ACC: Derrick Mitchell

There’s not much time for Virginia Tech to reflect on its 6-3 double overtime loss to Wake Forest, writes the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and that’s probably a good thing.

The Hokies probably have no interest in reliving the gory details, of course. And there are much bigger questions ahead.

[+] EnlargeFrank Beamer
AP Photo/John BazemoreFrank Beamer has a short week and plenty of issues after the Hokies' loss to Wake Forest.
First among them is getting prepared for Virginia. The Hoos’ defense was stellar against Miami on Saturday, and Mike London’s future in Charlottesville might depend on UVA ending its 10-game losing streak to its rival.

The future of many coaches on Virginia Tech’s staff could ride on Friday's outcome, too.

As The Roanoke Times writes, plenty of questions are swirling around the program, chiefly surrounding offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler.

Our Travis Haney suggests changes on the Hokies’ offensive staff seem likely — meaning Frank Beamer would be on his third offensive coordinator in four years.

But the more immediate change could come at quarterback, where Michael Brewer has struggled to ignite the offense.

For the season, Brewer has the second lowest Total QBR in the ACC (ahead of only Wake Forest freshman John Wolford, who bested Brewer on Saturday), and Brenden Motley certainly seemed to provide the only minor spark for the Hokies against the Deacons.

It’s a situation to monitor, and the decision on how Tech handles its QBs could have huge ripple effects for both the Hokies and UVA.

A few more links:

By the numbers: FSU's weak links

November, 6, 2014
Nov 6
4:00
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It’s no secret that Florida State hasn’t dominated opponents this season as it did a year ago. What might be missing a bit from the conversation is exactly what has been missing from the Seminoles’ winning formula in 2014.

It’s true that quarterback Jameis Winston hasn’t been quite as sharp this season, but it’s worth noting that he has been asked to throw a good bit more than he did a season ago. During the regular season in 2013, Winston’s high in pass attempts was 34 (vs. Clemson). This season, he has had one game against an FBS foe in which he’s thrown less than 34 times (31 vs. Notre Dame). Last season, 51 percent of FSU’s plays against FBS teams were pass plays. This season, that rate has jumped to 58 percent.

So why the increased reliance on Winston’s arm? It has a lot to do with the lack of production from the backfield, and that actually starts up front.

If you have watched Florida State’s recent games, it’s no secret that center Ryan Hoefeld is a bit overmatched, but the Seminoles’ inability to run between the tackles has been a season-long problem, and it’s the biggest difference between last season’s offense and this season’s.

Last season, FSU ran between the tackles on 66 percent of its runs, and its 6.2 yards-per-carry average and 26 TDs led the ACC. This season, the Seminoles’ performance outside the tackles has actually improved, but its production up the middle has been cut in half.

Now flip the script to the defensive side of the ball. Again, FSU hasn’t been nearly as impressive as it was in 2013, and the once mighty secondary has proven vulnerable at times.

Last season, FSU allowed 52 percent completions, picked off one of every 16 attempts and allowed a national-best 5.1 yards per attempt to opposing quarterbacks. This season, those numbers are down across the board: 58 percent completions, one interception for every 34 attempts, and a 7.1 yards-per-attempt average.

Again, it’s hard to pin all that blame on the secondary when the play up front has been spotty.

With Timmy Jernigan and Telvin Smith gone from the middle of the defense, opponents have thrived between the tackles, and the pass rush has dropped off precipitously (FSU averaged a sack every 12.2 attempts last season, every 22.8 this year).

Last season, opponents averaged just 3.2 yards-per-carry between the tackles and scored just twice -- both tops in the ACC. This season, FSU has again improved on outside runs -- its 4.2 yards-per-carry allowed leads the conference -- but opponents are rushing for 1.1 more yards-per-run up the middle than they did a season ago and have already doubled their touchdown total.

Injuries have been critical in both areas for Florida State. Center Austin Barron and defensive tackle Nile Lawrence-Stample are done for the season. Tackle Derrick Mitchell and linebackers Terrance Smith, Matthew Thomas and Ukeme Eligwe have all battled injuries, too. FSU is plugging in second- and third-stringers to fill key roles, and the results have been obvious. [Edit: Barron's original diagnosis suggested a season-ending injury. Jimbo Fisher said this week the center could return this year. Meanwhile, reports surfaced Thursday suggesting Eligwe's career at Florida State was over though Fisher has yet to confirm that.]

