ACC: Tylor Harris

ACC viewer's guide: Week 6

October, 4, 2014
Oct 4
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Conference play all around! Let's take a quick look at what's on the docket.

Virginia Tech (3-2, 0-1) at North Carolina (2-2, 0-1), 12:30 p.m., ESPN3. Line: Virginia Tech by 3. #VTvsUNC. The biggest storyline discussed in the run-up to this game focused on the propensity for both secondaries to give up big plays. But keep an eye on the Virginia Tech run game. Unlike East Carolina and Clemson, Virginia Tech will work hard to try to establish the run. But how will the overall unit look with Shai McKenzie out for the season? Coach Frank Beamer said the staff has not come up with a set rotation yet, but somebody else will have to step up to complement leading rusher Marshawn Williams.

[+] EnlargeDeshaun Watson
John David Mercer/USA TODAY SportsDeshaun Watson leads the nation in yards per attempt.
NC State (4-1, 0-1) at Clemson (2-2, 1-1), 3:30 p.m., ESPNU. Line: Clemson by 15. #NCSTvsCLEM. Quarterbacks take center stage in this meeting as NC State's Jacoby Brissett and Clemson's Deshaun Watson have emerged as two of the best signal-callers in the league. Brissett has thrown 13 touchdown passes to one interception; Watson has thrown 10 touchdown passes to one interception. Watson leads the nation in yards per pass attempt (11.9) and is second in the nation in pass efficiency; Brissett has thrown 156 passes without an interception. Both teams appear to be in good hands at the position for the foreseeable future.

Wake Forest (2-3, 0-1) at No. 1 Florida State (4-0, 2-0), 3:30 p.m., ABC. Line: Florida State by 38. #WAKEvsFSU. Will this be the first FBS game all season in which Florida State coasts? The Noles have needed comebacks to win their past two games, but Wake Forest should not present an upset threat. However, Wake Forest has been impressive on defense -- especially Tylor Harris, whose three fumble recoveries last week against Louisville are the most for any player in one game since the NCAA started keeping stats at the turn of the century. Where the Deacs will be totally overwhelmed is on offense. John Wolford already has 10 interceptions, and Wake has given up 25 sacks.

Miami (3-2, 1-1) at Georgia Tech (4-0, 1-0), 7:30 p.m., ESPN2. Line: Georgia Tech by 2. #MIAvsGT. This is a big-time prove-it game for the Jackets, who had a bye to prepare for the Hurricanes after beating Virginia Tech a few weeks ago. Georgia Tech has not dominated anybody but has found ways to win. However, Duke Johnson may be too much for this Jackets defense to handle. Last year, Johnson had 184 yards against Georgia Tech. The Jackets rank last in the ACC in rush defense. Miami has handled the triple option well in five straight wins, but its defense can't simply rest on its performance against Duke last week. Miami also has to prove it can be consistent on that side of the ball.

Pitt (3-2, 1-0) at Virginia (3-2, 1-0), 7:30 p.m., ESPN3. Line: Virginia by 6. #PITTvsUVA. Virginia quarterback Greyson Lambert will be a game-time decision, though he is listed as questionable on the team's injury report. No matter who plays quarterback, the focus will be on the Virginia run defense against James Conner, who failed to reach 100 yards for the first time all season last week against Akron. The Hoos provide a bigger test, ranking No. 10 nationally against the run. If Virginia wins, the Hoos would be 2-0 in ACC play for the first time since 2009.

ACC helmet stickers: Week 5

September, 28, 2014
Sep 28
9:00
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Here are the players who stood out above the rest during a wild Week 5 in the ACC:

NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett: How can you overlook Brissett's efforts in NC State's 56-41 loss to top-ranked Florida State? The Florida transfer completed 32 of 38 passes for 359 yards with three touchdowns, while rushing for 38 yards as well. It was a loss, yes, and it will be tough to get up for every game the way you do when the No. 1 team in the country comes to your backyard, but Brissett gives NC State a completely new look offensively, and the program has to be excited about the rest of the season going forward.

