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.”
- 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.”
- 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.
Looking for tickets to this battle of ACC unbeatens? Check out VividSeats.com.
- 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.”
- 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.