Indeed a lot has changed for the Seminoles from 2013. Freshmen are playing bigger roles, the competition is better, and as national champs, they are getting every opponent's best shot. But the biggest differences from 2013 to 2014 have been health and strength up the middle - two issues invariably tied together.

And with Barron and Lawrence-Stample sidelined, those problems aren’t going to be fixed in any dramatic fashion. What is encouraging for FSU is that it has found ways to win anyway. What’ is perhaps troubling, however, is that there will be many bigger challenges ahead -- from Virginia’s defensive line this week to Duke Johnson and Tyler Murphy down the road -- that figure to test those weak links again and again.
Pitt's off to a 3-0 start, and while some early struggles against FIU last week were enough to put a scare into the Panthers, there's no question they're now squarely in the mix for the Coastal Division. A win this week would give Pitt its first 4-0 start since 2000.

Of course, for the hype to keep building, Pitt will need to pounce on reeling Iowa this weekend, and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review expects Paul Chryst to open up the playbook a bit.
In three games, Pitt has thrown for only 304 yards, which is just short of 23 percent of the offense and only about 100 yards per game. [James] Conner is overshadowing the passing game, running for 544 of Pitt's 1,033 yards on the ground. Quarterback Chad Voytik's 29 completions in 50 attempts have gained only 284 yards, an average of less than 10 per completion.

Through three weeks, Pitt has thrown 53 passes out of 213 plays -- or about 25 percent of the time. The only FBS schools passing less often so far this year are the three service academies, Georgia Tech, Georgia Southern and New Mexico.

That's a sharp change from last season, when Pitt threw the ball 47 percent of the time, but it's also a game plan that's been easy to follow with the success of tailback James Conner. His 80 rushes are 14 more than any other Power 5-conference back, and only two other Power 5 rushers are within 100 yards of his rushing total this season.

Still, there will come a point in which the Panthers need to show they can move the ball through the air, too, and that remains something of a questions with new QB Chad Voytik at the helm.

Chryst already took the time to bench his QB for a series against FIU last week, a move he explained as an opportunity for Voytik to “catch his breath.”

Voytik hasn't been bad, but he also hasn't been asked to do too much. His attempts-per-game is the lowest among ACC starters outside of Georgia Tech, his yards-per-attempt is ahead of only Tyler Murphy in the conference, and his 58 percent completions ranks 10th, trailing true freshman Brad Kaaya.

The fact remains that Conner and the ground game will be Pitt's bread and butter this year, but getting Voytik some reps in advance of a tougher ACC slate that will have him face off against the stout defenses at Virginia and Virginia Tech to kick off the month of October is probably a wise decision.

Conner has been astounding thus far, but the workload has been heavy, and Pitt also has another budding superstar named Tyler Boyd who needs to be fed a few more touches, too.

Some more links for your Tuesday reading:
  • DeVante Parker is getting some high-tech help in healing his foot injury, writes The Courier-Journal. His return can't come soon enough. The Cards are already having QB concerns, and the receiving corps hasn't exactly wowed anyone. Louisville's top two wideouts — Eli Rogers (20 targets) and James Quick (18) — have caught just 57 percent of their targets and averaged 5.9 yards per target. Last year, Parker caught 69 percent and averaged 11 yards per attempt.
  • Ryan Williams' continued progress recovering from an ACL injury means Miami isn't worried about QB depth following Kevin Olsen's suspension, writes the Miami Herald.
  • North Carolina will be without guard Landon Turner for its matchup with ECU, notes CBS Sports. Turner was UNC's most experienced lineman (19 career starts), and the Tar Heels already ranked just 51st out of 65 Power 5 teams when running between the tackles.
  • Don't expect Chad Morris to slow his offense to keep Florida State off the field, writes The Post and Courier.
  • The emergence of Derrick Mitchell on Florida State's defensive line is a much-needed boost for the ailing Seminoles, writes the Miami Herald.
  • For Virginia, the early success this season is all about having an identity, writes the Daily Progress.
  • Virginia Tech is optimistic Corey Marshall will be able to play this week when the Hokies open up their ACC slate, writes the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Week 12 injury reports

