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Monday, September 8, 2008
ACC in the morning: Florida's field goal unnecessary but revealing


Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

In the week leading up to his game against Florida, Miami coach Randy Shannon downplayed the effect the game might have on recruiting, but even in the loss, he had young players calling him, telling him they're excited to come to Miami. While Shannon didn't come right out at say it, he hinted that Urban Meyer's decision to kick a late field goal and run up the score in the fourth quarter might have helped his cause:

''I'll just say this one statement," Shannon told reporters. "Sometimes when you do things, and people see what type of person you really are, you turn a lot of people off. Now, whatever you want to get out of that, I won't say it again. But it helped us. It helped us more than you'll ever know."

Miami wasn't the only program that saw impressive performances from freshmen on Saturday.

The Seminoles could certainly use some help with their depth at running back, and freshman Jermaine Thomas wanted the staff to know "they could count on a freshman."

Bobby Bowden, though, wants his freshmen to realize they were just chompin' on baby food in the season opener, and they "ain't ready for steak," yet.

He was pleased with the quarterbacks, though, and Christian Ponder should start his second straight game this Saturday against Chattanooga. Drew Weatherford will be "sitting there as a fireman just in case."

Boston College quarterback Chris Crane didn't exactly shine in his ACC debut against Georgia Tech, and the sack in the end zone didn't help his cause much. Still aboard the "Crane Train?"

NC State will be able to count on quarterback Russell Wilson this weekend against Clemson as he returns from a concussion just in time for the Pack's league opener.

The Tigers, however, might be without starting left tackle Chris Hairston, who was injured in a moped accident.

Virginia Tech's "Macho" Harris still isn't 100 percent, but that didn't stop him from leveling a Furman receiver. Hey, somebody had to pay for his misery last week.

Even with Cedric Peerman and Mikell Simpson, Virginia averaged 2.4 yards on 38 carries against Richmond. Much of that can be attributed to the offensive line still being a work in progress.

The defense, though, had a few things to brag about -- six sacks included.

Just how rare was Wake Forest's game-winning field goal against Ole Miss? Believe it or not, it was the first of its kind in 35 years.

Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen wasn't thrilled with his team's performance against Middle Tennessee State and might make a few changes as a result. He had to "marinate" over it, Sunday night.

The Terps looked like they regressed last weekend, and it's only going to get tougher with Cal coming to town.