NCF Nation: Bruce Carter
Here are the players who will represent the ACC:
BOSTON COLLEGE (3)
- Anthony Castonzo
- Rich Lapham
- Mark Herzlich
- Da'Quan Bowers
- Marcus Gilchrist
- Chris Hairston
- Jamie Harper
- Jarvis Jenkins
- Byron Maxwell
- DeAndre McDaniel
- Rodney Hudson
- Christian Ponder
- Markus White
- Anthony Allen
- Mario Butler
- Jerrard Tarrant
- Allen Bailey
- Damien Berry
- Matt Bosher
- Orlando Franklin
- Graig Cooper
- Leonard Hankerson
- Brandon Harris
- Colin McCarthy
- DeMarcus Van Dyke
- Marvin Austin
- Kendric Burney
- Bruce Carter
- Greg Little
- Shaun Draughn
- Robert Quinn
- Da'Norris Searcy
- Quan Sturdivant
- Johnny White
- Deunta Williams
- T.J. Yates
- Nate Irving
- Owen Spencer
- Danny Aiken
- Ras-I Dowling
WHO TO WATCH: The backups. With North Carolina starting tailback Anthony Elzy suspended, Shaun Draughn is the only proven runner remaining on the roster. His backup will be Hunter Furr, whose career-high is 27 yards. Elzy will not compete because he failed to meet his obligations as a student-athlete at UNC. The Tar Heels will also be without starting offensive guard Alan Pelc and starting linebacker Bruce Carter, both of whom are injured. Travis Bond, a sophomore, is Pelc's backup at right guard, but the problem extends to center, where Pelc was the backup to Cam Holland. At linebacker, Herman Davidson, a career reserve, is No. 2 behind Carter. There could be some shuffling at linebacker and offensive line as a result, and the Heels can’t afford to have Draughn get hurt again.
WHAT TO WATCH: Turnovers. These teams are so evenly matched on paper that one slip-up could be the difference. The Tar Heels have committed 15 turnovers in five losses this year and turned the ball over just six times in their seven wins (three of those six were in the victory at Rutgers).
WHY TO WATCH: To see if North Carolina can squeeze one more win out of a roster that hasn’t been at full strength all year. This team has been ravaged by injuries and suspensions, yet somehow still found a way to win seven games.
PREDICTION: UNC 21, Tennessee 17. The experience of UNC quarterback T.J. Yates will be enough to overcome the Vols’ home-field atmosphere, and North Carolina’s defense -- even without Carter -- will be good enough to force true freshman quarterback Tyler Bray into some mistakes.
Who needs to step up?
The backups. This should be old hat for the Tar Heels, who have had to rely on backups and walk-ons all season as a result of the NCAA investigation, and the losses of starting guard Alan Pelc and linebacker Bruce Carter to injuries will force them to do it once again. It won't hurt as much at linebacker, where it's possible the staff could move Zach Brown from Will to Sam, but the loss of Pelc is significant. Travis Bond, a sophomore, is Pelc's backup at right guard, but the problem extends to center, where Pelc was the backup to Cam Holland. If anything happens to Holland -- which has happened before -- Pelc has been the one to move over. Bond will have to rise to the occasion. At linebacker, Herman Davidson, a career reserve, is No. 2 behind Carter. If Brown moves over, it will allow Davidson to continue that role.
Carter had ACL reconstruction surgery on his left knee Tuesday morning and is expected to return to full participation in the fall of 2011. Carter originally injured his knee against NC State on Nov. 20, 2010.
Pelc had surgery Monday afternoon (Dec. 13) to repair his left shoulder. He will begin rehabilitation immediately.
“Bruce and Alan have meant so much to this program,” coach Butch Davis said in a prepared statement. “They have been great kids, great leaders and, most importantly, they will graduate Sunday with a degree from the University of North Carolina. Obviously, we are disappointed for them that they will not be able to play in the bowl game. However, our main concern is their health and preparing for the future.”
