ACC: Kendric Burney

As advertised ...

1. Florida State: The Noles have one of the best cornerback duos in the country in Greg Reid and Xavier Rhodes. They combined for 33 passes defended last season, the most of any pair of cornerbacks in the nation. Mike Harris had 41 tackles and four picks as a reserve.

[+] EnlargeGreg Reid
Matthew Emmons/US PresswireFlorida State cornerback Greg Reid is also one of the ACC's top return men.
2. Virginia Tech: Jayron Hosley is one of the top boundary corners in the country, and the Hokies also have Kyle Fuller, who had six deflections last season, and Cris Hill (two deflections) at field corner.

3. Maryland: The Terps return both starters in Cameron Chism and Trenton Hughes, who combined for 36 career starts. Chism is a strong cover corner who had 70 tackles and eight deflections last season. Hughes had nine pass deflections.

4. NC State: Both starters return in C.J. Wilson and David Amerson. Wilson had 46 tackles, two interceptions and six pass breakups, and Amerson had 57 tackles. Justin Byers and Gary Grant also have experience.

5. North Carolina: The Tar Heels lost some remarkable talent in their secondary, including cornerback Kendric Burney, but there is a lot of depth at the position. Jabari Price started four games last season, Charles Brown has 22 career starts but sat out last season, and Mywan Jackson and Tre Boston both have at least four starts each.

6. Boston College: The Eagles will miss DeLeon Gause, but Donnie Fletcher has 17 career starts, 56 tackles last season, and led the team with five picks. C.J. Jones played in 12 games as a backup last season with 16 tackles. Dominique Williams also saw some time and had four tackles, and true freshman Al Louis-Jean, who was the No. 9 cornerback in the nation as ranked by ESPN Recruiting, enrolled early.

7. Clemson: It’s a young group, as the Tigers had to replace Marcus Gilchrist and Byron Maxwell. Xavier Brewer had 10 starts with 50 tackles and two interceptions last season, Coty Sensabaugh had 31 tackles in three starts, and senior Mansa Joseph will also be competing for playing time with sophomore Martin Jenkins.

8. Virginia: The Cavaliers return both starters in Chase Minnifield and Devin Wallace, but Wallace was suspended and missed spring ball and is still suspended. Wallace had 38 tackles and six breakups last season. Chris Broadnax, Rijo Walker, Drequan Hoskey and Pablo Alvarez will all compete for playing time.

9. Miami: The Hurricanes have to replace both starters in Brandon Harris and Ryan Hill. Jo-Jo Nicholas moved to corner and Brandon McGee, who was the nickel back last season, will compete along with Lee Chambers, Keion Payne, Nathan Gholston and true freshman Thomas Finnie, who had a great spring.

10. Georgia Tech: The Jackets had to replace their entire secondary, including cornerbacks Mario Butler and Dominique Reese. They’ve still got several cornerbacks with experience in Rashaad Reid, who started 14 games in 2008 and 2009, Rod Sweeting (38 tackles, seven pass breakups, one interception), Louis Young (10 tackles), and Michael Peterson (six tackles, one pass breakup).

11. Wake Forest: The Deacs have a deep enough secondary that they can live without the experience of cornerback Kevin Johnson, who started five games last season but will sit out this season while academically ineligible. Josh Bush had 33 tackles and four pass breakups last season, Kenny Okoro is a rising star, A.J. Marshall has three starts and Dominique Tate returns after missing last season while on academic suspension.

12. Duke: Ross Cockrell is a returning starter and finished last season with 60 tackles and 10 passes defended. He was only a freshman but he tied for eighth in the ACC with passes defended with 10 in 12 games. Johnny Williams had four pass breakups last season.

