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Bob Holliday

Preseason notes from around the ACC

Posted August 3, 2014

— NC State running back Tony Creecy loves the Wolfpack’s ever changeable uniforms and helmets. As he puts it: “You don’t want to wear the same thing to class every day. It’s the same with football.”

UNC quarterback Marquise Williams credits the Tar Heel offensive line with his success running the ball. “The train’s got to keep moving, I jumped on. I’m an extra wheel in the running game,” he said.

Part of the reason Duke’s defense has improved is Kelby Brown. One of the leading tacklers in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Brown says third-and-one “has become my favorite play.” The Blue Devil linebacker says he looks forward to “making things happen.”

Be A Dude Still the Mantra at BC

For the second consecutive year, the mantra at Boston College is “Be a dude!”

Coach Steve Addazio hopes his offensive line especially will embrace the “go make a play” mentality, while the Eagles adjust to life without star running back Andre Williams. Addazio believes BC’s newcomers at running back and quarterback will be very good, but notes, “if your line is weak, you’ve got problems.” Up front this fall at Chestnut Hill, they’ll be starting five fifth-year seniors.

Only five schools (Duke, Florida State, UNC, Syracuse, and Virginia) return quarterbacks who were starters at the end of the season. On the other hand, every school returns at least three starting offensive linemen. Conference wide, there are 48 returning starters among the offensive line positions, tackle to tackle, out of 70. Theoretically, every school should be able to provide decent protection while the new QBs are learning the ropes.

Virginia running back Kevin Parks is a North Carolina native yet he was not recruited heavily by any in-state schools. Parks, who ranks No. 1 in yardage among the ACC’s returning rushers, says Virginia “stuck by me. It’s the right school for me.”

Completions and Interceptions

Cole Stoudt is the new quarterback at Clemson, but he distinguished himself as Tahj Boyd’s backup. Now Stoudt has been given the keys to Chad Morris’ wide open offensive machine and calls the experience “a huge thrill ride. There’s something new every day.”

Stoudt completed nearly 80% percent of his passes last year, with just one interception in 98 attempts.

Florida State’s Jameis Winston ranked second to Stoudt in interception avoidance -- .026 to Stoudt’s .010. Winston set numerous passing records en route to leading the Seminoles to the national championship. He also tied a record that he didn’t want-most interceptions in an ACC Championship game. Duke picked off Winston twice in that December meeting in Charlotte. Winston said that while the Blue Devils had a good defensive game plan against the pass, the two turnovers “were a wake up call.” Winston says the experience motivated him “not to throw any interceptions” in the national championship game against Auburn.

How good is Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley? Take it from someone who has to play against him, he’s pretty incredible. Syracuse offensive lineman Sean Hickey described Beasley this way: “When you take your first step, he’s on his third. He can bull rush you or he can speed rush you. “He’s a genetic gift.”

The “Duke” and the Former Duke Coach

Some think the departure of LeBron James from South Florida means that Miami’s star running back, Duke Johnson, is now the biggest sports celebrity in the city. The “Duke” begs to differ.

“D Wade is the biggest,” Johnson says. However, he doesn’t quarrel with those he think “the Duke” might now be second biggest.

Georgia Tech’s Quayshawn Nealy credits one-time Duke coach Ted Roof with bringing fire to the Georgia Tech defense. Nealy, who is certainly aware that Roof wore the Georgia Tech uniform (and wore it well) as a player in the mid-80s, says Roof relates to players better than other coaches.

Dyed Hair and the Helmet Cam

Louisville defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin recently dyed his long locks to match the school’s color scheme. So if you’re watching a pile of players and you see red hair sticking out of a helmet, Mauldin says, “you’ll know it’s me.”

Wonder what Mauldin’s hair would like if seen from one of Commissioner John Swofford’s proposed helmet cams? Swofford has become a big advocate of the new technology, because it would help coaches learn more about how players perform and how they are impacted by hits. Swofford notes that Miami’s Denzel Perryman wore a helmet cam in the U’s spring game and “forgot it was there.”

Here’s a thought: if incorporated into the ACC’s network TV package, could a helmet cam give a good angle for determining whether a runner in a big pile of players crosses the goal line?

Anger Management and A Second Chance

Syracuse coach Scott Shafer admits he is still trying to learn how to comport himself on the sideline. A self-described sore loser, Shafer notes he has spent most of his career in the press box as an assistant. If you’re upstairs away from the public view, Shafer confides, “you can rip your shirt off or throw a chair” when something goes wrong on the field. But as the head coach? You have to respond very carefully.

Bobby Petrino has begun a second stint at Louisville. Petrino, who was dismissed at Arkansas after a series of contract violations, including an undisclosed affair with another member of the athletic department, believes he has now been given a second chance.

Says Petrino, “I’ve grown and I’ve changed. I’m appreciative of this opportunity.”

The Louisville staff seems to have hit the ground running in terms of sizing up its new competition in the ACC. “Intel is much easier now than when I came to Louisville the first time (2003-2006),” Petrino said.

The Cardinal coaches began breaking down video of future ACC opponents practically as soon as they were hired; looking at talent, philosophy, schemes, and other tendencies. As to what they’re seeing, Petrino says “we’re recruiting to that.”

ACC vs. SEC

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was asked about reports he has mounted a countdown clock for the South Carolina game. Swinney admits the Tigers do have a countdown clock, but it’s for the next opponent -- in this case Georgia. Swinney does say his staff will put more emphasis on the season-ending rivalry game with the Gamecocks.

“We have hit all of our goals except winning the state championship,” Swinney says. The annual late November meeting with South Carolina is “a big game, important for state pride and our national goals.”

Sweeney describes the five-year losing streak to the Gamecocks as “a painful part of our program.”

As a league, the ACC enjoyed one of its finest seasons ever, winning the national championship and a second BCS bowl game. More wins against the SEC would have made it better still.

2 Comments

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  • dave437 Aug 4, 2014

    Petrino has 'grown and changed'...

    LOL

  • Jeanne Gunn Aug 4, 2014

    Are you ready for football?? I am! Can't wait!

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
HOU 4
BAL 1
Final
KAN 1
NYY 5
Final
MIA 1
PIT 5
Final
WAS 2
CHC 3
Final
CWS 9
TOR 10
Final
COL 1
CIN 2
Final
PHI 4
NYM 5
Final
SEA 7
TAM 6
Final
TEX 4
CLE 3
Final
BOS 1
MIN 2
Final
SFG 6
MIL 3
Final
ARI 4
STL 6
Final
DET 1
OAK 0
Final
SDP 4
ANA 0
Final
ATL 0
LOS 8
12:10pm Today
TEX
CLE
 
12:35pm Today
COL
CIN
 
12:35pm Today
MIA
PIT
 
12:37pm Today
CWS
TOR
 
1:05pm Today
KAN
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
BOS
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
PHI
NYM
 
1:10pm Today
SEA
TAM
 
1:40pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
3:35pm Today
DET
OAK
 
4:35pm Today
HOU
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
WAS
CHC
 
8:15pm Tonight
ARI
STL
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
ATL
LOS
 
1:05pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Thursday
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Thursday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Thursday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Thursday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Thursday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Thursday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
Final
ATL 88
CLE 118
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
GSW
 
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
Final
NYR 7
TAM 3
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI
 
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR