Thursday, September 8, 2011
What to watch in the ACC: Week 2
By Heather Dinich
There aren’t any games on the ACC schedule this week that are going to really earn much national spotlight, but there are some important games and potential upsets brewing. Here are 10 things to watch in Week 2, in no particular order:
1. Records at Virginia Tech. Coach Frank Beamer is one win shy of 200 during his career at Virginia Tech, and receiver Jarrett Boykin needs just two more catches to become the school’s all-time leader in receptions. If Beamer beats East Carolina, he will join only nine other FBS head coaches who have won that many games at one school.
Frank Beamer can win his 200th game at Virginia Tech this weekend.
2. NC State’s offensive line. Quarterback Mike Glennon put up respectable numbers in his starting debut, but it didn’t help that he was sacked four times, including a blind-side hit that jarred the ball loose and was returned for a touchdown.
3. Wake Forest linebacker Kyle Wilber. Speaking of sacks against NC State, Wilber is one shy of moving into the top 10 on the school’s career list for sacks. He’s also worth watching on special teams. He had the fourth blocked kick of his career against Syracuse when he knocked down a field goal attempt with 2:07 left to play.
4. Georgia Tech’s passing game. The Yellow Jackets’ passing game flourished like never before under coach Paul Johnson, but can they keep it up on the road against better competition?
5. Boston College’s defense. The Eagles led the nation a year ago in rushing defense, but allowed Northwestern 227 yards on the ground last weekend. Next up is a Central Florida offense that just racked up 560 total yards against an overmatched Charleston Southern team.
6. Talented true freshmen. There were rookies making their debuts all over the ACC last weekend, but some proved right away they’re going to make an impact this year. At Virginia, true freshman cornerback Demetrious Nicholson returned an interception 31 yards and Darius Jennings had a team-best 13 plays that went for 20 or more yards. At Clemson, three different freshmen scored touchdowns in Sammy Watkins, Mike Bellamy and D.J. Howard. FSU played 11 true freshmen.
7. Florida State’s defense. It was definitely a highlight in the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe, but the program has never posted back-to-back shutouts during its tenure in the ACC. This could be the first, as Charleston Southern is coming off a 62-0 drubbing by Central Florida. The Noles haven’t had back-to-back shutouts since 1980.
8. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd. He was a different player between the first and second half against Troy last week. Which one will show up for four quarters against Wofford on Saturday? At halftime Clemson trailed 16-13, and Boyd was just 6-of-12 for 65 yards. He wound up throwing for 264 yards and three touchdowns.
9. BC receiver Jonathan Coleman. He is taking over for injured teammate Ifeanyi Momah, who suffered a season-ending left knee injury (ACL) against Northwestern. The sophomore played in all 12 games last year and had 14 catches for 260 yards. More will be needed from him now.
10. UNC cornerback Charles Brown. He’s making his first appearance this year after missing all of last season as a result of the NCAA’s academic investigation and sitting out the James Madison game for accepting $86.94 worth of benefits. Brown has six career interceptions for 191 yards.