ACC: Sergio Render
Unless the offensive line comes together, though, the duo will be about as productive as former Clemson running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller were in 2008.
That season, Clemson ranked 99th nationally in rushing offense, and the offensive line was one of the major contributors to the meltdown that was Tommy Bowden's final season. The Tigers ranked 103rd in the nation that year in sacks allowed.
Last year, Virginia Tech was able to run the ball well with Williams, but the pass protection has to continue to improve. The Hokies ranked No. 83 in the country in sacks allowed, and that was with Sergio Render and Ed Wang. This year, the group has to replace those veterans and the three established players returning -- Blake DeChristopher, Jaymes Brooks and Beau Warren -- combined for 35 starts last year. Nick Becton impressed the staff this spring at left tackle and should be a capable starter there. At guard, Greg Nosal played in all 12 games last year and got some much-needed experience rotating in at right and left guard.
How quickly this group can become a cohesive unit will help determine how long the Hokies hang onto their high preseason expectations. For Clemson in 2008, those hopes were all but dashed in Week 1 against Alabama. The Tigers had zero yards rushing in that game -- a painful reminder that even Thunder and Lightning won't get far without help from a solid front.
2009 conference record: 6-2
Offense: 8, defense: 5, punter/kicker 0
QB Tyrod Taylor, TB Ryan Williams, TB Darren Evans, FL Danny Coale, SE Jarrett Boykin, DT John Graves, CB Rashad Carmichael, ROV Davon Morgan, LB Barquell Rivers
TE Greg Boone, OT Ed Wang, OG Sergio Render, DE Jason Worilds, LB Cody Grimm, DT Cordarrow Thompson, DE Nekos Brown, CB Stephan Virgil, FS Kam Chancellor
2009 statistical leaders (* returners)
Rushing: Williams* (1,655 yards)
Passing: Taylor* (2,311 yds)
Receiving: Boykin* (835 yds)
Tackles: Grimm (106)
Sacks: Brown (6.5)
Interceptions: Carmichael* (6)
1. Thomas makes a statement. Backup quarterback Logan Thomas -- at least according to the statistics -- had a better spring than Joseph “Ju-Ju” Clayton. Based on his performances, it would seem Thomas is the front-runner to back up Taylor this season, but coach Frank Beamer wasn’t ready to solidify that after the spring game. In six spring scrimmages, Thomas had no interceptions and Clayton threw five.
2. Evans can run -- over defenders. If Evans is suffering any lingering effects from last year’s torn ACL, it wasn’t evident during his first carry of the spring game when he ran over teammate and safety Antone Exum. Evans told reporters he’s feeling the best he has since he was injured. Beamer said he has no concerns about Evans being 100 percent this fall.
3. Strong secondary. It was one of the highlights this spring on a defense tasked with replacing six starters, including two in the secondary. Exum was one of the players who stood out in the spring game, as he had three pass breakups.
1. How will Evans and Williams be used? The spring game was a time to evaluate younger players, and with Williams sidelined for a bruised knee, there were no answers as to how the Hokies’ backfield might look this fall with two 1,000-yard rushers.
2. Will David Wilson redshirt? Wilson is a talented athlete in a crowded backfield, but he didn’t want to redshirt last season and played sparingly as a true freshman. Beamer said after the spring game that the coaches will make a decision “at the proper time.” That wasn’t this spring.
3. Groundhog’s Day in the kicking game. For the third straight year, the Hokies need a new place-kicker. If the season started tomorrow, Chris Hazley would handle field goals, Justin Myer kickoffs and Brian Saunders would punt, but the competition will continue this fall when freshmen join the team.
The same is expected this fall, but there's one area where the teams in the Atlantic Division appear to be stronger, and that's on the offensive line.
Here's a look at the top three contenders in each division and how their lines look after this spring:
Florida State: All five starters return, and they have combined for 142 career starts -- the most of any line in the ACC. Guard Rodney Hudson was an All-America selection last year, and he'll be back along with center Ryan McMahon, guard David Spurlock, and tackles Andrew Datko and Zebrie Sanders.
