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October 1, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Heather Dinich

Heather Dinich
  (12:59 PM)

Hello, ACC fans. We're in October. Let's kick it off.

Tim (ATL)

another stellar weekend of football for whatever conference is sending teams to play the ACC... what's going on in blacksburg? How much of VT's defensive struggles are because the offense doesn't stay on the field long enough for the defense to get some rest??

Heather Dinich
  (1:01 PM)

I was on Frank Beamer's teleconference this morning and he said there was a pretty long offensive staff meeting about the slow starts, but declined to elaborate. It's not just about the defense getting some rest, though. They're simply not executing well, either.

Sad (Chokiestown)

True or False: VA Tech needs major change in coaching (up to and including HC) in order to get to the next level in college football hierarchy?

Heather Dinich
  (1:02 PM)

It will be a cold day where it's hot when I say Beamer needs to go. He's done wonders for that program. And yes, he's loyal to a fault.

Richard (miami)

Hey HD, what realistic chance does Miami have this weekend vs Irish?

Heather Dinich
  (1:03 PM)

Realistic? I'd say long-shot. Look, the Canes are a scrappy team finding a way to get it done, but even Al Golden knows the magic will run out if they don't fix some things. Notre Dame is the better team.

Robert (Blacksburg)

Heather, first thanks for your good work. I really feel that something is amiss with coaching staff at Virginia Tech. This entire season so far, the team doesn't seem to show up until the second half. Do you feel there is a comfort level on the offensive coaching staff that consisently transends this attitude.

Heather Dinich
  (1:04 PM)

Thanks. I wish I could've been in that offensive staff meeting, but from knowing the guys on that staff, I can honestly say I have NEVER heard of any infighting on that staff. They are definitely comfortable with each other. I think the problem is simply a matter of having eight new starters. They don't have a David Wilson.

Alex (Miami)

What grade do you give the ACC overall this weekend?

Heather Dinich
  (1:06 PM)

Probably a D+. Losses to MTSU, Cincy and La Tech weighed it down.

CaneISure (ACCylum)

At the end of the season, will S. Morris be listed as one of the "great" UM QB's?

Heather Dinich
  (1:06 PM)

As me that after he puts up 566 yds vs. the Irish. Which he won't.

Garrett (Charleston, SC)

what else does DeAndre Hopkins have to do for commentators to stop making the following statements during games "Hopkins caught a great pass there.....even without number 1 receiver Sammy Watkins to draw off defenders"?

Heather Dinich
  (1:07 PM)

Yeah, it's time for Nuke to get the credit he deserves. He's not playing in Sammy's shadow anymore. He's his own star.

Brian (Richmond Va)

Do you have eligibility left? Would you like to start in the place of David Amerson on Saturday?

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

Unreal how he's been torched this season. He's still faster than me, though, promise.

Steve (Durham)

Chances we see the Blue Devils in Charlotte on December 1st?

Heather Dinich
  (1:08 PM)

Don't push it, Steve. :) If Duke were 100 percent healthy, I might actually say yes, but that team is soooo banged up, it's hanging on by a thread.

Mitch (NJ)

Why does the ACC get so overhyped every year? Its still just FSU and everyone else.

Heather Dinich
  (1:09 PM)

STILL?? and ... OVERhyped?? I think you've got it backwards. FSU is overhyped every year and the ACC is underappreciated. This year is the first time in a long time it's "FSU and everyone else."

Elliott (Atlanta)

What do you think GT's biggest problems on defense are and how should they fix them going into the second half of the season?

Heather Dinich
  (1:10 PM)

A lot of it goes back to recruiting. That's my gut instinct answer, Elliott. As for fixing it heading into October, right now I'd be more worried about attitude than anything else, and that's something only the players can fix.

Kevin (Maryland)

I know Duke Johnson has been the best Freshman in the ACC so far but what are Stephon Diggs chances to sneak up and take it from him?

Heather Dinich
  (1:11 PM)

He can do it, if Randy Edsall gets him more touches.

Rolly (RCC)

When does TOB get called out for not winning a conference championship with BC or NCST in 15 years?

Heather Dinich
  (1:11 PM)

I have a lot of respect for Tom O'Brien, as a coach and a person, but this season has been inexplicable. He said it's on him, and he's right.

Tony (Tampa, FL)

Tougher road game for FSU in October: NC STATE or MIAMI?

