ACC: Robert Randolph

Sixteen players from ACC schools were named Wednesday to the 2012 National Football Foundation Hampshire Society for their academic achievement.

The society is in its sixth year, and it honors those from all divisions of college football who maintained a minimum 3.2 GPA throughout their college careers.

Here's the list of ACC honorees:

DB Hampton Hughes (BC)
P Dawson Zimmerman (Clemson)
S Matt Daniels (Duke)
TE Cooper Helfet (Duke)
K Will Snyderwine (Duke)
CB Johnny Williams (Duke)
OT Zebrie Sanders (FSU)
RB Roddy Jones (Georgia Tech)
TE John Calhoun (Miami)
QB Spencer Whipple (Miami)
OT Mikel Overgaard (NC State)
K Robert Randolph (Virginia)
LS Collin Carroll (Virginia Tech)
WR Danny Coale (Virginia Tech)
TE Chris Drager (Virginia Tech)
OG Michael Hoag (Wake Forest)

ACC announces players of the week

September, 12, 2011
Here are the ACC's Players of the Week, as announced by the league offices in Greensboro, N.C.:

OFFENSIVE BACK – Tanner Price, Wake Forest, QB, So., 6-2, 205, Austin, TX

Price, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound sophomore from Austin, TX (Westlake) completed 22 of 35 passes for 297 yards and one touchdown in leading Wake Forest to a 34-27 win against NC State. Price threw a 31-yard scoring pass to Michael Campanaro in the first quarter to put Wake Forest ahead 7-0. He completed 10 of 12 passes for 130 yards in the first quarter as Wake Forest built a 10-0 lead.

RECEIVER – Dwight Jones, North Carolina, WR, Sr., 6-4, 225, Burlington, N.C.

Senior wide receiver Dwight Jones finished with six catches for 135 yards and a 66-yard touchdown. It was his second 100-yard game in as many weeks and the sixth of his career.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Oday Aboushi, Virginia, OT, Jr., 6-6, 310, Staten Island, N.Y.

Just three days after attending a reception at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. to honor Muslim-American athletes, Oday Aboushi came up big for UVa’s offensive line in its 34-31 victory at Indiana. Aboushi graded out at 89 percent for the 72 plays he was in on for the Cavaliers. He had 13 knockdown blocks and helped Virginia roll up 360 yards of total offense.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Cam Johnson, Virginia, DE, Sr., 6-4, 270, Washington, D.C.

Made the key play in UVa’s 34-31 win at Indiana. After Virginia battled back to tie the game at 31, Johnson sacked IU quarterback Edward Wright-Baker with 1:13 to play, stripping the ball away and recovering the fumble, to give the Cavaliers possession at the Hoosier’s 14-yard line. That set up Robert Randolph’s game-winning field goal as time expired. Johnson finished the game with three tackles, two for a loss, one sack, one knocked down pass, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and three quarterback pressures.

LINEBACKER – Kyle Wilber, Wake Forest, OLB, Sr., 6-5, 240, Apopka, Fla.

Outside linebacker Kyle Wilber, a 6-5, 240-pound redshirt senior from Apopka, Fla (Apopka) recorded seven tackles against NC State including five solo stops and two assists. He also forced a fumble and had a half-tackle for loss.

DEFENSIVE BACK – Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech, CB, So., 6-0, 187, Baltimore, Md.

Fuller was a lynchpin in a secondary that held the potent East Carolina passing attack to just over 100 yards through the air. Fuller posted a team-high 44 points in coaches' grading after picking up four tackles, including two for loss, with an interception and a pass break up.

SPECIALIST – Robert Randolph, Virginia, PK, Sr., 5-10, 170, Naples, Fla.

Tied his career high with four field goals including the game winner as time expired from 23 yards. He also connected from 42, 44 and 23 yards. Randolph is now 8-8 this season (which leads the NCAA in accuracy and FGs made) and has been named the national placekicker of the week for the second consecutive week. Randolph has converted 18 of his last 19 kicks dating to last season.