North Carolina spring wrap

May, 5, 2011
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2010 overall record: 8-5

2010 conference record: 4-4

Returning starters

Offense: 6, defense: 6, punter/kicker: 2

Top returners

WR Dwight Jones, WR Erik Highsmith, OT James Hurst, OG Jonathan Cooper, C Cam Holland, DE Quinton Coples, DT Jared McAdoo, DE Donte Paige-Moss, DT Tydreke Powell, LB Kevin Reddick, CB Charles Brown

Key losses

QB T.J. Yates, TE Zack Pianalto, TB Johnny White, LB Quan Sturdivant, LB Bruce Carter, CB Kendric Burney, S Deunta Williams, S Da’Norris Searcy

2010 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Johnny White (720 yards)

Passing: T.J. Yates (3,418 yds)

Receiving: Dwight Jones* (946 yds)

Tackles: Kevin Reddick* (74)

Sacks: Quinton Coples* (10)

Interceptions: Da'Norris Searcy (4)

Spring answers

1. The offensive line should be the best since Butch Davis arrived in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels had to replace two starters in OT Mike Ingersoll and OG Alan Pelc, but Travis Bond has earned the starting job at right guard and Brennan Williams at right tackle. The left side of the line will be particularly strong with guard Jonathan Cooper (22 career starts), and OT James Hurst. This is also a large group, averaging 319 pounds.

2. There’s depth on the defensive line. There was enough depth this spring to move Coples from tackle back to end, his natural position. The Tar Heels have Paige-Moss at right end, Jordan Nix and Powell at tackle, and junior college transfer Sylvester Williams was pushing Nix for the starting job. Jared McAdoo has played both positions, and the staff has four tackles it feels good about.

3. Bryn Renner has taken over. Heading into the spring, Davis wouldn’t anoint Renner his 2011 starter just yet. Now, there’s no question it’s Renner’s job, as none of the other candidates came close to him this spring. True freshman Marquise Williams went through a major learning curve, and A.J. Blue and Braden Hanson didn’t close the gap.

Fall questions

1. Looking for a linebacker. Outside linebacker Zach Brown and middle linebacker Kevin Reddick have starting jobs locked up, but Herman Davidson and Darius Lipford will take their competition into summer camp.

2. Helping hands at tight end. Last year, 79 of the receptions were to tight ends, and Ryan Taylor and Zack Pianalto were two of the top three receivers on the team (combined for 66 catches last year). The staff recruited well at the position, but those players didn’t enroll early. Nelson Hurst, Christian Wilson and Sean Fitzpatrick were the lead candidates this spring.

3. Revamped secondary. All four starters must be replaced, but Jabari Price started the final four games at corner last season. There are six candidates for the safety positions, but Brown, Jonathan Smith and Brian Gupton all missed last season because of the NCAA investigation. Senior Matt Merletti emerged as a leader last year, safety Gene Robinson is in the mix, and safety Josh Hunter had a good spring game with six tackles and an interception. Tre Boston moved from corner to safety.

ACC NFL prospects still in limbo

May, 4, 2011
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As the NFL lockout still continues, the professional careers of several former ACC players remain in limbo. Any players hoping to extend their playing days as undrafted free agents must wait until the NFL's labor issues are resolved. There is significant, proven talent on this list -- names I've typed countless times for their accomplishments in the ACC -- but don't forget that the NFL is based more on potential than it is on past production. I searched all of these players' names in ESPN.com's NFL player database, and North Carolina's Kendric Burney and Clemson's DeAndre McDaniel received the highest grades (over 60, which is considered fourth-round equivalent). Most of them were graded in the 30s, which means they are considered a borderline draft prospect. Regardless of where they wind up in the future, their contributions in the past certainly won't be forgotten.

These are the players who were invited to the combine but not drafted, according to the NFL's draft tracker:

ACC and the NFL combine

February, 4, 2011
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The official list for the NFL combine has been released. A total of 48 players from the ACC have been invited to audition for the NFL from February 23 – March 1. When categorized by school, it's somewhat of a reality check to see how many of the best players in the conference are moving on, and which programs will take the biggest hit. It's impossible not to wonder how good North Carolina could have been had all of the following players remained eligible. The Tar Heels will send the most players to the combine with 11.

Here are the players who will represent the ACC:

BOSTON COLLEGE (3)
  • Anthony Castonzo
  • Rich Lapham
  • Mark Herzlich
CLEMSON (7)
  • Da'Quan Bowers
  • Marcus Gilchrist
  • Chris Hairston
  • Jamie Harper
  • Jarvis Jenkins
  • Byron Maxwell
  • DeAndre McDaniel
FLORIDA STATE (3)
GEORGIA TECH (3)
MARYLAND (3)
MIAMI (9)
NORTH CAROLINA (11)
NC STATE (2)
VIRGINIA (2)
  • Danny Aiken
  • Ras-I Dowling
VIRGINIA TECH (5)

ACC players shine in Senior Bowl

January, 31, 2011
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This was the senior performance Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder was capable of delivering.

