ACC: Jarrett Boykin

One good reason: Virginia Tech

July, 16, 2012

Ten down, two to go. Welcome back. This series gives one good reason why each school in the ACC will win this year, and, just to make sure we cover both sides of the story, one good reason why it won’t. For most schools, the focus is on winning the ACC title. For the programs that missed out on the postseason entirely last year, the focus is on getting back to a bowl game (at least it is here in the blogosphere). We’re going in alphabetical order, and the Hokies are up next.

The series continues today with one good reason why …

Virginia Tech will win the ACC. Again. Defense. Defensive coordinator Bud Foster is one of the best in the business, and the Hokies should once again have one of the deepest, most talented groups in the country. It’s not just Foster, though, it’s his entire staff. They’ve done a great job of recruiting, reloading and putting their players in position to succeed. They’ve also improved their depth and experience through the misfortune of injured players. Nine starters return to this defense, which ranked seventh in the nation last year in scoring defense, 10th in total defense and 14th against the run. The strength this year will be at the ends in pass rushers James Gayle and J.R. Collins, who combined for 22 tackles for loss and 13 sacks last year. Linebacker Bruce Taylor, though, might be the best defender on the team. If everyone can stay healthy, the Hokies’ defense will be championship-caliber. Virginia Tech will have to rely on its defense this year, especially in the first half of the season, because …

Why it won’t: Overhaul on offense. Eight of the 11 starters lost were on offense. Four starters must be replaced on the offensive line, a pair of four-year starters at receiver are gone in Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin, and the Hokies have to also find a replacement for running back David Wilson, who left school early for the NFL draft. Boykin and Coale finished their careers with more combined reception yardage (5,542 yards) than any other pair of receivers in ACC history. Virginia Tech’s staff might have to ask more of quarterback Logan Thomas as it figures out who the playmakers around him will be. Center Andrew Miller is the lone starter on the offensive line. This offense will have a lot of new faces when it lines up against Georgia Tech in the Labor Day opener, and it will have questions to answer in fall camp in both the running and passing games.

More in this series
Virginia Tech is the only team in the nation to have at least 10 wins in each of the past eight seasons. The Hokies are 84-24 (.778) since the 2004 season -- their first year in the ACC:


Will Virginia Tech have another 10-win season in 2012?


Discuss (Total votes: 5,442)

2004: 10-3
2005: 11-2
2006: 10-3
2007: 11-3
2008: 10-4
2009: 10-3
2010: 11-3
2011: 11-3

And the Hokies would want to leave the ACC why? They own it. But can they do it again in 2012?

Virginia Tech will have one of if not the best quarterback in the league in Logan Thomas. But the Hokies have to replace eight starters on offense. That's a lot -- more than Miami. Four starters on the offensive line have to be replaced. Who is going to carry the ball now that David Wilson is gone? Who will replace four-year starters Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin? Virginia Tech has already been tabbed a preseason top 25 team and Coastal Division favorite, but are the Hokies getting too much credit considering all they lost from 2011? Have ACC fans come to take 10-win seasons in Blacksburg for granted?

Prediction: The Hokies will get their 10 wins. The confidence comes from the staff's ability to recruit and develop players consistently, along with what should be a tremendous defense. We'll take a closer look at the Hokies' schedule in the "Schedule Analysis" series, but the nonconference lineup is conducive to a hot start. The 10th win might have to come in a bowl game, but somehow, Frank Beamer will find a way to get them there again, despite so many roster changes.

Virginia Tech spring wrap

May, 8, 2012
2011 overall record: 11-3
2011 conference record: 7-1 (1st, Coastal)
Returning starters: Offense: 3; defense: 9; kicker/punter: 1

Top returners
QB Logan Thomas, WR Marcus Davis, C Andrew Miller, DE James Gayle, DE J.R. Collins, DT Derrick Hopkins, DT Antoine Hopkins, ILB Bruce Taylor, ILB Tariq Edwards, OLB Jeron Gouveia-Winslow, CB Kyle Fuller, S Antone Exum

Key losses
WR Danny Coale, WR Jarrett Boykin, TE Chris Drager, LT Andrew Lanier, RT Blake DeChristopher, RG Jaymes Brooks, LG Greg Nosal, RB David Wilson, CB Jayron Hosley, FS Eddie Whitley

2011 statistical leaders (* returners)
Rushing: David Wilson (1,709 yards)
Passing: Logan Thomas* (3,013 yards)
Receiving: Danny Coale (904 yards)
Tackles: Antone Exum* (89)
Sacks: James Gayle* (7)
Interceptions: Jayron Hosley (3)

Spring answers

1. Logan Thomas: The ACC is loaded with talented quarterbacks in 2012, and Thomas is among the top returners. He accounted for 30 total touchdowns last season and threw for more than 3,000 yards. He is the unquestioned leader and centerpiece of the Hokies' offense, and a strong season could result in a handshake from Roger Goodell at Radio City next April.