ROOKIE – Sammy Watkins, Clemson, WR, Fr., 6-1, 200, Fort Myers, Fla.

Watkins gained 196 yards in all-purpose running in Clemson’s 35-27 win against Wofford. The true freshman had five kickoff returns for 110 yards and added four catches for 56 yards and 3 rushes for 30 yards in an impressive all-around performance. Combined, he had 12 touches for his 196 yards in the game. The all-purpose total was the most by a Clemson freshman since 2001 when Derrick Hamilton had 205 against Maryland.

ACC power rankings: Week 3

September, 12, 2011
Last week was a little bit more revealing about which direction each team is headed this season, but there are still far more questions than there are answers about who is really good in this league. So far, Florida State looks like the most complete team in the ACC, but the Noles have yet to face a high-caliber opponent. That will change this weekend when FSU hosts Oklahoma. Georgia Tech also looked impressive in its win at Middle Tennessee State, and the Hokies’ defense came through at East Carolina. Here’s a look at the latest power ranking for the ACC:

1. Florida State (2-0): The Seminoles cruised to a 62-10 win over Charleston Southern and dominated the game on both sides of the ball. There were some mistakes, though, that just won’t fly this weekend against the Sooners. Still, FSU is right where it is supposed to be heading into the signature game of the season – 2-0.

2. Virginia Tech (2-0): Coach Frank Beamer earned his 200th win as the Hokies snuck by East Carolina 17-10, avoiding a scare from the Pirates. The defense was the highlight, as quarterback Logan Thomas struggled in his second career start. There is still time to get the kinks out, starting this weekend against Arkansas State.

3. Georgia Tech (2-0): The Yellow Jackets showed no sign of a letdown and dominated Middle Tennessee from start to finish in a 49-21 win. The passing game was once again a factor, and quarterback Tevin Washington showed control of the offense. The Jackets host Kansas, which is also 2-0.

4. Maryland (1-0): The Terps had a bye week, and remain in their previous spot. They’ll get a bigger challenge this weekend against No. 18 West Virginia. Maryland is off to a good start under first-year coach Randy Edsall after its win against Miami, but the Terps will have to do better in the red zone against the Mountaineers.

5. North Carolina (2-0): The Tar Heels started out strong in their win over Rutgers, but five turnovers raised questions about this team. One week after a nearly flawless debut, quarterback Bryn Renner struggled. The Tar Heels host Virginia in the first Coastal Division matchup of the season.

6. Clemson (2-0): The Tigers have struggled on both sides of the ball against both Wofford and Troy, leaving some to wonder if they’re really ready for a grueling three-game stretch that begins this weekend against defending national champion Auburn. Coach Dabo Swinney has said repeatedly that his team is a “work in progress.”

7. Miami (0-1, 0-1 ACC): The Hurricanes struggled through the Maryland game without eight suspended players and have switched to quarterback Jacory Harris for the Ohio State game. Turnovers continued to be a problem for the Canes, but they had a bye week to regroup.

8. Wake Forest (1-1, 1-0 ACC): The Deacs rebounded quickly from their season-opening overtime loss to Syracuse with a 34-27 win over Atlantic Division opponent NC State. It was an important win for Wake’s hopes of bowl eligibility and the first move in the conference standings. The Deacs reaped the rewards of playing all four quarters.

9. NC State (1-1, 0-1 ACC): The Wolfpack’s suspect performance against Liberty wasn’t a fluke. This team really does have some questions. Quarterback Mike Glennon revived the offense in the second half, but it was too little, too late against the Deacs. They get what should be a breather this weekend against South Alabama.

10. Virginia (2-0): In a bizarre game that went down to the wire, kicker Robert Randolph delivered the game-winning field goal for a 34-31 road win over Indiana. Another road test awaits, as the Hoos travel to Chapel Hill for their first Coastal Division game of the season.

