ACC: Joe Looney

Week 11: Nov. 17 vs. Wake Forest (at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind.)

Time/TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC

Series: Notre Dame leads all-time, 1-0

2011 record: 6-7 (5-3 ACC; tied second place, Atlantic Division)

Head coach: Jim Grobe (68-67, 11 years)

Returning starters: Offense: 3; defense: 7; kicker/punter: 2

Top returners

QB Tanner Price, WR Michael Campanaro, C Garrick Williams, DE Zach Thompson, NG Nikita Whitlock, OLB Joey Ehrmann, ILB Scott Betros, ILB Riley Haynes, CB Merrill Noel, FS Kenny Okoro

Key losses

RB Brandon Pendergrass, WR Chris Givens, TE Cameron Ford, T Dennis Godfrey, T Doug Weaver, G Joe Looney, G Michael Hoag, DE Tristan Dorty, DE Kyle Wilber, SS Cyhl Quarles, FS Josh Bush

2011 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Brandon Pendergrass (823 yards)

Passing: Tanner Price* (3,017 yards)

Receiving: Chris Givens (1,330 yards)

Tackles: Cyhl Quarles (101)

Sacks: Kyle Wilber/Nikita Whitlock* (3.5)

Interceptions: Josh Bush (6)

Three questions for ... ACC blogger Heather Dinich:

Wake returns plenty of talent at the skill positions, but it is tasked with replacing four starters on the offensive line. What's a realistic timeline for the newcomers to jell and form a cohesive unit?



Heather Dinich: Well, it’s more like three starters at this point, because Steven Chase, who missed the spring for undisclosed reasons, has since returned. The group also got a huge boost from the move of Frank Souza from the defensive line. Chase’s return has allowed the staff a little more flexibility with the depth chart. He or Souza -- whoever develops into the better pass protector — will likely slide into the right guard position. Souza was backup to talented noseguard Nikita Whitlock and saw the writing on the wall: Whitlock wasn’t coming off the field anytime soon. So he jumped at the opportunity to see more snaps on offense. Coach Jim Grobe told me they “hit a home run with Souza.” Right now he’s got five guys he’s comfortable with. Depth? That’s another question.



Head coach Jim Grobe rarely has much staff turnover, but three new assistants are aboard for 2012. What's new, and how will that translate on the field this season?



HD: Yes, the Deacs have long been one of the most stable staffs in the ACC, but there are a few new faces in new positions, and I think overall, it will make Wake Forest a better team. Tim Duffie will be in his first season coaching the secondary, and he has lots of talent to work with back there, particularly at the corner position. Jonathan Himebauch is in his first year coaching the offensive line, and Derrick Jackson is in his first season coaching the outside linebackers. The move of OC Steed Lobotzke to tight ends and fullbacks should help him manage his time better as a coordinator because he won’t have to deal with so many offensive linemen.



The Deacs surprised everyone but themselves last season, falling a field goal short of playing for the ACC title. There are obvious shortcomings (O-line, secondary) on this year's roster, but will they be able to overcome those and make another push at a division crown?

HD: If they did it last year, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be able to make another run at it. They’ve got to be able to win those close games, though. The close losses to Syracuse, Clemson -- and of course Notre Dame -- are still stinging, and just about anyone in that program will tell you they could’ve played better against UNC. Jim Grobe has a very good football team to work with this year, and he has a defense that could be reminiscent of the old days with Aaron Curry and Alphonso Smith. There are some diamonds in that group, they’re just not very experienced. It wouldn’t be wise, though, for Wake Forest opponents to take this year’s team lightly.