Clemson: Four starters return to a group that got progressively better last year and should finally be reaching its peak. Tackle Chris Hairston was a second-team all-conference selection last year, and he'll be joined by tackle Landon Walker, guard Antoine McClain and center Dalton Freeman.
Boston College: The Eagles return four starters, including Anthony Castonzo, an Outland Trophy candidate who has made 41 career starts, guard Thomas Claiborne, tackle Rich Lapham and guard Nathan Richman. That's three seniors and a junior, all of whom have started at least 25 career games. This group should get the Eagles back to their rich tradition of powerful offensive lines.
Virginia Tech: Left tackle is a position of concern. The Hokies turned to sophomore Nick Becton this spring and he did well in place of Ed Wang. Virginia Tech also has to replace Sergio Render, who had 52 career starts.
Miami: The Canes have to replace three starters up front, and center was one of the biggest concerns for coach Randy Shannon this spring. Tyler Horn took over for A.J. Trump there and brings some experience. Orlando Franklin moved to left tackle and will be the leader of the group.
Georgia Tech: The Jackets have to replace three starters, including the transfer of Joseph Gilbert. New faces are working their way into the rotation, and the second team was composed entirely of freshmen in the spring game.
Defensive linemen: Redshirt juniors and seniors comprised the bulk of the two-deep depth chart in 2009, and the recent dismissal of backup John Drew plus the graduation of Vince Oghobaase makes it a position of concern. The interior line needs the most help.
Running back: The Blue Devils never quite got their running game going in 2009 and will have to start to make a push at this position to help break in new starting quarterback Sean Renfree. Re’quan Boyette will have to be replaced.
Offensive line: In looking ahead, the Blue Devils will have six redshirt juniors or seniors up front in 2010. While that’s good news for the immediate future, Duke needs to work ahead for what it will lose in 2011.
Defensive backs: The biggest loss is obviously safety Morgan Burnett to the NFL draft, but the Jackets need to look ahead. Safeties Mario Edwards and Dominique Reese will be redshirt seniors this year, and cornerback Mario Butler will be a senior.
Defensive linemen: For the second year in a row it’s a concern, and thanks in large part to the NFL draft. Derrick Morgan will be missed, but overall this group needs an upgrade.
Offensive line: Three starters will have to be replaced, including the Canes’ top veteran, Jason Fox. Both guard positions are also short-timers, as Orlando Franklin and Joel Figueroa will both be seniors this fall.
Linebacker: Darryl Sharpton is the lone senior departing, but this unit could use more depth. It’s been a problem since Randy Shannon took over. And while the staff has made progress, injuries have continuously depleted the group.
Secondary: The Canes will have to replace Chavez Grant and Randy Phillips, and DeMarcus VanDyke will be a senior. Miami improved its interceptions in 2009, but not by much, ranking No. 87 in the country with nine. Of course, it helps to get pressure up front to force quarterbacks into those mistakes.
Offensive line: This is where the Tar Heels’ offensive improvement needs to start, and it didn’t help that this year’s unit was battered and bruised most of the season. Two starters will have to be replaced this year and five more of the top players in the rotation will be seniors in 2010.
Linebacker: UNC needs to reload at this position, and it's taking the right steps in that direction with this class. Although Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter elected to return, it’s only a matter of time before the talented seniors have to be replaced.
Quarterback: The Cavs have a lot of questions about this position heading into 2010 and beyond. The good news is that Michael Strauss has already enrolled this semester, so he’ll get an early start with spring ball.
Playmakers: Vague, yes, but it’s exactly what this program needs. Part of the reason Gregg Brandon’s spread offense didn’t work was because he didn’t have the personnel to execute it. Virginia will lose its most versatile player in Vic Hall, will have to replace fullback Rashawn Jackson, and needs more than just Mikell Simpson.