11. Boston College (0-2): It’s been a disappointing start to the season for the Eagles and a disastrous one for their bowl hopes. The Eagles were outplayed in a 30-3 loss to Central Florida just one week after losing to Northwestern’s backup quarterback at home. BC was 1 of 12 on third downs, and quarterback Chase Rettig was sacked three times and picked off twice.

12. Duke (0-2): The Blue Devils made it interesting for a half against Stanford – were even in a position to be leading at the half – and then the Cardinal hit them with reality, and Andrew Luck. It wasn’t a surprising result, but Duke has a chance to bounce back this weekend against a downtrodden Boston College team.

ACC helmet stickers: Week 2

September, 10, 2011
Remember, I only get five of these, and consideration was given to the level of opponent that was played. Florida State might have looked like the best ACC team out there, but they should have against Charleston Southern. Clemson QB Tajh Boyd had a great game, but again, it came against Wofford. Here's a look at your top five performers for Week 2:

Tanner Price, QB, Wake Forest: He completed 22 of 35 pass attempts for 297 yards, one touchdown and one interception in a key 34-27 Atlantic Division win over NC State. Price set the tone in the first half with 223 yards on 17 of 25 passing. That helped propel the Deacs to a 20-6 halftime lead.

Virginia Tech defense: The Hokies held ECU to 112 yards of total offense, and minus-15 rushing yards in a narrow 17-10 win over East Carolina. They also had five sacks and nine tackles for loss. In an otherwise tight game, Bud Foster’s defense was the difference.

Virginia kicker Robert Randolph: The Cavaliers couldn’t have done it without him. Randolph kicked four field goals, including the 23-yard game-winner to give Virginia a 34-31 win at Indiana. Randolph’s three field goals in the first half helped Virginia to a 16-3 lead.

UNC’s defense. The Tar Heels held Rutgers to just one yard rushing, had three sacks, and made a critical goal-line stand in the first quarter of a 24-22 win over Rutgers. UNC forced a turnover on downs with 2:32 left to play, and the offense ran the clock out from there.

Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington: He ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more as the Yellow Jackets rolled over Middle Tennessee, 49-21. Washington completed 5 of 8 passes for 202 yards, and scored on runs of two and seven yards.

Final: Virginia 34, Indiana 31

September, 10, 2011
Virginia found a way to win, scoring 11 points in the final 6:34 at Indiana. Robert Randolph kicked the game-winning field goal and the Cavaliers finally got that elusive road win and are off to a 2-0 start in Mike London's second season.

It's obviously very early in the season, but Virginia dramatically helped its chances of bowl eligibility by climbing out of a fourth-quarter hole. A 4-0 nonconference record is almost a must-have for the Hoos to have a chance at reaching the postseason earlier than scheduled. Indiana gave Virginia a pretty good scare, scoring 21 fourth-quarter points, but the Cavaliers' two-point conversion attempt tied the game at 31 and gave them one more chance.

Virginia has another road trip looming next weekend, at Coastal Division opponent North Carolina, which will be tough, but this will be an experience to draw from and build upon.

ACC's Lou Groza candidates

March, 24, 2011
After leading the nation in field goal percentage as a conference last season, the ACC enters 2011 with some of the nation’s top kickers, several of whom should be considered legitimate candidates for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation’s top placekicker. There are two, though, who are leading the pack:

Duke senior Will Snyderwine: Snyderwine ranked seventh nationally in field goals per game (1.75) last season and enters this season ranked third nationally among all returning FBS placekickers in career field goal percentage (38-44, .864).

Florida State junior Dustin Hopkins: Hopkins, who booted the longest final-play, game-winning field goal in ACC history with a 55-yard kick against Clemson, finished 12th nationally in field goals per game (.1.57).

Other possible candidates:

Boston College sophomore Nate Freese: Ranked eighth nationally last year (1.69) in field goals per game.