2. Defensive line: This unit has the potential to be the best in the conference, as it will play eight or nine men on a regular basis and be the foundation for a defense among the best in the ACC. This group led the conference in sacks a year ago and has looked every bit as capable this spring of doing that again in 2012.

3. Security: The Hokies were faced with a similar position last season, only the exact opposite: Loads of offensive talent came back and the defense had some uncertainties. Virginia Tech still reached the ACC title game and a BCS bowl, extending its nation-best streak of 10 or more wins to an eighth straight season. Entering his 26th season and first as the longest-tenured FBS coach, Frank Beamer has an established track record and knows how to get the most out of his pieces. The hard part right now is finding them on offense.

Fall questions

1. Who will replace David Wilson? Wilson is off with the Giants, a first-round draft pick following a campaign in which he ran for more yards than any running back in Virginia Tech history. Michael Holmes figures to be the No. 1 back entering preseason camp, with J.C. Coleman pushing him for time. The Hokies welcome three new backs this fall, along with Tony Gregory, who missed spring while recovering from knee surgery.

2. Who will protect the newcomer? Holmes or any of his fellow backfield mates won't have the chance to accomplish anything replicating Wilson's production if they don't get the chance. The Hokies return just one starting offensive lineman from last season and will have to adjust quickly if the offense wants to resemble last year's.

3. Secondary help. Second-team all-ACC corner Kyle Fuller is back, along with leading tackle Antone Exum. Sophomore Detrick Bonner has moved from cornerback to free safety, sophomore Kyshoen Jarrett is now at safety and Exum is now at corner. Secondary coach Torrian Gray likes to build versatility, but he will have his hands full trying to replace Eddie Whitley (graduation) and cornerback Jayron Hosley (draft).
As mentioned in lunch links, Clemson announced the signings of undrafted lineman Landon Walker (Cincinnati Bengals) and punter Dawson Zimmerman (Atlanta Falcons). And a couple of generous readers have passed along a few more signings from ACC schools.

Virginia Tech guard Blake DeChristopher signed with the Cardinals, and Hokies defensive back Cris Hill signed with the Bills.

Big thanks to Matt from Alexandria, Va., Ben in Blacksburg, Va., and Lynn in Blacksburg, Va., for the head's up.

The updated, working list is below. Feel free to pass along any oversights.

CB Donnie Fletcher: New York Jets

DE Kourtnei Brown: San Francisco 49ers
FB Chad Diehl: Baltimore Ravens
OL Antoine McClain: Baltimore Ravens
DT Rennie Moore: Houston Texans
OT Landon Walker: Cincinnati Bengals
P Dawson Zimmerman: Atlanta Falcons

S Matt Daniels: St. Louis Rams

WR Bert Reed: Cleveland Browns
S Terrence Parks: Kansas City Chiefs
P Shawn Powell: Buffalo Bills

CB Cameron Chism: Indianapolis Colts
RB Davin Meggett: Houston Texans

WR LaRon Byrd: Arizona Cardinals
OL Joel Figueroa: Miami Dolphins (rookie camp tryout)
TE Chase Ford: Philadelphia Eagles
DL Marcus Forston: New England Patriots
LB Jordan Futch: Tampa Bay Bucaneers
G Harland Gunn: Dallas Cowboys
QB Jacory Harris: Miami Dolphins (rookie camp tryout)
C Tyler Horn: Atlanta Falcons
S JoJo Nicolas: New York Giants
DL Adewale Ojomo: New York Giants
DT Micanor Regis: Atlanta Falcons

CB Charles Brown: Baltimore Ravens
C Cam Holland: Kansas City Chiefs
WR Dwight Jones: Houston Texans
S Matt Merletti: Indianapolis Colts
DT Tydreke Powell: Minnesota Vikings

TE George Bryan: Dallas Cowboys
FB Taylor Gentry: Kansas City Chiefs

CB Chase Minnifield: Washington Redskins
OG Austin Pasztor: Minnesota Vikings
S Rodney McLeod: St. Louis Rams
DT Matt Conrath: St. Louis Rams

WR Jarrett Boykin: Jacksonville Jaguars
OT Jaymes Brooks: Green Bay Packers
G Blake DeChristopher: Arizona Cardinals
CB Cris Hill: Buffalo Bills
S Eddie Whitley: Dallas Cowboys

TE Cameron Ford: Green Bay Packers
S Cyhl Quarles: Baltimore Ravens
Thirty-one players from ACC schools were drafted this past weekend, but many more signed free-agent deals with NFL teams in the aftermath of the draft.