Heather Dinich
  (1:12 PM)

Miami.

Larry M (Athens GA)

Does Al Groh last the entire season at GT's DC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:13 PM)

Yeah, he'll make it through the season. I bet it will/would be hard for Paul Johnson to make a change there. Not only because Groh is a former head coach within the same division, but also because it reflects poorly on him. It was his hire.

Joshua (Miami)

Any thoughts on why the canes are so inconsistent on both sides of the ball? And what can Al Golden and co. do to fix it?

Heather Dinich
  (1:14 PM)

Sure, they're young. They're inexperienced. The linebackers are banged up. There are plenty of reasons. To fix it? It's a live and learn situation if you ask me. The loss at K-State was a real tough experience for them. Those kinds of things will help in the long run.

Richard (Raleigh, NC)

"long-shot" sounds similar to "not even close"

Heather Dinich
  (1:15 PM)

Lol you guys have good memories. How about "so you're saying there's a chance?"

Matt (Jacksonville)

Pick me! Pick me! True or false Miami is the toughest team ND has played thus far.... MSU Mich?

Heather Dinich
  (1:15 PM)

False. I'd say Sparty.

Tim (Virginia)

Do you think Phillip Sims will get the start this week at Duke?

Heather Dinich
  (1:16 PM)

Mike London has a teleconference later today. I'm sure we'll know more about that situation after that call. Will post something on it.

T.C. (Richmond, VA)

what on earth is going on in the coastal div?

Heather Dinich
  (1:16 PM)

Duke!

Trey (Aiken, SC)

Big Ten or ACC, which is better right now and why?

Heather Dinich
  (1:17 PM)

ACC. National title contender.

Moar Pizza (at work of course)

Early thoughts on the VT vr UNC match up?

Heather Dinich
  (1:17 PM)

The Hokies are going to struggle. I think we see more of the UNC we saw in the second half against Louisville. UNC has more answers on offense right now.

Chief Osceola (Everywhere)

Hey, ACC... stop dropping games you should be winning. We want to go to the NC and you're not helping with our SOS!

Heather Dinich
  (1:18 PM)

Fair point. At least Clemson didn't lay an egg. Yet.

Sam (The Blogs)

Your really going to ride the Duke train?

Heather Dinich
  (1:18 PM)

Only for about two more games.

Adam (St. Louis)

HD!! Great work on your blog. How bad does VT have to get before either Beamer shakes the place up or Jim Weaver does it for him?

Heather Dinich
  (1:19 PM)

Thx. I think they'd have to fall out of the Coastal race this year. And there is still lots of time left. They've only played one game.

Raiford (Atlanta, GA)

Loved seeing you on EXPERTS- you did a great job - Was at the GT debacle - and it was REAL BAD in that stadium - WHO IS IN TROUBLE at GT and in the rest of the ACC?

Heather Dinich
  (1:20 PM)

Why thanks. Al Groh is in trouble at GT and Frank Spaziani is in trouble at BC.

jander75 (the ACCylum)

It could have been worse, we could have been killed by a sunbelt team...

Heather Dinich
  (1:20 PM)

zing!

Jonathan (Miami, FL)

Heather,You essentially opine above that ND will beat Miami, because it is a better team. Presumably, better than anyone Miami has faced, save Kansas. But ND will face an offense unlike anything ND has seen this year. I'm not disputing that Miami is all over the place, and needs improvement. But I've not seen a Miami team play like this since the late 90's when Butch was rebuilding. Yes, Miami has a way to go to return to the type of team it fielded from 1999-2003, but these kids scrappy. And the defense, while not perfect, is improving and will have MLB Perryman back for this game. So are you that certain about ND coming out ahead of Miami?

Heather Dinich
  (1:21 PM)

Yeah, about as certain as I was GT would beat MTSU. Look, you never know, especially with such a wildy unpredictable team like the Canes. They're a fun group to watch and you make good points, but I think ND D will get pressure on Morris and force him into some mistakes.

T.C. (Richmond, VA)

So was FSU's sluggish, boring game a product of surviving the "letdown" or are the Noles not quite as good as I had hoped?

Heather Dinich
  (1:22 PM)

Nah, they're that good. You can't expect a team to flat-out dominate every opponent every weekend. It was a win. Take it.

