ACC: Mario Rowson

ACC viewer's guide: Week 9

October, 24, 2014
Oct 24
Miami silenced Virginia Tech's Lane Stadium fairly early Thursday night. Will we find more drama in the rest of the Week 9 slate?


North Carolina at Virginia, ESPN3, #UNCvsUVA: Marquise Williams is coming off consecutive career outings. Virginia is looking to get back on the winning track after losing to reigning Coastal division champion Duke last week. Can its defense make another big stand and make life difficult for the red-hot UNC offense? Or have the Heels found their second-half groove after a poor start, much like they did last year?

3:30 p.m.

Boston College at Wake Forest, ESPN3, #BCvsWAKE: John Wolford is good to go for Wake after leaving last week's 30-7 home loss to Syracuse. He'll face a BC team that gave Clemson all it could handle last week before falling just short. Still, the 4-3 Eagles are on the brink of back-to-back bowl games under Steve Addazio in his first two years, and their rushing game (No. 9 nationally) should be a handful for a Demon Deacons defense that has been stout this season.

Georgia Tech at Pitt, ESPNU, #GTvsPITT: Is it panic time in Atlanta? A 5-0 start has been met with consecutive losses, including a 48-43 defeat last week at North Carolina in which the defense simply could not make a stop late. Pitt hopes it turned the corner last Thursday in its win over Virginia Tech, but it needs more diversity on the offensive side of the ball, which has been too reliant on James Conner and Tyler Boyd. Its defense does not have Aaron Donald and his dominant performance last year against the Yellow Jackets, but it has been playing well so far this season, ranking 14th nationally in scoring average (18.6).

7 p.m.

Syracuse at No. 21 Clemson, ESPNU, #CUSEvsCLEM: Scott Shafer and Dabo Swinney have made up after last year's Tigers rout in the Carrier Dome. Both teams are in their second straight week with their current signal-caller, as freshman AJ Long led the Orange past Wake Forest in their first career start and Cole Stoudt returned as Clemson's starter in its win at BC. Will the Orange's offensive line give Long a chance against the Tigers' stout front? This game ends a brutal stretch for the Orange, who faced Notre Dame, Louisville and Florida State before Wake last week.
Former Maryland left tackle Max Garcia is transferring to Florida, becoming the final of the Terrapins' three announced transfers from Feb. 13 to land on their feet at other schools.

"Yes, I have committed to the University of Florida," Garcia said, according to GatorNation's Derek Tyson. "I'm a Florida Gator."

Maryland announced more than two months ago that Garcia, quarterback Danny O'Brien and linebacker Mario Rowson were granted releases from the football program. O'Brien ended up at Wisconsin and Rowson at Delaware.

"Max showed great promise," Maryland coach Randy Edsall said when the releases were announced. "But after two seasons in College Park, Max is still homesick. He wants to transfer to a school closer to home (Norcross, Ga.) so his family can see him play."

One of 13 players with remaining eligibility to leave Maryland following the 2011 season, the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Garcia started 12 games last season as a sophomore. He will sit out the 2012 season with the Gators and have two years of eligibility remaining afterward.

Edsall releases QB O'Brien, 2 others

February, 22, 2012
Maryland coach Randy Edsall has changed his mind and is granting former quarterback Danny O'Brien and two other former players a full release from the program without transfer restrictions. Former offensive lineman Max Garcia and linebacker Mario Rowson were also released.

“While at first I thought it was important to limit the institutions to which they could transfer, I have since reconsidered my decision,” Edsall said in a prepared statement. “At the end of the day, I want what’s best for these guys and I wish them well in their futures."

“I am pleased to be able to move on and pursue a graduate degree and continue my athletic career at the school of my choosing.” O’Brien said in the release. “I would like to thank Coach Edsall for his support throughout this process.”

I'll have more on this in a bit.
Maryland quarterback Danny O'Brien, offensive lineman Max Garcia, and linebacker Mario Rowson requested and were granted their releases from the football program, the school announced on Monday.

