Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Did you know?
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Here are a few fun facts from sports information directors throughout the league that will make you seem smarter around your football buddies this week:
NC State's Wilson in good company
Punt return party
- NC State quarterback Russell Wilson has thrown eight touchdown passes in the past two games. The only other quarterback in school history to throw that many in back-to-back games is? Who else but Philip Rivers. He did it in the first two games of his career, throwing three in his debut against Arkansas State and five in his second game against Indiana. He threw one interception in those two games. Rivers matched that feat as a senior, throwing four touchdowns each in games against Virginia and Florida State. He had no interceptions in those contests. No interceptions ... sounds familiar ...
Clemson D ancient history to TCU
- The ACC returned four punts for touchdowns in 2008. This year, the ACC matched its 2008 season total on the first weekend of the season and now has had seven punts returned for scores including two by Georgia Tech’s Jerrard Tarrant in his first two games of his collegiate career. Tarrant leads the nation in punt returns this week, averaging 43.0 yards a return.
Spurrier back to Duke -- for a visit
- Clemson’s defense has given up just three touchdowns in three games (including one rather unforgettable, somewhat controversial pass on a fake field goal) and held Boston College to just four first downs last week, the fewest by a Clemson FBS opponent since TCU had just two in a 3-0 loss to the Tigers in 1965.
Meet Bobby Bowden, now lose
- Despite being less than four miles apart, Duke and N.C. Central will play for the first time Saturday in the inaugural Bull City Gridiron Classic. (Hey, there's a first for everything.) South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, whose team plays on Thursday night, is expected to attend as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of Duke's 1989 ACC championship season.
Georgia Tech's passing fancy
- Bobby Bowden is 30-1 against opponents he has faced for the first time. South Florida will be one of those opponents. Oh, and since you asked, the lone loss came at No. 5 Michigan in 1986, 20-18.
Miami vs. the Commonwealth
- Georgia Tech might not pass that often -- 42 attempts in three games -- but the Yellow Jackets are averaging 24.2 yards per completion. Credit junior wide receiver Demaryius Thomas for a lot of that. He leads the ACC in reception yardage per game (109.0) and is averaging an ACC-best 25.2 yards per catch this year.
UNC D in lockdown mode
- Miami is 28-11 all-time against the state of Virginia. After beating both Virginia Tech and Virginia in 2008, the Hurricanes now own a .725 winning percentage against the state. In the series against ACC members Virginia and Virginia Tech, Miami seems to be at its best when it scores 20 or more points. UM is a combined 15-2 against Virginia Tech (11-2) and Virginia (4-0) when it scores 20 or more points in a game. The Hurricanes are 6-9 when they fail to score at least 20 points against the Cavaliers (0-2) and Hokies (6-7).
- North Carolina has held its three opponents this season to six (Citadel), 10 (Connecticut) and 17 (East Carolina) points. The last time UNC held three consecutive opponents to 20 or fewer points was 2000 vs. Virginia, Pittsburgh, Maryland. The 33 points allowed by the Tar Heels are the fewest in any three-game span since the final two games in 1999 and the first game of 2000. In 1999, Carolina held NC State to six points and shutout Duke. Tulsa scored nine points against UNC in the 2000 opener.