North Carolina senior Casey Barth: Leads all ACC placekickers in career field goals (50) and ranks 10th among all returning FBS placekickers in career field goal percentage (.807);

Virginia's Robert Randolph: He ranks eighth nationally among returning FBS placekickers in career field goal percentage (30-37, .811)

Wake Forest's Jimmy Newman: He was second in the ACC in field goal percentage (12-13, .923) and enters the 2011 season with a streak of 12 consecutive field goals made.

ACC's lunchtime links

September, 23, 2010
It's game day!!!!

Week 3: Did you know?

September, 17, 2010
Thanks to sports information directors in the ACC for these interesting notes:
  • The last time Maryland, NC State and Wake Forest all started the season 2-0 was 2001, when Ralph Friedgen and Jim Grobe were in their first years as head coaches at their current schools, and NC State coach Tom O’Brien at Boston College. The last time the three original members of the ACC started the season 3-0 was in 1979, when Jerry Claiborne, Bo Rein and John Mackovic were the head coaches respectively for the Terrapins, Wolfpack and Demon Deacons.
  • Against No. 2 Ohio State last weekend, Miami returned one kickoff for a touchdown, one punt return for a touchdown and made one field goal of 50-plus yards. No FBS team has done that over the past 15 years, and it was the first time for Miami.
  • Georgia Tech is hoping to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time under coach Paul Johnson. The Yellow Jackets have not lost consecutive games since the final regular-season game and bowl game in 2007. Tech is 7-0 under Johnson following a loss.
  • A major question mark heading into the season for Boston College was the defensive line. After the first two weeks of the season, the Eagles rank sixth in the nation in rushing defense at 54.0 yards a game. That can be attributed in large part to the mere four yards they allowed Kent State last weekend. It was the fewest rushing yards allowed in a game since holding Maryland to a minus-six yards on November 29, 2008. Junior Kaleb Ramsey leads the defensive line with eight tackles (four solo) and a tackle for a loss.
  • Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker has already left Auburn a winner. On June 7, he hit a three-run home run in the first inning in an NCAA tournament victory at Auburn, a win that clinched the regional title for the Tigers. It was his 20th home run of the season, making him the first athlete in Division I sports history to hit 20 home runs and throw 20 touchdown passes in the same academic year. In the seventh inning of the same game, while playing in the outfield, he was drafted in the first round by the Colorado Rockies with the 26th pick. On Saturday he will face the 16th-ranked Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium which is just across the street from the Auburn baseball facility.
  • During Virginia’s bye week, expect the Cavaliers to spend some time working on red zone scoring and their field goal unit. Virginia failed on two of its four red zone attempts at USC. The Cavaliers failed on only two trips inside the red zone in 2009 as the nation’s ninth-best team in the category. Place-kicker Robert Randolph had only two missed field goals during all of last season. He already has three, including his two missed attempts at USC and a 50-yard unsuccessful attempt against Richmond in the season opener.
  • Virginia Tech is in a unique situation this season as it’s the only team in the country that will play all five FBS teams from North Carolina. Tech takes on East Carolina this week, plays at NC State on Oct. 2, hosts Wake Forest on Oct. 16 and then hosts Duke on Oct. 23, and travels to North Carolina on Nov. 13.
  • Wake Forest’s visit to Stanford will be the longest within the contiguous United States for a FBS team in 2010. Wake Forest’s 2,303 mile trip (as measured from stadium to stadium via Google Earth) is slightly longer than Syracuse’s 2,234 mile trip to Washington and Virginia’s 2,225 venture to Southern California. With an 8:15 p.m. PT kickoff, it is the latest kickoff for a game in Stanford history, as well as Wake Forest history. The game also marks Wake Forest’s first-ever game in California and its first contest played on the campus of a Pac-10 school.

ACC on watch lists: updated

August, 26, 2010
Earlier this month I compiled a list of all of the ACC candidates who have been nominated for college football's major awards. A few more have since been released, so I figured it was time for an updated version. This one includes the Lou Groza Award, the Butkus Award, the John Mackey Award, and Doak Walker Award.

