Blog Entry

ACC Coastal Breakdown

Posted on: April 15, 2009 11:00 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2009 12:58 pm

With this entry I'm going to post my thoughts entering the '09-'10 Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division Football season.

The ACC hasn't played well in the last 4-5 years, excpet for a good year here and there by teams like VT and FSU. This season, alot of teams have improved;Miami, VT,and UNC  are the biggest improvers. Not necessarily because of great recruiting classes, but of these teams returning alot of starters.This year will be filled with excitement  and hard fought football games. This looks to be one of the more exciting years in recent memory.

Coastal Division:::
Many fans would say that this is the dominant ACC division, with 4 teams having a good shot of taking the crown. Miami,VT,GT,and UNC, are all close in having a chance to take the ACC Coastal. These teams are fairly evenly matched, and games will be decided my a matter of a few points. In VT's four losses they lost by an average of only 5.5 pts. Those are the close games that i expect to see out of the forementioned ACC Coastal teams. I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the year, GT,VT,Miami, and UNC were all ranked. Not saying they are as good as the SEC, but they might have just as many ranked teams as the SEC
  • *We start with Duke(4-8)[1-7conf.] Last Season: Some people see them as being a "Darkhorse" this year, and that thought they do have a shot,  a longshot , at winning a few ACC Games this year. They started 3-1 last year and people thought that they had "turned the corner" from being just a basketball school to a school that would have an average football team, or atleast one that could compete within its division.  After beating UVA, the Blue Devils went 1-7 in their final 8 games only beating a Vanderbilt team in their 7th game of the year. Duke has improved though, Taking 9 NC and 5 SC recruits for the upcoming season. With plenty of senior leadership returning on the offensive side of the ballBut QB Thaddeus Lewis is returning for his senior season, and he will be the key to their success. He'll need someone to throw to with Eron Riley leaving (leader in Rec. Yds and Tds with 8) Johnny Williams will really have to step up in his sophmore season. The Blue Devils will  improve the offense, but the defense could struggle losing the likes of Michael Tauiliili and Alfred Williams. I look at Duke, and still see a team that is too young, and overpowered by other teams in their division. Cuttcliffe has improved them but only have will only have 5 wins to show for it due to the talent that his conference rivals are bringing in. With opponents like Army, NC Central, and Richmond,  i see the Blue Devils winning those three along with 2 or 3 ACC games
    Prediction:::Duke Blue Devils:(5-7)Overall/[2-6]Conf. this year.
  • Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets(9-3)[5-3conf.]Last Season::: Paul Johnson has really turned that ship around in a hurry at GT. His triple option offense had much success last year. They had the #5 rushing attack in the nation last year, and I see that offense improving now that he can get his recruits and the men he wants running that offense. Phil Nesbitt is returning and he ran the offense really well last year. He can really succeed if only he can hit his WR's more often, giving them the "quadruple threat" of the QB, two RB's and a WR. Demaryius Thomas is returning as the #1 WR for the Yellow Jackets, and is capable of putting up huge numbers (9 rec., 230yds,TD v. Duke). Also returning is Jonathan Dwyer, RB. He was the leading rusher for GT and also caught 8 passes for an average of 26 yds, which was the 2nd best average on the team(Marcus Wright, 1 Rec, 47 Yds =]).Not only is he a tough RB to stop, but he has good hands, and can make some catches. There are some question marks on the defensive side of the ball though, losing 3 seniors on the defensive line is tough to build on, but with Chris Crenshaw coming in and plenty of room for him to work, he could make an immediate impact. 5 defensive players are gone(3 DE's, 1LB, and 1CB), but only 2 offensive players are gone from last years team, 2 O-Lineman(Andrew Gardner, and David Brown) being able to keep that offensive team chemistry will really help.
    With GT, they're a team that depends solely on their rushing attack. It allows them to pound away at the defense, tiring them down, and with good downfield blocking, the option can really succeed in college football. If their offense improves(moreso than last year), they will beable to keep their defense off the field and be well-rested, but moreover, they can keep the other teams offense from scoring. There is little chance for opposing teams to score when the GT offense is on the field, because they simply do not turnover the football.Returning 95% of their rushing attack look for the offense to be stellar, but the defense to be less than they were this past season.
    Prediction:::Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets:(9-3)Overall/[6-2]Conf.
  • Miami Hurricanes(7-6)[4-4Conf.] last season::: The 'Canes fell hard at the end of the year not only losing its last 3 games of the year to GT,UNC, and Cal, but the announcment that Marve was leaving to pursue a starting job somewhere else really hurt them. The good news is the Jacory Harris will be returning along with a plethera of solid WR's inclduing Aldarius Johnson, Thearon Collier, and Dedrick Epps(TE) who all received 300+ passing, and 3 others who had over 250 yards last year. Jacory Harris has gotten more time to familiarize himself with those WR's and look for big things from him. He completed 60% of his passes last year, but really needs to cut down on his Interception:Touchdown ratio[12:7]. As a the back-up QB he threw 12 INT's. If his numbers can reflect more of what Marve did (13 TD's 8 INTs) then expect big things from this offense. Randy Shannon said to "Look for the U to be alot more creative this year on the offensive side of the ball", and that they would "make sure the playmakers get the ball, and make plays" in a recent interview on CCS Hurricane Football Preview.
    The U didn't have one guy on the offense that you could keep an eye on and shut down without another one emerging. this isn't to say they had a "high-powered" offense, but rather one that could be very efficient in games. The balanced attack really helped in the redzone. They ranked 3rd in scoring% on trips in the red zone, placing an astounding mark of 94% [44 of 47 trips] 29 TD's, along with 15 FG's.
    Defensively, Miami will be returning 8 starters including 3 of the 4 starting defensive lineman, and 3 of 4 defensive backs. LB Spence will be the a crucial part of their defensive succes, recording 65 tackles last year, 9.5 for a loss.