When healthy, Ponder is one of the best quarterbacks in the country -- hence the school's Heisman campaign for him this past summer -- and he was finally able to prove it on Saturday as the MVP of the Under Armour Senior Bowl. Heading into this game, Washington quarterback Jake Locker was receiving most of the attention and the hype, but it was Ponder who had the strongest showing of the six quarterbacks at the game.

After a season and a half marred by injuries, Ponder earned the start and led the South team to a 24-10 win in front of a sold-out crowd (40,646) in Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Ponder threw for 132 yards and two touchdowns, a performance that highlighted a strong day by former ACC players, as his first touchdown pass went to former Miami receiver Leonard Hankerson. Hankerson was named the Under Armour offensive player of the game after he finished with five catches for 100 yards and a touchdown.

The Scouts Inc. crew gave the ACC players some favorable reviews, writing that Ponder is "a great athlete with adequate size and arm strength," and calling FSU guard Rodney Hudson "one of the most underrated players in this draft." They were also impressed with former Clemson defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins, and called Hankerson "the best wide receiver on the field." Former Miami linebacker Colin McCarthy also played well:
"Miami LB Colin McCarthy made a nice stop on a quick screen to Vincent Brown. McCarthy is limited athletically and doesn't have elite range, but he has outstanding instincts and a nose for the ball. He will bring great value early on Day 3."

Ponder directed the home team on a 10-play, 73-yard drive that ended in a field goal to give the South an early 3-0 lead. His 18-yard touchdown pass to Hankerson in the opening quarter put the South ahead 10-0.

Former Maryland running back Da'Rel Scott made it a one-possession game when he scored from 1 yard out and pulled the North to within a touchdown, at 17-10 with just 19 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Former UNC cornerback Kendric Burney was named the Most Outstanding Player for the North squad after totaling seven tackles.

ACC's lunchtime links

January, 24, 2011
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Never a dull moment ...

ACC sends 18 to Under Armour Senior Bowl

January, 18, 2011
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The ACC will have 18 players representing the conference next week in the Under Armour Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. It's the second-highest total for a conference behind the SEC, which has 22. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on January 29th in Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The game and all practices will be televised by NFL Network.

“This is a very talented group and all are extremely deserving of a Senior Bowl invite,” senior bowl president and CEO Steve Hale said in a prepared statement. “We’ve always had great success with ACC players with guys like Philip Rivers and D’Brickashaw Ferguson performing extremely well during Senior Bowl week and we fully expect this year to produce more future NFL stars from the conference.”

Clemson, Miami and North Carolina lead all ACC teams with three representatives each. The players from Clemson, Boston College, North Carolina, NC State, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech are all new additions to the roster. Miami’s Colin McCarthy and Virginia’s Ras-I Dowling are also newcomers, joining their previously announced teammates on the Senior Bowl rosters:
  • Boston College: Anthony Castonzo, OL; Mark Herzlich, LB
  • Clemson: Marcus Gilchrist, DB; Jarvis Jenkins, DL; DeAndre McDaniel, DB
  • Florida State: Rodney Hudson, OL; Christian Ponder, QB
  • Georgia Tech: Anthony Allen, RB
  • Miami: Allen Bailey, DL; Leonard Hankerson, WR; Colin McCarthy, LB
  • North Carolina: Kendric Burney, DB; Da’Norris Searcy, DB; Quan Sturdivant, LB
  • NC State: Nate Irving, LB
  • Virginia: Danny Aiken, DS; Ras-I Dowling, DB
  • Virginia Tech: Rashad Carmichael, DB

2010 ACC All-Bowl team

January, 14, 2011
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Disclaimer: With only four winning teams, this team wasn't easy, but there were plenty of players who had noteworthy performances in their respective bowls. Here is your 2010-11 ACC All-bowl team:

OFFENSE

QB Russell Wilson, NC State: He threw for 275 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in what might have been his final collegiate game. He also ran for 41 yards and earned the Champs Sports Bowl’s MVP award.

RB Da'Rel Scott, Maryland: The MVP of the Military Bowl, Scott rushed for a school bowl-game record 200 yards on 13 carries. His 91-yard TD run in the fourth quarter was the longest in Maryland bowl-game history. It was also the longest Maryland touchdown in seven years and only the eighth 90-plus yard run in ACC history. He also set the school record for yards per carry in the game with 15.4.