Here is the updated list:

BEDNARIK AWARD: Presented to the nation's most outstanding defensive player by the Maxwell Football Club.
  • Marvin Austin, North Carolina
  • Allen Bailey, Miami
  • Kendric Burney, North Carolina
  • Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
  • Brandon Harris, Miami
  • Mark Herzlich, Boston College
  • Luke Kuechly, Boston College
  • Colin McCarthy, Miami
  • DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson
  • Robert Quinn, North Carolina
  • Alex Wujciak, Maryland
BILETNIKOFF AWARD: Presented to the nation's most outstanding wide receiver by the Tallahassee QB Club Foundation. BUTKUS AWARD: Presented to the nation's most outstanding linebacker by the Butkus Foundation
  • Bruce Carter, North Carolina
  • Mark Herzlich, Boston College
  • Nate Irving, NC State
  • Luke Kuechly, Boston College
  • Colin McCarthy, Miami
  • Adrian Moten, Maryland
  • Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
  • Sean Spence, Miami
  • Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
  • Alex Wujciak, Maryland
DOAK WALKER AWARD: Presented to the nation's most outstanding running back by the SMU Athletic Forum
  • Anthony Allen, Georgia Tech
  • Darren Evans, Virginia Tech
  • Montel Harris, Boston College
  • Da'Rel Scott, Maryland
  • Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
LOU GROZA AWARD: Presented to the nation's most outstanding kicker by the Palm Beach Sports Commission
  • Casey Barth, North Carolina
  • Matt Bosher, Miami
  • Dustin Hopkins, Florida State
  • Robert Randolph, Virginia
  • Will Snyderwine, Duke
JOHN MACKEY AWARD: Presented to the nation's most outstanding tight end by the Nassau County Sports Commission
  • Dwayne Allen, Clemson
  • George Bryan, NC State
  • Brett Huffman, Duke
  • Zack Pianalto, North Carolina
MAXWELL AWARD: The Maxwell Award has been presented to the outstanding collegiate football player in America since 1937 and is named in honor of sportswriter Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell. WALTER CAMP AWARD: Presented to the nation's most outstanding player by the Walter Camp Foundation.
  • Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
  • Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY: Presented to the nation's most outstanding defensive player by the Charlotte TD Club.
  • Marvin Austin, North Carolina
  • Allen Bailey, Miami
  • Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
  • Bruce Carter, North Carolina
  • Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
  • Brandon Harris, Miami
  • Mark Herzlich, Boston College
  • Jarvis Jenkins, Clemson
  • Luke Kuechly, Boston College
  • DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson
  • Robert Quinn, North Carolina
  • Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
  • Alex Wujciak, Maryland
DAVEY O'BRIEN AWARD: Presented to the nation's best quarterback by the Davey O'Brien Foundation.
  • Jacory Harris, Miami
  • Joshua Nesbitt, Georgia Tech
  • Christian Ponder, Florida State
  • Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech
  • Russell Wilson, NC State
OUTLAND TROPHY: Presented to the nation's most outstanding interior lineman by the FWAA.
  • Marvin Austin, North Carolina
  • Sean Bedford, Georgia Tech
  • Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
  • Thomas Claiborne, Boston College
  • Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech
  • Marcus Forston, Miami
  • Orlando Franklin, Miami
  • Rodney Hudson, Florida State
  • Jarvis Jenkins, Clemson
  • Ryan McMahon, Florida State
  • Alan Pelc, North Carolina
JIM THORPE AWARD: Presented to the nation's most outstanding defensive back by the Jim Thorpe Association.
  • Kendrick Burney, North Carolina
  • Rashad Carmichael, Virginia Tech
  • Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
  • Brandon Harris, Miami
  • DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson
  • Deunta Williams, North Carolina

