ACC: Colin Jones

Posted by's Heather Dinich Here's a recap of the scrimmages that happened this weekend, with the help of the sports information directors, and the local newspapers that covered them: BOSTON COLLEGE As if things couldn't get worse for coach Frank Spaziani's quarterback situation in his first year, leading candidate Dave Shinskie was injured in Sunday's scrimmage. It might be a bruised rib. Here's how the rest of the team fared without him: All four quarterbacks played and redshirt freshman Justin Tuggle went 8-for-16 for 84 yards. Junior Codi Boek threw for 74 yards on a 6-for-12 day while freshmen Michael Marscovetra and Shinskie both had three completions. Junior Jordon McMichael and sophomore Colin Larmond Jr. both had three receptions for 18 and 33 yards, respectively. Sophomore Montel Harris was the leading rusher with 46 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown. Senior Steve Aponavicius went 2-for-4 in his field goal attempts, hitting from 42 yards both times. A 44-yard attempt went awry following a bad snap and his 37-yard try was blocked by sophomore Isaac Johnson. Redshirt freshman Alexander DiSanzo shined on defense with seven tackles, a forced a fumble and an interception. Senior Roderick Rollins and freshman Luke Kuechly both had a team-high nine tackles. DUKE Quarterbacks Thaddeus Lewis, Sean Renfree and Sean Schroeder combined to complete 25 of 39 passes for 240 yards. Renfree threw for a team-high 93 yards by hitting on 11 of 18 throws while Lewis was 7-of-12 for 86 yards. Freshman running back Desmond Scott led all receivers with six catches for 39 yards while rookie wideout Conner Vernon had three grabs for 42 yards. Redshirt sophomore running back Cameron Jones picked up a scrimmage-best 49 yards on just three rushing attempts. Defensively, sophomore safety Matt Daniels caused and recovered one fumble while redshirt sophomore cornerback Colin Jones registered one interception. Junior kicker Will Snyderwine booted a 27-yard field goal and successfully converted his lone PAT attempt. FLORIDA STATE Quarterback Christian Ponder had another good day, but with no interceptions, did the defense? Ponder wasn't thrilled with the results and said it might have been because guys were too eager to end their two-a-days. Jimbo Fisher said overall it was far too inconsistent. To read the Noles' entire practice report, click here. MARYLAND The Terps' scrimmage was a mixture of good and bad, and it was the latter that kept coach Ralph Friedgen going. There was one player, though, who made a name for himself in Friedgen's book -- redshirt freshman running back Gary Douglas. Douglas rushed 17 times for a scrimmage-high 122 yards, including four runs of 15 or more yards. He didn't score a touchdown but almost single-handedly led the offense down the field for a score on one drive, accounting for 72 of the 80 yards. Quarterback Chris Turner completed 13 of 20 passes for 113 yards. Backup Jamarr Robinson didn't fare quite as well as he had in previous scrimmages, hitting on just 5 of 14 passes for 59 yards, though he did direct two scoring drives. Mike Barbour looked sharp early, capping off two drives with field goals. The redshirt freshman, who had a leg up on the No. 1 place-kicker job, hit from 30 and 36 yards out. "Barbour started off pretty good, and then he missed his last three," Friedge
n said. "He kind of looked like he had solidified the job and then he opens it up again." Defensive back Eric Franklin, a true freshman, made a scrimmage-best eight tackles and picked off Turner on the sixth possession. MIAMI The Canes wrapped up their final two-a-day of fall camp on Sunday, and coach Randy Shannon said everything -- that's right, everything -- is still up for grabs. Jorge Milian of the Palm Beach Post had a couple of notes for you off Sunday's practice. Morning Practice Highlights -- (pads) Joe Joseph and Marcus Robinson each had a sack in 11-on-11 drills. Randy Phillips (INT, pass break-up) and DeMarcus Van Dyke (two pass break-ups) stood out in the secondary. Lee Chambers and Damien Berry each broke off a couple runs of 15+ yards. Javarris James caught several passes in both 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 sessions Afternoon Practice Highlights -- (shells) Sam Shields (red zone), Chavez Grant (7-on-7) and C.J. Holton (11-on-11) all recorded interceptions. Grant returned his for a touchdown while Holton caught his off a tipped pass. A.J. Highsmith connected with Tommy Streeter (11-on-11) and LaRon Byrd (7-on-7) for significant yardage. Damien Berry took a short pass in the flat from Taylor Cook for a long gain. Other highlights include a near interception by Randy Phillips, a pass break-up by Ramon Buchanan and a sack by Micanor Regis. Red zone touchdowns included Jacory Harris to Richard Gordon and Taylor Cook to Jimmy Graham. VIRGINIA TECH So ... add Ryan Williams to the list of VT running backs who are banged up. Williams sprained his ankle, and Josh Oglesby has "the worst infection" coach Billy Hite has ever seen on a foot. Also, the coaches want to redshirt Logan Thomas, and Kenny Lewis Jr.'s recovery has been delayed. Not a lot of happy news coming out of Blacksburg these days. To read Virginia Tech's entire scrimmage report, click here. Tyrod Taylor completed 8 of 11 passes for 78 yards. Xavier Boyce led all receivers with two catches for 47 yards. Freshman running back Tony Gregory rushed 18 times for 48 yards and two touchdowns. Williams rushed just five times for 22 yards before spraining his ankle and sitting out the rest of the scrimmage. He did score on a 4-yard run and he returned several punts. Matt Waldron was 4-for-4 on his field goal attempts. (31, 32, 43, 30) Defensive tackle Cordarrow Thompson led the defense with seven tackles, four for a loss, and one sack.