RB Chris Thompson, Florida State: He was the Chick-fil-A Bowl's Offensive MVP after he racked up 147 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown run against the SEC's then-top-ranked rushing defense.

WR Jarvis Williams, NC State: His 3-yard touchdown reception with 3:44 remaining sealed the win over West Virginia. He finished with six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.

[+] EnlargeNC State's Russell Wilson
Scott A. Miller/US PRESSWIRERussell Wilson passed for 275 yards and two touchdowns on his way to earning MVP honors at the Champs Sports Bowl.
WR Leonard Hankerson, Miami: Despite the loss to Notre Dame, Hankerson set the school record for receiving yards in a single season (1,155) after totaling 70 yards against the Irish to pass Eddie Brown's mark of 1,114 yards set in 1984.

TE Brandon Ford, Clemson: Despite the loss to South Florida, Ford had four catches for 45 yards, including two touchdown receptions. He became the first player in Clemson history with two touchdown catches in a bowl game.

OL Jake Vermiglio, NC State: He helped the Pack score more points against West Virginia than any other opponent had all year. NC State controlled the clock and had 378 total yards.

OL Paul Pinegar, Maryland: He had three big blocks for the Terps, who rolled up season highs in rushing yards (297) and rushing touchdowns (6), including runs of 61 and 91 yards by Da’Rel Scott. The Terps also did not allow a sack to the Pirates, the 11th time the squad surrendered two or fewer on the season.

OL Rodney Hudson, FSU: He graded out at 86 percent against South Carolina and didn’t have any penalties or missed assignments. He also had two knockdowns.

OL Zebrie Sanders, FSU: He graded out at 88 percent in final game and didn’t have any penalties or missed assignments. He helped neutralize South Carolina’s pass rush.

OL Mike Ingersoll, UNC: He graded out as the team's top offensive lineman and was named one of the offensive players of the game by the coaching staff. Carolina had 180 positive rushing yards against Tennessee.

DEFENSE

DE Brandon Jenkins, FSU: Despite the fact he missed a series-and-a-half, he finished with a team-leading eight tackles, including two TFLs and a sack.

DE Andre Branch, Clemson: On an off-day for Da’Quan Bowers, Branch stepped up and had two sacks. He finished with six tackles.

DT Quinton Coples, UNC: He finished with six tackles, 1.5 sacks, forced a fumble and had two quarterback hurries in the Heels’ win over Tennessee.

DT Donte Paige-Moss, UNC: He had six tackles, 1.5 sacks, forced a fumble and blocked an extra point attempt. The extra point block was key, as Carolina later kicked a field goal to send the game into overtime.

LB Nate Irving, NC State: He had four solo tackles against West Virginia and finished with one 7-yard sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and quarterback pressure and a pass breakup.

LB Quan Sturdivant, UNC: He had a season-high 12 tackles, including two tackles for losses, and made a key interception in overtime against Tennessee in the Music City Bowl. Sturdivant picked off a Tyler Bray pass in the second overtime and Carolina scored on its next possession to win the game.

LB Luke Kuechly, Boston College: He no doubt looked the part of an All-America. Kuechly was the defensive MVP of the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl with 12 tackles (8 solos), and one interception he returned 31 yards.

DB Greg Reid, FSU: He was named the defensive MVP of the Chick-fil-A Bowl and was an obvious choice. He finished with five tackles, four pass breakups, two forced fumbles (one that came with his hit that ended Marcus Lattimore’s night on the first series), and he had two punt returns for 53 yards leading to scores.

DB Antwine Perez, Maryland: He made eight tackles, including a game-high seven solo stops and two tackles for loss, as the Terps clamped down on the seventh-ranked passing offense in the nation. Perez had seven or more tackles in each of the last five games of the season.

DB Kendric Burney, UNC: He finished with six tackles and an 11-yard return on an interception.

DB Brandon Bishop, NC State: His fourth interception of the season was a diving interception at the West Virginia 10 in the fourth quarter. He snagged the pass intended for Jock Sanders, and prevented the Mountaineers from cutting the lead to 16-14 with plenty of time left.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K Dustin Hopkins, FSU: He nailed all four field-goal attempts against South Carolina (29 yards, 48, 35, 45), and he had four touchbacks.