Virginia spring wrap

May, 7, 2010
2009 overall record: 3-9

2009 conference record: 2-6

Returning starters

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

Top returners

WR Kris Burd, QB Marc Verica, DE Matt Conrath, LB Steve Greer, CB Ras-I Dowling

Key losses

WR Vic Hall, T Will Barker, C Jack Shields, QB Jameel Sewell, FB Rashawn Jackson, NG Nate Collins, CB Chris Cook, LB Denzel Burrell, TB Mikell Simpson

2009 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Jackson (461 yards)

Passing: Sewell (1,848 yds)

Receiving: Burd* (413 yds)

Tackles: Greer* (92)

Sacks: Collins (6)

Interceptions: Cook (4)

Spring answers

1. Johnson’s move a hit. Cam Johnson’s move from linebacker to defensive end proved beneficial, as he returned an interception 51 yards in the Cavaliers’ spring game. Johnson, who started 10 of the 12 games he played in last year, showed he can transition to playing with his hand on the ground.

2. Aboushi a boost up front. Offensive tackle Oday Aboushi could be Virginia’s next stellar lineman. He’ll only be a sophomore, but he showed this spring he can help plug up some holes in an offensive line that was rather porous last year. Aboushi played in late in the Clemson game and he held his own as a freshman last year.

3. Mending fences. First-year coach Mike London has been working the crowd and winning it over by making the staff more approachable. He held a scrimmage at Old Dominion, and had been rebuilding relationships with high school coaches and media throughout the state.

Fall questions

1. Which Verica will show this fall? The one who was pushed into duty without experience two years ago and performed well, or the one who last year struggled in mop-up duty? Verica said he avoided turnovers during every team drill this spring, but threw two interceptions in the spring game. Verica is the only player on the roster who has attempted a pass in a game.

2. Kicking competition. Last year, the kicking duties were done by committee. This year, London would like to find one player capable of PATs, field goals and kickoffs. Robert Randolph handled most of the field goal duties last year. Drew Jarrett handled the PATs at the end of the year and Chris Hinkebein did kickoffs. Hinkebein has the strongest but least accurate leg.

3. Defensive transition. How will the players adjust to their new roles in the transition from a 3-4 to a 4-3 scheme? London has moved a lot of players into positions where he’s trying to get speed on the field. LaRoy Reynolds and LoVante Battle moved from the secondary to strongside linebacker. Ausar Walcott moved from defensive back to whip linebacker, and other players -- like Conrath -- have moved from defensive end to tackle.

Time for another Groza award winner?

March, 19, 2010
Last year, I predicted Miami's Matt Bosher would win the Lou Groza Award, marking the second straight season an ACC player would be named the nation's top place-kicker. FSU's Graham Gano won it following the 2008 season.

Well, I was wrong, but it remains a very real possibility again this season. And Bosher isn't the only one with a shot at it.

After a season filled with inexperienced place-kickers, the ACC now has some legitimate talent returning. Here are the top five Groza candidates this year in the ACC -- and yes, Bosher is my front-runner again this year:

  • Matt Bosher, Miami: Bosher, who doubles as the Canes' punter and place-kicker, leads all returning place-kickers nationally in career field goal accuracy, having made 32 of 36 attempts, an average of .889. He missed only two field goals in 2009 -- both against Georgia Tech in the season’s second game -- and finished the year having made 12 consecutive field goals. Bosher hasn't missed a PAT in 90 tries.
  • Robert Randolph, Virginia: He was a Lou Groza Award semifinalist last year after finishing second in the ACC in field goal percentage, making 17 of 19 attempts for an .895 percentage. He made his first 11 field goal attempts and converted on all six of his PATs.
  • Josh Czajkowski, NC State: He has only five misses in 31 career field goal attempts (.839). He made 10 of 12 last fall and enters 2010 with a streak of six straight field goals without a miss. He has made 77 of 78 PATs, including the last 73 in a row with the lone miss coming on a blocked PAT. He has made 24 of his last 27 field goal attempts (.889).
  • Casey Barth, North Carolina: He led the ACC in field goals and finished 12th nationally, making 21 of 25 field goals and 34 of 35 PATs for 97 points. Barth ranks 13th among all returning place-kickers in career field goal accuracy (31-40, .775).
  • Will Snyderwine, Duke: In his first season as Duke's starter, Snyderwine was a Groza finalist. He converted on 17 of 20 field goal attempts (.850) and made all 24 of his PAT attempts. He ranked second in the ACC in field goals and fifth in field goal percentage.

