Friday, September 6, 2013
ACC Week 2: Did you know?
By David M. Hale
Every ACC team has had a chance to kick off the rust of a long offseason. On to Week 2, with a few interesting tidbits about this weekend's games.
As always, a big tip of the hat to ESPN Stats and Info and the great sports information departments around the ACC for the insights.
BOSTON COLLEGE: The Eagles take on Wake Forest this week in the ACC opener for both teams. It marks the 11th consecutive season they've played, splitting the previous 10 games with five wins apiece. The rivalry has been so close, in fact, that in those 10 games, only three points separate the two teams -- with Wake holding a 241-238 edge.
CLEMSON: Obviously Clemson's opening-week win against Georgia was big, and it vaulted the Tigers up to the No. 4 spot in the latest AP poll. That's Clemson's highest ranking in 25 years, and it makes this week's game against FCS foe South Carolina State look all the more lopsided. The Tigers opened as a 52-point favorite. Clemson hasn't beaten anyone by at least 50 points since the 2008 season, a 54-0 win over -- you guessed it -- South Carolina State.
DUKE: In his first start after replacing Sean Renfree, Anthony Boone completed 16-of-20 passes for 176 yards (adding another 24 yards and a touchdown) in Duke's 45-0 opening-week win over NC Central. The 80 percent completion rate for Boone marked the seventh-best single-game percentage in school history.
MARYLAND: C.J. Brown turned in a record-setting performance in his return to the field last week against FIU, with five first-half touchdowns. Maryland's offense racked up a whopping 576 yards -- its first game of 500-plus yards since 2005.
MIAMI: Duke Johnson's 53-yard run in Miami's opener was the sixth of his brief career. No returning running back had more than Johnson's five in 2012. If he adds to that total this week, it'll be a well-earned accomplishment. Florida has allowed just two runs of 50 yards or more in the past 10 years -- three fewer than any other team in FBS.
NORTH CAROLINA: Despite the pressure of South Carolina's vaunted defensive line, Bryn Renner threw 43 passes last week without an interception, bringing his current streak without an INT to 134. That's the third-longest active streak in the nation, and it's just 20 attempts shy of the school record.
NC STATE: The Wolfpack lost starting quarterback Brandon Mitchell to a foot injury on the third series of the game, which shook up coach Dave Doeren's plans for the offense. By game's end, four different quarterbacks had taken a snap for NC State -- none of whom had ever taken a snap for the team in a game. Doeren says he may rotate quarterbacks again this week in Mitchell's absence.
SYRACUSE: This week's game against Northwestern marks the 11th time the two schools have met in football, with the first meeting taking place in 1940. Each team has won five times. Syracuse great Ernie Davis never faced off against Northwestern during his career, but the movie about his life, "The Express," filmed many of its football scenes at Northwestern's Ryan Field.
VIRGINIA: The Cavaliers play host to No. 2 Oregon this week, which presents a unique set of challenges. But the mere fact that the Ducks are traveling to Charlottesville is unique in its own right. The last time Virginia hosted a team ranked that highly was 1999 against No. 1 Florida State. It hasn't hosted a nonconference game against a top-two teams since 1944.
VIRGINIA TECH: Yes, the Hokies dropped their opener to top-ranked Alabama. But that's not necessarily a cause for despair. After Virginia Tech's last five season-opening losses, four of those seasons ended with a bid in a BCS bowl game (two Orange Bowls, two Sugar Bowls) and the fifth was ended in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
WAKE FOREST: Jim Grobe loves his veterans, but when Wake Forest opened against Presbyterian last week, he turned over playing time to a number of youngsters. In fact, it was something of a historic performance for true freshman Cory Helms, who started at center. He was the first Wake player to start his first game on campus since Marvin Mitchell in 1987.