Posted by Brandon Rink on August 14, 2012 under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article
And we’re back, 17 days to ACC football starting in the Georgia Dome with NC State/Tennessee…
Clemson right tackle Gifford Timothy's injury could cause a major shakeup for the Sept. 1 matchup with Auburn in the Georgia Dome. (Pic per OrangeandWhite.com)
O-line shake-ups across the Atlantic early in camp
Sure, the big news in the Atlantic has come at skill positions at the start of fall practice (Sammy Watkins’ two-game suspension and Greg Reid’s dismissal), but o-line shifts and injuries have taken over of late.
At Wake Forest, Jim Grobe is just trying to field five to start the season, with emerging projected starting left tackle Steven Chase going down with a torn ACL and another expected starter in Daniel Blitch (right guard) quitting football altogether. Add to the mix senior converted d-lineman Ramon Booi’s nagging knee injury and Grobe has quite the problem on his hands for a unit only bringing back one veteran to start with (Garrick Williams, center, 15 starts).
The 12th-year Deacs coach has a couple options at left tackle, with upperclassmen Devin Bolling (junior/6-5 300) and underclassmen Hunter Goodwin (redshirt freshman/6-6 290). Bolling seems to be the early favorite, but Grobe doesn’t exactly seem overjoyed with the situation.
“The guy that could really and truly do it is Devin Bolling,” Grobe told the Winston-Salem Journal. “I hate to say that, because he’s going to have to really get intense and start blowing some snot bubbles to be the guy, but if he did he’s got all the talent we need to be that guy. The talent’s all there.”
In TigerTown, you could argue the situation isn’t much better for the defending champs.
With projected starting right tackle Gifford Timothy’s knee injury (meniscus tear), surprising talk of all-preseason-award-nominee center Dalton Freeman moving to Timothy’s spot to fill the gap cropped up, leaving redshirt freshman Ryan Norton taking over at center in the middle of Chad Morris’ no-huddle spread offense.
The good news is Timothy, who is unproven himself (45 snaps), could be back to practice as early as next Friday after successful surgery last Friday, but that leaves his earliest return just eight days (and less practices) before the showdown with Auburn in the Georgia Dome.
Doesn’t exactly speak well for depth though if a key cog expected to anchor the line at center – would need to move to a position he hasn’t played at Clemson in case of injury at tackle.
Clemson is also counting on junior converted defensive tackle Tyler Shatley to step right in at right guard on a line with two returning starters (Freeman and left tackle Brandon Thomas).
If Dabo Swinney’s worried, he isn’t showing it yet.
“I’m very encouraged,” he said. “I really think we’re going to have 8-9-10 guys that we can count on in some form or fashion.” Swinney went on to say he is “very, very encouraged” by Norton and “very encouraged” by backup right tackle Joe Gore (redshirt freshman), saying he’s “got a lot to learn” but has a “sense of urgency,” physical and athletic.
Dabo Swinney’s practice report from Monday…
Not all shifts on the o-line are due to injury in the division.
FSU shook things up this spring with a sophomore-laden projected starting line of LT Cameron Erving (Soph.), LG Josue Matias (Soph.), C Austin Barron (Soph.), RG Tre Jackson (Soph.) and RT Bryan Stork (Junior). But it seems Jimbo Fisher isn’t tied to that yet – Stork getting time at center and jucos Daniel Glauser and Menelik Watson vying for a possible open tackle spot.
Pre-camp, NC State moved senior R.J. Mattes inside to left guard (30 career starts) to make way for junior Rob Crisp (2 career starts) to take over on Mike Glennon’s blind-side.
Wake Forest – Junior starting punter Alex Wulfeck has a leg injury, which isn’t a good thing to have for a punter (expert analysis, I know). Luckily for Grobe, Aussie Alexander Kinal is backing him up after a strong spring, where he averaged 49.8 yards per punt with a long of 64 in the final exhibition.
Clemson and Miami in Charlotte in December? Looks like it after a month. (Photo by OrangeandWhite.com, Sefton Ipock)
The month turns to October – and boy, were we wrong about a lot in the preseason ACC previews. Will the season correct itself to what we said in doldrums of summer? Probably not – so here are our revisions after a month of football…
Changes are full of…
Atlantic optimism – Clemson and NC State have exceeded my expectations – the Coastal has really underperformed so it shows.
And with the optimism... – Some changes in the Atlantic – I’m probably going overboard on NC State and the Tigers, but I’m projecting double-digit win season now where as I had them at 6 and 9 wins respectively preseason.
BC takes a hit – The Hokies game was that bad, but again, this is after a month – still a lot of games to play.
Neither preseason favorite in ACCCG – I, like so many of the media, was pretty uncreative when it came to picking the ACC Championship Game. Now, I have the two runner-ups in there from the ACC media poll.
Good starts not good enough? – Virginia and Maryland stick out to me for their solid starts at 2-1 and 3-1 respectively, but I still don’t have them bowling.
Hokies and Heels have “meh” seasons – After all the preseason hype, they both make mid-to-low tier bowls.
Orange: Miami Chick-Fil-A: Clemson Champ Sports: Florida State Sun Bowl: NC State Meineke Car Care: Virginia Tech Music City: Georgia Tech Independence: North Carolina Eagle Bank: Boston College
Week by Week Rundown
Bold = Flipping my pick.
Red = Keeping original prediction but by more points.