Linemen: The Hokies will need help on both sides of the ball, particularly interior defensive linemen. Six of the eight players on the 2009 two-deep defensive line were either juniors or seniors. Starters Ed Wang and Sergio Render will have to be replaced on the offensive line this year.
Defensive backs: This unit will be hit hard with departures in the next two seasons, as starters Kam Chancellor and Stephan Virgil have to be replaced in 2010, and Rashad Carmichael and Davon Morgan will be seniors.
Quarterback. With Tyrod Taylor being a senior next year, the staff will have to look ahead. There’s a lot of inexperience and question marks behind him. The one thing they don’t need in Blacksburg? Running backs.
It's a prestigious all-star game, as 90 percent of the players from last year's roster were either drafted or signed as free agents. It's sort of like a final audition for the NFL, as the game is directed by an NFL-affiliated coaching staff, NFL officials and rules.
The ACC players will be coached by Romeo Crennel, who spent four seasons as head coach of the Cleveland Browns and has won five Super Bowls as an assistant coach.
This year's game will be Jan. 23 (3 p.m. ET/ESPN2). The following players will represent the ACC on the East team:
LB Mike McLaughlin, Boston College
OG Thomas Austin, Clemson
CB Chris Chancellor, Clemson
OLB Kavell Conner, Clemson
OG Cord Howard, Georgia Tech
RB Javarris James, Miami
C A.J. Trump, Miami
DE Willie Young, NC State
DT Nate Collins, Virginia
FS Kam Chancellor, Virginia Tech
OG Sergio Render, Virginia Tech
CB Stephan Virgil, Virginia Tech
OG Chris DeGeare, Wake Forest
QB: E.J. Manuel, Florida State: The Gator Bowl MVP completed 17 of 24 passes for 189 yards, had 73 rushing yards on 14 carries and one touchdown with zero turnovers. He led the Noles to 415 total yards in their 33-21 win over No. 18 West Virginia.
RB: Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech: Williams ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns in the Chick-fil-A Bowl win over Tennessee. He finished the season with 1,655 rushing yards and broke Kevin Jones' single-season school record (1,647).
RB: Jermaine Thomas, Florida State: He had 121 yards rushing on 25 carries and two touchdowns. He also had one catch for nine yards and posted his fourth 100-yard game of the season. He led FSU back from a 14-3 first quarter deficit against West Virginia in the Gator Bowl.
WR: Rich Gunnell, Boston College: Gunnell finished with six catches for 130 yards, breaking Pete Mitchell's school record for yards receiving with 2,659 in his career. His 61-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter closed the gap to 14-13 against USC in the Emerald Bowl.
WR: Greg Little, UNC: He finished with seven catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to Pitt in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
WR: Jarrett Boykin, Virginia Tech: His 64-yard reception to the Tennessee 3 in the final seconds of the first half was a major turning point in the game. The Vols had already begun to head to the locker room, but officials determined there were still two seconds left on the clock. The play led to Matt Waldron’s 21-yard field goal and a 17-14 halftime lead. Boykin finished with four catches for 120 yards.
TE: Jimmy Graham, Miami: He had three catches for 30 receiving yards against Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl and became the seventh Hurricane to record at least 200 receiving yards this season. Graham closed out his only season with the Canes with 15 catches for 213 yards and five touchdowns.
OL: Ed Wang, Virginia Tech: In his final performance, Wang paved the way for a career-day for Williams, and helped the Hokies rack up 438 total yards of offense.
OL: Sergio Render, Virginia Tech: Like Wang, Render was impressive in his final performance as a Hokie, and helped Virginia Tech use a balanced offense and gave quarterback Tyrod Taylor the time he needed to make plays.
OL: Rodney Hudson, Florida State: The All-American returned to the lineup after missing two games with knee sprain and helped FSU rack up 415 total yards, 37 minutes time of possession and he did not allow a sack.
OL: Andrew Datko, Florida State: He teamed with Hudson on the left side (where two of three rushing touchdowns came) and kept a WVU team averaging 2.6 sacks per game without one.