The following is a list of ACC players, by school, who have signed undrafted free agent deals with NFL teams. It was compiled largely from, along with official releases from NFL teams and ACC schools. Georgia Tech is the only ACC school currently without an undrafted free-agent signing.

By all means, feel free to let me know if I have overlooked anyone.

CB Donnie Fletcher - New York Jets

DE Kourtnel Brown - San Francisco 49ers
FB Chad Diehl - Baltimore Ravens
OL Antoine McClain - Baltimore Ravens
DT Rennie Moore - Houston Texans

S Matt Daniels - St. Louis Rams

WR Bert Reed - Cleveland Browns
S Terrence Parks - Kansas City Chiefs
P Shawn Powell - Buffalo Bills

CB Cameron Chism - Indianapolis Colts
RB Davin Meggett - Houston Texans

WR LaRon Byrd - Arizona Cardinals
TE Chase Ford - Philadelphia Eagles
DL Marcus Forston - New England Patriots
LB Jordan Futch - Tampa Bay Bucaneers
G Harland Gunn - Dallas Cowboys
C Tyler Horn - Atlanta Falcons
S JoJo Nicolas - New York Giants
DL Adewale Ojomo - New York Giants
DT Micanor Regis - Atlanta Falcons

CB Charles Brown - Baltimore Ravens
C Cam Holland - Kansas City Chiefs
WR Dwight Jones - Houston Texans
S Matt Merletti - Indianapolis Colts
DT Tydreke Powell - Minnesota Vikings

TE George Bryan - Dallas Cowboys
FB Taylor Gentry - Kansas City Chiefs

CB Chase MinnifieldWashington Redskins
OG Austin Pasztor - Minnesota Vikings
S Rodney McLeod – St. Louis Rams
DT Matt Conrath – St. Louis Rams

WR Jarrett Boykin - Jacksonville Jaguars
OT Jaymes Brooks - Green Bay Packers
S Eddie Whitley - Dallas Cowboys

TE Cameron Ford - Green Bay Packers
S Chyl Quarles - Baltimore Ravens

The Hurricanes also announced that quarterback Jacory Harris and offensive lineman Joel Figueroa have both been invited to rookie camp tryouts with the Miami Dolphins.

ACC and the NFL combine

February, 7, 2012
The official invite list for the NFL combine is out. Every school but Duke is represented, and there are a total of 43 former players from the conference who will participate, including Miami's entire starting lineup from 2011. Well, ok, not really, but it's a pretty big hit for the Canes. Best of luck to all of these guys at the next level.

Here are your ACC representatives:

We’ve already taken a look at what the recruiting needs were for the Atlantic Division. Let’s shift our attention to the Coastal Division. Here’s a look at where each school’s biggest holes will be in 2012 or are anticipated to be in the near future:


Offensive skill positions: After last year’s rare class that didn’t include either a quarterback or running back, both positions are needed in this group. Quarterback Thomas Sirk -- the MVP of the 57th annual Florida Athletic Coaches Association North-South All-Star Football Classic last December -- has already enrolled in school while Shaquille Powell -- a PARADE All-American running back from Las Vegas -- has committed to the program. In addition, with David Cutcliffe’s offense, wide receivers and tight ends also are a priority.

Kicker: Will Snyderwine, who earned first team All-America honors as a junior before struggling through a sub-par season in 2011, graduated, but Duke has a commitment from Ohio native Ross Martin, considered the No. 2 placekicking prospect in the country by

Safety: With the transition to a 4-2-5 alignment that utilizes three safeties, this becomes an annual point of emphasis. The Blue Devils lose All-American Matt Daniels to graduation.


Defensive line: This is the most glaring need in the current class. The Yellow Jackets have to replace senior starters Logan Walls (DT) and Jason Peters (DE), but return Izaan Cross (DE) and solid backups T.J. Barnes (DT), Emmanuel Dieke (DE) and Euclid Cummings (DE). The Jackets are expected to sign about 18 players in this year’s class, and five of them should be defensive linemen.

Wide receiver:This is another glaring need after the departures of Stephen Hill, who decided to leave early for the NFL draft, and Tyler Melton. Darren Waller and Jeff Greene, who both played last season as true freshmen, have lots of potential, but the position still needs depth.