Carter started 43 games, including 10 this season. He was a 2010 finalist for the Butkus Award, which is presented to the nation’s top linebacker. Carter blocked seven kicks in his career and scored twice on interception returns.
Pelc started 34 games in his career, including 11 this season. He graded out over 75 percent in 2010 while playing guard and center.
Herman Davidson is Carter's backup on the depth chart for the bowl game, and Travis Bond is listed at right guard.
The ACC is better than the Big East. If there was any doubt after the league’s 1-1 start with a win over Cincinnati and loss to West Virginia, the ACC erased it this week with wins at Pitt and at Rutgers. Both North Carolina and Miami made enough mistakes that could have cost them the game, but Rutgers and Pitt weren’t able to do anything about it.
North Carolina’s not done yet. A loss at Rutgers would have put a serious dent in the Tar Heels’ bowl hopes, and could have snowballed into a disastrous season, but this team has never quit. Instead, it has been on the verge of breaking through in losses to LSU and Georgia Tech. This time, the team overcame injuries to Johnny White and linebacker Quan Sturdivant. There might be a lack of playmakers on defense, but there’s no shortage of leadership, and quarterback T.J. Yates and linebacker Bruce Carter made sure losing wasn’t an option this past weekend.
BC’s offense is still in need of a quarterback. In two games against Virginia Tech, Dave Shinskie has completed 12 of 37 passes for 134 yards, no touchdowns, four INTs, and one lost fumble. He was benched on Saturday in favor of Mike Marscovetra. The Eagles had three turnovers and were held to just 39 yards of total offense in the second half and couldn’t cross midfield. Yes, a lot of credit goes to Virginia Tech’s defense, but the Eagles won’t be a contender in the Atlantic Division unless there’s improvement at quarterback.
Georgia Tech doesn’t look like defending ACC champs. Not with that defense. It’s not Al Groh’s fault. It doesn’t matter if the Jackets are running a 3-4, a 4-3 or how you line up in your backyard. Georgia Tech is missing Derrick Morgan and is need of a big-time playmaker. The Jackets got beat one-on-one and allowed 45 points and 527 yards. It’s the first time since 2007 that Georgia Tech has lost two September games. Quarterback Joshua Nesbitt is one of the most talented players in the ACC, but he can’t do it by himself.
Virginia Tech’s defense: Lunch pails for everyone! After having to replace seven starters, Bud Foster’s group finally came together and they did it when it counted most -- on the road against an ACC opponent in a 19-0 win over BC. The Hokies earned their first shutout since 2006, and it was the first time the Eagles had been held scoreless at home since 1998. In the second half, BC only had 39 yards of total offense and didn’t cross midfield.
NC State: It’s impossible to single out one player or coach, as it was a group effort in a 45-28 win over Georgia Tech. NC State linebacker Nate Irving had a career-high 16 tackles, quarterback Russell Wilson threw for a career-high 368 yards and NC State is off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 2002.
Miami linebacker Sean Spence: He had seven tackles in the first half of a 31-3 win against Pitt and finished with nine tackles for the game. He also had 2.5 tackles for loss including 1.5 sacks. Spence entered the game tied for ninth averaging 2.0 tackles for loss per game.
UNC’s defense: Even though the defense was short-handed in a 17-13 win at Rutgers, UNC couldn’t have won this game without the players it did have on the field. Matt Merletti intercepted Tom Savage’s pass at the Tar Heels’ 6-yard line with less than three minutes remaining, and linebacker Bruce Carter set up 10 points with an interception and a blocked punt.
Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien. It was his first career start, and O’Brien led the Terps to a 42-28 win over FIU. He threw for 250 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions. His performance should give coach Ralph Friedgen a second thought about who his starter will be even when Jamarr Robinson is healthy. O’Brien, who was the first freshman quarterback to start for Maryland since Latrez Harrison1999, and just the fifth in school history, threw touchdown passes of 9 and 68 yards. O’Brien led the Terps on four scoring drives and had an efficiency rating of 168.89, the sixth-highest mark by a freshman in the FBS this season (not including other games today).