OL: Dalton Freeman, Clemson: He graded out at 80 percent with seven knockdowns. Freeman was key to Clemson averaging 5.5 yards per rush and a Clemson bowl record 6.8 yards per play against Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.
K: Dustin Hopkins, Florida State: He tied a school bowl record converting 4 of 5 field goal attempts and scoring a season-high 15 points on a windy day. His 42-yarder at the end of the first half pulled FSU within 14-13.
P: Chandler Anderson, Georgia Tech: He had a career-high seven punts with an average of 49.1 yards and a long of 59 yards. Three of his punts were downed inside the 20 and only one was returned.
Spc: C.J. Spiller, Clemson: Spiller finished his career with 172 all-purpose yards (68 rushing, 57 receiving), giving him an ACC record 2,670 for the season and 7,588 for his career. He finished his career in second place in FBS history in all-purpose yards.
DL: John Graves, Virginia Tech: He sacked Tennessee quarterback Jonathan Crompton in the second quarter for the first sack of his career. He also recovered a fumble, forced a fumble and finished with three solo tackles.
DL: E.J. Wilson, North Carolina: He forced two first-half fumbles and posted five on the season after registering just one over his first three years at Carolina. He finished with five tackles and one sack for a loss of eight yards.
DL: Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech: Morgan's individual stats weren't all that impressive for his final game as a Jacket, but the Tech defense (surprise!) kept the Yellow Jackets in the game, allowing just seven points after the first quarter. Morgan did have three tackles and a half-tackle for loss, but he was double- and triple-teamed all night.
LB: Cody Grimm, Virginia Tech: The defensive MVP of the Chick-fil-A Bowl finished with seven tackles, including three tackles for loss and one sack.
LB: Luke Kuechly, Boston College: He had 16 tackles (6 solos, 10 assists), and 0.5 TFL in the Emerald Bowl.
LB: Darryl Sharpton, Miami: He recorded a career-high 15 tackles (10 solo, five assists). It marked the third straight game that Sharpton recorded double-digit tackles.
LB: Kavell Conner, Clemson: He had 15 tackles, including a sack and a forced fumble, which was the key play of the game. The fumble came with Clemson leading 14-13 and it set up Spiller’s touchdown to put the Tigers ahead 21-13.
CB: Rashad Carmichael, Virginia Tech: He intercepted Crompton’s pass in the first quarter and returned it to the Tennessee 44, setting up the Hokies’ first score of the game. The interception marked the sixth of the season for Carmichael, a team-high.
CB: Jerrard Tarrant, Georgia Tech: He returned an interception for a touchdown -- Tech's first points of the game against Iowa in the Orange Bowl -- and Tarrant's fourth non-offensive touchdown of the season. He also forced a fumble, broke up a pass and had six solo tackles.
S: Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech: He had a team-high eight tackles, all of them solo tackles, and he forced a fumble.
S: DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson: He had 15 tackles, including two tackles for loss. He was a big reason Kentucky had just 277 yards total offense and just one touchdown, their second lowest figure of the year in terms of points in the 21-13 Clemson win.
