ACC: Levern Jacobs

ACC's lunchtime links

November, 15, 2013
Enjoy the weekend, gang.

What to watch in the ACC: Week 9

October, 24, 2013
With only Syracuse on a bye this week, there will be plenty to keep an eye on in the conference. Here’s a look at what to watch in Week 9, in no particular order:

1. Florida State flashback: All eyes will be on the pregame scene in Tallahassee, where former Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden will make his first return to Doak Campbell Stadium since he was ousted following the 2009 season. Bowden will plant the famous spear at midfield, and nearly 400 former players are expected to attend the No. 2-ranked Seminoles’ game against NC State. "There's no nerves," Bowden told’s David Hale. "I'm excited about it, getting to see a lot of people."

[+] EnlargeBrandon Mitchell
Lance King/Getty ImagesBrandon Mitchell has been out since the opener for NC State.
2. Brandon Mitchell's return: While Florida State will be celebrating the return of its legendary coach, the Wolfpack will be celebrating the return of its injured starting quarterback. Mitchell broke his left foot in the season opener and hasn’t played since. He won the job over Pete Thomas this preseason, and his athleticism seemed to fit first-year coach Dave Doeren’s no-huddle offense well. He’ll face one of the toughest defenses in the country, though, on Saturday.

3. Wake’s hopes at an upset: The Demon Deacons are on a roll, having won back-to-back Atlantic Division games, and while the Canes lead the series 7-3, all three of Wake’s wins have come at Miami. Wake is looking to snap a six-game losing streak against ranked teams -- and Saturday is the 67th anniversary of the program’s win over No. 4 Tennessee, the highest-ranked team Wake has ever defeated. If the Deacs can continue to get the ball to receiver Michael Campanaro and play stingy defense, they could have a chance. Especially considering …

4. Miami’s ball security: You’ve heard it a million times this week. Miami has turned it over 12 times in the past three weeks. The Hurricanes the only team in the country to have at least four turnovers in three consecutive games this season and the first since East Carolina in 2011. Miami has also had four red-zone turnovers in its past three games. Meanwhile, Wake’s defense forced three turnovers in the Deacs’ victory over Maryland last week. Speaking of the Terps, watch out for …

5. Maryland’s quarterback controversy: It’s C.J. Brown OR Caleb Rowe listed as the starter on this week’s depth chart for Saturday’s game against Clemson, and coach Randy Edsall has played coy about Brown’s status since last week. Edsall said the indecision on his starter is health-related, not performance-related, but wouldn’t specify what’s wrong with Brown. Brown struggled in last week’s loss at Wake Forest, and Edsall said it was because of an injury unrelated to the concussion Brown suffered against Florida State. Stay tuned for which QB will be leading the Terps’ offense against a stingy Clemson D.

6. UNC’s run defense: Miami gashed the Tar Heels for 234 yards on the ground last week -- and that was with their leading rusher, Duke Johnson, sidelined for three quarters and four turnovers from the Canes. Boston College makes its living on the running game, led by senior Andre Williams, who leads the ACC and ranks fifth nationally in rushing yards per game (139.7).

7. Clemson’s rebound: Last week’s 51-14 home loss to Florida State was humbling and devastating to the Tigers. It knocked them out of the national championship picture, all but ruined quarterback Tajh Boyd's chances at winning the Heisman Trophy, and put them behind the Seminoles in the ACC race. How will the Tigers respond on the road? They’ve got more talent than the depleted Terps, but emotion could be a factor early.

8. Virginia Tech’s secondary: Veteran cornerback Antone Exum is expected to finally return for Saturday’s home game against Duke, more than eight months after he had offseason surgery to repair his ACL and a bone fracture. Exum was cleared Sept. 30, but he and the staff have played it cautious. Senior CB Kyle Fuller has broken up 10 passes in seven games and ranks fourth in the nation in passes defended (1.71 per game). They will come in handy against quarterback Duke, which is averaging 269 passing yards per game.

9. Replacement receivers: The ACC will be missing three of its top receivers, with Maryland’s Stefon Diggs and Deon Long and Miami’s Phillip Dorsett all out with injuries. Levern Jacobs will step in at the slot position in place of Diggs, and redshirt freshman Amba Etta-Tawo will take over Long’s spot. With Dorsett out at Miami, that likely means an increased role for Malcolm Lewis, who is listed as a backup at two spots, and true freshman Stacy Coley, who is listed as a co-starter at wide receiver, a starting kick returner and co-starter at punt returner.

10. BC WR Alex Amidon: The Eagles can do more than just run the ball, and Amidon needs just 144 receiving yards to become BC’s all-time leading pass receiver. He has three 100-plus yard receiving games this season and a school-record 10 for his 39-game collegiate career.

Weak and strong: Maryland

June, 27, 2013
We move on in our series looking at the weakest and strongest positions on each team in the ACC with Maryland:

Strongest position: Receiver

Stefon Diggs returns to anchor a position that remains a strength despite the loss of Marcus Leak, who decided to leave the team for personal reasons. Diggs was dynamic in his first year last season, earning Freshman All-America honors. His 848 receiving yards were the third-best mark by an ACC rookie and his 54 receptions ranked sixth-best. Of course, Diggs provides so much more as an all-purpose player, but he will be the unquestioned leader of this group as a sophomore. The Terps got a big boost to the group with Deon Long arriving from junior college, and Nigel King had a good spring as well. Hopes also are high for young guys like Levern Jacobs, Tyrek Cheeseboro and Amba Etta to step up as well.

Weakest position: Defensive line

Maryland only returns one starter here -- Darius Kilgo at nose tackle. The other two losses are perhaps the biggest on the defense -- Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis, two players proven to be invaluable for the Terps over the past several seasons not only as players but as team leaders as well. Vellano was an all-ACC selection once again after leading the team with 14 tackles for loss and tying for the team lead with six sacks. Francis added nine tackles for loss and four sacks. The two combined for 72 career starts. Without them, Maryland turns to guys like Quinton Jefferson, Keith Bowers, Andre Monroe and Roman Braglio. Monroe is the only one who has started a game. If he is completely healthy following an injury that cost him all of last season, the Terps will benefit in a big way.

For more in the series, click here.
Maryland starting receiver Marcus Leak has withdrawn from school for personal reasons but plans to re-enroll in January, he announced in a statement Thursday.

A source close to the situation said Leak is in good academic standing.

Here is the full statement from Leak:
“I have withdrawn from the University of Maryland and will return home to North Carolina to be with my family while I deal with some personal issues. I would like to thank Coach (Randy) Edsall, my teammates and the rest of the Maryland football program for their continued support as I work through these personal matters. It is my intention to return to College Park in January. I look forward to rejoining my teammates and continuing my education at the University of Maryland.”

Leak started the first seven games of last season but missed the final five because of a toe injury. That injury kept him out of spring practice, but he was expected to start for the Terps in 2013. Leak finished 2012 second on the team with 23 receptions and 393 yards and added two touchdown receptions.

The only good news here is that Maryland does have depth at the position. Stefon Diggs, one of the best receivers in the league, returns, and the Terps signed junior college transfer Deon Long. Nigel King will now be relied upon to take a bigger role. He seems prepared for that after starting three games last season with Leak out. King followed that up with a solid spring.

Others who could have bigger roles include Levern Jacobs, Amba Etta-Tawo, Malcolm Culmer and Tyrek Cheeseboro. The Terps also will have four-star receiver Taivon Jacobs for fall practice.

ACC's lunchtime links

November, 7, 2012
Anything can still happen in the ACC race, starting Thursday night.