ACC awards update

November, 17, 2009
Here is an update on the ACC's representatives among the nominees and finalists for college football's awards, with the newest on top:


Presented to the nation's most outstanding player by the Walter Camp Foundation LOU GROZA AWARD

Presented to the nation's most outstanding kicker by the Palm Beach Sports Commission
  • Robert Randolph, Virginia
  • Will Snyderwine, Duke

Presented to the nation’s most outstanding defensive back by the Jim Thorpe Association
  • Brandon Harris, Miami

Presented to the nation’s best quarterback by the Davey O’Brien Foundation GEORGE MUNGER AWARD

Presented to the nation’s most outstanding coach by the Maxwell Football Club
  • Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
  • Randy Shannon, Miami

Presented to the nation’s most outstanding player by the Maxwell Football Club BUTKUS AWARD

Presented to the nation’s most outstanding linebacker by the Butkus Foundation
  • Mark Herzlich, Boston College
  • Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina

Presented to the nation’s most outstanding wide receiver by the Tallahassee QB Club Foundation

Virginia lost to William & Mary?

October, 24, 2009
Posted by's Heather Dinich

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Downfield passes. Disciplined defense. And a little luck. This can't be the same team that lost to William & Mary in the season opener. It's not. Virginia looks like a team capable of contending for the Coastal Division right now, a team that should be taken seriously. And if the Cavs didn't have Georgia Tech's attention by the kickoff, they certainly have it now. Robert Randolph's 49-field goal bounced off the cross bar and in to tie the game at 3.

This home crowd is loving life. There's suffering a steady rain, which is coming down so hard you can see it blowing sideways, and while there are still a lot of empty seats in the upper deck, the Cavaliers' fans finally have a team worth cheering for.

ACC announces players of the week

October, 5, 2009

Posted by's Heather Dinich

Here's the weekly release from the ACC office in Greensboro on the players of the week:

OFFENSIVE BACK: Riley Skinner, Wake Forest, QB, Sr., 6-1, 210, Jacksonville, Fla. (The Bolles School)

Wake Forest senior quarterback Riley Skinner earned ACC Offensive Back of the Week accolades for the second time this season (Sept. 14) after completing 31-of-45 passes for 361 yards -- the second-best passing performance in the league in 2009 -- and three touchdowns in a 30-24 win against NC State. In the process, Skinner became Wake Forest’s all-time leader in touchdown passes (45) and total yards (8,041). Additionally, Skinner’s 45 attempts and 361 yards were both career-highs.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Jason Fox, Miami, OT, Sr., 6-7, 314, Fort Worth, Texas (North Crowley)

Miami senior offensive tackle Jason Fox helped anchor an offensive front that paved the way for senior running back Javarris James’ 150 rushing yards against the nation’s top-ranked rushing defense in a 21-20 win against eighth-ranked Oklahoma. Aided by Fox’s performance at the tackle position, the 17th-ranked Hurricanes piled on 342 yards of total offense. Fox graded out at 99 percent for the game and added three pancake blocks, while not allowing a sack.


Brad Jefferson, Georgia Tech, ILB, Jr., 6-2, 236, Wrightsville, Ga. (Johnson County)

Georgia Tech junior inside linebacker Brad Jefferson tied a career-high with eight tackles, including seven solo stops and one for a loss, in a 42-31 win against Mississippi State. Jefferson also forced two Bulldog fumbles. Despite an injury-plagued season in 2008, Jefferson is second among Yellow Jackets with 27 tackles this season and is tied for the team-lead in tackles for loss (2.5), pass breakups (two), and forced fumbles (two).

