NCF Nation: Brad Lambert
2. How quickly can new staffs and coordinators adjust? Four of the six teams in the Atlantic Division will have new coordinators, along with two teams in the Coastal Division. Wake Forest just lost its defensive coordinator, Brad Lambert, who left to become head coach at Charlotte. There are two new head coaches, at Maryland and Miami. The speed at which the players learn the new terminology and playbooks will be critical.
3. How much better will Georgia Tech and Clemson look? Both programs were playing for the ACC title in 2009, and fell flat last year with losing seasons. How much progress they make this spring will be key to their turnarounds. Clemson has to adjust to a new offense under a new coordinator with a first-year starting quarterback. Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington has the edge in the competition, but nothing is a guarantee. Al Groh’s defense must take another step forward in his second season.
4. How will the new quarterbacks adjust to their roles? All eyes will be on Logan Thomas at Virginia Tech, Bryn Renner at North Carolina, Mike Glennon at NC State, Tajh Boyd at Clemson and EJ Manuel at Florida State. Virginia will also have a quarterback battle this spring. With so much turnover at the position, who will lead the learning curve?
5. Is FSU really that good? The hype has returned. The expectations are soaring for Jimbo Fisher in just his second season. The Seminoles have been mentioned in the same sentence as “national title” and should be a preseason top-10 team. So what’s their weakness? The Noles need to replace two outstanding starters on the offensive line in Rodney Hudson and Ryan McMahon. The receivers need to be more consistent. And there will be new starters at linebacker. Nothing major, but all still important if FSU is going to live up to the hype.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Plenty to chew on today ...
- Frank Beamer will start to find out this week whether the Hokies really are good enough to contend for a national title.
- Wake Forest defensive coordinator Brad Lambert has his work cut out for him this year, as seven starters are gone from 2008.
- There was so much offense coming out of Monday's scrimmage in Tallahassee, that even FSU coach Bobby Bowden was surprised:
"I've never seen as many long runs in my life," Bowden told the [Tallahassee] Democrat. "I'm talking 60 yards, 70 yards. In the end, the defense kind of tightened it up a bit. I don't know what happened."
- Ha ... this is so true ... Travis Sawchik of the Post and Courier called Clemson's hire of Dan Brooks one of the "worst kept secrets on campus." Good hire by Dabo Swinney nonetheless.
- Georgia Tech will be deeper at receiver this year, and part of that stems from the return of Tyler Melton.
- Here's one I missed -- the details of FSU offensive line coach Rick Trickett's new contract. And another about BC kicker Steve Aponavicius' good fortunes from one coaching staff to the next.
Each week I'll be awarding "helmet stickers" to the top performers in the ACC. Here's who earned their stickers in Week 1:
Duke: The Blue Devils matched last year's win total on their first try. Congrats to the Blue Devils for handling a gritty James Madison team.
Riley Skinner: Completed 75 percent of his passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns in the season opening 41-13 win over Baylor. Sounds like the Riley Skinner of 2006.
Wake Forest defensive coordinator Brad Lambert: The Demon Deacons were prepared for anything and everything Baylor could possibly throw at them, despite a first-year coaching staff with new personnel.
Da'Rel Scott: The Maryland running back ran for 197 yards in his first collegiate start. He had runs of 40, 37 and 26 yards. Not since Bruce Perry have the Terps seen a debut like that.
Maryland DB Terrrell Skinner: His late interception with 3:20 left stopped a potential game-tying drive by Delaware and gave the ball back to the Terps. He also had six tackles, including one for loss and a pass breakup.
Boston College defense: The Eagles held Eugene Jarvis, the nation's leading returning rusher, to just 51 yards on 11 carries. They also stuffed him on a fourth-and-one attempt.
Boston College quarterback Chris Crane: His numbers weren't spectacular, but he managed the offense well in his debut and accounted for two of the Eagles' rushing touchdowns. Crane completed 12 of 18 passes for 106 yards. It was enough to win.
Miami quarterback Jacory Harris: The true freshman couldn't have done much more for the Hurricanes when he started in place of Robert Marve. Harris was 16-for-26 for 190 yards and two touchdowns.
UNC receiver Brandon Tate: He only had 11 touches and set a UNC single-game record 397 all-purpose yards (three rushes, four receptions, three punt returns and one KO return. He finished with 93 receiving yards, 106 rushing yards, 142 punt return yards and 56 kick return yards).
Georgia Tech's offense: The Yellow Jackets racked up 41 points and 484 total yards. Sure, it was against Jacksonville State, but these guys looked good.
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
8:00 PM ET 20 Duke 1 Florida State 8:17 PM ET 2 Ohio State 10 Michigan State 4:00 PM ET 5 Missouri 3 Auburn 12:00 PM ET 17 Oklahoma 6 Oklahoma State 7:45 PM ET 7 Stanford 11 Arizona State 3:30 PM ET 25 Texas 9 Baylor 12:00 PM ET 16 UCF Southern Methodist 10:00 PM ET Utah State 23 Fresno State