November, 16, 2012
11/16/12
11:00
AM ET
Here are the ACC injury reports for Week 12 from the schools that emailed them:

CLEMSON

Probable
Out for the season
DUKE

Probable
Doubtful
Out
Out for the season
FLORIDA STATE

Out
Out for the season
MARYLAND

Out for the season
Questionable
Probable
MIAMI

Out
Surgery/Out for the season:
NC STATE

Out for season
Out for game

ACC injury report: Week 9

October, 26, 2012
10/26/12
11:00
AM ET
Here are the ACC injury reports for Week 9 from the schools that emailed them:

DUKE

Probable
Questionable
Doubtful


Out
Out for season


FLORIDA STATE


Out


Out for season
MARYLAND

Probable
Questionable
Out
Out for season

NORTH CAROLINA

Out
NORTH CAROLINA STATE

Out for season

ACC injury report: Week 8

October, 19, 2012
10/19/12
11:00
AM ET
Here are the ACC injury reports for Week 8 from the schools that emailed them:

CLEMSON

Out for the season
DUKE

Probable
Questionable
Out
Out for season


FLORIDA STATE


Out


Out for season
MARYLAND

Probable
Questionable
Doubtful
Out
Out for season

MIAMI

Doubtful
Surgery/Out for season
NORTH CAROLINA

Out
NORTH CAROLINA STATE

Probable
VIRGINIA

Probable
Questionable


Out
Out for season
VIRGINIA TECH

Probable
Out
Out for season

ACC injury report: Week 7

October, 12, 2012
10/12/12
11:00
AM ET
Here are the ACC injury reports for Week 7 from the schools that emailed them:

DUKE

Probable
Questionable
Doubtful
Out
FLORIDA STATE

Out
Out for season
MARYLAND

Out for season
Out
Probable
MIAMI

Probable
Out
Surgery/Out for season
NORTH CAROLINA

Out
VIRGINIA

Out
Questionable
Probable
Out for season
VIRGINIA TECH

Out for season
Out
Doubtful

Week 6 injury reports

October, 5, 2012
10/05/12
11:00
AM ET
Here are the ACC injury reports from the schools that emailed them:

CLEMSON

WILL PLAY

WR Sammy Watkins (virus)

C Dalton Freeman (thumb)

PROBABLE

OG Kalon Davis (hamstring)

OUT

WR Martavis Bryant (groin)

RB D.J. Howard (shoulder)

OUT FOR SEASON

DB Martin Jenkins (hernia)

CB Tony McNeal (torn ACL)

LB Justin Parker (groin)

DUKE

PROBABLE

LB David Helton (leg)

QUESTIONABLE

CB Lee Butler (lower body)

QB Sean Renfree (arm)

DT Jamal Wallace (lower body)

OUT

CB Jared Boyd (leg)

S Brandon Braxton (upper body)

LB Kelby Brown (leg)

NG Jamal Bruce (foot)

TE Braxton Deaver (leg)

DE Justin Foxx (hand)

S Chris Tavarez (leg)

OUT FOR SEASON

TE Jack Farrell (leg)

WR Blair Holliday

DE Allen Jackson (shoulder)

S Corbin McCarthy (shoulder)

S Taylor Sowell (leg)

FLORIDA STATE

OUT

DB Justin Bright (head)

LB Ukeme Eligwe (hand)

OL Garrett Faircloth (hip)

OL Daniel Foose (back)

DT Moses McCray (head)

DT Derrick Mitchell (back)

OL Trey Pettis (head)

OUT FOR THE SEASON

DB Colin Blake (shoulder)

DE Chris Casher (knee)

TE Dan Hicks (knee)

DE Brandon Jenkins (foot)

DT Jacobbi McDaniel (ankle)

RB Mario Pender (sports hernia)

MARYLAND

PROBABLE

WR Kerry Boykins (hamstring)

LB Kenneth Tate (knee)

DL Joe Vellano (foot)

QUESTIONABLE

DB Matt Robinson (groin)

OUT

PK/P Nick Ferrara (hip)

