ACC: Mike Hoag

Week 3: Did you know?

September, 16, 2011
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
Wake Forest quarterback Tanner Price didn't practice on Monday because of a concussion he sustained at Florida State, and his status is uncertain for Saturday's game against Georgia Tech.

"I don't know right now," coach Jim Grobe told reporters at his weekly news conference. "The thing with head injuries is that they are day-to-day things. He took a pretty significant hit in our last game and was a little goofy on the sideline. I don't know whether or not they will give him the green light by Saturday."

Regardless of who lines up at quarterback for the Deacs on Saturday, the offense is in dire need of a quick turnaround following this past Saturday's 31-0 loss in Tallahassee. The defense had finally played well enough to win a game and this time, the offense came up empty with only 12 first downs and 82 passing yards. Ted Stachitas completed all five of his pass attempts for 47 yards.

Offensive lineman Mike Hoag said his group has confidence in both Stachitas and Price.

"Ted came into the season as the starter and he got banged up in that first game," Hoag said. "He almost broke his hand and that put him behind the eight-ball a little bit, but he's a capable guy. He's definitely a leader out there. He's fun to play for just like Tanner is. They're both great quarterbacks, so whichever guy we have in there we're going to be fine."
Former Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner was one of the best the Deacons’ offense had ever seen. He was a record-setter in numerous categories. He was the winningest quarterback in school history.

And he was also the slowest quarterback this staff had ever coached.

That could change this fall, and so could Wake Forest’s offense.

It’s the first time since 1957 that Wake Forest has had zero passing attempts among its returning quarterbacks. When the Deacs begin practice on Thursday, the most experienced passer on the roster will be wide receiver Marshall Williams, who went 3-for-3 for 52 yards last year, throwing off reverses. Ted Stachitas is the only other quarterback who has taken a snap in a game. He was in for the final six plays of Wake’s 35-7 win over Elon last year.

Offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke said the staff will take about 12 practices and a few scrimmages to figure out who the starting quarterback will be. Only then will it begin to build an offense around him.

“It could be different,” Lobotzke said. “Whoever ends up being that guy is going to drive two things: How much do we do in the run game because of that kid’s mobility and feet? How good of a runner is he? The faster the runner, the bigger the run game. The slower the runner, the smaller the run game, Riley being the bare minimum.”

A fast player who can make all of the throws would obviously be the ideal. A slow player who can’t make the throws?

“Then I’m probably home for Christmas,” Lobotzke said.

Skylar Jones enters Thursday’s practice as the leader by default -- he was the healthiest of the bunch coming out of the spring. If his durability holds up and he continues to progress, it’s his job to lose.

Equally as important is the offensive line, where the Deacs have to replace four-year starter Chris DeGeare at left tackle. Redshirt freshman Steven Chase was moved over from the defense this past spring, where he had about eight practices, but he’s not DeGeare. Dennis Godfrey was expected to be, but he missed some spring ball with a concussion and his weight has been too high.

“I don’t know what the answer is there,” Lobotzke said. “Two-a-days are going to tell me a lot about both of those guys. That’s my big question mark. If I can find that position and keep my other four healthy, I feel pretty good.”

Staying healthy is critical up front for the Deacs, because the offensive line just isn’t dependable enough with the two-deep rotation yet.

Russell Nenon at center has progressed well this offseason after having elective shoulder surgery and missing the spring. Joe Looney is in his third season starting at left guard and the staff is confident in his ability. The right tackle was a carousel position last year with Jeff Griffin and Joe Birdsong. Doug Weaver has emerged as a solid player there and Lobotzke said he now thinks it’s Weaver’s time. At right guard, Lobotzke is waiting to see if Mike Hoag is healthy from a hamstring injury that hampered him this spring.

Unfortunately for Wake Forest, the two biggest offensive concerns are at the two most important positions, but if the Deacs can solidify that this summer, they could surprise some teams this fall.