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ACC mailblog

7/31/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Ross in Greensboro, N.C. writes: heather can you clarify how many games duke would have to win for bowl eligibility,, i thought i read somewhere that cutcliffe said they had to have 7? thanks

Heather Dinich: Sure, Ross. The Blue Devils needs seven because they've got two FCS schools (NC Central and Richmond) on their schedule. Only one of those counts toward bowl eligibility.


Alex in Miami, Fla., writes: Hey HD...how was your overall ACC media day experience in comparison to last year? Did anyone try to interview you this year?

HD: It was well-run and busy, and no, none of the players interviewed me like Drew Weatherford did last year. Instead, Christian Ponder and Dekoda Watson took one of those gigantic C.J. Spiller posters and one of them hid behind it while the other "interviewed" C.J. Needless to say, both of the Noles left Greensboro with Spiller for Heisman posters.


Ben in Virginia Beach, Va. writes: I'm a Big Ten fan out of place in ACC country, but you make the coverage almost bearable! Keep up the good work.P.S. I'll set the over/under for GA Tech's avg. rushing yards per game this season at 250 and take the over . . . any takers?

HD: Almost bearable? You mean sort of like the Big Ten last year? Gee, thanks, Ben. As for the Jackets, I say they're closer to 280. They averaged 273 last year and should be better this season.


Rich in Tallahassee writes: Hey HD, just wondering, what do you predict will happen in the FSU/Miami Labor Day Opener? Both teams have great talent obviously, and it is a huge rivalry on the first game of the season, so what do you think the score will be?

HD: Rich, you gotta wait until the week of the game for the actual score prediction, but as of right now, I'm leaning toward Miami in that game. I think it will be a close game, but Miami knows that it needs to get off to a good start, and there's a buzz about the offense that has been lacking. Now, who knows what might happen during two-a-days that could change that (they should keep Jacory Harris in a bubble until Labor Day), but I think the Canes have the talent and the intangibles to win that game.


Graham in Raleigh, N.C. writes: Heather,The NC State/Clemson game once was a big rivalry game and in past years, the rivalry has slipped, but this year, with both teams looking for a competitive shot at the top of the conference, what do you think will happen in this year's NC State/Clemson game in Raleigh?

HD: Clemson at NC State on Nov. 14 could be -- should be -- a game that helps determine the Atlantic Division race. Those are two teams with a legitimate shot at winning the division. That will be a real test for NC State's O-line, and to me that will be the difference in that game -- regardless of who is playing quarterback for the Pack that day.


Vince in Washington, D.C. writes: Hey Heather. Just had a quick comment and I feel like this is crazy. Why are a lot of magazines and stuff hating on the UM Terps? They have a SR QB, and a JR (ALL ACC) RB Da'Rel Scott, A Deep WR Core, a SR FB Cory Jackson (WHO IS BEAST), OLmen Bruce Campbell and Phil Costa (Srs.), also a deadly return man Torrey Smith, #1 ACC Punter Travis Baltz, a 4-3 defense which UMD does good in statistically shown. And all of their corners are seniors. They have second team ACC LB Alex Wujciak. I don't know, but it just doesn't seem like a team that would finish #5 in the Atlantic and win 4 games. Wake lost their most important unit ever (CBs) and all four of them at that. BC is just dead awful. And Clemson is in rebuilding mode this season. In 2008, everyone predicted NCSU #6 in the Atlantic. True. But then in 2009 they say #2 just because of Russell Wilson. According to the press, one player doesn't make the team, I guess that's why UMD is so low, yet a SO QB makes the cut for a whole team. I don't get it. What do you think of the Terps?

HD: Vince, I think the Terps' success hinges on their offensive line and Chris Turner's consistency. Defensively, I think they'll struggle up front, but the secondary will shine in Don Brown's defense. They don't have the talent on their roster that Clemson and FSU does, but it's definitely a faster, more athletic team than in years' past. They have a chance to surprise some people, but they've got to get great quickly up front.