Wake Forest spring wrap

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
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2011 overall record: 6-7

2011 conference record: 5-3 (T-2nd, Atlantic)

Returning starters

Offense: 3; defense: 7; kicker/punter: 2

Top returners

QB Tanner Price, WR Michael Campanaro, C Garrick Williams, DE Zach Thompson, NG Nikita Whitlock, OLB Joey Ehrmann, ILB Scott Betros, ILB Riley Haynes, CB Merrill Noel, FS Kenny Okoro

Key losses

WR Chris Givens, T Dennis Godfrey, T Doug Weaver, G Joe Looney, G Michael Hoag, TE Cameron Ford, RB Brandon Pendergrass, DE Tristan Dorty, DE Kyle Wilber, SS Cyhl Quarles, FS Josh Bush

2011 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Brandon Pendergrass (823 yards)

Passing: Tanner Price* (3,017 yards)

Receiving: Chris Givens (1,330 yards)

Tackles: Cyhl Quarles (101)

Sacks: Kyle Wilber/Nikita Whitlock* (3.5)

Interceptions: Josh Bush (6)

Spring answers

1. Tanner Price: As a sophomore last season, Price threw for more than 3,000 yards to go with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. Coach Jim Grobe has challenged Price to improve on his accuracy, especially on underneath passes, and if the quarterback can build off last season's 60-percent completion rate, the Demon Deacons should be just fine under center.

2. Skill players: Michael Campanaro is sliding into the go-to target shoes left behind by Chris Givens, shifting the focus to who will be the Deacs' No. 2 receiver. Josh Harris has been healthy all spring and should add a boost to a backfield that returns Orville Reynolds and DeAndre Martin. Deep? Not exactly. But Wake knows what it has in its skill-position players, and has enough weapons around Price for the quarterback to make a jump in his junior year. This spring has helped ease some concerns.

3. Front seven: The Deacs return a majority of their front-seven, including second-team All-ACC nose guard Nikita Whitlock. Grobe has praised the overall speed and depth of the defense as a whole, and he expects the team to be better on that side of the ball. Look for more pressure this season in new outside linebacker coach Derrick Jackson's first year on staff.

Fall questions

1. Offensive line: There's no sugar-coating this one: If Wake wants to repeat its surprising 2011 season -- one that saw it come within a field goal of playing for the ACC title -- it needs to find some answers up front. The line is replacing four starters. Grobe said coming out of spring that he feels comfortable about three spots at the moment, but the Deacs will need more than that if they want to get the most out of their skill players.

2. New staff: Grobe has had little turnover in his 11 years at Wake Forest, but he hired three new assistants this offseason -- Jackson, Jonathan Himebauch (offensive line) and Tim Duffie (secondary). The fresh blood, Grobe said, led to much more energy this spring, but the biggest tests will obviously come in-season.

3. Secondary. Speaking of Duffie, he'll have his work cut out for him in Year 1. Both safeties are gone, including Josh Bush, now with the Jets. Experience at cornerback will help ease the transition for the secondary, but building depth at safety could be an issue.

Miami leads ACC draft contingent

April, 30, 2012
4/30/12
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Despite a 6-6 season in 2011, Miami led all ACC schools with six players getting selected during this past weekend's NFL draft. The ACC as a whole had 31 players selected, the third most among all conferences, behind the Big Ten (41) and, yes, the SEC (42).

NC State had five players taken, the second most among ACC schools. Neither the Hurricanes nor the Wolfpack had any players taken in the first two rounds. Duke and Maryland both had zero players drafted.

Luke Kuechly, as expected, got the ball rolling for the conference Thursday night, when the Panthers took the former Boston College inside linebacker ninth overall. I was a little surprised to see Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill, projected by many as a late first-rounder, fall all the way to the Jets at No. 43.

Here's a school-by-school breakdown of the draft, followed by a round-by-round breakdown:

Miami: 6
NC State: 5
Clemson: 4
FSU: 4
Wake Forest: 4
Virginia Tech: 3
UNC: 2
Georgia Tech: 1
Virginia: 1
Boston College: 1

FIRST ROUND
No. 9, Panthers: ILB Luke Kuechly, Boston College
No. 16, Jets: DE Quinton Coples, UNC
No. 31, Giants: RB David Wilson, Virginia Tech

SECOND ROUND
No. 38, Jaguars: DE Andre Branch, Clemson
No. 43, Jets: WR Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech
No. 52, Titans: OLB Zach Brown, UNC