Defensive backs: There’s still a lot of depth with this group, and the return of Ray-Ray Armstrong and Vaughn Telemaque helps, but the Canes have to replace two starters in the secondary and have six commits in the current class to help do that.

Defensive line: The Canes have to replace Adewale Ojomo, Micanor Regis, Andrew Smith and Olivier Vernon from last year’s two-deep. The defensive end position was a particular focus in this class.

Receiver: This position lost a lot with the departures of Tommy Streeter, LaRon Byrd and Travis Benjamin. Allen Hurns is now the veteran of the group, along with redshirt senior Kendal Thompkins. There are five receivers currently committed in this class.

Quarterback: Beyond Stephen Morris, Miami has a lot of questions at the position and not a lot of experience. True freshmen Gray Crow and Preston Dewey are already on the roster, along with redshirt sophomore Ryan Williams.


Defensive line: This is one of the biggest areas of concern after the departures of Quinton Coples and Tydreke Powell.

Receivers: Larry Fedora’s offense will make good use of this group, but he needs to replace standout Dwight Jones.

Linebackers: This group was thin to begin with in 2011, and now the Heels need to replace outgoing senior Zach Brown. Kevin Reddick is now the main man.

Safety: UNC will have to replace two starters in Matt Merletti, Charles Brown and Jonathan Smith, so this position will have to be rebuilt for the future.


Defensive back: This should be the main priority in this class. The Cavaliers will lose four DBs, including two starting safeties in Rodney McCleod and Corey Mosley, and standout cornerback Chase Minnifield. They’ll also miss Dom Joseph, who came in for the nickel packages. Demetrious Nicholson, who started as a true freshman last year, is suddenly the veteran of the group.

Offensive line: The Hoos will have to replace their starting center and left guard. Redshirt freshman center Cody Wallace could get a promotion, and sophomore right guard Luke Bowanko started in the bowl game. They’ve got some big bodies waiting in the wings, but they’ll have some questions to answer here this spring.

Kickers: This position needs to be rebuilt, as the Cavaliers lose Robert Randolph, who finished sixth all time in scoring at UVa, kickoff specialist Chris Hinkebein, and four-year punter Jimmy Howell. The position is wide open heading into the spring.


Running back: This one is a no-brainer, as the Hokies have lost four players here in the past two years. David Wilson and his backup, Josh Oglesby, were the latest to depart, and Tony Gregory just had ACL surgery and is out for the spring. The staff likes Michael Holmes, who redshirted last year, and J.C. Coleman enrolled last week.

Receiver: The Hokies will miss Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin, and next year’s class has three seniors in Dyrell Roberts, D.J. Coles, and Marcus Davis. The future of the position is young, and the staff is still going after several uncommitted players pretty hard.

Defensive line: This year’s class already includes at least five committed defensive linemen, and the Hokies will be particularly thin at noseguard. They had some players graduate early who didn’t play a lot, but at least provided depth.

Linebacker:The Hokies have four committed, and are still chasing another just to build the depth. The staff missed on some recruits at this position last year and would like to make up for it in this class.

Milestones to watch in ACC title game

December, 1, 2011
There are several players for both Virginia Tech and Clemson who are in reach of some notable milestones, which can be accomplished in Saturday's Dr Pepper ACC championship game. We'll look at a few for each team, starting with Clemson:


Team needs:
  • One touchdown to become fifth Clemson team to score 50 touchdowns in a season.
  • 220 yards passing to set school record for passing yards in a season.
  • 197 yards of total offense for school record for total offense yards in a season.
  • 500 yards to set school record for games with 500 yards in a season. Clemson has four this year so far.
  • 400 yards to tie Clemson record for 400-yard total offense games in a season. This team has eight and record is nine set in 2003.
TE Dwayne Allen needs:
  • One receiving touchdown to tie Bennie Cunningham’s record for touchdown receptions in a season by a tight end. Cunningham had seven in 1974 and Allen has six so far this year.
QB Tajh Boyd needs:
  • One win to tie school record for wins by a starting quarterback in his first year as a starter. Chris Morocco (1989) and DeChane Cameron (1990) had 10 apiece in those seasons.
  • 143 yards of total offense to break Woody Dantzler’s season record of 3,639 set in 2001.
  • 218 passing yards to break Charlie Whitehurst’s single season passing yardage mark of 3561 set in 2003.
WR Sammy Watkins needs:
  • Two touchdown receptions to break Aaron Kelly’s touchdown reception record in a season. Kelly had 11 in 2007 and Watkins has 10.
  • 12 reception yards to break Rod Gardner’s single season record of 1,084 set in 1999. Watkins has 1073 entering this week’s game.
  • One 100-yard receiving game to tie Tony Horne’s season record for 100-yard receiving games. Watkins has five and Tony Horne had six in 1997.
  • Two touchdowns of any kind to break C.J. Spiller’s Clemson freshman record for touchdowns scored. Spiller had 12 in 2006 and Watkins has 11 so far.
  • 80 all-purpose yards to become just the second Clemson player with 2000 all-purpose yards in a season. Spiller is the only other player to do it with an ACC record 2,680 in 2009.

