ACC: Bryan Pata

ACC's lunchtime links: Maryland searching for identity

November, 7, 2008
11/07/08
12:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Maryland fans have the right to expect more, writes the Baltimore Sun's Rick Maese, and a mid-tier bowl is no longer enough. Well, if the Terps continue to play like they did on Thursday night, that's exactly what they're gonna get. The Hokies, however, might have found their identity.

They definitely found a bowl game. Here's a breakdown of where at least one team might go bowling.

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden has outlasted a lot of coaches in the country, including all three of his sons. It's amazing, isn't it?

The pain still runs deep for Bryan Pata's mother, who struggles every day with her son's unresolved murder.

Life has not been easy for Duke's Chris Rwabukamba, but it could have been much worse had he stayed in Rwanda.

North Carolina State receiver Owen Spencer has helped the Pack fill the void left by injured starter Donald Bowens. And he has appreciated every minute of the opportunity.

ACC in the morning -- Part II: Bowden's call for help

September, 3, 2008
9/03/08
8:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

This is impressive. Clemson coach Tommy Bowden swallowed his pride and called Nick Saban for advice. And Mark Richt. And Frank Beamer. And his father. He said their feedback will help him help the team regroup after the loss to Alabama.

  • After that loss, Wake Forest was the only ACC team ranked in the AP poll. Personally, I think it's a little extreme to drop a previously top 10 team out of the rankings entirely after just one game.
  • Which is why The Citadel coach Kevin Higgins is expecting the Tigers' best.
  • Will Georgia Tech look as good against the Boston College defense? T.J. Barnes, a defensive tackle on the scout team, is doing his best to help them get ready. And the coaching staff is doing its best to try and limit Michael Johnson to under, say, 90 plays.
  • Of course, the opposite question also needs to be asked. How will the Eagles fare against Paul Johnson's triple-option offense? The last time these teams met, it took a last-second field goal for BC to win the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Now, a league game is at stake.
  • If not for the death of former Miami lineman Bryan Pata, Florida safety Major Wright would be lining up for the Hurricanes on Saturday.
  • Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice's record really is a thing of the past after UNC receiver Brandon Tate's record-setting performance last week.
  • Oh, and those guys who jumped out of the plane and landed on Duke's field? They hope to get another shot at Kenan Stadium some day. Hey, everybody makes mistakes. I jumped out of a plane once, and it's not like there's a steering wheel on those things.
  • Injured Duke running back Re'quan Boyette contributed in his own way this past weekend, but the Blue Devils also found a capable back in Boyette's good friend Clifford Harris.
  • Even with its suspensions for the first two games, FSU should start the season 2-0. But will they be mismatches compared to any of these?
  • The Seminoles' depth chart is complete with one exception -- quarterback.

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