THIRD ROUND
No. 64, Colts: TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson
No. 69, Bills: WR TJ Graham, NC State
No. 72, Dolphins: DE Olivier Vernon, Miami
No. 86, Steelers: LB Sean Spence, Miami
No. 93, Bengals: DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson
No. 94, Giants: CB Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech

FOURTH ROUND
No. 96, Rams: WR Chris Givens, Wake Forest
No. 97, Dolphins: RB Lamar Miller, Miami
No. 100, Browns: WR Travis Benjamin, Miami
No. 105, Bills: OLB Nigel Bradham, FSU
No. 113, Cowboys: OLB Kyle Wilber, Wake Forest
No. 115, Titans: CB Coty Sensabaugh, Clemson
No. 117, 49ers: G Joe Looney, Wake Forest

FIFTH ROUND
No. 144, Bills: T Zebrie Sanders, FSU
No. 163, Packers: OLB Terrell Manning, NC State

SIXTH ROUND
No. 152, Cowboys: WR Danny Coale, Virginia Tech
No. 176, Jaguars: CB Mike Harris, FSU
No. 187, Jets: S Josh Bush, Wake Forest
No. 198, Ravens: WR Tommy Streeter, Miami
No. 200, Eagles: G Brandon Washington, Miami

SEVENTH ROUND
No. 210, Vikings: ILB Audie Cole, NC State
No. 225, Seahawks: DE JR Sweezy, NC State
No. 237, 49ers: DE Cam Johnson, Virginia
No. 239, Giants: DT Markus Kuhn, NC State
No. 241, Packers: T Andrew Datko, FSU

Mocks aplenty on NFL draft eve

April, 25, 2012
4/25/12
3:30
PM ET
It's NFL draft eve, and it's the last Wednesday before the event, meaning one last chance for our team of analysts to predict how this weekend will unfold.

Mel Kiper Insider and Todd McShay Insider reveal their final draft boards, and each has a mock Insider, with McShay and the rest of the Scouts Inc. team going seven rounds full Insider.

Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, naturally, tops the list, going No. 5 to the Buccaneers. North Carolina end Quinton Coples is next off the board at No. 19, to the Bears, with wideout Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech going two spots later to the Bengals.

How do the rest of the ACC's draft-eligible players stand? Let's take a look:

ROUND 2
No. 36, Buccaneers: RB David Wilson (Virginia Tech)
No. 50, Bears: OLB Zach Brown (UNC)
No. 58, Texans: DE Andre Branch (Clemson)
No. 59, Packers: RB Lamar Miller (Miami)

ROUND 3
No. 64, Colts: DT Brandon Thompson (Clemson)
No. 68, Buccaneers: CB Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech)
No. 72, Dolphins: OT Zebrie Sanders (FSU)
No. 76, Texans: TE Dwayne Allen (Clemson)
No. 80, Cardinals: DE Olivier Vernon (Miami)
No. 82, Titans: WR Chris Givens (Wake Forest)
No. 91, Ravens: G Joe Looney (Wake Forest)
No. 95, Raiders:
DE Cam Johnson (Virginia)

ROUND 4
No. 100, Browns: OLB Nigel Bradham (FSU)
No. 124, Bills: OLB Sean Spence (Miami)
No. 125, 49ers: CB Chase Minnifield (Virginia)
No. 128, Vikings: OLB Terrell Manning (NC State)
No. 129, Raiders: OLB Kyle Wilber (Wake Forest)
No. 130, Ravens: WR Danny Coale (Virginia Tech)

ROUND 5
No. 154, Jets: WR Tommy Streeter (Miami)
No. 157, Falcons: WR TJ Graham (NC State)
No. 159, Steelers: G Brandon Washington (Miami)
No. 162, Saints: CB Coty Sensabaugh (Clemson)

ROUND 6
No. 176, Jaguars: DT Marcus Forston (Miami)
No. 178, Bills: ILB Audie Cole (NC State)
No. 188, Broncos: DE Rennie Moore (Clemson)
No. 191, Bengals: WR Travis Benjamin (Miami)
No. 197, Packers: OT Andrew Datko (FSU)
No. 205, Browns: G Antoine McClain (Clemson)