Rich (miami)

David Amerson is a bust. Fluke year last year. He better stay in school for his senior season

Heather Dinich
  (1:22 PM)

They're just college kids, guys, ease up. But yeah, I bet he lost a ton of money right off the bat in the Tennessee game. If I'm TOB I try to convince him to stay.

John (Atl)

What has Notre Dame done to deserve such lofty praise? Sorry they beat two teams in the Big 10 that can't score. Heck ND put 13 points up on 6 turnovers. Miami should be underdog, but it's gets old when teams are ranked having really not proven much. Thoughts?

Heather Dinich
  (1:24 PM)

They beat back-to-back Top 20 teams. What more do they have to do to get some credit? Their defense is holding opponents to nine points per game. If anyone would wake up and recognize defenders should be in the Heisman race, they've got one on their roster.

Eric (Richmond, VA)

Heather- you take on what's going on in Charlottesville? QB problem, O'line problem, Defense problem? Inexperience? There seems to be flashes of really good and extended streaks of inconsistent and poor play.

Heather Dinich
  (1:25 PM)

Turnovers. Inexperience. To me the first thing that comes to mind is the turnovers. They've got to get that corrected at QB. And with having to replaces seven starters on D, especially in the secondary, we're seeing why that was a concern.

David (Anderson, SC)

With FSU leading the ACC towards the NC and baring Clemson having a letdown are these the two teams that will bring 2 BCS berths back to the ACC this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:26 PM)

It's real good possibility, David, but there is no margin for error. FSU MUST go undefeated to have a chance.

Matt (Houston)

How long will the ACC (and for that matter the Big 10 and Big East) remain in the cellar? Seems to me that it's a long road to try and compete with the big boys of the SEC/Big 12/Pac 12.

Heather Dinich
  (1:27 PM)

Until they produce a national champ to knock off the SEC, and in the case of the ACC, until they start winning those head-to-head games on a more regular basis. And in the bowl games.

Ross (Long Island)

Who Wins between Maryland and Wake Forest?

Heather Dinich
  (1:28 PM)

I don't know, predictions come out Thursday, but the Terps can't be ignored. They'll be at home and had the bye week to prepare. Deacs lost their top playmaker in Campanaro for a few weeks.

Joyless Jacket (Florida)

Will GT's bowl streak come to an end this season?

Heather Dinich
  (1:28 PM)

I've still got them bowling, but CPJ has got to stop the bleeding.

jander75 (the ACCylum)

HD, At the rate we are going I am honestly not convinced we will make a bowl this year. Think that would be enough to get rid of Beamer and Stiney?

Heather Dinich
  (1:28 PM)

No way, not Beamer. But yeah, I could see staff changes if that happened. I don't think it will, though.

Chad (FL)

Heather, who lines up against FSU in the ACC CG?

Heather Dinich
  (1:29 PM)

Great question. Today (at 1:29) I'm going with Miami. Can't remember if I said that last week or not.

Jason (Columbia, SC)

Will the critics be saying that Sammy Watkins is in a "sophmore slump"? It is hard to put up the stats he did last year when he has already missed 3 games.

Heather Dinich
  (1:30 PM)

They shouldn't. He hasn't played enough to say that. Wouldn't be fair. FSU D did a good job on him, though.

Ricky (Nashville, TN)

Do you think Maryland is regretting letting go of Friedgen?

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

I think it's too late for that, and if anyone had those feelings, they were during last year's 2-10 run.

Cane1Sure (ACCylum)

You said UM or VT last week!

Heather Dinich
  (1:31 PM)

Well, there you go, I'm a little more convinced in the Canes this week, hence the new power rankings.

Joshua (Miami)

What is up with Jake Wieclaw? Did he suffer and injury or something that was a horrible performance. Any chance Dalton Botts takes over FG duties?

Heather Dinich
  (1:32 PM)

I was on Golden's teleconference yesterday and he talked about Jake a bit. Didn't seem too concerned. Not that Jake was getting complacent, he said, but maybe that was kind of a good thing for him because he didn't really have anyone pushing him.

Chris J (Tampa, FL )

Heather, What does it take for FSU to take over the number 2 spot??? Doesn't help their cause now that Oregon will get to put another "W" on the books after beating Washington this Thursday who is now somehow ranked after beating an incredibly over-hyped Stanford team.. Have to love these AP polls.