Wake Forest defensive end Tylor Harris: When you set a national record, you likely end up with a helmet sticker. The junior did just that for the Demon Deacons in a tough 20-10 loss at Louisville. Harris set a new FBS record by recovering three fumbles in a game. No FBS players has totaled three fumble recoveries since it became an official stat in 1992. Harris now has four on the year, one shy of the school single-season record of five. He had a strip-sack and fumble recovery in the end zone for a score in the third quarter to give Wake the 10-7 lead at the time. This defense will give the Deacs opportunities to stick around in some games in which they are overmatched this year. Hats off to Harris.

Miami linebacker Denzel Perryman: The Hurricanes looked like a completely different team than the one that was run over by Duke late last season, topping the Blue Devils, 22-10. Perryman was a big part of that, forcing a fumble, picking of one pass and breaking up another. His interception with 1:55 left all but clinched the win for Miami, handing Duke its first loss and shaking up the entire Coastal Division race once more.

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson: How about this for a first career start: 27-of-36 passing for 435 yards, six touchdowns, one interception, in addition to 28 yards rushing. The Tigers bounced back appropriately from last week's heartbreaker at Florida State and beat North Carolina, 50-35. With a true freshman quarterback already this good, it's easy to get excited about the future for the Tigers, both short- and long-term.

Florida State running back Karlos Williams: If FSU has plans on repeating as national champions, it is going to need some production out of its backfield. And the Seminoles finally got that Saturday in their 56-41 come-from-behind win at NC State. Williams carried the ball 21 times for 126 yards and scored three touchdowns. He added three catches for 29 yards. As our David Hale noted, before overtime of the Clemson game last week, Williams had tallied just 152 yards and a touchdown on 40 carries. This was a huge development during an otherwise concerning afternoon for the Noles.

Nikita Whitlock out vs. Florida State

September, 13, 2012
9/13/12
9:22
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Wake Forest starting noseguard Nikita Whitlock has been ruled out for Saturday's game against Florida State with a sprained ankle.

Whitlock was hurt last week against North Carolina and has been unable to practice. On the ACC coaches call earlier this week, Grobe talked about the prospect of playing without his top defensive lineman.

"I like Tylor Harris," Grobe said. "He's a true freshman, but he's a big guy, he's very athletic, he's a pretty physical kid. I really like the things that he's doing right now. Some of our other guys that have been very productive, I thought the nice thing was when we didn't have Zach Thompson last week that Hasan Hazime came in and played absolutely great, and now he'll be starting at defensive end. That might give us a chance to move Zach down inside.

"It's really hard to replace Nikita, but I think the thing we've got is we've got about five guys in that defensive front for those three positions where we've kind of through practice in August rotated those guys around, and most of those guys have played either noseguard or defensive end.

"We've got enough athletes that we can move those guys around. We'd hate to miss Nikita, but I think Tylor Harris will be the guy starting out, but we'll have to roll some of those guys in behind him to try to keep him fresh."

True freshmen to watch in ACC

August, 23, 2012
8/23/12
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Now that we are closing in on the start of the season, we have a much better idea of how many true freshmen could make an impact in the ACC this season based on preseason practice time and early depth charts.

Maryland could end up playing the most, and having players who make the biggest impact. You have quarterback Perry Hills starting in place of the injured C.J. Brown. Highly touted athlete Stefon Diggs has had an outstanding preseason camp. Don't forget about running backs Albert Reid and Wes Brown, who also have looked really good.

Here are a few young players to keep an eye on at each school.

Boston College: Justin Simmons, DB. Defensive back is an area where Boston College needs help, especially after the loss of Al Louis-Jean, who's out six to eight weeks with a foot injury. Simmons already has made his presence felt. In a scrimmage last weekend, he had two interceptions. Also watch for defensive back Bryce Jones and linebacker Steven Daniels.

[+] EnlargeTravis Blanks
John Albright / Icon SMI The versatile Travis Blanks may line up at a number of positions on defense for the Tigers.
Clemson: Travis Blanks, DB. One of the top defensive backs in the country out of high school, Blanks enrolled early and had an impressive spring showing. He has followed that up with a great preseason, and will line up in a variety of positions -- nickelback, cornerback and some linebacker as well. On offense, watch for Germone Hopper, who has had some pretty explosive plays this fall.

