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ACC's big-play teams

2/23/2011

They're the exciting plays, the explosive runs and deep passes -- plays of at least 20 yards that wake up the crowd and change the momentum quickly.

Which teams in the ACC have flourished at the big plays in recent years? Surprise: Georgia Tech has been one of the most consistent. So much for the three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust theory with Paul Johnson's spread option offense. Demaryius Thomas, Joshua Nesbitt and Jonathan Dwyer probably had a little something to do with that.

Based on information from ESPN's Stats & Info department, Virginia Tech was up and Miami was down in 2011. Here's a look at how the ACC's teams ranked in plays of at least 20 yards over the past three years:

2010

Virginia Tech (70)

Georgia Tech (64)

Florida State (61)

NC State (61)

North Carolina (58)

Miami (57)

Boston College (54)

Maryland (53)

Duke (52)

Virginia (48)

Clemson (45)

Wake Forest (32)

2009

Virginia Tech (73)

Miami (73)

Georgia Tech (68)

Florida State (66)

NC State (61)

Clemson (59)

Boston College (57)

Wake Forest (53)

Duke (51)

Virginia (41)

North Carolina (37)

Maryland (36)

2008

Georgia Tech (68)

Maryland (57)

Florida State (56)

NC State (56)

Clemson (53)

North Carolina (52)

Miami (46)

Boston College (45)

Wake Forest (43)

Virginia Tech (40)

Duke (32)

Virginia (29)

How does this compare with the rest of the country?

National champion Auburn was second in the country last year with 86. In 2009, Florida was tied for the lead with Boise State at 83. Tulsa led the nation with 120 in 2008, followed by Houston (96) and Oklahoma (95).

At the opposite end of the spectrum, New Mexico trailed with 26 last season, New Mexico State had 25 in 2009, and Kentucky had 26 in 2008.