Team needs:
  • A win to: becomes the first team to win the ACC title game four times, set a school record with 12 wins, and have the winningest senior class in school history with 33 wins.
RB David Wilson needs:
  • 61 yards to set a new school record for rushing yards in a season. He currently has 1,595.
WR Jarrett Boykin needs:
  • Two catches to break the Tech season record for pass receptions held by Ernest Wilford (55 in 2003).
  • 127 more yards to become just the fourth player in ACC history to have three seasons with 800 receiving yards.
WR Danny Coale needs:
  • Six catches to break the record of 55 set by Wilford.
Virginia Tech senior receiver Danny Coale remembers the same storyline from a year ago – the senior class had a chance to finish the season as the winningest in school history.

Now it’s his turn.

[+] EnlargeVirginia Tech's Danny Coale
AP Photo/Chuck BurtonWide receiver Danny Coale and his fellow Virginia Tech seniors have a chance to set a school records for victories by a four-year class.
Winning at Virginia Tech has become as much of a tradition as defensive coordinator Bud Foster’s storied lunch pail – so much so that the four of the past five senior classes – including this year’s – have reached the 42-win mark in their careers. The winningest class in school history is currently the 2007 class, which finished 42-11. The Class of 2008 went 42-12 and the Class of 2010 went 42-13. This senior class is currently 42-11 heading into Saturday’s Dr. Pepper ACC championship game against Clemson.

Not only would a victory on Saturday break a school record for the most wins in a four-year span by a senior class, the 2011 seniors would also become only the second group in school history to win consecutive outright conference championships, and the redshirt seniors would go to their fourth BCS bowl game and fifth bowl overall.

“I guess it's kind of like a big brother/little brother type of thing,” starting safety Eddie Whitley said. “You don't want to disappoint the guys that's been here before you. And they put their hard work into it. And we just want to keep the winning tradition going as much, as far as we can. And that's probably basically the whole thing, is we just don't want to let the alumni that's put their work in in trying to get this program to where it's at right now, we don't want to put them, let them down.

“So that's probably the biggest thing is just knowing that the guys out there that paved the way for us to get where we are at now and give the opportunities that we have to play in big-time games and things like that, we don't want to let them down. So that's probably the reason that we just keep topping each other year in, year out.”

Senior receivers Jarrett Boykin and Coale have certainly done their part along the way. Coale is best remembered for an 81-yard catch against Nebraska in the waning moments of the teams' 2009 meeting that set up Dyrell Roberts’ clinching 11-yard touchdown catch in the 16-15 victory. Boykin’s 39-yard touchdown reception gave the Hokies the lead for good in the 40-31 win at NC State last year, the team's biggest comeback under coach Frank Beamer.

They are the top two at Tech in both all-time receptions and receiving yards.

“I think it comes down to a few things,” Coale said of the program’s recent senior success. “But I think there's an expectation around here that when you come, in you're being recruited into a program that's had a lot of success, that prides itself on excellence and winning and getting to championships.

“So when it's your turn to be called upon and you want to add to that winning, you don't want to be the class that lets down that tradition. So I think there comes high expectation coming in here, and it's something that we pride ourselves on. It's something we expect to win, and we work really hard to do that. That's kind of the mentality of the program around here.”

Boykin enters Saturday’s game 127 yards shy of becoming just the fourth player in ACC history to have three seasons with 800 receiving yards. Boykin now has 54 catches, two away from breaking the school record for catches in a season (55 by Ernest Wilford in 2005).

In last year’s ACC championship game, Coale had six catches for 143 yards and a touchdown against Florida State. He needs six more catches to break Wilford’s record.

“Yeah, I'm proud of a lot of our seniors classes here lately, but this crowd does have a chance to go out as the winningest senior class ever,” Beamer said. “We've been fortunate to have a lot of good kids through here and to be able to win a lot of football games, and you don't do that without good players.”

Or high expectations.