ROUND 7
No. 209, Rams: WR Dwight Jones (UNC)
No. 240, Steelers: DE Matt Conrath (Virginia)
No. 242, Jets: TE George Bryan (NC State)
No. 243, Packers: RB Davin Meggett (Maryland)
No. 245, Browns: DT Markus Kuhn (NC State)
No. 250, Chargers: CB Donnie Fletcher (BC)

Here's a breakdown by school of the 37 ACC players that Scouts Inc. thinks will be drafted:

Miami: 7
Clemson: 6
NC State: 5
Virginia Tech: 3
UNC: 3
Virginia: 3
Wake Forest: 3
FSU: 3
BC: 2
Georgia Tech: 1
Maryland: 1
Duke: 0

Wake's O-line a question going into spring

February, 29, 2012
2/29/12
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The maturation of Wake Forest’s offensive line will be critical this spring, as the Deacs have to replace four starters up front. As the team prepares to start its spring practices on Thursday, coach Jim Grobe said “it’s not a good confidence level right now” in the rookies.

Not only does he expect that to change, though, Grobe said this group has the potential to be even more athletic than last year’s veteran line.

“I hope to feel better after spring practice,” Grobe said. “A lot of these kids are more athletic than the kids we played this year, but they just don’t have much game experience. My honest feeling is that we can actually be improved from an athletic standpoint, but the experience is something you can’t give them. They’ve got to earn that.”

Grobe said it’s unlikely he’d gamble with a true freshman on the offensive line, though former guard Joe Looney started there as a true freshman. The good news for the Deacs is that they shouldn’t have to turn to freshmen because of the depth on the line. The staff also moved Ramon Booi from the defensive line to the offensive line, where he should have a better chance to see playing time. The Deacs also have a solid center returning in Garrick Williams. Grobe said that Williams struggles a bit with his weight, but if he can continue to improve, he’ll be the anchor of the line.

Grobe said the staff is also excited about the potential of guard Antonio Ford, who is very talented but doesn’t have a lot of experience, and tackle Daniel Blitch. Tackle Steven Chase has seen some meaningful reps in his career as a part-time starter at left tackle, but Grobe said Chase is sometimes a “knothead” who has taken his position for granted a little bit. Guard Colin Summers played sparingly at the end of 2011, but he was unsure of where to go at times, and needs some more work with the playbook.

Once this group comes together, though, Grobe said he is expecting good things.

“I really feel like last year’s class was special because they were experienced, and tough and great kids, good attitudes, all those kinds of things,” Grobe said. “But I think this group up front, I think we might find, at least from a starting five, and maybe six or seven guys, that we may not be as grizzled and tough and experienced but we might be a little bit better from an athletic standpoint.”

Offseason spotlight: Wake Forest

February, 23, 2012
2/23/12
9:00
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Our offseason spotlight series concludes today with Wake Forest. A reminder: This series features individual players, position groups and coaches who really need to have big offseasons -- starting this spring.

Spotlight: Offensive line

2011 summary: The Deacs were an average group up front last year, and they gave up too many sacks (35). Still, it was a talented, veteran lineup led by guard Joe Looney, who was Wake Forest's highest-rated offensive lineman in 2011. Looney graded out at 86 percent for the season and led the team with 79.5 knockdown blocks. Center Garrick Williams made progress in his first season as a starter, but he was also helped by the fact he was surrounded by three redshirt seniors and one senior in Looney.

The skinny: Williams is the lone returning starter, while the rest of the depth chart remains a question. Depth isn’t a problem, but experience is. Ramon Booi moved from the defensive line to the offensive line, where he’s more likely to see playing time. Guard Antonio Ford and tackle Daniel Blitch both have a lot of potential, and tackle Steven Chase has seen some meaningful reps.

ACC WRs and TEs could shine at combine

February, 22, 2012
2/22/12
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ESPN's Scouts Inc. broke down the top NFL prospects at each offensive position heading into the NFL combine, and it looks like the ACC could have some stars at wide receiver and/or tight end.

When it comes to ball skills, former Virginia Tech receiver Danny Coale ranked among the top five receivers at the combine. Scouts Inc. also ranked the receivers by their big-play abilities, and Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill ranked No. 4, followed by Miami's Travis Benjamin, who was tied for fifth.