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Duke running backs coach Zac Roper might have the toughest job on the staff right now. Leading rusher and senior Re'quan Boyette is still being evaluated after having cartilage surgery on his left knee, and his backup, senior Clifford Harris, has a minor hamstring pull.

"We thought we were going to have two seniors that were going to take most of the reps," Roper said. "Obviously we think those guys will get back as quickly as they can, and when those two guys get back everything will be back to normal, but we're trying to add as much depth as we can."

Here's a breakdown of what Roper has to work with:

  • Harris has played fullback and tailback, and he knows the system and is also a good special teams player. He's been out of contract drills for three days now, though, and they need him back as soon as possible.
  • Sophomore Tony Jackson has been getting the most reps. In the spring, the staff wanted to add some firepower to the position and thought Jackson's speed would help, so they moved him from safety. He proved it was a the right move with a 75-yard touchdown run in the spring game. Jackson is still learning pass protection, but understands what the staff wants scheme-wise and has some explosiveness. He'll be getting most of the reps, but has had limited contact this week because of an upper body injury.
  • Freshman Jay Hollingsworth, a local player from Sanford, N.C., runs with good natural pad leverage and was listed as the No. 76 running back in the nation by
  • Patrick Kurunwune of Austin, Texas, has been getting increased reps and continues to learn.
  • Cameron Jones, a redshirt freshman, hasn't played yet, but just about everyone else in his family has, so he knows he's got a tradition to uphold. His father, Cedric, was a standout receiver at Duke; his brother, Colin, is a redshirt freshman cornerback; and his uncle, Walter Jones, was a leading receiver at Duke during the Blue Devils' 1989 ACC championship team. Oh, and his cousin, Tielor Robinson, is a senior fullback and his mom, Melanie Davis-Jones, also went to school here.

Best-case scenario? Clifford Harris comes back ASAP.

Early observations from Duke

August, 15, 2008

Posted by's Heather Dinich

DURHAM, N.C. -- This is a very odd feeling, sitting in an eerily quiet, dimly-lit Cameron Indoor media room, writing about Duke football.

There is reason to be here, though, and his name is David Cutcliffe.

I just got back from watching the first few periods of Duke football practice and had a few observations.

* The intensity of this coaching staff literally echoes throughout the trees around the practice fields. These guys don't tolerate anything a notch below what they're asking. Defensive coordinator Marion Hobby was barking at his players as they went through pass rush drills, and defensive backs coach Derek Jones could be heard yelling from the adjacent field to one of his corners: "PAY! ATTENTION! TO DETAILS!," Jones yelled. "I asked you to do THREE things!"

Not that they're not encouraging the players, too. Cutcliffe strolled through and checked out all of the drills going on, hollering things like, "I like that!" to safety Eddie Morgan, and "Be an athlete, Adrian [Aye-Darko]."

Cutcliffe's motto this season is "practice makes permanent."

* Not only is leading rusher Re'quan Boyette injured and not practicing anymore, but both of his backups -- Clifford Harris and Tony Jackson -- are being held out of full-contact drills Friday for nagging injuries. 

* I can see why Cutcliffe's first priority in terms of tangible upgrades to the program is in his practice facilities. One of the fields is only 75-yards long, and the other looks like it could be a recreational park in a small neighborhood. 

I'll get a chance to speak with some players and coaches later this afternoon, so more is coming.