“I’m disappointed by Danny’s decision,” coach Randy Edsall said in a prepared statement. “Danny told me that he’s not committed to our program, that he’s not ‘all in.’ I want what’s best for all of our players. Danny wants a fresh start elsewhere. I wish him well.”

Garcia, a sophomore, started all 12 games at left tackle in 2011. He played in just two games as a true freshman in 2010.

“Max showed great promise,” Edsall said. “But after two seasons in College Park, Max is still homesick. He wants to transfer to a school closer to home (Norcross, Ga.) so his family can see him play.”

Rowson played in 11 games, including four starts, as a redshirt freshman in 2011. He posted 27 tackles, including three tackles for loss and one sack.

“Mario wants to play defensive back. Trouble is, we see Mario as a linebacker,” Edsall said. “I wish Mario well, where ever he decides to play.”

“Our primary mission is making our players the best students, the best athletes, and the best individuals they can be,” Edsall said. “Spring practice opens March 10. All of the coaches and players are counting the days until we get back on the field. We have a lot to prove in 2012.”

While all three departures will hurt, O'Brien's decision was a punch in the gut -- albeit somewhat expected. I'll have more thoughts on this later.

Week 8: Did you know?

October, 21, 2011
Thanks as always to the sports information directors throughout the league for making us smarter about each team this week. Did you know …

ACC: This week, in terms of yards per game, the ACC has the nation’s leading freshman rusher, in North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard (109.6), and the leading freshman receiver in Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins (104.0). They’ll go head-to-head in Death Valley on Saturday. -- ACC game notes

BOSTON COLLEGE: Although Boston College started the season 1-5, the Eagles have fared well in the second half of their schedule over the course of the past 10 years. In the final six regular-season games of the past 10 seasons, the Eagles have a combined record of 39-21. That includes a 5-1 record in the second half of the 2010 season, when Boston College became the first team in ACC history to record a five-game winning streak after suffering a five-game losing streak the same year. -- Chris Cameron

CLEMSON: When running back Andre Ellington ran for 212 yards and Watkins had 105 yards receiving at Maryland, Clemson became the first ACC team with a 200-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver in the same game since Oct. 17, 2002 (Chris Downs, Scooter Monroe of Maryland vs. Georgia Tech). -- ACC game ntoes

DUKE: Duke is 3-3 at the midpoint for the third time in coach David Cutcliffe’s four seasons. Only once in the 13 seasons before Cutcliffe’s arrival were the Devils at or above .500 after six games. That came in 1998. -- ACC game notes

FLORIDA STATE: At the start of the 2011 season, Florida State had the ACC’s most experienced offensive line, with seniors Andrew Datko, Zebrie Sanders, David Spurlock, and Bryan Stork, who combined for 105 career starts. Sanders and Stork were the only veterans from the injury-ravaged unit in the lineup last week at Duke, when the ‘Noles rolled up 481 total yards, their highest output in 16 games. The lineup included just 57 career starts, 42 of which belonged to Sanders, followed by Stork (9), Jacob Fahrenkrug (5), Bobby Hart (1) and first-time starter Garrett Faircloth. -- Bob Thomas

GEORGIA TECH: Paul Johnson is 3-0 in games following the first loss of the season, and the Jackets have won those three games by an average of 18 points. -- ACC game notes

MARYLAND: So far this season, six freshmen: defensive lineman Keith Bowers, linebacker Lorne Goree, defensive lineman Andre Monroe, linebacker Mario Rowson, defensive back Titus Till, and linebacker Alex Twine have started for the Maryland defense, including four against Georgia Tech (10/8) and five against Clemson (10/15). That was the most freshmen to start for Maryland since Nov. 20, 1993, when a quintet started in a 33-32 win over Wake Forest. The five freshmen defensive starters against Clemson are the most in the nation for one game. In fact, only one other team in the FBS (Indiana) in the has started four or more freshmen defenders this season. -- Shawn Nestor

MIAMI: The Canes’ win over North Carolina last weekend marked the first time that Miami won as an ACC members while getting two or fewer rushing first downs in a game. (They had two.) ACC teams with two or fewer first downs by rush are 15-69 (.119) since the start of the 2000 season. -- ACC game notes