Former Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen was No. 3 in the "separation skills" category, while Miami's Chase Ford was No. 3 in big-play abilities, and NC State's George Bryan was No. 2 in competitiveness.

Two of the ACC's offensive linemen were also featured, as Florida State's Zebrie Sanders was the No. 3 tackle in run blocking, and Wake's Joe Looney was the No. 2 guard in awareness.

ACC and the NFL combine

February, 7, 2012
2/07/12
5:00
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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:

BOSTON COLLEGE (1)
CLEMSON (6)
FLORIDA STATE (6)
GEORGIA TECH (1)
MARYLAND (1)
MIAMI (8)
NORTH CAROLINA (6)
NC STATE (5)
VIRGINIA TECH (4)
VIRGINIA (2)
WAKE FOREST (4)

Wake lineman gets late invite to Senior Bowl

January, 24, 2012
1/24/12
3:32
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Wake Forest offensive guard Joe Looney received a late invitation to the 63rd Annual Senior Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. According to Wake Forest's sports information office, Looney was added to the North roster late Monday as a replacement for center Garth Gerhart of Arizona State, who suffered an injury.

Looney was Wake Forest’s highest-rated offensive lineman in 2011, grading out at 86 percent for the season and leading the team with 79.5 knockdown blocks. Looney was the first Demon Deacon chosen to the Senior Bowl since Alphonso Smith, Aaron Curry and Chip Vaughn were named to the team in 2009.

ACSMA announces all-conference team

November, 28, 2011
11/28/11
3:20
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The 2011 All-ACC football team, as voted on by 45 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, was released on Monday. A first-team vote was worth two points and second-team vote one. Unanimous selections are marked with an asterisk. Disclaimer: I did not vote for this team. The only all-conference team I participate in is the one I compile for ESPN.com, which hasn't been released yet. Here is the team as voted on by the members of ACSMA:

FIRST TEAM

Offense

QB-Tajh Boyd, Clemson (71)

RB-David Wilson, Virginia Tech (90)*

RB-Giovani Bernard, North Carolina (66)

WR-Sammy Watkins, Clemson (86)

WR-Chris Givens, Wake Forest (69)

OT-Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech (86)

OT-Zebrie Sanders, Florida State (46)

OG-Austin Pasztor, Virginia (49)

OG-Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech (45)

C-Dalton Freeman, Clemson (44)

TE-Dwayne Allen, Clemson (78)

K-Dustin Hopkins, Florida State (75)

Spec.- T.J. Graham, NC State (45)

Defense

DE-Andre Branch, Clemson (79)

DE-Quinton Coples, North Carolina (64)

DT-Joe Vellano, Maryland (68)

DT-Matt Conrath, Virginia (55)

LB-Luke Kuechly, Boston College (90)*

LB-Sean Spence, Miami (82)

LB-Zach Brown, North Carolina (48)

CB-David Amerson, NC State (86)

CB-Chase Minnifield, Virginia (47)

S-Matt Daniels, Duke (80)

S-Josh Bush, Wake Forest (41)

P-Shawn Powell, Florida State (85)

SECOND TEAM

Offense

QB-Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech (49)

WR-Dwight Jones, North Carolina (58)

WR-Conner Vernon, Duke (34)

RB-Lamar Miller, Miami (62)

RB-Andre Ellington, Clemson (26)

OT-Oday Aboushi, Virginia (43)

OT-James Hurst, North Carolina (30)

OG-Jaymes Brooks, Virginia Tech (35)

OG-Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina (31)

OG-Joe Looney, Wake Forest (31)

C-Tyler Horn, Miami (32)

TE-George Bryan, NC State (29)

K-Chandler Catanzaro, Clemson (37)

Spec.-Sammy Watkins, Clemson (33)

Defense

DE-Brandon Jenkins, Florida State (51)

DE-James Gayle, Virginia Tech (25)

DT-Brandon Thompson, Clemson (43)

DT-Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest (30)

LB-Terrell Manning, NC State (44)

LB-Julian Burnett, Georgia Tech (34)

LB-Steve Greer, Virginia (23)

CB-Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech (36)

CB-Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (34)

S-Eddie Whitley, Virginia Tech (33)

S-Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State (23)

P-Alex King, Duke (22)

Week 3: Did you know?