Duke: Jela Duncan and Shaquille Powell, RBs; Ross Martin, PK. Duncan and Powell have turned heads during the preseason, and coach David Cutcliffe said he would feel comfortable using both players in the opener against FIU. Martin is sure to get plenty of game experience as the starting kicker this year. Others to watch: receiver Max McCaffrey, tight end Erich Schneider and safety Dwayne Norman, who had an interception return for a touchdown in one scrimmage.

Florida State: Ronald Darby, CB. Do not be surprised if Darby ends up starting in the spot vacated by Greg Reid. Darby and Nick Waisome are competing for the starting job. Coaches like both players, but there is something special about Darby. Said coach Jimbo Fisher: Darby is "going to be a very, very good one." Also watch for defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and tight end Christo Kourtzidis.

Georgia Tech: Anthony Autry and Micheal Summers, WR. Georgia Tech only has four other scholarship wide receivers, so that increases the chances for Autry and Summers to play this season. Autry seems to have a slight edge over Summers. Others to watch: defensive back D.J. White.

Maryland: In addition to Hills, Diggs, Brown and Reid, several others could make an impact this year. Punter Brad Craddock is competing for the starting position with redshirt freshman Nathan Renfro; and cornerback Sean Davis could be starting on opening day because he has done well, and there are some injuries on defense.

Miami: Ereck Flowers, OL. Flowers is listed as a starter right now at right tackle, helped in part because of Seantrel Henderson's absence. Offensive line coach Art Kehoe has been extremely impressed. Others to watch: defensive back Tracy Howard and running back Duke Johnson. Howard is listed on the two-deep behind Ladarius Gunter but has drawn raves so far and so has Johnson, who should also return kickoffs this year. Deon Bush is in the mix for a starting safety spot.

North Carolina: Quinshad Davis, WR. Davis missed some early practice time because of a medical issue but has returned in the last week and has a big chance to make some noise. The Tar Heels are lacking depth at this position, and the way Larry Fedora likes to spread the ball around, he will take as many good receivers as he can.

NC State: Charlie Hegedus, WR. Receiver is a position of need for the Wolfpack, and Hegedus has seen more reps during fall camp with the injury to Bryan Underwood. One player NC State hopes you do not see this year is backup quarterback Manny Stocker, a true freshman behind veteran Mike Glennon.

Virginia: Maurice Canady, CB. Coaches are extremely high on Canady, who is in the mix to earn a starting spot in a secondary that has to be rebuilt this year. He has been working with the first team recently. Others to watch: Michael Moore at outside linebacker, and Eli Harold at defensive end.

Virginia Tech: J.C. Coleman, RB; Donaldven Manning, DB. Both players enrolled in January and are virtual locks to play this season. Coleman has separated himself from another true freshman, Trey Edmunds, despite a hand injury. He has had an outstanding fall camp. Manning has had to deal with a hamstring injury, but his early enrollment works in his favor.

Wake Forest: The Deacs rarely play true freshmen. But if there is one player who has a shot this year, it is defensive end Tylor Harris, who has stood out this fall for his pass-rushing ability -- something Wake Forest needs help improving this year.

Defense highlights Wake scrimmage

August, 21, 2012
8/21/12
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Wake Forest held its second scrimmage of the preseason on Tuesday morning at BB&T Field. Here are the highlights, according to the team's practice report:

Offensive highlights: Sherman Ragland III had three catches for 32 yards and scored both touchdowns. Michael Campanaro caught three passes for 31 yards. For the second straight scrimmage, Tyler Jackson was the leading rusher with 44 yards on nine carries. Orville Reynolds rushed the ball just five times but gained 26 yards, including an 18-yard run.

Jackson carried the ball eight times on an 11-play scoring drive. He had seven carries for 34 yards on the drive and caught a pass from Patrick Thompson for 11 yards. Tanner Price completed 8 of 18 passes for 78 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Defensive highlights: The Deacs held the offense scoreless for the first 13 possessions and finished with nine tackles for loss, including five sacks, and two turnovers. Zach Thompson led with two sacks, while Nikita Whitlock, Kris Redding and Joey Ehrmann each made one sack. Kevin Johnson had an interception, and Chibuikem Okoro recovered a fumble on a botched handoff. Johnson also broke up one pass, as did Ehrmann, Tylor Harris and Hunter Williams. Merrill Noel and Brandon Chubb each had five tackles.

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