Matt Conrath, Virginia, So., DE, 6-7, 270, Oak Lawn, Ill. (St. Rita)

Virginia sophomore defensive end Matt Conrath spearheaded a Cavalier defense that allowed only 175 total yards in a 16-3 win against North Carolina. Conrath helped the defensive front hold the Tar Heels rushing attack to just 39 yards, the fewest allowed by Virginia since giving up 19 to Richmond last season. Conrath recorded four tackles and knocked down three passes at the line of scrimmage, and helped the defense limit the Tar Heels to just nine first downs, the fewest allowed by Virginia since 2007.

DEFENSIVE BACK: Cody Grimm, Virginia Tech, OLB, Sr., 5-11, 202, Fairfax, Va. (Oakton)

Virginia Tech outside linebacker Cody Grimm registered a game and career-high 14 tackles in a 34-26 win against Duke. Among his 14 hits were two tackles for loss (six yards) and a forced fumble. Grimm helped the Hokie defense hold the Blue Devils to just 38 rushing yards on 31 attempts (1.2 yards per rush). Grimm leads the team in nearly all defensive categories with 45 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles, and is tied for the team-high with three pass breakups.


Nick Ferarra, Maryland, P/PK, Fr., 6-1, 195, Hicksville, N.Y. (St. Anthony’s)

Maryland freshman placekicker Nick Ferarra handled all three phases of the kicking game in a 24-21 win against Clemson. Ferarra punted eight times and averaged 43.2 yards per punt with a long of 61 -- the third highest mark in the league this season -- and landed three kicks inside Clemson’s 20-yard line. The true freshman was also perfect in his place-kicking duties as he converted all three of his point-after-touchdown tries and connected on a season-long 43-yard field goal that put the Terrapins on the board early in the second quarter.

Robert Randolph, Virginia, PK, So., 5-10, 160, Naples, Fla. (Naples)

Virginia sophomore placekicker Robert Randolph set a career-high by converting all three of his field goal attempts in a 16-3 win against North Carolina, a game that did not see a touchdown scored until the 5:49 mark of the fourth quarter. Randolph made a 36-yarder to give the Cavaliers a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter, then extended their lead to 6-0 on the last play of the first half with a 38-yarder. After North Carolina cut the lead in half at 6-3, Randolph again extended Virginia’s lead to six points with a career-long 43-yard field goal.

ROOKIE -- Demetrius Hartsfield, Maryland, OLB, Fr., 6-2, 230, Raleigh, N.C. (Southeast Regional)

Maryland freshman outside linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield is the first defensive player this season to take ACC Rookie of the Week honors after registering a team and career-high 10 tackles, eight solo stops, 2.5 tackles for loss -- including one sack -- and one clutch play in a 24-21 win against Clemson. As Maryland clung to a 24-21 lead with Clemson on the Terps’ 28-yard line with less than one minute remaining in the game, Hartsfield sacked Tiger quarterback Kyle Parker, forced a fumble in the process, then recovered the loose ball to seal the win for Maryland.

ACC's lunchtime links

August, 26, 2009
Posted by's Heather Dinich

Here are five legit reasons why Georgia Tech will fall below expectations this year. (Funny how quickly those expectations rose, huh?)
If you think Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen takes football seriously, you should meet his wife.
Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich will return to classes, and bring with him an emotional boost to a team that desperately needs a lift.
A few ACC players gave their take on the conference stadiums and the different fan bases.
Miami now needs to protect the "string bean" body of quarterback Jacory Harris more than ever.
Here's a quick update from Virginia's scrimmage -- the Cavs have a lot of work to do. Kicker Robert Randolph has been doing his part this summer at kicking schools and in swimming pools.
Mike Bianchi makes one more plea for the NCAA to butt out. I concur.
USA Today gives its outlook for the ACC.
Progress has come slowly at NC State, but expectations are rising.



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