September, 16, 2011
9/16/11
9:00
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Thanks to the sports information directors throughout the league for this week’s nifty notes:

ACC: The top two tacklers in the nation and three of the top four are currently from the ACC. Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly leads the nation in tackles with 17.5 per game, but Maryland linebacker Darin Drakeford is right behind him, after making 14 hits in the Terps’ 32-24 win over Miami on Labor Day. Terps’ linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield is in a four-way tie for fourth, having made 13 tackles against the Hurricanes. – ACC game notes

BOSTON COLLEGE: Boston College’s defense has so far faced opponents who have run the ball 67 percent of the time. Northwestern and Central Florida combined to record 99 rushing attempts times out of 148 total plays called. They combined for 462 yards on the ground, six touchdowns and averaged 4.7 yards per carry and 231 yards per game. The Eagles led the nation in rushing defense last season. – BC game notes

CLEMSON: When Clemson hosts Auburn on Saturday, it will be just the third time the defending national champion has come to Clemson and the ACC Tigers have won each of the previous two occasions. Clemson defeated Georgia in 1981 (13-3) after the Bulldogs won the 1980 title and downed Georgia Tech (9-7) in 1991 after Bobby Ross’s team won the 1990 UPI National Championship. Each of those two previous meetings with the defending champ at Clemson took place in the third game of the season. When the Tigers downed Georgia Tech in 1991, Georgia Tech was 19th in the nation entering the game, the same ranking for Auburn this weekend.- Tim Bourret

DUKE: Led by redshirt senior nose guard Charlie Hatcher, Duke is using an 11-man rotation along its defensive line. Hatcher is the lone lineman playing his final season of eligibility as the group includes six redshirt freshmen, two redshirt sophomores and two redshirt juniors. – Art Chase

FLORIDA STATE: FSU is 3-3 at home when ESPN’s College GameDay crew is on campus, including the only previous time the Seminoles have hosted a top-ranked team at home. That was in 1996, when No. 2 Florida State knocked off No. 1 Florida, 24-21, securing a Sugar Bowl berth and a shot at the national championship. That victory remains the Seminoles’ lone win against an AP top-ranked opponent. FSU is 1-5 all-time against teams ranked No. 1. – Bob Thomas

GEORGIA TECH: Quarterback Tevin Washington’s pass efficiency rating is currently 329.7. He has completed 13 of 21 passes for 473 yards and five touchdowns. Washington leads the ACC this week in pass efficiency rating, but falls nine pass attempts short of the NCAA minimum to qualify. – ACC game notes

MARYLAND: After going 41 games without scoring via a fumble return or interception return (Erin Henderson in 2006 vs. Virginia), Maryland has scored eight defensive touchdowns in the past 17games, including a pair against Miami in the Terps’ 31-24 Labor Day win. Joe Vellano returned a fumble 30 yards for a score and Cameron Chism had a 54-yard interception return for a touchdown. – Shawn Nestor

MIAMI: Miami’s 172 rushing yards at Maryland was the Hurricanes’ most in a road opener since also rushing for 172 in a win on Sept. 23, 2004 at Houston.- Miami game notes

NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina leads the ACC and ranks third in the country in rushing defense, allowing just 30 yards per game. Virginia Tech is second at 51 yards per game. Last week, Carolina’s defense held Rutgers to just 1 yard rushing. The Scarlet Knights had five different players rush a combined 21 times for 18 net yards, but quarterback Chas Dodd was sacked four times for 17 yards. The 1 yard rushing is the fewest by an opponent since Wake Forest rushed for minus two yards in 2000. – Kevin Best

NC STATE: The Wolfpack’s shorthanded D gave up 337 passing yards and 438 yards of total offense to Wake Forest. In the opener, Liberty gained 406 yards of total offense. The good news? NC State is tied for second in the nation this week with five interceptions. - NCSU game notes