    With 8 starters on both sides of the ball(9 offense if you include Jacory Harris) the Miami Hurricanes will be retruning alot of leadership and be gaining alot back with men who missed significant time with injuries. If Harris can show the leadership that he showed in the games against Duke and UVA, than this team, could be one of the best if not the best, QB in the ACC, and with a cake of a schedule after the Oklahoma Game, Miami will have plenty of time to improve and get helathy with games against teams like, Florida A&M, Duke, and Virginia.
    Prediction:::Miami Hurricanes:(8-4)Overall/[5-3]Conf.
  • North Carolina Tarheels(8-5)[4-4Conf.] last season::: This past year, Butch Davis lead the Tarheels to a succesful season. He had to deal with the injury bug for the betterpart of the season. Brandon Tate went down week 6 with an ACL injury, and T.J Yates missed the middle part of the season after suffering an ankle injury that forced him to sit out until the final 4 games of the year. When T.J Yates was leading the offense(first 3 games) he led the nation in all-purpose yds. They had a dominating performance over Rutgers, and were up 17-3 over VT when Yates was injured. Yates is coming back, which is GREAT for UNC, but he will be missing 2 phenomanal WR's. Hakeem Nicks had a some of the best hands last season making some ridiculous receptions, and Brandon Tate was a pre-season favorite to be an All-ACC performer.
    Looking Foward:The Tarheels are returning 6 of their front 7 on the defensive front.This defense forced 20 interceptions in 13 games last season, which was good enough to be ranked 8th nationally. They also scored 6 non-offensive touchdowns, showing not only could they get it done offensively, but defensively and with special teams that they could beat you.They lose alot of key senior leadership with LB Mark Paschal leaving along with DB Tremaine Goddard. If UNC wants to continue the succesful defense they had last year, they'll need alot of boys to step up.
    Offensively this is where they stand T.J Yates can be a great QB, but he'll need someone to throw it to, and this recruiting class should provide that. They have a stellar running game that can provide a stable crutch for UNC while their WR's get into the flow of things. Shaun Draughn provided 866 yards last year but wasn't anonounced as the starter until week 7! He'll have big games this season, ecspecially when he and Ryan Houston can mesh so well togehter. I saw Ryan Houston play in High School here in Charlotte for Butler High School and saw defenders bounce off of him left and right, by bulldozing his way through them. You can hear some UNC fans referring to him as the next "Marion Barber".... Now, I don't think hes THAT good, but he makes for a great #2 back.
    UNC is sort of in a rebuilding year, with its top 3 WR's leaving, but they are still sound defnesively and look for Quan Sturdivant(LB) to emerge as a GREAT Linebacker, not just in the ACC, but nationally. He averaged 9.4 tackles per game last year recording 122 tackles in the 13 games.
    Prediction:::University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Tarheels(9-3)Overall/[5-3]Conf.
  • Virginia Cavaliers(5-7)[3-5Conf.] last season:::The Cavaliers were able to beat ECU,then ranked UNC and GT on back to back  to back weekends, but losing 4 straight games after that, ending a season that was back and forth. 1Loss,1Win,1Loss,4Win,4Loss. They started hot, but played alot like that team that got destroyed by USouthernCal in week 1 (52-7 Loss), they even gave Duke their only conference win.
    They are returning only 11 combined starters,  5 on offense and 6 on defense. For a team looking to improve, they'll have to do that with rebuilding. They lose the man that won the ACC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy with Eugene Monroe graduating, along with 3 WR's and TE John Phillips. They combined for 80% of the reception yds, and thats a big chunk of offense to replace when you were searching for a QB for most of the year. With Jameel Sewell returning and fighting with Mark Verica for the starting job(and maybe Vic Hall ,CB, who started 1 game at QB), the clean competition could help them. Verica did an good job in at the QB position, throwing for 2,000+ yds in 9 starts, but Sewell is returning after taking a leave, and is a better fit for the spread offense. The good news is that other than Eugene Monroe the entire O-Line is returning, but on the other hand, they don't have a great RB to run through that line. Cedric Peerman, who averaged 5 yds a carry last year is gone, and to step in his place is Mikell Simpson, who has had mediocre success at Virginia.
    9 of their 12 opponents they face this year made bowl appearances last season, which will make things even harder. Their Out-Of-Conference schedule includes games against TCU and SoutherMiss which could hurt them since those games are games that many people see TCU and SMU winning.
    With the lack of returning playmakers on the offense and a defense that was at most better than average last year, they will have to rebuild heavily....
    Prediction:::University of Virginia Cavaliers(3-9)Overall/[1-7]Conf.
  • Virginia Tech Hokies(10-4)[5-3Conf.] last season::: Frank Beamer is one of the brilliant coaches in the league. He can beat you in a number of ways, and consistently does it differently. From a versatile offense, to a speedy defense, to a special teams unit that will beat you in the field postion battle day in and day out. This season you can expect great things from this group of young men. With Tyrod Taylor returning along with their top 3 receivers (Jarrett Boykin,Danny Coale both rising sophmores and Greg Boone an upcoming senior TE) and also Darren Evans returns after having a impressive freshman year, in which he broke an ACC Freshman Rushing record with 1,265 yards, along with Tyrod Taylors 738 yards, they showed they can have a very impressive offense. With such a young group, this offensive set (if healthy)will be extremely hard to stop.  They will have two starting sophmore  WR's and a Jr. RB  to work with Junior Tyrod Taylor. So you can expect them to not only dominate this year, but also in years to come. When Tyrod scrambles and makes plays with his feet, It can result in buig payoffs, and also in big dissappointment. When he gets flushed he loves to run, but when he tries to throw on the run, his accuracy drops, but if he connects, its usually for a large chunk of yards.
    On defense VT looks to, yet again, be a solid group. In the last 5 years combined they led the nation in Yards Allowed Per Game, allowing just over 263 yards. 2nd place was Les Miles boys at 274 YAPG.The defense returns All-ACC DE Jason Worlids, who led the team with 8 Sacks last year and 13.5 tackles for a loss. Alongside him John Graves, who played a huge role in VT's special teams blocking 3 kicks last season. They also return their leading tackler, who by the way, didn't even start last season.... He recorded 71 tackles and had 7 sacks playing behind LB Sturdivant. I expect this years defense to be better than last years which ranked #7 nationally.
    Prediction:::Virginia Tech Hokies(11-1)Overall/[8-0]Conf.