OUT FOR SEASON

QB C.J. Brown (knee)

DL Andre Monroe (knee)

MIAMI

OUT

DL Curtis Porter (upper extremity)

DB Rayshawn Jenkins (upper extremity)

DL Olsen Pierre (upper extremity)

OL Ben Jones (lower extremity)

OUT FOR THE SEASON

WR Malcolm Lewis (lower extremity)

LB Ramon Buchanan (lower extremity)

LS Sean McNally (lower extremity)

NORTH CAROLINA

OUT

RB Connor Gonet

OL T.J. Leifheit

LB Darius Lipford

RB Travis Riley

PK Miller Snyder

WR T.J. Thorpe

NC STATE

OUT

OT Rob Crisp (lower back)

OG Andrew Wallace (foot)

RB James Washington (ankle)

OUT FOR THE SEASON

OG Zach Allen (foot)

DT Jacob Kahut (knee)

LB Michael Peek (knee)

VIRGINIA

PROBABLE

OT Oday Aboushi (upper extremity)

DT Will Hill (medical)

S Brandon Phelps (upper extremity)

DOUBTFUL

WR Tim Smith (lower extremity)

OUT

DE Billy Schautz (lower extremity)

DT Buddy Ruff (medical)

S Darius Lee (lower extremity)

OUT FOR THE SEASON

S Pablo Alvarez

LB Adam Caplinger

DT Marco Jones

S David Marrs

WR Mario Nixon

VIRGINIA TECH

PROBABLE

DT Luther Maddy (ankle)

WR Christian Reeves (hamstring)

G David Wang (ankle)

DOUBTFUL

RB Tony Gregory (knee)

OUT

WR Joshua Stanford (knee)

OUT FOR SEASON

OT Nick Acree (knee)

WR D.J. Coles (knee)

Week 5 injury reports

September, 28, 2012
9/28/12
11:00
AM ET
Here are the ACC injury reports from the schools that emailed them:

DUKE

PROBABLE

CB Lee Butler (leg)

OG Lucas Patrick (ankle)

QUESTIONABLE

QB Brandon Connette (leg)

TE Erich Schneider (lower body)

OUT

CB Jared Boyd (leg)

LB Kelby Brown (leg)

NG Jamal Bruce (foot)

TE Braxton Deaver (leg)

DE Justin Foxx (hand)

S Chris Tavarez (leg)

OUT FOR SEASON

TE Jack Farrell (leg)

WR Blair Holliday

DE Allen Jackson (shoulder)

S Corbin McCarthy (shoulder)

S Taylor Sowell (leg)

FLORIDA STATE

OUT

S Justin Bright (head)

DE Chris Casher (knee)

LB Ukeme Eligwe (hand)

OL Garrett Faircloth (hip)

OL Daniel Foose (back)

DT Moses McCray (head)

DT Jacobbi McDaniel (ankle)

DR Derrick Mitchell (back)

OUT FOR SEASON

DB Colin Blake (shoulder)

TE Dan Hicks (knee)

DE Brandon Jenkins (foot)

RB Mario Pender (sports hernia)

MIAMI

PROBABLE

Raphael Kirby-Lower extremity

OUT

Denzel Perryman-Lower Extremity

SURGERY/OUT FOR SEASON

Ramon Buchanan-Lower Extremity

Malcolm Lewis-Lower Extremity

Sean McNally-Lower Extremity

NC STATE

OUT FOR SEASON

Jacob Kahut, DT - knee

Michael Peek, LB - knee

OUT FOR GAME

Rob Crisp, OT - lower back

Andrew Wallace, OT - foot

James Washington, HB - ankle

VIRGINIA TECH

OUT FOR SEASON

Nick Acree (knee)

D.J. Coles (knee)

OUT

Tony Gregory (knee)

Joshua Stanford (knee)

PROBABLE

David Wang (ankle)

Week 4 injury reports

September, 21, 2012
9/21/12
11:00
AM ET
Here are the ACC injury reports for Week 4 from the schools that emailed them:

CLEMSON

Out
Probable
Practice note: Coach Dabo Swinney said redshirt freshman Eric Mac Lain has begun to work at offensive guard in addition to tight end. He will be an offensive guard full time at some point this season, but in the short term will continue to play the tight end position in games.