It's the kind of place where true freshmen dream of playing, and then throw up in the locker room once they get here and realize they have to.
The young players on North Carolina's revamped depth chart will undergo a rookie hazing today in the season opener against LSU. The disparity in starting experience is glaring. According to the North Carolina depth chart that was released in the press box, UNC's starting defensive linemen will have a combined five starts (and that's thanks in large part to four from defensive tackle Tydreke Powell). None of the four new starters in the secondary have ever started a game. At left defensive end, freshman Kareem Martin is backed up by another freshman, Tim Jackson.
The Tar Heels are still solid at linebacker, where Kevin Reddick, Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter are veterans. That trio will have to anchor the entire defense.
The offense will sorely miss its three leading rushers in Shaun Draughn, Ryan Houston and Greg Little, but Johnny White has eight career starts and can take advantage of this opportunity.
It's possible that the loss of 13 players -- including seven starters on defense -- could only bring this team closer together in an us-against-the-word mentality. But emotion can only overcome experience for so long.
FSU quarterback Christian Ponder was voted the preseason ACC Player of the Year with 45 votes compared to 16 for Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams.
A record 98 media members voted. The Hokies received 62 first-place votes for the Coastal Division title, and Miami had 20. Florida State was the runaway favorite for the Atlantic Division with 78 first-place votes compared to Clemson's 16.
The Hokies were also chosen by the media to win it all in 2007 and 2009.
Here are the official results:
ACC Championship votes:
1. Virginia Tech (50)
2. Florida State (26)
3. Miami (10)
4. Georgia Tech (8)
5. (tie) Boston College and UNC (2)
1. Florida State (78)
2. Clemson (16)
3. Boston College (4)
4. NC State
5. Wake Forest
1. Virginia Tech (62)
2. Miami (20)
3. Georgia Tech (11)
4. North Carolina (5)
ACC Player of the Year
1. Christian Ponder (45)
2. Ryan Williams (16)
3. Tyrod Taylor (11)
4. Russell Wilson (6)
Robert Quinn (6)
6. Joshua Nesbitt (4)
7. Kyle Parker (3)
8. Mark Herzlich, Jacory Harris (2)
10. Montel Harris, Darren Evans, Bruce Carter (1)
But what being a Stanford guy means has changed over the past couple of seasons. Under coach Jim Harbaugh, the Cardinal have become a gritty, physical contender, one that spanked USC and beat eventual Pac-10 champion Oregon last fall.
So while Whalen is clean-cut and smart and probably will one day be a Master of the Universe with a postcard view of San Francisco Bay from the windows of his 800 square-foot office, he also can whip some butt.
Bruce Feldman named North Carolina linebacker Bruce Carter his No. 1 strength and conditioning "freak." And Carter is a freak, no doubt. The 238 pounder told Feldman he was most proud of his 374 pound power clean, which is tied for tops on the Tar Heels.
Whalen can only power clean 350 pounds. Of course, he weighs 205 pounds. And plays receiver.
"It's one of my best exercises," Whalen explained.
Whalen also runs a 4.5 40-yard dash, bench presses 340 pounds and squats 455.
Not bad for a former walk-on.
Whalen does have one big advantage in the weight room. He started training hard in high school, and it just so happens at Monte Vista High School in Danville, Calif., that means you get to cross paths with a coach named Alex Krychev, who in 1972 was known as Aleksandr Kraichev, Bulgarian Olympic silver medalist in weight lifting.
Still, despite catching 80 passes for over 1,200 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns as a senior and earning All-State honors in football and basketball, Whalen didn't get any Pac-10 scholarship offers. He opted to walk on at Stanford and made such an immediate positive impression he was put on scholarship before his freshman season started.