QB -- Christian Ponder, Florida State
RB -- Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech
RB -- Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech
WR -- Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech
WR -- Donovan Varner, Duke
TE -- George Bryan, NC State
TE -- Michael Palmer, Clemson
OL -- Jason Fox, Miami
OL -- Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
OL -- Rodney Hudson, Florida State
OL – Sergio Render, Virginia Tech
OL -- Cord Howard, Georgia Tech
K -- Matt Bosher, Miami
Spc -- C.J. Spiller, Clemson
DL -- Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech
DL -- Robert Quinn, North Carolina
DL -- Nate Collins, Virginia
DL -- Ricky Sapp, Clemson
LB -- Cody Grimm, Virginia Tech
LB -- Luke Kuechly, Boston College
LB -- Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
LB -- Alex Wujciak, Maryland
CB -- Kendric Burney, North Carolina
CB -- Brandon Harris, Miami
S -- DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson
S -- Deunta Williams, North Carolina
P -- Brent Bowden, Virginia Tech
QB: Josh Nesbitt, Georgia Tech (50)
RB: Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech (67)
RB: Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech (63)
WR: Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech (63)
WR: Donovan Varner, Duke (50)
TE: George Bryan, NC State (39)
TE: Michael Palmer, Clemson (39)
OT: Jason Fox, Miami (57)
OT: Anthony Castonzo, Boston College (53)
OG: Rodney Hudson, Florida State (54)
OG: Cord Howard, Georgia Tech (47)
C: Sean Bedford, Georgia Tech (45)
K: Matt Waldron, Virginia Tech (27)
K: Matt Bosher, Miami (27)
Spc: C.J. Spiller, Clemson (76)
DE: Derrick Morgan, Georgia Tech (76)
DE: Robert Quinn, North Carolina (69)
DT: Nate Collins, Virginia (47)
DT: Allen Bailey, Miami (38)
LB: Cody Grimm, Virginia Tech (65)
LB: Luke Kuechly, Boston College (53)
LB: Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina (44)
LB: Alex Wujciak, Maryland (44)
CB: Kendric Burney, North Carolina (59)
CB: Brandon Harris, Miami (41)
S: DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson (57)
S: Deunta Williams, North Carolina (53)
P: Brent Bowden, Virginia Tech (57)
QB: Thaddeus Lewis, Duke (18)
RB: C.J. Spiller, Clemson (62)
RB: Montel Harris, Boston College (39)
WR: Torrey Smith, Maryland (25)
WR: Jacoby Ford, Clemson (24)
TE: Greg Boone, Virginia Tech (16)
OT: Ed Wang, Virginia Tech (31)
OT: Chris Hairston, Clemson (26)
OG: Thomas Austin, Clemson (39)
OG: Sergio Render, Virginia Tech (37)
C: Matt Tennant, Boston College (29)
K: Casey Barth, North Carolina (21)
K: Will Snyderwine, Duke (21)
Spc: Torrey Smith, Maryland (17)
DE: Ricky Sapp, Clemson (29)
DE: Willie Young, NC State (24)
DE: Jason Worilds, Virginia Tech (24)
DT: Marvin Austin, North Carolina (32)
DT: John Russell, Wake Forest (29)
LB: Vincent Rey, Duke (29)
LB: Darryl Sharpton, Miami (21)
LB: Bruce Carter, North Carolina (17)
LB: Colin McCarthy, Miami (17)
LB: Dekoda Watson, Florida State (17)
CB: Ras-I Dowling, Virginia (26)
CB: Patrick Robinson, Florida State (26)
S: Morgan Burnett, Georgia Tech (51)
S: Kam Chancellor, Virginia Tech (24)
P: Matt Bosher, Miami (37)
OFFENSIVE BACK: Jacory Harris, Miami, QB, So., 6-4, 190, Miami, Fla. (Northwestern)
For the fourth time this season, Miami sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris had the top performance by an offensive back after completing 25-of-43 passes for 348 yards and two touchdowns in No. 20 Miami’s 34-16 win against visiting Duke. Harris’ 348 passing yards gives him four 300-yard passing games this season, including three in his last four games. Harris also went over the 3,000-yard passing mark in 2009 to become the seventh Hurricane in school history to post 3,000 passing yards in a season, and first since Ken Dorsey in 2002. Through 11 games this season, Harris has totaled 3,003 passing yards and 21 touchdown passes.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Sergio Render, Virginia Tech, G, Sr., 6-3, 313, Newnan, Ga. (Newnan)
Virginia Tech senior guard Sergio Render graded out at 82 percent and recorded a season-high 10 knockdown blocks in 16th-ranked Virginia Tech’s 38-10 win over visiting NC State. Render helped the Hokie offensive line lead the way for a Virginia Tech offense that piled up 397 yards of total offense, including 200 yards on the ground and 100-yard rusher Ryan Williams (120).