DUKE

PROBABLE
QUESTIONABLE
OUT
OUT FOR SEASON
FLORIDA STATE

OUT
OUT FOR THE SEASON
MARYLAND

OUT FOR SEASON
OUT
QUESTIONABLE
PROBABLE
MIAMI

Out
Surgery/Out for the season:
VIRGINIA TECH

Out for Season
Out
Probable

ACC injury reports: Week 3

September, 14, 2012
9/14/12
11:00
AM ET
Here are the injury reports from the schools who emailed them this week:

DUKE

PROBABLE
OUT
OUT FOR SEASON
FLORIDA STATE

OUT
OUT FOR THE SEASON
GEORGIA TECH

OUT
QUESTIONABLE
MARYLAND

OUT FOR THE SEASON
OUT
QUESTIONABLE
PROBABLE
VIRGINIA

Out
Doubtful
Questionable
  • Billy Schautz (lower extremity)
Probable
VIRGINIA TECH

Out for Season
Out
Probable

ACC injury reports: Week 2

September, 7, 2012
9/07/12
11:00
AM ET
Here are the injury reports from the schools that emailed them (ACC schools don't have to give injury reports for nonconference games, and not all schools release them to the media anyway):

DUKE

PROBABLE
OUT
OUT FOR SEASON
FLORIDA STATE

OUT
OUT FOR THE SEASON
MARYLAND

OUT FOR THE SEASON
OUT
QUESTIONABLE
PROBABLE
MIAMI

OUT
NORTH CAROLINA

OUT
VIRGINIA TECH

OUT FOR SEASON
OUT
QUESTIONABLE

ACC injury reports: Week 1

August, 31, 2012
8/31/12
4:00
PM ET
Here are your updated injury reports from the schools that filed them this week:

Clemson

DB Martin Jenkins (hernia) -- OUT FOR SEASON

WR Daniel Rodriguez (shoulder) -- probable

QB Tony McNeal (torn ACL) -- OUT FOR SEASON

LB Justin Parker (groin) OUT FOR SEASON

Note: OT Gifford Timothy (knee) will start at right tackle

Duke

DE Kenny Anunike (leg) -- probable

DE Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo (leg) -- probable

S Anthony Young-Wiseman (leg) -- questionable

DE Jonathan Woodruff (leg) -- doubtful

CB Jared Boyd (leg) -- out

LB Kelby Brown (leg) -- out

NG Jamal Bruce (foot) -- out

S Jordon Byas (leg) -- out

TE Braxton Deaver (leg) -- out

LB Britton Grier (hand) -- out

TE Jack Farrell (leg) -- out

OG Lucas Patrick (ankle) -- out

WR Blair Holliday -- OUT FOR SEASON

DE Allen Jackson (shoulder) -- OUT FOR SEASON

S Taylor Sowell (leg) -- OUT FOR SEASON

Florida State

OL Daniel Foose (back) -- out

DL Anthony McCloud (chest) -- out

DL Moses McCray (head) -- out

DL Jacobbi McDaniel (ankle) -- out

DL Derrick Mitchell (back) -- out

WR Josh Gehres (hamstring) -- doubtful

TE Dan Hicks (knee) -- OUT FOR SEASON

RB Mario Pender (sports hernia) -- OUT FOR SEASON

Maryland

DL Keith Bowers (knee) -- out

QB C.J. Brown (knee) -- out

OL Josh Cary (knee) -- out

WR Tyrek Cheeseboro (ankle) -- probable

QB Dustin Dailey (ankle) -- out

PK/P Nick Ferrara (hip) -- out

DB Isaac Goins (sickness) -- out

DB A.J. Hendy (ankle) -- out

LB Abner Logan (quad) -- out

DL Andre Monroe (knee) -- out

DB Matt Robinson (shoulder) -- out

RB Brandon Ross (hamstring) -- out

DL Isaiah Ross (hamstring) -- out

LB Kenny Tate (knee) -- out

Miami

LB Raphael Kirby (lower extremity) -- Out

DL Curtis Porter (upper extremity) -- Out

Virginia Tech

Nick Acree (knee) -- OUT FOR SEASON

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