ACC: Greg McElroy
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Ahem. Excuse me. I'm heading to Raleigh, so let's start there ...
- The difference tonight will be Russell Wilson, and Caulton Tudor predicts a 28-24 Wolfpack win. With one small gesture last year against South Carolina, Wilson proved he could be a positive influence for the team. This time, the Gamecocks should see a much different quarterback.
- Maryland's success weighs in large part -- literally -- on massive offensive tackle Bruce Campbell.
- Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy will be making his first start against the Hokies, but he's been in this position before. In high school, McElroy was the successor to Chase Daniel. You may have heard of him.
- FSU coordinator Jimbo Fisher has some history with first-year Miami defensive coordinator John Lovett, but the unknown of going against two new coordinators in Week 1 forced the Noles' staff to do their homework.
- Virginia walk-on Matt Snyder's hard work has paid off, and his Rudy-esque story will take center stage on Saturday when he cracks the starting lineup for the first time.
- Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers has made the challenge of increasing last year's sack total a family matter.
- BC's linebacking corps took another hit this week when projected starter Alexander DiSanzo injured his shoulder. He's doubtful for Saturday.
- Miami quarterback Jacory Harris is now the unquestioned leader of the Canes, and he has big goals for the program.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Well, since I shirked my duties last week, I felt like I owed you one. Here's a bonus mailblog, in addition to Friday's:
Someone calling himself Bourbonstreet, who happens to hail from Blacksburg, writes:
Buy or sell HD: the 'Bama season-opening game for my Hokies is gonna be a defensive struggle; a race to 13 points. Therefore, the first team there...wins.
HD: I'll buy it, considering Alabama will be under the direction of a new quarterback and only has four starters returning on offense, and Bud Foster will have the Hokies' D jacked up and ready to go. That said, Bama has Julio Jones, who was one of the most electrifying receivers in the country as a freshman last year, and he'll make any quarterback look good. Lately, Greg McElroy seems to be the frontrunner. He was 12-of-26 for 128 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in the second spring scrimmage. He threw four touchdowns in the first scrimmage. I do expect Virginia Tech's offense to be better than it was a year ago, but considering this is the opener for both teams, odds are there will be a few kinks to work out.
Loyal commenter vthokielover8 writes: Hey HD, Just saw your post on the USA Football team for the youngins'. Is this going to be televised in any shape or form?
HD: You're quick, VT. It is, but USA Football is still in discussions with who the official broadcast partner will be. It should be announced in the next couple of weeks.
Micah writes: I'm a student at NCSU and I'm planning on attending the spring game this Saturday. I'm excited to see if Baker is truly back to form and get a look at Glennon. Other than those two what/who should I be looking for? Any chance I'll get to see Brandon Barnes since Eugene probably won't be playing?
HD: Toney Baker, from what I'm told, is looking pretty good. He led the running backs with eight carries for 19 yards, and was also the leading receiver with six catches for 68 yards. The defensive line is looking good, should be a strength. Secondary, particularly safety, is still an area of concern. For more on the Pack, check the blog Wednesday morning.
JT in Tallahassee writes: Hey Heather, How long do you think it will take for FSU to know something on the Appeal of Surrency and the Sanctions?? Thanks HD for all your hard work!
HD: No prob, JT. As for Surrency, the countdown was three to five weeks since the announcement, which came April 6. So, I guess anywhere from April 27-May 11-ish. As for the NCAA appeal, still waiting to hear back from some folks.
Tommy in Marietta, GA writes: Hey Heather, I was wondering if you could take care of some myths about stopping GT's option offense. It seems like all I hear is "teams will figure out the option next year" or "the option is a high school offense that will never go to a National Championship". Paul Johnson has made it clear that he's in it for championships but do you think that his offense (or something else) can keep NCs out of reach for GT?
HD: If Paul Johnson's offense was good enough to beat Georgia on the road and win nine games in its first season, then it's good enough to win 11 or more games.
Jason Patterson in Wichita writes: Who do you think will have the starting QB job at Clemson in September? Korn or Parker?
HD: The coaches say it won't be determined until summer camp, and after reading this, you might be convinced of that.