Just FYI: That scholarship saved his parents about $50,000 a year in tuition and room and board. Merry Christmas, mom and dad.
Whalen played in all 12 games his freshman year, started seven as a sophomore and then led the Cardinal with 57 receptions for 926 yards last year. He's become one of the best receivers in the Pac-10 as Stanford also has risen in the pecking order.
"When I came in, people weren't really sure what to expect," he said. "Now, as the years have gone on, when we talk about things in the offseason -- winning the Pac-10 championship and the national championship -- those are goals that we feel are realistic. You can feel it within the team."
Whalen could put up big numbers this year. For one, the Cardinal, after losing running back Toby Gerhart, the Heisman Trophy runnerup, figures to be more of a passing team. And the guy throwing those balls, sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck, could be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft whenever he opts to make himself available.
"He's got great touch and every day in practice he makes a couple of throws where it's like, 'Wow. Not many people can make that throw.' You start to appreciate it as you work out with him more and more," Whalen said.
Luck and Whalen -- among others -- are new sorts of Stanford guys. Sure, they are smart and gifted and are willing to work hard to accomplish their goals. But, first and foremost, they want to beat your brains out on the football field.
"Talent and natural ability are not enough," Whalen said. "What sets players apart is how hard they work and how hard they train themselves to maximize their ability."
What's he's doing is impressive.
Carter, who has started 31 straight games for the Tar Heels, will graduate in December, and he is taking his off-season conditioning a little more seriously now because of his decision to return to North Carolina for a final year instead of entering the NFL draft. His dedication in the weight room has paid off, as he was recently ranked the No. 1 workout warrior by ESPN.com’s Bruce Feldman.
“It’s a grind,” Carter said. “It’s my last go-around. I’ve got to go as hard as I can, because you never know what can happen. I don’t want to look back and say I could have did more.”
It’s hard to believe there’s still more for Carter to do. He has already set UNC linebacker records in the power clean at 376 (he just broke his own record) and the vertical jump (40.5 inches). He has also been clocked at 4.39 in the 40 and bench-presses 440.
He finished the season ranked third on the team with 67 tackles, and had 7.5 tackles for losses, two sacks, one interception return for a touchdown, two pass breakups and four quarterback pressures.
Carter said he’s gained about 10 pounds (which isn’t a surprise, considering he’s eating McDonald’s double cheeseburgers and fries every day), but he said it’s not a problem as long as he’s able to make his runs. He is in the weight room by 8 a.m. Monday through Friday.
“It helps you be more explosive in everything you do, going fast, and playing at high speed every play,” he said. “You take what you do in the weight room and transform it onto the field just by being explosive.”
And just by remembering where he came from, Carter has become one of the most explosive athletes in the country.
Here’s a quick scouting report on the Meineke Car Care Bowl:
WHAT TO WATCH: The battle up front. If UNC’s defensive line can hold up, it should help linebackers Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter to pursue the Panthers’ standout running back, Dion Lewis. Robert Quinn is one of the best defensive ends in the country, and he enters the game with 19.0 tackles for losses of 120 yards and 11.0 sacks for 94 yards. He also has forced six fumbles and has 15 quarterback hurries. Sturdivant and Lewis should get to know each other pretty well in this game.
WHO TO WATCH: UNC quarterback T.J. Yates. He’s had an inconsistent season, but some of that can be attributed to his young receivers and average-at-best pass protection. He enters the bowl game needing 224 yards to reach the 6,000-yard career passing mark. For the season, Yates is 195-of-323 for 1,953 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He’ll need to limit the mistakes in this game and help UNC win the turnover battle, but his supporting cast will have to help him out more, too.