VIRGINIA: On Sept. 7, Virginia offensive lineman Oday Aboushi was one of 12 Muslim-American athletes invited to Washington, D.C. by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Department of State to commemorate Eid ul-Fitr, the three-day celebration at the end of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting. Other athletes at the reception included Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried, former NFL offensive lineman Ephraim Salaam and professional boxer Amir Khan. A 6-6, 310-pound junior from Staten Island, N.Y., Aboushi’s parents are Palestinians who immigrated to the United States. “I was very humbled to be there,” said Aboushi, who had the chance to meet and talk with Clinton at the event. “Hearing everybody else’s stories of being Muslim athletes around the nation was really inspiring and will help me to get better.” – Jim Daves

VIRGINIA TECH: Opponents have been charged with a just one penalty during the first two games. – Hokies’ game notes

WAKE FOREST: Wake Forest’s offensive line starters, weighing in at a collective 1,570 pounds, is the biggest line in school history. Guards Joe Looney (320) and Mike Hoag (305), tackles Dennis Godfrey (315) and Doug Weaver (320) and center Garrick Williams (310) are all over 300 pounds. The five starters average 314 pounds per man. The next largest line in school history was the 1998 line consisting of guards Brian Wolverton (310) and Sam Settar (328), tackles Jeff Flowe and Michael Collins, and center Marlon Curtis (287), who combined for 1,568 pounds of 313.6 per man. – Steve Shutt

ACC's lunchtime links

August, 10, 2011
8/10/11
12:00
PM ET
Lotta links ...

Video: Wake Forest's Joe Looney

August, 8, 2011
8/08/11
2:00
PM ET

Heather Dinich talks with the offensive lineman about the expectations for the season.

ACC's lunchtime links

July, 25, 2011
7/25/11
12:00
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Not ALL of the news is coming from Pinehurst, N.C., today:

Look who's talking ...

July, 11, 2011
7/11/11
3:30
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The ACC on Monday announced the names of the 24 players who have been chosen to attend the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff, July 24-25 at the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, N.C.

This is one of my favorite events of the year, as it's the first real sign the season is right around the corner. I will be covering every second of it, tweeting and posting videos of players and coaches. I'll have more on it as it gets closer, but here are the players who will be available for interviews from each school:

Boston College
Montel Harris, tailback, senior, Jacksonville, Fla.
Luke Kuechly, linebacker, junior, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Clemson
Landon Walker, offensive tackle, senior, North Wilkesboro, N.C.
Brandon Thompson, defensive tackle, senior, Thomasville, Ga.

Duke
Sean Renfree, quarterback, junior, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Matt Daniels, safety, senior, Fayetteville, Ga.

Florida State
EJ Manuel, quarterback, junior, Virginia Beach, Va.
Brandon Jenkins, defensive end, junior, Tallahassee, Fla.

Georgia Tech
Roddy Jones, A-Back, senior, Stone Mountain, Ga.
Logan Walls, defensive tackle, senior, Dawsonville, Ga.

Maryland
Danny O’Brien, quarterback, sophomore, Kernersville, N.C.
Kenny Tate, linebacker, senior, Forestville, Md.

Miami
Tyler Horn, center, senior, Memphis, Tenn.
Sean Spence, outside linebacker, senior, Miami, Fla.

North Carolina
Jonathan Cooper, center, junior, Wilmington, N.C.
Tydreke Powell, defensive tackle, senior, Ahoskie, N.C.

NC State
George Bryan, tight end, senior, Castle Hayne, N.C.
Audie Cole, linebacker, senior, Monroe, Mich.

Virginia
Kris Burd, wide receiver, senior, Matoaca, Va.
Chase Minnifield, cornerback, senior, Lexington, Ky.

Virginia Tech
Danny Coale, wide receiver, senior, Lexington, Va.
Eddie Whitley, safety, senior, Charlotte, N.C.

Wake Forest
Joe Looney, offensive guard, senior, Lake Worth, Fla.
Kyle Wilber, outside linebacker, senior, Apopka, Fla.

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