P Shawn Powell, FSU: He had three punts for an average of 51 yards, and gave the Noles winning field position.

KR Greg Reid, FSU: He had one kick return for 18 yards and two punt returns for the Noles. His two punt returns led to scores.

UNC cornerbacks suffer another injury

November, 1, 2010
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UNC cornerback Terry Shankle tore the ACL in his left knee in the Tar Heels' 21-17 win against William & Mary and will miss the rest of the season. Shankle, a redshirt freshman, will have surgery in the next few weeks. He had eight tackles and one pass breakup this year.

It's yet another hit to one of the most banged-up units in the ACC. Shankle will become the fifth different cornerback to miss a game this year, either for injury or because of the NCAA investigation:
  • Mywan Jackson didn't dress last week (groin)
  • Tre Boston didn't dress last week (ankle)
  • Jabari Price, a true freshman, suffered an ankle injury in the Miami game, but it hasn't prevented him from playing.
  • LeCount Fantroy, a starter, hurt his shoulder in the first half of the Miami game but returned last week.
  • Da'Norris Searcy suffered a concussion against Miami, but started at safety last week.
  • Kendric Burney and Charles Brown missed games because of the NCAA investigation.

ACC's lunchtime links

October, 27, 2010
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It's almost game day!
  • Whoever would have thought the biggest problem with Paul Johnson's offense would be the lack of a big-play wide receiver?
  • It would also help if the Jackets could win the battle up front.
  • Maryland makes the stops when it counts -- on fourth down and in the red zone.
  • Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins gives quarterback Kyle Parker some margin for error when he throws.
  • NC State kicker Josh Czajkowski has a pregame routine he always sticks to. Some might say he's even a little superstitious.
  • Virginia sophomore tight end Paul Freedman has learned how to score -- and celebrate it.
  • Good news, bad news for the Canes. Good news? Seantrel Henderson has been as good as advertised. Bad news? He has to be, because Orlando Franklin is hurt.
  • It was a long process, but UNC cornerback Kendric Burney has finally been cleared to play.
  • Thursday night's game looms large for the Atlantic Division standings.
  • Mike London's academic requirement didn't end when the season started -- just ask the three players who were benched this past weekend.
  • Virginia Tech's defense has been preparing for Georgia Tech since the offseason.

UNC's Kendric Burney cleared to play

October, 26, 2010
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North Carolina senior cornerback Kendric Burney has been cleared to play and will make his 2010 debut Saturday against William & Mary, the school announced Tuesday. Burney missed the previous seven games. He was suspended six games for violations of NCAA agent benefits and preferential treatment rules and was held out of the Miami game while the university worked with the NCAA to determine his eligibility status.

Burney has nine career interceptions and is in his fourth season as a starter. Prior to this season, he had started all 38 games in his career.

Burney’s return will be a huge boost to a secondary that has been riddled with injuries and suspensions this season. Safety Da’Norris Searcy suffered a mild concussion last Saturday against Miami, cornerback Mywan Jackson left the game with a groin injury, and freshman corner Tre Boston injured his ankle. Cornerback LeCount Fantroy has also missed the past six quarters with a shoulder injury.

UNC updates status of two starters in secondary

October, 20, 2010
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UNC junior cornerback Charles Brown will miss the remainder of the 2010 season. He will have one season of athletic eligibility remaining. Brown started all 13 games at cornerback in 2009. Additionally, senior cornerback Kendric Burney still has an unresolved issue related to the ongoing review and will not play this weekend at Miami. His case has not been resolved.

Turnovers the key in Miami-UNC game

October, 20, 2010
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Yes, there is a trend -- a reason behind Miami’s 0-3 record against its former coach, Butch Davis.

In the past three meetings with North Carolina, Miami has turned the ball over 10 times. North Carolina has turned it over once.

[+] EnlargeJacory Harris
Andrew Weber/US PresswireJacory Harris has 26 interceptions in his last 18 games.
That’s a problem for Miami entering Saturday’s game, considering both teams are still following that pattern. North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates has thrown just one interception all season. Miami quarterback Jacory Harris has thrown nine. As teams, though, they are comparable -- UNC and Miami rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the ACC, respectively, in turnover margin.

These games have been decided by an average of 6.3 points, so whoever makes the fewest mistakes is likely to win.