WHY TO WATCH: For the first time in more than a decade, UNC is making an appearance in back-to-back bowls. Carolina’s 16 wins over the last two years are the most by a Tar Heel team since posting 21 victories in 1996 and 1997. The program is changing under Davis, but can it take the next step and gain a postseason win? UNC has proven it’s capable of the upset this season, as it earned wins against No. 14 Virginia Tech and No. 12 Miami. A win over Pittsburgh would give Carolina nine wins for just the 15th time in school history and the first time since 1997.
PREDICTION: Pitt has a tendency to find a way to lose (See: Big East title on the line versus Cincinnati and regular-season game against NC State). The Tar Heels will have the edge with Davis on the sidelines, Yates will redeem himself from an inconsistent season, and UNC’s defense will once again be the difference. They’ll pressure Bill Stull into mistakes and come out on top of a defensive game. UNC wins, 21-17.
Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett
What to watch for in Week 2 of the Big East:
1. West Virginia's toughness: Ever since the East Carolina loss last year, Bill Stewart has been harping on the need for his Mountaineers to get tougher. They received a mixed grade in the opener, allowing Liberty to score 20 points and leaving too many points on the table in the red zone. But that was Liberty. The real litmus test comes against the team that smashed West Virginia in the mouth last year. It's gut-check time in Morgantown.
2. The Mountaineers' kickoff coverage: West Virginia fans thought the kickoff coverage couldn't get any worse than what it was last year ... until they saw the season opener. The Mountaineers simply can't give Patrick Pinkney and Co. terrific field position all day and expect to be successful.
3. Connecticut's punt protection: North Carolina's Bruce Carter was more like Bruce Wayne last year in Chapel Hill, turning in a superhero effort to block three straight Connecticut punts. It's hard to understand how a team could let the same guy keep coming in unblocked. Well, the Huskies have made changes to their punt protection scheme, and you'd better believe all 22 eyeballs from their punt team will be watching Carter's every move.
4. Zach Frazer's accuracy: The UConn quarterback has been a turnover machine, throwing nine interceptions in his last four games, including three more Saturday at Ohio. Frazer tossed three against the Tar Heels last year in Chapel Hill. There's no way the Huskies beat North Carolina if Frazer keeps giving the ball away.
5. Naaman Roosevelt vs. Jonathan Baldwin: Buffalo's Roosevelt is one of the best receivers in the country that nobody knows about. Pitt's Baldwin has the skills to be one of the best wideouts in the nation. Both could play important roles as the Panthers go into Buffalo, and it should be fun to see a little can-you-top-this situation develop.
6. Pitt's quarterback situation: Bill Stull got booed last week while Tino Sunseri got cheered. It was easy for Dave Wannstedt to give both time against Youngstown State. What does he do against Buffalo, especially if Stull struggles early on? Will he stick with the fifth-year senior, or have a quick hook and go with the promising redshirt freshman Sunseri?
7. South Florida's youngsters: Junior-college transfer Jason Pierre-Paul could get a lot of time at defensive end. Running back Lindsey Lamar and wideout Sterling Griffin have received a lot of attention and could become bigger parts of the offense. For some of the true frosh, the trip to Western Kentucky will be their first time playing outside of Florida. Will this be a breakout game for them, or will they be intimidated by the road atmosphere?
8. The Greg Paulus road show: Paulus was surprisingly decent in his college debut last week for Syracuse, nearly leading the Orange to a win over Minnesota. Of course, he wasn't asked to do a whole lot, and his critical mistake in overtime made the difference. How much has he learned from that, and can he come through in one of the toughest places anywhere to play, at Penn State? Paulus is certainly used to hostile environments from playing at Duke, but he's never had 100,000 people rooting against him. The fans won't be as big a problem as the Nittany Lions' defense, though.
9. Tom Savage's starting debut: Rutgers fans don't have much to look forward to after Monday's 47-15 shellacking by Cincinnati, except for the starting debut of true freshman quarterback Savage. This could be the start of a long, productive era for the former highly touted recruit. He's playing against Howard of the FCS, so the opportunity to learn on the job and build confidence is definitely there.