Heather Dinich
  (1:34 PM)

Yeah, that's going to be tough. The best-case scenario for FSU is obviously for Oregon to lose. With four ranked opponents still on their schedule, don't dismiss that possibility.

Laura (Va)

Year after year after year, Va Tech's mediocre offensive system is bailed out because of talent (Vick, Tyrod, Wilson, Wilson, Evans)...I am wondering if this is the year that lack of talent catches up with them and they are forced to rebuild the entire offensive system and bring in new coaching talent. Stiney has probably taken us as far as we can go. Thoughts??

Heather Dinich
  (1:35 PM)

You're right, they don't have the same supporting cast and it's showing this year, but guys, THAT's a huge part of the problem. Bottom line: It wouldn't surprise me in the least if there was a shakeup on the staff if this continues.

Will (S. Fla)

Hey Heather... Great work with the blogs (keep picking Miami to lose...lol) On a real note, are you concerned with the sudenly throw happy Canes team? We have some good RB's and it seems like we hardly used them Saturday. Dont get me wrong, I love a 1000 yards passing in 2 games, but are we getting too throw happy? Thanks.

Heather Dinich
  (1:36 PM)

I'm a firm believer in two things: A) Sticking with what works and B) The coaches, for the most part, know what they're doing. Golden talked a bit yesterday about moving that direction, but he's not going to ignore the talent he has at RB, I can guarantee you that.

Jim Allen (Barboursville, WVa)

VT's problems are on BOTH sides of the ball. Bud Foster has this great reputation, but his defenses ha ve been gashed time and time again and he is the one that needs to go.

Heather Dinich
  (1:37 PM)

Bud Foster didn't get dumber, guys. You're exactly right that the defense is part of the problem, too. Dare I say the expectations were too high for that group?

Brian (Wash DC)

Right now Notre Dame is favored by 13 - I think that Notre Dame will win, but isn't 13 points kind of a slap in the face to Miami?

Heather Dinich
  (1:38 PM)

It's a compliment. Have you SEEN Miami's defense?

John (Atl)

How are pending NCAA charges going to affect UM possibly self-imposing one more years of bowl bans? At this point they will probably be eligible for a bowl this year (6 wins).

Heather Dinich
  (1:39 PM)

I have no idea. That's probably the most disappointing thing about Miami's success, is that the NCAA investigation isn't over yet. Nobody knows how that will affect the program right now.

Ben (DC)

Are there any teams you see jumping FSU in the polls with a win this weekend (USC/Georgia/LSU)?

Heather Dinich
  (1:42 PM)

If Georgia plays well against South Carolina, and FSU struggles, it wouldn't surprise me if they jumped LSU. It could come down to style points, of course LSU has to beat Florida in order for it to matter.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Do FSU fans realize that it's only been 5 weeks into the season? It's a long season and need to realize the landscape will be alot different in 2 months.

Heather Dinich
  (1:44 PM)

It could be, Brandon, but to be the No. 3 team in the country right now is a terrific spot for FSU and the ACC.

Noah (Tallahassee)

What are the chances UF is in the top 10 when they come to Tallahassee in November and how do you see that game shaking out?

Heather Dinich
  (1:45 PM)

It's so hard to say. So much of it depends on how the teams above them fare. Plus, they've got South Carolina and Georgia on their schedule still. There are lots of opportunities left for the Gators. As for how I see it shaking out? I still think FSU wins, especially if they are undefeated at that point.

Elliott (Atlanta)

Same question as Laura but concerning GT. Do you think that a poor outcome this season would force CPJ to not only make changes to the defense but also the offensive system?

Heather Dinich
  (1:46 PM)

No. I think Paul Johnson would hug Al Groh before he changed his offense.

Aden (Virginia Beach)

Do you think VT has a chance winning against Clemson or FSU? Upset?

Heather Dinich
  (1:48 PM)

Not at this rate. Based on what I've seen, Virginia Tech's offense is going to have a hard time keeping up with UNC this weekend. And Miami's next. I was thiiiiis close to ranking Duke above VT this week.

boone (accylum )

What is wrong with the Wolfpack? They have the talent but Glennon can't do it all. our secondary is terrible.

Heather Dinich
  (1:49 PM)

I am shocked. For those of you who read the blog frequently you know I was touting NC STate as a darkhorse all summer. They DO have the talent, that's what's crazy about it. They should be better. On Saturday they killed themselves with turnovers and penalties.