Week 12: Did you know?

November, 18, 2011
Thanks as always to the sports information directors at each school for this week's notes:

ACC: For the earliest time in its seven-year history, all of the public tickets available for sale to the Dr Pepper ACC championship game have been sold. That happened on Nov. 9. The only tickets remaining are the 10,000-seat team blocks for Clemson and the Coastal Division winner. Clemson has already received ticket requests which exceeds its 10,000-seat allotment, leaving the only block available at this point to be that of the Coastal Division champion, which will either be Virginia or Virginia Tech. In its six previous years, the championship game has drawn two crowds in excess of 72,000 fans and the 2011 game should at least match that if not set a record.

BOSTON COLLEGE: The Eagles ran only 49 plays in Saturday’s 14-10 win over NC State; the total tied a school record for fewest offensive snaps in an ACC game and was the Eagles’ lowest in a victory over an FBS opponent since Oct. 27, 2001, when BC had 47 plays in defeating Notre Dame 21-17. Saturday’s game took only 2 hours, 29 minutes; that’s 44 minutes below the national average.

CLEMSON: Coach Dabo Swinney has a winning percentage of 85.7 against ACC competition at home in Clemson’s Memorial Stadium. In the shadow of Howard’s Rock in Death Valley, the Tigers have posted a 12-2 mark under Swinney against conference opponents, including a 7-0 record this year.

DUKE: Duke has 19 rushing touchdowns through 10 games this season -- matching last year’s total for the most since 1994. Sophomore running back Juwan Thompson has seven rushing scores -- the highest total by a Duke running back since 2005 when Justin Boyle scored nine times on the ground.

FLORIDA STATE: Florida State enters Saturday’s home finale against Virginia looking to extend its winning streak against ACC opponents to six games. Since the Seminoles joined the league for the 1992 season, there have been a total of 15 six-game winning streaks among ACC teams, 10 of which belong to FSU. Florida State last strung together six ACC wins in 2003, when it won its first six league games en route to a 7-1 finish. Only Georgia Tech (2009, 2000) and Virginia Tech (2010, 2004) have posted multiple six-game conference win streaks. The Hokies can notch their third six-game conference winning streak by beating North Carolina Thursday night.

GEORGIA TECH: Senior A-back Roddy Jones will make his 50th career start Saturday at Duke. Assuming Jones starts the final three games (including the bowl game), he will have more career starts than any player in Georgia Tech history. Senior safety Rashaad Reid will play in his 51st career game Saturday at Duke. Assuming Reid plays in Tech’s remaining three games, he will tie the Yellow Jacket record for career games played.

MARYLAND: According to the Washington Times, Maryland has given up 500 yards on 14 occasions since 1997, and three of them have come in the Terrapins' last five games. It's the first time since 1999 that Maryland has surrendered three 500-yard performances.

MIAMI: Receiver Travis Benjamin became the sixth player in school history to surpass the 2,000-yard receiving mark with his 18-yard reception in the first quarter against Florida State. The senior entered the FSU game needing only three yards to reach the milestone. He now has 2,024 career receiving yards.

NORTH CAROLINA: Dwight Jones had six catches for 105 yards in the loss to Virginia Tech, making him only the second receiver at UNC to post 1,000 receiving yards in a season, following Hakeem Nicks in 2008. With tailback Giovani Bernard already over 1,000 yards, it marks the first time in school history that UNC has had a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver in the same season.

NC STATE: The Wolfpack are 5-0 this season when forcing three or more turnovers and are 0-5 when causing two or fewer.

VIRGINIA: When senior defensive tackle Matt Conrath blocked a field goal attempt by Duke in the first quarter of the Cavaliers’ 31-21 victory last Saturday, it marked the third time this year he has done that. Conrath now has five blocked PAT or FG attempts in his career. The fact he is 6-foot-7 certainly helps.

VIRGINIA TECH: On senior night, receiver Jarrett Boykin caught a career-high 10 passes for 106 yards in the win over UNC. Boykin became the first Tech player to catch 10 or more passes in a game since 1990 when Nick Cullen had 13 against Southern Miss. He has caught at least one pass in 47 of 51 career games and at least two passes in 41 of 51. Danny Coale had four catches for 37 yards. He has caught at least one pass in 48 of 52 career games and at least two passes in 42 of 52. Boykin, who holds the school record for career receptions (173) and career receiving yardage (2,752), has caught 50 passes this season, while Coale has 48. The school record for receptions in a season is 55 by Ernest Wilford in 2005.

