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Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Checking in on leading ACC rushers

By Andrea Adelson

Watching just about every ACC team try to run the football this year has not been a pretty sight.

Eight of the 12 teams in the league rank No. 78 or worse in the country in rushing offense at the midway point of the season, slightly up from a year ago. Of those teams, Miami, NC State, Maryland, Boston College, Virginia and Virginia Tech are below what they averaged a season ago.

The most significant drop belongs to Maryland, which is averaging nearly 100 fewer yards rushing this year than last.

So given all that, it should not come as a huge surprise that there is no ACC running back averaging more than 100 yards a game in the most recent league statistics. There is one caveat -- North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard does not appear in the ACC or NCAA stats this week because he has not yet appeared in the NCAA minimum standard of 75 percent of his games this season.

Bernard has 652 yards rushing, which would lead all rushers, despite playing in only five games this season.

Of the players the ACC lists as its statistical leaders, Clemson running back Andre Ellington is the closest to a 100-yard average, at 99.5 yards per game. Florida State back Chris Thompson is next, averaging 91.4 yards per game.

The ACC has had two running backs average at least 100 yards rushing per game in three consecutive seasons. Last year, four running backs hit the 1,000-yard mark. This year, only Bernard, Ellington and Thompson are on pace for 1,000 yards.

The last time the ACC did not have at least one running back average more than 100 yards a game was in 2004.