10. The Bearcats were virtually unstoppable offensively against Rutgers. They scored 47 points and they had called off the dogs after the third quarter. How in the world can Southeast Missouri State, an FCS opponent, possibly hope to handle that offense? Then again, Cincinnati may want to keep things simple and rest starters as much as possible with a cross-country trip to Oregon State looming.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
There are some teams in the ACC that are stacked at a particular position or positions -- meaning there's not just depth there, but depth and legitimate all-conference talent. Here's a quick look at who in the conference is simply loaded:
UNC front seven: All four starters return on the defensive line, and there is outstanding depth both there and in the secondary. On the line, tackle Cam Thompson is coming off his best season at UNC, tackle Marvin Austin and end E.J. Wilson both started the majority of games last season, and Robert Quinn had 6.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and two forced fumbles.
Linebackers Bruce Carter and Quan Sturdivant both started every game last season, and the position is the deepest it's been in recent years. Carter led the team with 11 tackles for loss and Sturdivant led the nation with 87 solo tackles.
Georgia Tech secondary: Morgan Burnett, Rashaad Reid, Mario Butler, Dominique Reese, and Cooper Taylor all have experience, and the group also welcomes back Jerrard Tarrant from a suspension.
Boston College secondary: The Eagles return DeLeon Gause, Wes Davis and Roderick Rollins, who have combined for 32 career starts. This should be the best group BC has had in a while.
Clemson defensive line: The Tigers return three starters across the front, and coach Dabo Swinney has said this unit could be the strength of the entire team. Ricky Sapp is the leader, senior Kevin Alexander is a returning starter, and there are really three starters returning for the two defensive end positions, including DaQuan Bowers, who started six games last year and finished with 47 tackles, the most among the linemen.
Miami wide receivers: Travis Benjamin, Aldarius Johnson, Thearon Collier, LaRon Byrd, Kendal Thompkins, Tommy Streeter ... the Hurricanes could field a team that consists entirely of receivers.
Florida State offensive line: The Noles are oozing with talent here. Tackle Andrew Datko, guard Rodney Hudson and center Ryan McMahon combined to start all but one game last season. What was the youngest offensive line in the FBS last season could be one of the best this year. For the first time since 2004, all five starters return.
Wake Forest offensive line: The Demon Deacons return eight offensive linemen with a total of 118 career starts among them. Jeff Griffin and Joe Birdsong are Wake's returning starters at tackle while Barrett McMillin and Joe Looney each started at guard in 2008. Russell Nenon, who started the season at guard, moved to center at midseason following an injury to Trey Bailey. Bailey returns after fully healing from a broken ankle. The Deacons also welcome back Chris DeGeare who missed the 2008 season while getting his academics in order.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
This game is a representation of the entire league -- a defensive struggle -- and North Carolina is obviously winning by a slim margin.
The Tar Heels' linebackers have been impressive to watch and they're all doing a good job of flushing Josh Nesbitt out of the pocket and forcing him to throw it away. They key in the second half will be limiting the big-play capabilities of Paul Johnson's offense.
UNC linebackers Bruce Carter and Quan Sturdivant are one reason why Mark Paschal is having a much better season in the middle. Paschal is the other reason.
Nesbitt, though clearly not 100 percent, has still managed some good throws, and a lot of that credit goes to Demaryius Thomas to making some tough catches. You can see the determination of Jonathan Dwyer when he lowers his shoulder and pushes forward for a first down.
It took a while for the Jackets' defensive line to get angry, but once they did, they started to slow Shaun Draughn, who got good blocking and ran strong in the first quarter. He's averaging an impressive 6.6 yards per carry.
Derrick Morgan has shown flashes of why, despite being in the seniors' shadows, he has the most NFL potential on that line. The Tar Heels have to get their passing game going in the second half because they aren't likely to be able to run all day against this defense.
