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Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Speaking of winning games without offense ...

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

As a follow-up to the last blog post in which Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver refreshed everyone's memories about what, exactly, Beamerball is, I found some numbers to back him up. The Hokies have scored 107 non-offensive touchdowns since 1992, more than any other team in the ACC. Granted, they didn't join the league until 2004, but they set the standard.

The rest of the ACC is catching up with the trend.

While some (including myself) have lamented the lack of offense in the ACC this season, it's really been the league's forte to get it done with defense and special teams. In four of the past five seasons, the ACC has scored at least 41 non-offensive touchdowns. This year, North Carolina and Boston College are tied for the lead with seven. Virginia Tech ranks second with five, and Florida State had four.

Maryland was the only team in the conference without a non-offensive touchdown, and the only program that didn't have one last year, either. Wake Forest, which had 10 last year, had just three this season.

Who were the ACC's best non-offensive, offensive threats this season?

Virginia Tech cornerback Victor Harris, Wake Forest safety Kevin Patterson, and Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich. They each had two this season. (Coincidentally, Herzlich returned an interception 34 yards against Wake, and Patterson returned the favor in the same game with a 15-yard fumble return).

The master at this, though, among current ACC players, is UNC's Brandon Tate, who tore his ACL and MCL in October before he could add to his league-leading six non-offensive touchdowns since 2005.