David (Cleveland OH)

Is this finally the year UNC beats NC State? When they are on probation?

Heather Dinich
  (1:51 PM)

I honestly don't know. I don't think NC State is a bad team. Glennon is a very good quarterback. I think that game goes down to the fourth quarter.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Who are your offensive and defensive MVPs right now in the conference?

Heather Dinich
  (1:52 PM)

Great question. Offensively, I'd probably go with EJ Manuel at this point. He's in the Heisman race. As for defense? Yikes, it's been a tough year for ACC defenses. What do you guys think?

Allen (Eagle-land)

will BC end up 2-10 this year?

Heather Dinich
  (1:53 PM)

I don't think so. The one thing BC fans can count on is the players. Those kids play hard every week. They're tough and they love the game. And the offense has taken some big strides this year.

Alex (Miami)

As for the Defensive MVP's it has to be someone on the FSU defense.. Waisome, Joyner, Werner, Tank... Thoughts?

Heather Dinich
  (1:53 PM)

Yeah, Werner was the first guy who came to mind, then Tank.

Drew (Gainesville, FL)

Is NC State really as sloppy as they appeared against a sloppy Miami? Both defenses looked terrible, but that's the first time I have seen then play. I know Miami is young, but what is NC States excuse?

Heather Dinich
  (1:54 PM)

Tom O'Brien is wondering the same thing, Drew. He said he's never seen a team make so many mistakes in his 38 years of coaching. wow.

Brandon (Phoenix, AZ)

Bjoern Werner for ACC MVP Easy. Best player on defense for best team in ACC.

Robert (Blacksburg)

Heather, I think you would say that there are a ton of upset VT fans, and I think it goes for a large number of loyal VT supporters over the years.

Heather Dinich
  (1:54 PM)

Yeah, and I think they all found their way into the chat this week. I feel like a bartender.

Garrett (Charleston, SC)

right now you have clemson projected to the chick-fil-a bowl which goes against the SEC if i'm not mistaken. any chance for a clemson/south carolina rematch? would a bowl put two rivals together?

Heather Dinich
  (1:55 PM)

My experience is that a bowl will put together anything that sells tickets. Typically I think they like to stay away from rematches, but after the ACC got two BCS bids last year, nothing would surprise me. I'll talk to Gary Stokan about it.

Ike (PA)

Who do you like in the ACC-to-be pillowfight on Friday - Cuse or Pitt?

Heather Dinich
  (1:56 PM)

Lol yeah, guys, keep an eye on that one. Your future teams are lining up against each other. I have to consult with Andrea Adelson, she's got the Big East scoop, but I like Pitt. I don't think we gave them enough credit. They were a better team than they showed at the beginning of the season.

hokiehi22260 (Plano, Texas)

Heather, since you're tending bar now, could I get a double shot of Fire-in-the-belly for our team?

Heather Dinich
  (1:57 PM)

Lol coming right up. A round for Georgia Tech, too.

Jason (Columbia, SC)

Does Clemson's "high octane" offense hurt the defense? It seems like the offense has not had nearly as many 3 and outs this year or home run plays as they have had in the past. They just keep the chains moving with Ford, Ellington and Nuke. Wonder if they could get those guys to switch to defense?

Heather Dinich
  (1:58 PM)

The only thing hurting Clemson's defense right now is opposing quarterbacks.

Nick (Boston)

Hi, Heather after watching Miami this week I am really looking foreword to that Miami FSU game because they can throw the ball with Morris and run the ball with Johnson, I think that game is FSU biggest test left on their schedule your thoughts?

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

I tried to tell people that last week, Nick, but in the poll I posted, most folks liked the Hokies for the biggest chance to upset FSU.

Sal Lizard (Trek Convention)

HD, VT fans need one optimistic insight from you, thoughts?

Heather Dinich
  (1:59 PM)

They're 1-0 in league play!

TK (facing North)

I think Clemson will lose one more ACC game(or "pull a Clemson"), do you?

Heather Dinich
  (2:00 PM)

No, I really don't. I'm looking at the rest of their schedule and don't think they should lose again, except maybe to South Carolina and that's not "pulling a Clemson." They didn't do it against BC. I think this is a different Clemson. We'll see.

Heather Dinich
  (2:01 PM)

Ok guys, my time here is up. Thanks for joining me this week. See you next Monday.hd