Blue = Keeping original prediciton but by less points.
Florida State downs Virginia 34-17 Georgia Tech downs Wake Forest 44-21
BC over Notre Dame 28-20 Virginia Tech downs NC State 34-24 UNC over ECU 28-17 Maryland downs Duke 27-17 Clemson downs Miami 28-20
Georgia Tech defeats Virginia 34-10 Wake Forest over Navy 27-24 Miami defeats Wake Forest 38-31
Virginia Tech over Central Michigan 48-16 BC defeats NC State 24-17
Clemson defeats UNC 21-17 Miami defeats FSU 38-31
Virginia Tech 28-16 over Wake Forest
UNC 28-14 over Virginia FSU 24-17 over BC Miami over Duke 27-17
Georgia Tech downs MTSU 56-13 NC State downs ECU 28-24
Clemson over Maryland 35-17
Virginia defeats Eastern Michigan 52-14
BC over Maryland 28-14
Virginia Tech over Duke 42-17 Miami 21-17 over UNC
Clemson 28-24 over Georgia Tech
FSU defeats NC State 35-27
Virginia defeats Miami 23-21
Maryland defeats Wake 24-20 Duke falls 24-21 to Navy
UNC 35-17 over William and Mary BC 21-17 defeats Clemson
Duke 21-17 over Virginia BC over Wake Forest 27-21
FSU over UNC 27-13
Virginia Tech over Georgia Tech 31-27
Clemson over NC State 21-13
Miami 42-24 over Maryland
NC State 42-17 over Wake Forest FSU 31-21 over Clemson Duke 31-23 over BC Virginia Tech 24-20 over UNC Georgia Tech 35-27 over Miami Maryland 13-10 over Virginia
Clemson defeats Wake Forest 24-14 BC defeats Virginia 38-17
FSU defeats Maryland 31-17 Miami defeats Virginia Tech 24-20
UNC defeats NC State 31-24
Georgia Tech defeats Duke 45-24
Wake Forest downs Vandy 24-17 FSU downs Florida 24-21 BC downs Syracuse 31-19
Georgia Tech downs Georgia 38-24 Virginia Tech over Virginia 38-15 NC State over Maryland 20-17
UNC over Duke 27-16
Miami downs South Florida 38-21
Clemson downs South Carolina 21-17
Agree/disagree? Leave a comment, and be sure to tune @ACCBlogger on Twitter for constant on-site updates from Clemson-Miami and retweets from around the ACC!
Posted by Brandon Rink on July 6, 2010 under ACC Football | Comments are off for this article
Can Friedgen lead a young Terps squad to a bowl this season – that’s the question in a solid ACC this season…
Maryland's Wujciak leads a defense that needs big improvements in '10.
Projected Record: 5-7 (3-5 ACC) Returning Starters: 14 (7 on offense and 5 on defense; 2 on special teams) Schedule Difficulty in ACC: 10th. Offense Rides On… Playmaking ability of QB Jamarr Robinson. Robinson provided a shot in the arm for the Terps late last season, and he will have to make the Terps offense go. Defensive Deficiency: Secondary. Terps were last in the league and 97th in the country in pass defense – for better or worse, Maryland is replacing a few starters as well. Keyword: Progress – Maryland isn’t going to win the ACC, but more complete games and development en route to a bowl would be a promising sign for Friedgen’s squad..
Position by Position Grades QB: B- MVP: Jamarr Robinson (482 passing yards, 229 rushing, 2 passing TDs) Gotta Step-Up: Jamarr Robinson
RB: B MVP: Da’Rel Scott (425 yards and 4 TDs) Gotta Step-Up: Davin Meggett (338 yards and 6 TDs)
WR/TE: B MVP: Torrey Smith (827 receiving yards and 5 TDs) Gotta Step-Up: Adrian Cannon (468 rec. yards and 4 TDs)
OL: C MVP: C Paul Pinegar Gotta Step-Up: LT Justin Gilbert
DL: C- MVP: NT A.J. Francis (31 tackles and 1 sack) Gotta Step-Up: DE Derek Drummond (16 tackles and 1 for loss)
LB: B MVP: Alex Wujciak (131 tackles and 5 tackles for loss) Gotta Step-Up: Adrian Moten (68 tackles and 6 for loss)
Sec: D+ MVP: CB Cameron Chism (4 INTs and 66 tackles) Gotta Step-Up: SS Antwine Perez (45 tackles and 1 for loss)
K/P: B MVP: K Nick Ferrara (18/25 on FGs, 14/20 from 30+) Gotta Step-Up: P Travis Baltz (40.7 average per punt, long of 51)
Schedule Analysis + W/Ls
@ West Virginia
@ Boston College
@ Miami (FL)
North Carolina State
Bye Week: Before going to Clemson, October 16. Toughest Game: at Miami, November 6. Key Conference Game: at Clemson, October 16. Season Hinges on… NC State, November 27.
Why Fourth?: Terps have a long ways to go before contending in the ACC with weaknesses still all over defense and unproven players across the O. The schedule is just tough enough to keep Maryland from bowling.
Could be higher if… The defense makes marked improvement while Robinson develops into a big-time dual threat to carry the offense.
Could be lower if… Robinson is a complete dud, running game has trouble getting going, and the defense isn’t better than last season.
How far will the Terps go this season? Winning the Atlantic? Six-to-eight win season? Or is it another bowl-less season for Maryland?