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN: Darryl Sharpton, Miami, Sr., MLB, 6-0, 235, Coral Gables, Fla. (Coral Gables)
Miami senior middle linebacker Darryl Sharpton ended his last home game with a career-high 12 tackles, including a career-best 11 solo stops and two tackles for loss, in the Hurricanes’ win over Duke. Sharpton’s performance included his first career interception, which he returned for a 73-yard touchdown. He is second among Hurricanes and ninth in the ACC with 79 tackles this season, including seven for loss.
DEFENSIVE BACK: Cody Grimm, Virginia Tech, OLB, Sr., 5-11, 202, Fairfax, Va. (Oakton)
Virginia Tech senior outside linebacker Cody Grimm’s third Defensive Back of the Week honor came after he set an ACC single-season record and tied a Football Bowl Subdivision single-game record with three forced fumbles—all of which came in NC State’s first four plays—in the Hokies’ win over the Wolfpack. Grimm helped the Virginia Tech defense limit NC State’s high-powered offensive attack to just 259 yards of total offense by recording eight tackles, two sacks, a quarterback hurry, and a fumble recovery. Grimm leads the nation with seven forced fumbles.
SPECIALIST: Greg Reid, Florida State, CB, Fr., 5-9, 175, Valdosta, Ga. (Lowndes)
Florida State freshman cornerback Greg Reid earned his second Specialist of the Week honor and third weekly accolade this season (Defensive Back of the Week, Sept. 19) after racking up 113 yards on punt and kick returns in Florida State’s 29-26 bowl eligibility-clinching win over visiting Maryland. Reid returned three punts for 88 yards to take control over the national lead (18.4 yards per return), including a 48-yard return to the Terrapin 44-yard line that set up the Seminoles’ game-winning touchdown with just 1:46 to play in the fourth quarter. Reid’s first punt return was a 33-yarder in the first quarter that set up Florida State’s first touchdown of the afternoon. He also returned his lone kickoff for 25 yards. Reid leads all Seminoles in all-purpose yardage this season with 947 yards.
ROOKIE: Luke Kuechly, Boston College, OLB, Fr., 6-3, 220, Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier)
Boston College freshman outside linebacker Luke Kuechly registered an ACC season-high 19 tackles, including eight solo hits and 2.5 tackles for loss, in the Eagles’ 31-13 loss to No. 25 North Carolina. Despite the loss, Kuechly helped anchor an Eagle defense that limited the Tar Heels to 278 total yards and 96 rushing yards. With a team-leading 126 tackles, Kuechly holds the school freshman record for tackles, and is looking to become the first Boston College true freshman to lead the team in tackles in school history.
ATLANTA -- First, it's cold here. Georgia Tech students were bundled up in sleeping bags waiting for the gates to open earlier. It finally feels like football season.
As for lineup changes, Georgia Tech is waiting to decide whether or not Ben Anderson will start at defensive tackle. Anderson's ankle hurts, so they might go with T.J. Barnes. Depends on how he feels in warmups. Virginia Tech doesn't have any lineup changes, but Greg Nosal looked jacked up in warmups should he need to play for Sergio Render. Render is still expected to start, but was listed as probable for this week with a pec strain. Ryan Williams was on the field for warmups and from this distance, I couldn't tell he was sick. We'll see if that's the case in the fourth quarter.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
OUT FOR SEASON
LB Mark Herzlich (illness)
FOR NC STATE GAME
WR Ifeanyi Momah (knee) – OUT
TE Jordon McMichael (hip) – DOUBTFUL
LB Will Thompson (shoulder) – DOUBTFUL
FB James McCluskey (Achilles) – QUESTIONABLE
FS Okechukwu Okoroha (leg) – PROBABLE
DT Austin Giles (back) – PROBABLE
CB Roderick Rollins (Leg) – PROBABLE
DE Alex Albright (ankle) – PROBABLE
DT Damik Scafe (neck/shoulder) – PROBABLECLEMSON
I don't have an injury report, but I do have the following lineup changes:
After practice Thursday coach Dabo Swinney announced that Dalton Freeman would start at center. Scotty Cooper will miss the game while still recovering from a concussion suffered at Maryland. Daniel Andrews will move up to second-team strongside linebacker behind Kevin Alexander.
