Tag:ACC Football
Posted on: October 20, 2010 5:11 pm
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Miami's former 5-star recruit leaves team

Posted by Chip Patterson

When highly touted recruit Latwan Anderson signed with the Miami Hurricanes, the two-sport athlete had dreams of making year-round headlines.  Following in the steps of the Corey Nelms and current Washington Redskin Santana Moss, Anderson came to Miami with plans of running track and playing football.  Despite being ranked as the second-best safety in the nation and a five-star recruit by many national sites, Anderson took a track scholarship and walked on the football team.

Anderson, reportedly upset with a lack of playing time, has decided to leave the football team and practice with the rest of the track squad.  He was an Ohio state champion in multiple outdoor events and ranked 12th nationally in the indoor 55-meter dash.  Anderson is clearly a talent on the track, but he is also one that head coach Randy Shannon could have used in the secondary in years to come.  Wonder what Shannon thinks about it?  I submit to you his quotes:
When asked after practice Wednesday if there was a possibility Anderson might return for spring football, Shannon said, "I don't know. He's in track. Spring is when track comes in so he's on track scholarship. They're paying his bills so that's track. He'll be in full-time track until the season is over.''

Why did he leave football practices?

"To concentrate on track,'' Shannon said. "Track is paying his bills.''

Is there a possibility he might transfer, or are you concerned about that?

"He's on track," Shannon said.
I didn't happen to see video of the post-practice comments.  But I imagine that this was a perfect example of the "Randy Shannon face."



Ahhhh. The stoic, emotionless Randy Shannon Face.  Never change Randy, never change.

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Posted on: October 18, 2010 6:41 pm
Edited on: October 18, 2010 6:59 pm
 

Midseason Report: ACC

Posted by Chip Patterson

The Midseason Report separates the contenders from the pretenders in each conference race.  The Seminoles and Hokies are leading the way in the ACC for now, but the conference race is wide open should one of them drop a game.  Quite frankly, with the way the ACC has been this year, we're counting on that happening at least once.

ATLANTIC DIVISION

Florida State (4-0)(6-1) - The Seminoles are back in their familiar place atop the ACC, but their inconsistent gives reason for concern in Tallahassee. While their 45-17 rout of the Hurricanes in Coral Gables showed off a stellar defense and smash-mouth running game, they followed that by squeaking out a 24-19 win at home against Boston College.  Florida State, particularly quarterback Christian Ponder, could not seem to take care of the ball against the Eagles.  Ponder's three interceptions nearly equaled his total for the season coming into the game, and for the first time this year there were murmurs from FSU fans about benching the preseason ACC POY candidate.  Regardless, the Seminoles are undefeated in conference play, and they really have one big hurdle left on the schedule.  A win against N.C. State on Thursday night in Raleigh could give the kind of separation in the division to lock up the division barring a complete meltdown.  Of course, we can never rule that out.

North Carolina State (2-1)(5-2) - Two losses in the last three games have calmed some of the buzz around the Wolfpack, but they are still just as much in the ACC title hunt as they have been all season.  Russell Wilson has looked far more human than usual, throwing eight interceptions in those three games, but that will likely change when the Seminoles visit on Thursday night next week.  Wilson has a history of stepping up in big games, and none will be bigger than Florida State.  Not only would a win close the gap, but it would give the Wolfpack the advantage in the event of a tiebreaker.  Additionally, it would only leave trips to Clemson and North Carolina as their greatest challenges.  While those are both far from guaranteed, they are winnable games for this year's squad.
 
Maryland (1-1)(4-2)/Clemson (1-2)(3-3) - For the most part, the ACC Atlantic is a two-headed race for now.  But should either/both of the teams slip, the Terrapins and Tigers will be hoping for a chance to contend.  Clemson faces an issue of already picking up their second conference loss with N.C. State and Florida State still left on the schedule.  Their best chance to make it interesting is for the Seminoles to lose in Raleigh, and for the Tigers to run the table in the conference.  The problem with the Terrapins is that they are not a very good football team.  "Fluke" does not accurately describe a scenario that puts them in the conference championship game.  "Anomaly" is more appropriate.  

COASTAL DIVISION

Virginia Tech (3-0)(5-2) - The nation may have forgotten about the Hokies after Week 2, but head coach Frank Beamer clearly did not.  Since the upset loss to James Madison, the Hokies have gone 5-0 and are averaging a 21.4 point margin of victory in those games.  Sophomore David Wilson has exploded in Ryan Williams' absence, and Tyrod Taylor has been given the keys to the offense with at least 240 yards of total offense in the last four games.  Their road to Charlotte is not obstacle free, but no one in the Coastal has an easy ride from here.  The Hokies still have trips to North Carolina and Miami, but get the Yellow Jackets at home on a Thursday night.  With "Enter Sandman" blaring and Lane Stadium on their feet for the primetime showdown, I have a hard time seeing the Jackets pulling the upset.

