran the Terps out of the gym with their athleticism. This Maryland team doesn’t have the athletes or depth to run all game long. Athletic, long big men like Alabama’s Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green will dominate the Terps this season. Iona was able to run up and down the floor, and the Terps couldn’t keep up. The Gaels forced 26 turnovers. It’s ironic that Maryland, a program known for running and pressing, will have to play slow this year to win.
The 3-Ball is a Problem
Before I highlight a weakness, I do want to give credit to Sean Mosley for improving his jumper. A year ago, Terps fans held their breath whenever he shot from the outside. Mosley is 9-18 from 3 point land thus far. However, as a whole, this team does not shoot well. Stoglin can get hot, but no one would classify him as a “good” outside shooter. Nick Faust has played well, but some have already dubbed him “Brick Faust”. Mike Parker is a slasher, so he’s not going to shoot 3′s. Other teams will pick up on this, and will simply collapse on Maryland’s penetration. The Terps are not a good shooting team, so opponents won’t fear kick-outs.
Big Men Have Impressed
Ashton Pankey has probably been the biggest (pleasant) surprise thus far. After struggling with injuries the past two seasons, the redshirt freshman has averaged nearly 9 rebounds per game this season. Pankey is Maryland’s best defender and most athletic big. If he can develop offensively, Pankey could turn into a fantastic player. James Padgett has also improved immensely this season. Padgett isn’t a great rebounder or defender, but he has looked polished offensively this season. One of his spin move against Colorado had me so shocked, my jaw hit the floor!
Other Impressive Players
Nick Faust has been a better ball-handler than I expected. He’s had some freshman-like struggles turning the ball over, but he’s athletic and talented so I’m confident he will play better as the season wears on. Mike Parker has played much better as well. In sparse minutes last season, Parker looked like a deer in headlights. This year, he’s much more confident with the ball, and can take it to the rack. However, defensively, Parker still needs to improve.
We saw what we expected to see in Puerto Rico. The Terps played a little sloppy, but as fans we must accept that this is a rebuilding season. However, rest assured that Coach Turgeon will have this team playing better, smarter basketball as the season goes on, especially when Alex Len and Pe’Shon Howard return.
VT quarterback Logan Thomas has accounted for 20 total touchdowns since the Clemson loss - they'll need the trend to continue in Charlottesville Saturday. (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)
ACCBlogger.com picks week 13 in the ACC…
For even more analysis, check out our weekend primer on Southern Pigskin.
Last week (Overall)
Brandon Rink – 4-3 (65-23)
Griffin Wong – 4-3 (65-23)
J.J. Greenstein – 5-2 (64-24)
- 11/25/11 Boston College (3-8, 2-5 ACC) @ Miami (6-5, 3-4 ACC) / ABC / 3:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Miami vs. motivation
It’s a somber Senior Day for the Hurricanes, as they’re bowl-eligible, but skipping the postseason due to the Nevin Shapiro scandal. Add that it’s the day after Thanksgiving and it’s quite possible we see another sloppy Miami game, which they won like that at USF, 6-3 last week.
Bringing the Noise: ACCSports takes the upset here – Eagle in Atlanta isn’t convinced. Final BC/Miami thoughts from BC Interruption. Eye of the Hurricane says Miami’s biggest opponent is themselves Friday.
Watch 4: Miami to finish out season on high note
BC has played well on the road lately, so did Miami for the last two, but Miami is able to move the ball on the Eagles defense to pull away in the fourth quarter.
The Pick: Brandon Rink – Miami 28-17; Griffin Wong – Miami 24-21; J.J. Greenstein – Miami 31-14
- 11/26/11 Georgia (9-2) @ Georgia Tech (8-3) / ESPN / 12:00 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: GT’s 2nd-ranked rush offense vs. UGA’s 2nd-ranked rush D
Down in Athens, the Yellow Jackets racked up 411 rushing yards and five touchdowns last season in a 42-34 loss – have to think with those numbers this year, that’s a win.
Bringing the Noise: FTRS charts the series. Georgia braces for the spread option attack. The Bulldogs have as inexperienced an o-line as GT has faced recently.
Watch 4: Georgia Tech to finally beat Georgia at home
The Bulldogs have won five-straight in Atlanta, and nine in a row on the season, drilling teams (Auburn) and pulling out some close-calls (Vandy, 33-28). Georgia shut down Auburn’s running game and will look to do the same here, but they’ve flirted with disaster in the nine-game run and Georgia Tech pieces together the game they need to pull off the upset.
The Pick: Brandon Rink – GT 31-28; Griffin Wong – GT 28-21; J.J. Greenstein – GT 17-14
- Maryland (2-9, 1-6 ACC) @ NC State (6-5, 3-4 ACC) / ACC Network / 12:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Maryland vs. caring at all
It came out earlier this week that Terrapins WR Ronnie Tyler was suspended for the game, and that inspired some interesting Terp tweets – will they even show up down in Raliegh coming in a seven-game losing streak?
Bringing the Noise: State Fans looks at the decade in Pack/Terps matchups.
Watch 4: O’Brien to complete a strong November
His NC State teams are 8-2 in home November games, including last week’s beatdown of Clemson, 37-13, and shutting out UNC, 13-0. With the BC loss to look back to, I’d imagine the chances of a letdown game off the big Clemson win are minimal, with a bowl bid on the line for the seniors.
The Pick: Brandon Rink – NC State 31-17; Griffin Wong – NC State 24-10; J.J. Greenstein – NC State 28-17
- Virginia Tech (10-1, 6-1 ACC) @ Virginia (8-3, 5-2 ACC) / ABC-ESPN2 / 3:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: VT’s David Wilson vs. Cavaliers defense
UNC held Wilson in check for the most part last week, allowing 3.9 yards per carry and no touchdowns – Virginia would like to do the same, mostly stopping the big play.
Bringing the Noise: The Key Play says Hokie dominance status quo will be maintained in Charlottesville – Gobbler Country isn’t quite as confident. From Old Virginia talks Commonwealth Cup with Gobbler Country and takes the ‘Hoos – surprisingly enough, Virginia blog Streaking the Lawn picks the Cavaliers too. Hokies return a couple key players. Tech Sideline previews the matchup. Game guide.
Watch 4: Big-game experienced Hokies to edge out ‘Hoos
It’s truly amazing we’re at the point where Virginia is hosting a virtual playoff game to the ACC Championship Game against the rival Hokies. Both should be confident, Virginia Tech winning six-straight and 10-of-11, and Virginia, four-straight wins and 6-of-7, including three road victories. But in a game like this, the wealth of knowledge a coach like Frank Beamer has to draw upon for one-game season is invaluable. Virginia has a very good shot, with the way they’re playing, to pull it off, but the Hokies’ defense rises to the occasion and David Wilson/Logan Thomas make enough plays to pull off the road win.
You pick'em game of the week: Virginia Tech at Virginia
- Hokies (67%, 2 Votes)
- 'Hoos (33%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 3
The Pick: Brandon Rink – VT 24-20; Griffin Wong – VT 27-20; J.J. Greenstein – VT 28-21
- Duke (3-8, 1-6 ACC) @ North Carolina (6-5, 2-5 ACC) / RSN / 3:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Sean Renfree’s arm vs. UNC’s secondary
The junior hit four touchdown passes last week in the loss at Georgia Tech, facing the 83rd-ranked pass defense nationally Saturday.
Bringing the Noise: UNC injury report lists no Gio Bernard after last week’s concussion. Duke-UNC preview that takes the Blue Devils. The Blue Devils are using this game as their bowl.
Watch 4: Tar Heels to send seniors out with seventh win
Duke has won one of these games in the last 21 seasons…sometimes, a team just owns you.
The Pick: Brandon Rink – UNC 31-21; Griffin Wong – UNC 21-20; J.J. Greenstein – UNC 21-17
- Vanderbilt (5-6) @ Wake Forest (6-5) / ESPNU / 3:30 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Tanner Price’s arm vs. Vandy’s top-20 defense
The ‘Dores rank 20th nationally allowing just 324.18 yards per game, and 34th in scoring defense at 22.1 points per game. Price is coming off a career game with 320 passing yards and three touchdowns in the win over Maryland, 31-10.