Kevin Cone, r-Jr., WR (ankle)
Robert Hall, r-Jr., DE (knee)
Anthony Egbuniwe, Jr., DE (illness)
Cooper Taylor, So., S (undisclosed)
Out For Season
Kyle Jackson, r-So., LB (foot)MARYLAND
Out for season:
Tyler Bowen (foot)
Nolan Carroll (leg)
Travis Baltz (ankle)
Masengo Kabongo (leg)
Da’Rel Scott (wrist)
Bruce Campbell (leg)
Demetrius Hartsfield (hand)MIAMI
RB Lee Chambers – Lower Extremity
RB Graig Cooper – Lower Extremity
OL Joel Figueroa – Lower Extremity
FB Patrick Hill – Lower Extremity
DL Josh Holmes – Lower Extremity
WR Aldarius Johnson – Upper Extremity
DL Eric Moncur – Lower Extremity
DB JoJo Nicolas – Upper Extremity
DB Randy Phillips – Upper Extremity
Surgery and Out for the Season
DL Dyron Dye – Lower Extremity
DL Marcus Forston – Lower Extremity
LB Jordan Futch – Lower Extremity
TE Richard Gordon – Upper Extremity
LB Shayon Green – Lower Extremity
DE Gavin Hardin – Upper Extremity
DB Ryan Hill – Upper Extremity
DE Adewale Ojomo – JawNC STATE
OUT FOR SEASON
Mario Carter, TE - knee
Ryan Cheek, LB - hip
Denzelle Good, OL - shoulder
Nate Irving, LB - leg
Colby Jackson, FB - knee
Everett Proctor, QB - shoulder
Javon Walker, S - knee
Jeff Rieskamp, DE – hip
Jesse Riley, DB - kneeVIRGINIA
Javaris Brown (ankle)
Mikell Simpson (neck)
Landon Bradley (knee)
BJ Cabbell (ankle)
Patch Duda (flu)
Mike Parker (knee)
Zane Parr (ankle)
Brandon Woods (foot)VIRGINIA TECH
Out for Season
Darren Evans (ACL)
Marcus Davis (ankle)
Mark Muncey (knee)
Sergio Render (pec strain)
Eddie Whitley (ankle)
Ryan Williams (illness)
Brandon Dillard (ankle)
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
- Death Valley is the one stadium in the Atlantic Division where Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe has yet to win. It's no wonder the Deacs aren't taking Clemson lightly this week, despite the Tigers' 2-3 start.
- Maryland quarterback Chris Turner is making good use of his legs these days, and he doesn't have much choice in the matter.
- Things have gotten pretty serious in Blacksburg this week, but it can never get too tense with Sergio Render around.
- A heated conversation between Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and offensive coordinator Billy Napier has been blown way out of proportion, which is why you never read anything about it here. To me, the bigger issue is Swinney's involvement in the play calling, and why the Tigers' offense hasn't shown improvement.
- FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews has a short fuse these days.
- Miami defensive tackle Joe Joseph is finally worthy of wearing his "Playmaker 2008" T-shirt. Better late than never, right?
- Virginia's turnaround began in the locker room before the Indiana game. Can they keep it up?
- UNC receiver Erik Highsmith is yet another example of how those stars don't mean a thing.
- NC State coach Tom O'Brien made a promise to his buddy Frank Spaziani about 20 years ago and he kept it, hiring him at BC. Now they'll be on opposing sides with the game overriding any emotions.
- Georgia and Georgia Tech will not play in the Dome in 2011.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Virginia Tech released a couple of injury updates from Sunday's win over Miami. Their status won't be updated again until Thursday's injury report comes out.
- Tyrod Taylor chipped his front tooth on a quarterback sneak early in the fourth quarter. His mouth was swollen and bloody, and he got treatment immediately after the game. He will see a dentist today.