WAKE FOREST: Jim Grobe has led Wake Forest to a number of close encounters during his 11 seasons as head coach but Saturday’s 31-28 loss at Clemson on a “walk-off” field goal was the first time that the Demon Deacons had lost in that manner under Grobe. In 2009, the Deacons scored a touchdown with :02 remaining to defeat Stanford but the final play of the game was a Wake Forest kickoff. The same was true in 2008 when Wake Forest scored a touchdown with :03 remaining to beat Ole Miss. The last true “walk-off” decision for Wake Forest occurred in 2006 when Duke missed a field goal on the final play of the game to preserve the Deacons’ 14-13 win over the Blue Devils.

What to watch in the ACC: Week 12

November, 17, 2011
You know you have to watch the Coastal Division standings. You know you have to watch bowl eligibility. Throughout the league, though, this week is all about records that were meant to be broken. Here are 10 more things worth keeping an eye on this week, in no particular order:

1. Virginia Tech running back David Wilson and the ACC record books: He is approaching several ACC records --consecutive 100-yard games within one season (eight, Tiki Barber, Virginia, 1996); consecutive 100-yard games at any time (nine, Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech, 2006-07); total 100-yard games in a season (10, Don McCauley, North Carolina, 1970). Wilson has had seven straight games of 100 rushing yards or more and nine total this season.

2. Virginia Tech’s seniors. This could be the winningest class in school history, so don’t miss their final appearance in Lane Stadium. The seniors have 40 career wins and the record is 42 by the 2007, 2008 and 2010 classes. Senior receivers Jarrett Boykin (2,646) and Danny Coale (2,478) have combined for 5,124 career receiving yards and rank Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in all-time pass receptions and receiving yards at Virginia Tech.

[+] EnlargeDwight Jones
Dannie Walls/Icon SMIDwight Jones needs 87 yards against Virginia Tech to reach 1,000 for the season.
3. North Carolina receiver Dwight Jones. Carolina has never had a 1,000-yard runner and 1,000-yard receiver in the same season. With Giovani Bernard over 1,000 rushing yards already, Jones (913 receiving yards) needs just 87 yards to give UNC a 1,000-yard rushing-receiving combination.

4. Virginia’s protection of quarterback Michael Rocco. In their ongoing three-game winning streak, the Cavaliers have not allowed a sack in 86 pass attempts. FSU is No. 10 in the country in sacks with 3.1 per game.

5. Virginia’s rushing offense against Florida State’s rushing defense. This is one statistical matchup to watch, as the Cavaliers have averaged 187.6 rushing yards per game, the second-highest amount for the program in the past 12 seasons. FSU has the nation’s No. 4 rushing defense, holding opponents to 85 yards per game.

6. Turnovers in Raleigh. NC State leads the nation with 20 picks, and cornerback David Amerson has accounted for half of them. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is coming off a two-interception performance in the win over Wake Forest that could have been more had the Deacs hung onto the ball.

7. NC State cornerback David Amerson. He is one interception shy of the ACC record, set by North Carolina’s Dre Bly in 1996. No FBS player has picked off more than 10 passes in a season since Wisconsin’s Jim Leonhard had 11 in 2002. If he maintains his pace, Amerson will be the first FBS player to average an interception per game for a season since Georgia’s Terry Hoage (1.20) did it in 1982.

8. Return game at South Florida. The Bulls have allowed only six punt returns all season for a total of -2 yards, which ranks first in the NCAA. The Bulls are the only program nationally that hasn’t allowed a positive punt return margin this year. Miami is No. 37 in the country in punt returns with an average of 10.3 yards.

9. Miami’s defense vs. the big plays. Through nine games, USF has had eight plays over 40 yards -- five over 50 yards -- with six of the seven resulting in touchdowns. In addition, the Bulls have only given up one play over 40 yards.

10. BC linebacker Luke Kuechly. He enters Saturday’s game against Notre Dame with 509 career tackles and is 15 tackles shy of tying the school’s record of 524 held by former Eagle and Detroit Lions great Steven Boyd. It took Boyd four years to accomplish that feat, though, and Kuechly is only a junior. He also needs just seven more tackles to set the ACC career record.

ACC's lunchtime links

October, 20, 2011
It's basketball season in the ACC. But I still scraped up some football headlines for you today ...

ACC's lunchtime links

September, 28, 2011
This isn't a football story, but it's still worth a read for ACC fans.

ACC injury reports: Week 4

September, 23, 2011
Here are your updated injury reports from the schools that filed them this week:


The Eagles have opted not to release an injury report this week because they are playing a nonconference opponent, but running back Montel Harris is listed as probable. Coach Frank Spaziani said he plans to play him "for limited reps" if everything went well in Thursday's practice.