Georgia Tech (3-1)(5-2) - Georgia Tech has not looked as dominant as the conference champions from a year ago, but they find themselves in a familiar spot at the season's midpoint.  Georgia Tech has not been winning pretty, but they are finding a way.  That may not last for long with their conference schedule getting significantly more difficult in the coming weeks.  Road games at Clemson and the aforementioned showdown with Virginia Tech stand in the way between Georgia Tech and a return to the ACC Championship game.  If they do happen to pull the upset in Blacksburg, there will still be a home date with Miami that could decide the division.  Georgia Tech has the tools and opportunity to defend their division, but it will all come down to execution on the field.
     
Miami (2-1)(4-1) - Similar to Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes may be considered a "bust" in the national scene, but still are very much in contention to win the ACC Championship.  Unfortunately for Miami fans, the team has not looked the same since their 30-21 victory at Clemson.  After getting embarrassed at home by Florida State, Miami needed 7 forced turnovers from their defense to beat Duke 28-13.  However, there is not a better chance to get back on track than with a pivotal division victory, and they will get that chance on Saturday against North Carolina.  A win over the Tar Heels at home could put them back on track to challenge Virginia Tech for the division crown.  The Hurricanes and Hokies have a showdown in Coral Gables on November 20 that should carry huge conference championship implications, so go ahead and circle your calendar.  

North Carolina (2-1)(4-2) - After a depleted roster started the season 0-2, the Tar Heels have rattled off four straight wins and become relevant in the ACC again.  They suffered a huge loss in the victory against Clemson, losing Zach Pianalto for the season with a broken leg.  Pianalto was the Tar Heels' leading receiver and favorite target of quarterback T.J. Yates.  Yates has put up phenomenal numbers so far, averaging 249 yards per game and throwing for 11 touchdowns and only 1 interception.  If the rest of the North Carolina receivers can step up in Pianalto's absence, the Tar Heels have a chance at making a run.  It won't be easy, but it is still a chance.  North Carolina still has road games against Miami and Florida State, and have to host Virginia Tech and N.C. State at home.  Butch Davis is 0-3 against the Wolfpack, and there is a good chance that the late season showdown between in-state rivals will carry serious weight for both teams.
Posted on: October 16, 2010 11:14 pm
 

What I learned from the ACC (Oct. 16)

Posted by Chip Patterson

1.) Florida State is sitting in the driver's seat of the Atlantic Division - With Florida State holding off Boston College to hang on for a 24-19 win, the Seminoles increased their conference record to a league best 4-0.  The field continues to look more even by the week, and the Seminoles' four conference victories gives them a significant leg up on the other teams in the Atlantic Division.  The Seminoles' now get a week off to prepare for one of their biggest challenges in the division: a Thursday night showdown with N.C. State in Raleigh.  A win over the Wolfpack would put Florida State in prime position to make a run at their second appearance in the ACC Championship Game.

2.) Russell Wilson does have flaws, and they can be costly - Russell Wilson has been the lifeblood of the N.C. State offense for the last three seasons, and there is no reason to blame the Wolfpack's recent losses, but Wilson's last couple outings games have been oddly interception-heavy.  Wilson has thrown eight picks in the last three games, two of which have been N.C. State losses.  Wilson is one of the reasons that Tom O'Brien has been able to build the Wolfpack into ACC contenders, but his performance in the last couple weeks has not lived up to hype surrounding Wilson during most likely his last season with the Pack.
 
3.) North Carolina is quietly charging back into the contenders conversation - With all the troubles off the field, it has been difficult for North Carolina fans to focus on a bounce back that has made the Tar Heels relevant again in the ACC.  With double-digit players being held out, North Carolina dropped their first two games to LSU and Georgia Tech by six points apiece.  Since then, the Tar Heels have rattled off four straight wins to move into a tie for 3rd place in the ACC Coastal.  T.J. Yates has been playing some of his best football since his freshman year, throwing for eight touchdowns, 1,170 yards, and only throwing one interception so far in the 2010 season.  They still have the most challenging part of their season left, but considering all the absences the Tar Heels have made impressive strides to re-enter the national conversation.   

4.) Someone has to go to the Orange Bowl, but who? - Most teams are only a couple games into conference play, but with seven teams boasting one loss or less the race for the conference title is still wide open.  Florida State and Virginia Tech are clearly the leaders of each division, but one slip either division could be up for grabs.  As mentioned above, Florida State - N.C. State game on October 28 will go a long way to setting up the Atlantic Division.  Virginia Tech still has Georgia Tech at home, and away games against Miami and North Carolina keeping them from locking up the Coastal Division.  With more than half of the conference still in contention, every conference game left on the slate will carry weight in the chase for the 2010 ACC Championship.