- Davon Morgan suffered a shoulder injury in the first half and did not return.
- Blake DeChristopher suffered a left ankle sprain in the first half. He missed a few snaps but played the rest of the game.
- Sergio Render had the wind knocked out of him in the first half. He missed a few snaps but played the rest of the game.
- Jake Johnson suffered a left ankle injury in the second half and missed a few snaps but played the rest of the game.
NC State started things off, albeit rather poorly, but now it's time for the main course. Here's a quick trip around the ACC heading into the first full weekend of the season:
- Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has no intention of losing to Jacksonville State, but he hasn't exactly forgotten the Jackets play Clemson five days later, either. Speaking of Clemson ...
- Quarterback Kyle Parker will be making his debut against Middle Tennessee on Saturday, and while nobody around the program has questioned Parker's athleticism and skill, how he handles the pressure when the lights come on is an unknown. Coach Dabo Swinney pointed to Parker's comeback during the baseball season as evidence he'll be all right.
- J.P. Giglio tells us what we learned from NC State's 7-3 loss to South Carolina. Among them, quarterback Russell Wilson was a little off. (And was it just me, or did he also look a step slower than usual?)
- Wake's offensive linemen have been having fun at practice putting on their little shows, but are they ready for the big one?
- How's this for taking your leadership role seriously? Place your hand on the Bible and take oaths affirming your commitment. That's exactly what Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen had his captains do this year in search of some dependable leaders.
- BC kicker Steve Aponavicius has one year of eligibility remaining, and since nobody kicked him out of practice when he kept showing up this summer, the job remains his until proven otherwise.
- UNC's young receivers haven't even hit the field yet and they've got a setback. Sophomore Dwight Jones will miss the opener after surgery today on his right knee.
- Miami had to play 18 freshmen in its season opener last year, but this year will be different. Canes fans will see four or five max, and that's a good thing.
- Virginia Tech left guard Sergio Render is about as country as it gets. On the field? He's "plumb mean."
- Virginia running back Keith Payne, who had slipped to fourth on the depth chart, has left the program, the Daily Progress reports.
- Duke will use two kickers for Saturday's season opener, and it's a decision that could continue this fall.
- Florida State isn't quite sure what to expect from Miami's two new coordinators, other than the situation is "clear as mud."
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Now is when we need to see just how much improvement quarterback Tyrod Taylor and his receivers have made since last season.
No doubt the group showed significant progress over the final few games of 2008, but with record-setting tailback Darren Evans out for the season, it would certainly help the Hokies if they could depend on their passing game while freshmen David Wilson and Ryan Williams get acclimated to college football games.
I know Virginia Tech fans are excited about the young running backs' potential. I know they're two extremely athletic and talented athletes. But none of them have lined up against Alabama's defense yet, and that will be quite a freshman hazing. I would imagine Josh Oglesby will start that game, just for the simple fact he's got some game experience, but Wilson and Williams are going to get their carries this fall, and it's going to have to start sometime. If Virginia Tech is lucky, Frank Beamer and running backs coach Billy Hite will watch a rerun of last year, when Evans emerged as a record-setter at the expense of injured teammate Kenny Lewis Jr.
The whole reason Taylor was named the starting quarterback ahead of Sean Glennon last year was because the Hokies were in a similar situation -- young, inexperienced skill players who needed a little boost in the backfield from Taylor's feet. It's still a young team -- There are only four seniors on the preseason two-deep offensive depth chart, and two of them -- Ed Wang and Sergio Render -- are offensive linemen. The others are tight end Greg Boone and fullback Kenny Jefferson.
The Hokies will still need Taylor's feet. But this year the receivers should have a better understanding of the playbook and Taylor should be able to make better use of his arm.
We all knew that Virginia Tech's passing game was going to have to improve if the Hokies were going to contend for the national title, and that hasn't changed. Virginia Tech still has an opportunity to be a top 10 team, but if the Hokies show up against Alabama without Evans and without a passing game, that opportunity will disappear quickly.