Joe Gore, DE, Knee

D.J. Howard, RB, hamstring (suffered in practice Tuesday)

Andre Ellington, RB, hamstring
Mason Cloy, OG, shoulder
David Smith, OG, shoulder


CB Tony Foster (foot) – Probable
CB Ross Cockrell (leg) – Questionable
K Will Snyderwine (foot) – Questionable
WR Tyree Watkins (leg) – Questionable
QB Brandon Connette (upper body) – OUT
LB Britton Grier (illness) – OUT
C Brian Moore (arm) – OUT
RB Desmond Scott (leg) – OUT
RB Josh Snead (foot) – OUT
TE Jack Farrell (leg) – OUT FOR SEASON


WR Willie Haulstead (head)
OL Henry Orelus (head)
WR Jarred Haggins (hand)
WR Josh Gehres (knee)

QB EJ Manuel (shoulder)
WR Bert Reed (ankle)
WR Kenny Shaw (head)
CB Greg Reid (knee)


Jeff Greene, Fr., WR
Preston Lyons, Sr., RB

Morgan Bailey, So., OL
B.J. Bostic, So., AB

Out for year
Fred Holton, So., S
Jimmie Kitchen, r-Fr., DL


Malcolm Bunche-Lower Extremity
Seantrel Henderson-Lower Extremity
Shayon Green-Lower Extremity

Curtis Porter-Upper extremity
Luther Robinson-Lower Extremity

Surgeries/Out for the Season
Blake Ayles-Upper Extremity
Cory White -Lower Extremity


Casey Barth, PK, thigh
Devon Ramsay, FB, knee

Josh Adams, WR, illness
Matt Kolojejchick, RB, thigh
Jabari Price, CB, finger

Erik Highsmith, WR, ankle
TJ Leifheit, OT, ankle
Terry Shankle, CB, knee


Out for Season
Kwamaine Battle (knee)
Dyrell Roberts (arm)

Jarrett Boykin (hamstring)
David Wang (foot)

J.R. Collins (ankle)

Back and forth in the ACC: Weeks 2/3

September, 12, 2011
Every week we take a look back at the highlights and lowlights in the ACC, and look ahead to the upcoming games.

The good: Virginia Tech’s defense. For the second straight weekend, the Hokies built more evidence in the case that their defense has improved from last year. They held East Carolina to just 112 yards of total offense, minus-15 yards of rushing, and Dominique Davis was sacked five times and failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in his career.

The bad: Boston College. The 30-3 win came easy for Central Florida. Too easy. BC was just 1-of-12 on third downs, and quarterback Chase Rettig was sacked three times and intercepted twice. UCF is 2-0 for the first time since 1998. BC is 0-2 for the first time since 1994. Bowling for BC? Not at this rate.

The ugly: North Carolina’s 24-22 win over Rutgers. Five turnovers? It’s a good thing the Tar Heels were playing one of the worst teams in the Big East. UNC also racked up 94 yards worth of penalties. That won’t fly against most teams.

The stat: Georgia Tech averaged 21.4 yards per passing attempt in its win over Western Carolina. Over the past 30 years, the Jackets have produced a higher average per attempt just once -- in the season opener against Western Carolina.

The record-setter: Virginia Tech receiver Jarrett Boykin became the school’s all-time leader in receptions with a 20-yard catch from quarterback Logan Thomas in the second quarter of the Hokies’ win over ECU. He finished with four catches for 48 yards. Boykin, a senior, now has 129 catches for his career, breaking the previous record of 126 held by former receiver Ernest Wilford.

Top games of Week 3

1. Oklahoma at Florida State: National title contender or not? We’ll find out on Saturday if Florida State should be in the conversation. It won’t if it repeats last year’s performance. The Sooners led 34-7 at the half. Oklahoma has won the last five games in this series, but it’s Oklahoma’s first trip to Tallahassee.

2. Ohio State at Miami: Miami hasn’t started 0-2 since 1978, and first-year coach Al Golden has had a bye week to prepare for the depleted Buckeyes. Both programs have been the target of NCAA investigations, but Miami will have a more complete roster, as five of the eight players suspended for the season opener will return.

3. Auburn at Clemson: Auburn has won 17 straight games, the longest active winning streak in the nation, but it hasn’t been easy. Much like last year, though, Auburn continues to find a way to win. Clemson struggled against unheralded opponents Troy and Wofford, and this will be the first of three games against ranked defending champs.