NORTH CAROLINA: Quarterback Bryn Renner has not thrown an interception in four of his past five games, including three straight. He has attempted 81 consecutive passes without an interception. Renner leads the ACC and ranks seventh in the country with a 174.1 pass efficiency rating. Renner completed 20 of 22 pass attempts in the second half against Miami last week. -- UNC game notes

NC STATE: Virginia coach Mike London is one of NC State head coach Tom O’Brien’s seven former assistant coaches who have gone on to become head coaches. London served on the Boston College staff as defensive coordinator from 1997-2000. This will mark the fifth time that O’Brien has faced one of his former assistants, with all four previous games coming against Boston College. O’Brien, who is making his first appearance in UVa’s Scott Stadium since spending 15 seasons there (1982-96) as an assistant for the Cavaliers to George Welsh, faced Jeff Jagodzinski, his replacement at BC twice, and Frank Spaziani, who was his defensive coordinator for the Eagles, twice. -- Annabelle Myers

VIRGINIA: Behind Perry Jones, Kevin Parks, and a veteran offensive line, Virginia rushed for a season-high 274 yards in its 24-21 win against No. 12 Georgia Tech, the most by a UVa team since 2004. Jones recorded a career-high 147 yards and eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the second consecutive game. The Cavaliers have totaled at least 150 rushing yards in each of their first six games. The last time UVa had a six-game streak rushing for at least 150 yards was the final six games of 2004. -- Jim Daves

VIRGINIA TECH: Two random notes for you: As an ACC member, Virginia Tech is 15-1 overall and 13-0 in conference games played in North Carolina. The Hokies were penalized only twice against Wake Forest; that’s the third time in seven games that they have been flagged two or fewer times. Ok, one more random note … The Hokies wore white uniform tops and pants against the Deacs and improved to 10-1 under coach Frank Beamer in that attire. -- ACC game notes

WAKE FOREST: Wake Forest redshirt freshman cornerback Merrill Noel leads the nation in passes defended with 2.17 per game. Noel has 12 pass breakups and one interception for a total of 13 passes defended. He has climbed to 11th place on the school list for passes broken up in a season. The season mark for breakups is 18 by A.J. Greene in 1987. Greene also holds the mark for passes defended in a season with 25, also in 1987. -- Steve Shutt

Recruiting rewind: Maryland

February, 4, 2010
It could have been a lot worse.

Instead, there is no shame in the recruiting class Maryland put together, despite its 2-10 finish in 2009. The Terps reeled in 19 players with an emphasis on defense, including four linemen, three linebackers and five defensive backs. They took a huge step in improving the play and depth up front, as half of the offensive signees were linemen. The staff also added two four-star players in quarterback Tyler Smith and defensive end/linebacker Javarie Johnson.

"I believe that this was the most challenging class, but for whatever reason it really worked out well,” said recruiting coordinator Dave Sollazzo. “We work hard every year. ... Did we have to work harder this year? We probably did. But when you are doing it, you don't realize that you work hard every year. There is no doubt it was more challenging coming off the season that we had. But then again, I think we surprised ourselves. We ended up having a really, really good group here."

The main thing the Terps did is add more speed and athleticism on defense, which should help as Maryland enters its second season under coordinator Don Brown, who is also the cornerbacks coach. Maryland will lose three key players in the secondary, so it was an area of focus in this class. Brown has been encouraged by what he has seen of defensive back Mario Rowson so far.

“He has tremendous length and he's a guy that can match up to big receivers,” Brown said. “He can play press. He can get his hands on them and cover two concepts, physical rerouting concepts, and he's a guy that can come back to the receivers. I'm challenging him to do that.”

The one good thing about not going to a bowl game? It gave coach Ralph Friedgen more time to concentrate on recruiting.

"I think tremendous credit goes to our coaches,” Friedgen said. “It's been a little different for me, given the fact that we didn't go to a bowl game this year, so I've been out there for the last six weeks. Our coaches are the people that go out and find the kids and evaluate the kids. I'm there at the end. It got better as it went along. Once we got going, it was just a matter of a lot of hard work by our staff. I think we were able to get a very good class together. "