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Not an easy list to compile, considering half the teams are off and the only in-conference matchup was already played. Still, there's always something worth paying attention to in the ACC on Saturdays:
1. Jimmy Clausen against UNC's secondary -- Yes, the Tar Heels are much improved and already have more interceptions (12) than they did all of last season (11). But the pass defense is what coordinator Everett Withers is concerned about.
2. Virginia quarterback Marc Verica -- Can he do it again against East Carolina? Was last week's performance against Maryland the real deal from the former fourth-stringer? He completed 25 of 34 passes for 226 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Where was that all season?
3. Georgia Tech's youth movement -- Paul Johnson intends on playing just about everyone in this game, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see all three quarterbacks, too. Keep an eye on true freshman A-back Marcus Wright, a speedy player likely to burn his redshirt.
4. UNC running back Shaun Draughn -- He is listed as probable heading into this game, and they'll need him to provide a boost to an otherwise inconsistent running game. Draughn rushed for 109 yards and one touchdown on just 19 carries last week against Connecticut.
5. Miami's defense -- The Hurricanes have been struggling lately, and first-year coordinator Bill Young took the blame for it in his first public comments to the media. The Hurricanes have the ability to beat UCF, but will have to play smart football in an emotional game between players who are all-too familiar with each other.
6. UNC linebacker Bruce Carter -- How can you NOT watch this guy since he's blocked four straight punts?
7. UNC's ability to get to Clausen -- The Irish allowed more sacks than any team in the nation last year (58), but have only allowed five so far this season.
8. Georgia Tech's return game -- It's the only phase of the game left for the Yellow Jackets to have a breakout play. In the past two games, Georgia Tech has produced the longest run in school history (Jonathan Dwyer's 88-yard run against Mississippi State), and the third-longest pass play in Tech history (Jaybo Shaw's 88-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas). More like 80 yards and a cloud of dust.
9. Virginia's defense versus ECU quarterback Patrick Pinkney -- Pinkney hasn't entirely been able to compensate for the Pirates' struggles on the ground, but he is 37th in the nation in passing efficiency. Clint Sintim and the Cavaliers smothered Maryland, and every win they've had this season has been a shutout. Go figure.
10. Internal combustion at Clemson -- Athletic director Terry Don Phillips said he doesn't discuss personnel changes in the middle of the season, and Tommy Bowden said he won't make any staff changes, but after Thursday night's loss to Wake Forest, everything in the program should be under review.
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
2:00 PM ET Washington State Colorado State 3:30 PM ET 20 Fresno State 25 USC 5:30 PM ET Buffalo San Diego State 9:00 PM ET Tulane Louisiana-Lafayette
6:00 PM ET Pittsburgh Bowling Green 9:30 PM ET Utah State 23 Northern Illinois
2:30 PM ET Marshall Maryland 6:00 PM ET Syracuse Minnesota 9:30 PM ET Brigham Young Washington
12:00 PM ET Rutgers Notre Dame 3:20 PM ET Cincinnati North Carolina 6:45 PM ET Miami (FL) 18 Louisville 10:15 PM ET Michigan Kansas State
11:45 AM ET Middle Tennessee Navy 3:15 PM ET Ole Miss Georgia Tech 6:45 PM ET 10 Oregon Texas 10:15 PM ET 14 Arizona State Texas Tech
12:30 PM ET Arizona Boston College 2:00 PM ET Virginia Tech 17 UCLA 4:00 PM ET Rice Mississippi State 8:00 PM ET 24 Duke 21 Texas A&M
12:00 PM ET Nebraska 22 Georgia 12:00 PM ET UNLV North Texas 1:00 PM ET Iowa 16 LSU 1:00 PM ET 19 Wisconsin 9 South Carolina 5:00 PM ET 5 Stanford 4 Michigan State 8:30 PM ET 15 UCF 6 Baylor
7:30 PM ET 13 Oklahoma State 8 Missouri 8:30 PM ET 12 Clemson 7 Ohio State