Print and Go Back ESPN.com: ACC [Print without images]

Wednesday, September 17, 2008
ACC internal affairs

By Heather Dinich
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

WAKE FOREST -- The Demon Deacons have been working on trying to beat man coverage, which Florida State will play a lot of. Offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke is less concerned about how that will affect their passing game than it will their ability to run the ball. FSU's formation allows for an extra blocker to stop the run, and Lobotzke has been scheming to figure out, by formation, how to beat the extra guy in the box.

FLORIDA STATE -- Yes, playmaker Preston Parker is back from his two-game suspension, but the staff is still figuring how to use him most effectively. With freshman running back Ty Jones out with a right ankle injury, don't be surprised to see Parker back in the running game. Jermaine Thomas and Antone Smith have both run well, but the staff is looking for a different dimension, a back who is faster and shiftier. That would be Parker.

NORTH CAROLINA -- Defensive coordinator Everett Withers is scheming to make Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor throw the ball, something he did just 14 times last weekend against Georgia Tech. It's no wonder that's the game plan: Withers' secondary intercepted four passes in UNC's win over Rutgers and the Tar Heels are fourth in the conference in pass defense efficiency (106.8). Said Withers: "Our whole objective in this thing is to try to make him beat us with his arm."

GEORGIA TECH -- Safety Dominique Reese has started the first three games, but as the season has progressed, true freshman Cooper Taylor's playing time has increased. Taylor is now getting between 50-75 percent of the snaps. The Yellow Jackets might get injured starting linebacker Anthony Barnes and starting wide receiver Demaryius Thomas back in time for the Mississippi State game. While coach Paul Johnson downplayed the absence of Thomas in the loss to Virginia Tech, Thomas could help with blocking.

MIAMI -- In addition to scheming for two quarterbacks, Randy Shannon will be watching to see if Texas A&M uses a four-man front or a three-man front and will have to adjust quickly to the Aggies' defense on Saturday in the first half. The Hurricanes have spent the bye week working on forcing turnovers because the defense hasn't had one in the first two games. The coverage teams for punt and kickoff returns also got extra work.