Watch 4: Wake offense to rise to the challenge in win
Vandy is currently a one-point road favorite, with the top-20 defense and close-calls against some tough teams this season, but really, they haven’t actually beat anybody of significance – and I don’ think it starts here. Price and co. will move the ball and keep the Commodores home for the holidays.
The Pick: Brandon Rink – Wake Forest 28-21; Griffin Wong – Vandy 27-17; J.J. Greenstein – Wake Forest 14-10
- Florida State (7-4) @ Florida (6-5) / ESPN2 / 7:00 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: E.J. Manuel’s arm vs. Florida’s pass defense
Florida ranks 11th nationally in pass defense, while Manuel is coming off the Virginia loss where he hit 18-of-31 passes for 200 yards and a touchdown (Manuel’s best game against a FBS team came versus NC State, dropping 321 yards and two TDs with a pick).
Bringing the Noise: FSU comes in as healthy as they’ve been in a while. Orlando Sentinel helps you get to know the Gators’ D.
Watch 4: Seminoles to play angry, shut down Gators for close win
With no national or ACC implications on the line, this is a good-ole-fashioned bragging rights game, and the ‘Noles have been embarrassed their last three trips to the Swamp, losing by 29 points per game. Jimbo Fisher refocuses, FSU, which is clearly the better team between the two to the win.
The Pick: Brandon Rink – FSU 24-16; Griffin Wong – FSU 24-13; J.J. Greenstein – FSU 31-28
- Clemson (9-2) @ South Carolina (9-2) / ESPN / 7:45 p.m. ET
Must-See Matchup: Clemson o-line vs. South Carolina d-line
NC State lived in the Clemson backfield last week, forcing a couple fumbles and interceptions – the task is no easier this week for the Tigers against one of the better defensive lines in college football.
Bringing the Noise: OrangeandWhite.com has the keys for Clemson and South Carolina in the Battle for the Palmetto State. Shakin the Southland breaks down Tigers/Gamecocks – STS Q&As with a South Carolina blog here. Seldom Used Reserve takes the Gamecocks. This week is a family affair for Andre Ellington and Bruce Ellington. Swinney says their woes of late have come with taking care of the football.
Watch 4: A sharper Tajh Boyd to lead Clemson resurgence
There was a point this season where I had a pulse on this Clemson team…that pretty much ended in Atlanta. My head says South Carolina’s d-line should maul Clemson’s o-line – leading to Boyd throwing more interceptions and incompletions, but then I look back at how good the Tiger offense has been, Sammy Watkins back Saturday – and Chad Morris will gameplan for the pressure SC will bring…just can’t pick against Clemson in this series, yet.
The Pick: Brandon Rink – Clemson 28-27; Griffin Wong – SC 34-31; J.J. Greenstein – Clemson 28-24
Last week (Overall): 5-1 (35-36-1)
Up-and-down the roller coaster we go.
Take to Bank %: 5%
Miami ended the season and the Randy Shannon era with a whimper last season against USF…I think they come to play today…just not a two touchdown win.
Take to Bank %: 35%
I’d be pretty disappointed in Georgia Tech if they can’t keep this under the mark.
- Wake Forest +1.5 vs. Vandy
Take to Bank %: 30%
It’s not like Wake Forest hasn’t owned Vandy of late…I know, new coach, but not new to the ACC.
Take to Bank %: 10%
Clemson will probably either win or lose by a comfortable margin – I’ll take the former.
- NC State -12 vs. Maryland
Take to Bank %: 25%
If Tom O’Brien can’t get his team up for this one…
Take to Bank %: 20%
Don’t think either team is good enough to pull away by two TDs.
- Virginia Tech -4 at Virginia
Take to Bank %: 20%
Virginia Tech has been in these games – Virginia hasn’t.
Take to Bank %: 20%
Like FSU’s defense to shut down Florida, but will the ’Noles score enough?