“Watching the last three years of playing North Carolina, the turnovers have been a big factor in the games,” Miami coach Randy Shannon said. “Every time we’ve played North Carolina at North Carolina, we’ve turned the ball over a lot, and also coming home we’ve turned the ball over a lot. I think those things play a big significance in this game. We have to make sure we don’t turn the ball over … that’s going to be a pivotal part of this game.”

UNC cornerback Kendric Burney, who last year finished with 170 interception return yards against Miami and set a single-game ACC record and a school record for an entire season, is still waiting to be cleared to play as a result of an ongoing NCAA investigation. Even without Burney, UNC has 11 interceptions this season.

“In all the games previously we’ve been very fortunate that some of the things that help you win games -- we haven’t turned the ball over much against them,” Davis said. “That part of it obviously helps you against any particular opponent, but especially against somebody that’s as talented as Miami. We’ve been the beneficiary of some turnovers. Those continue to help you.”

Harris threw a career-high four interceptions in last year’s 33-24 loss to the Tar Heels, and he did it again this season at Ohio State. He finally had an interception-free game in the win over Duke. Miami’s turnover margin was also helped this past weekend after the defense forced seven turnovers at Duke, accounting for five of their 12 interceptions this season.

“Anytime a secondary is having a huge amount of success, it probably starts up front,” Davis said. “You can take four superstar All-American secondary guys, but if the quarterback has all day long to throw the ball, those guys struggle. At Miami, they’ve got really good defensive linemen, guys who are putting a lot of pressure on the quarterback.”

Yates and Harris will both be forced to play smart and think quickly on Saturday. With Virginia Tech the only undefeated team remaining in league play in the Coastal Division, the margin for error has decreased significantly for both teams.

The loser of this game could commit its biggest turnover of the season -- a chance at winning the Coastal Division.

Possible ACC candidates for Broyles Award

October, 19, 2010
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There are two ACC assistant coaches this year who immediately come to mind as possible candidates for this year's Frank Broyles Award, which is given to the top assistant coach in the country: Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops and North Carolina defensive coordinator Everett Withers.

Stoops was hired to turn around one of the country's worst defenses, which he has done with remarkable speed, and Withers has managed to hold opponents to just under 20 points per game despite missing seven starters heading into the season and losing two of the country's best defensive linemen to NCAA investigations.

NORTH CAROLINA

  • UNC is still without the following defensive starters: defensive tackle Marvin Austin (dismissed), defensive end Robert Quinn (permanently ineligible), cornerback Kendric Burney (case still pending) and cornerback Charles Brown (case still pending). The following backups are also still missing: strong safety Jonathan Smith (one year of eligibility remaining), free safety Brian Gupton (one year of eligibility remaining), defensive end Michael McAdoo (case still pending). And yet ...
  • UNC is fourth in the country in red zone defense.
  • UNC is third in the ACC in pass efficiency defense and No. 22 in the country in pass defense.
  • UNC ranks seventh in the country in turnover margin thanks in part to 11 interceptions and five recovered fumbles.
FLORIDA STATE
  • FSU was No. 108 in rushing defense last year (204.62 yards per game) and is No. 18 now (104.86).
  • No. 94 in scoring defense a year ago (30 points per game) and No. 15 now (16.14)
  • No. 108 in total defense (434.62) to No. 22 now (308.14).
  • No. 58 in sacks in 2009, No. 1 now.
  • The list goes on.

Both are deserving of consideration, but my vote would go to Stoops. The program hasn't been tainted by an NCAA investigation (this year), and the defensive improvement is a major reason why Florida State is still undefeated in league play.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- UNC defensive end Linwan Euwell has been cleared to play in today's game against Virginia, the school announced about two hours prior to kickoff. Euwell was held out of the first five games while the university worked with the NCAA to determine his eligibility status.

The school also announced that Brian Gupton, a junior safety, will miss the rest of the season and will have one year of eligibility remaining.

Also, this was supposed to be the final game of a six-game suspension for senior cornerback Kendric Burney, but Burney still has "an unresolved issue relating to the ongoing review" and his status for the Miami game remains uncertain.

"We were expecting Kendric's issue to be resolved prior to the completion of his six-game suspension," UNC AD Dick Baddour said in a prepared statement. "This week we learned that would not be the case."

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