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Posted on: October 16, 2010 4:16 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2010 7:42 pm
 

Florida State tightens grip on division lead

Posted by Chip Patterson

It hasn't been pretty, but the Seminoles have scratched and clawed their way to the top of the Atlantic Division.  After holding off a late charge from Boston College, the Seminoles escaped with a 24-19 victory.  It was not the finest performance for Florida State, particularly after such a strong performance a week ago against Miami.  The Seminoles turned the ball over four times, and quarterback Christian Ponder was held to only 170 yards passing.  But when they needed a play, there was a stable of playmakers ready to answer.  In this case it was wide receiver Bert Reed, who broke loose on a 42 yard run to score the winning touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

With their win over Boston College and Maryland's loss at Clemson, the Seminoles have separated themselves from the rest of the Atlantic Division.  Florida State will have an extra week to prepare for a Thursday night showdown at N.C. State, one of the last large hurdles between the Seminoles and the ACC Championship game.  Florida State has become a smash-mouth football team, relying on the ability to run and stop the run.  It is not always pretty, but it's worked out pretty well so far.  

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Posted on: October 8, 2010 12:53 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2010 12:58 pm
 

Report: QB Shinskie to start for Boston College

Posted by Chip Patterson

The quarterback carosel at Boston College has come full circle, and 26 year-old sophomore Dave Shinskie has found himself back as the starting signal caller for the Eagles.  Shinskie was benched after a dreadful scoreless performance two weeks ago against Virginia Tech, opening up the quarterback competition between sophomores Chris Rettig and Mike Marscovetra.  Rettig won the starting job against Notre Dame, and had threw 10 times for 72 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game with a sprained ankle.  Marscovetra replaced Rettig against the Irish, but was unable to hit a rhythm and finished 22 of 37 for zero touchdowns and two interceptions.

With Rettig listed as doubtful for the Eagles' division game against NC State in Raleigh, the Boston Herald is reporting that Shinskie will takeover the starting duties against the Wolfpack.  Marscovetra began Thursday's practice taking snaps with the first team offense, but it was Shinskie who closed the afternoon with the starters.  Marscovetra does not appear to have any injuries holding him back, so this will be a clear demotion after serving as the second string quarterback against Notre Dame.  Head coach Frank Spaziani seems to favor Rettig when healthy, though with the way the season has gone he could change his mind after just a few drives.  If Shinskie performs well in Raleigh, Spaziani will have the option to let Rettig take a medical redshirt and completely heal his ankle.  Rettig's only playing time has come against Notre Dame, so he is well within the NCAA playing time limits for requesting the medical redshirt. 

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Posted on: October 5, 2010 10:56 am
Edited on: October 5, 2010 11:01 am
 

Miami dealing with shake ups at RB

Posted by Chip Patterson

With their 30-21 victory over Clemson on Saturday, the Miami Hurricanes will finally return home after a brutal three game road swing against the Tigers, Pittsburgh, and the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes.  Only falling 36-24 to the Buckeyes, the Hurricanes return home 3-1, No. 13 in the AP Poll, and 1st place in the Coastal Division.  But they are also returning home a little banged up at the running back position.  

Senior running back Graig Cooper has not played since re-injuring his new in the season opener, with the rushing duties being handled primarily by senior Damien Berry and freshman Lamar Miller.  Miller has seen his workload increase in the last two weeks, but an injured shoulder may keep him out of Miami's in-state showdown with Florida State.

Miller was wearing a a large ice pack on his shoulder following the Clemson game, and was not on the field when practice began on Tuesday.  He later joined the team, but was wearing a green, non-contact jersey.  Miller's limited action in practice suggests that he may sit against Florida State, unless his shoulder sees rapid improvement as the week progresses.

If Miller sits his carries will likely be picked up by sophomore Mike James, who had his most productive game of the season against Clemson.  Susan Miller Degan of the Miami Herald also suggests that Miller's absence might lead to the first appearance of Storm Johnson, a true freshman who enrolled in January and has been impressing the coaching staff since Spring Practice.

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Posted on: September 16, 2010 3:25 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2010 3:29 pm
 

PODCAST: Is it time to panic in the ACC?

Posted by Chip Patterson

In this special blog edition of the CBSSports.com College Football podcast, I sit down with Michael Felder of InTheBleachers.net to talk a little ACC football.  As a former North Carolina football player and current writer/blogger, Michael discusses whether or not it's time to "hit the panic button" as an ACC football fan.  Thanks so much to Michael for giving us his time, check out www.InTheBleachers.net for more college football analysis.



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com