So here's how I see the Coastal Division breaking Down.
Virginia Tech Hokies             [8-0]
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets  [6-2]
North Carolina Tar Heels       [5-3]
Miami Hurricanes                 [5-3]
Duke Blue Devils                  [2-6]
Virginia Cavaliers                 [1-7]


Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: September 22, 2009 1:53 pm

ACC Coastal Breakdown

That is very good analysis, for a State fanWinkIt would be great if you could do an updated version now that we are three weeks into the season.

Since: Oct 31, 2008
Posted on: September 9, 2009 10:03 am

ACC Coastal Breakdown

You and Dodd are so wrong about Virginia.with VT and GT at home there are no "sure loses" and at least 4 "sure wins".we have one of the strongest teams we've had in the last 5.They have the best secondary they've had in years - arguably the best in the conference.William &, Mary 26, Virginia 14

Thats horrendous..... 4 Lost fumbles by UVA, the great rushing attack only amassed 131 yds.... kinda dissappointed.... I thought they'd be bad, but not that bad...

Since: Oct 31, 2008
Posted on: August 24, 2009 11:27 am

ACC Coastal Breakdown

1-7 isn't ridiculous at all...

Last year, UVA barely edged out UNC for a win, and well, they smashed Maryland who was all over the place last year... They have a chance of beating Maryland again this year, and although UVA's offense might surprise some people, i think that Butch Davis will have the Tar Heels defense ready to shut it down. I'm not saying they haven't improved, but even with all the young talent they have coming to the receiving corps, I just think the teams they are playing have improved more. GT is in their second season with the triple option attack and looking very strong. Though Darren Evans might be out VT still has a solid rushing attack which compliments the improving passing game they have. Miami beat the Cavaliers last season in OT, this season its a home game for Miami, I don;t see them dropping the ball, though they may overlook them with the UNC game the following weekend.

The Conference games for UVA

Based those teams last year they:[In order as shown above] (W)(W)(W)(L)(L)(n/a)(L)(L)

All of those teams have improved dramatically with the exception of Duke and UNC(who i think lost ot much offense)

So, a 1-7 prediction isn't that far off IMO.
UNC had 3 turnovers that game, which assisted the W for UVA. UNC gets back at them this season.
GT had 3 turnovers that game. Both of these can be either credited to a solid UVA CB crew, or bad QB play by Nesbitt and Sexton(Yates will be returning)
I just don't see how you think that they could eclipse 5 wins?

Loses for UVA:GT,UNC,VT
more than likely loses for UVA: Miami, Clem, BC
Wins:Duke and could possibly destroy maryland again.
I just dont see a combination of 5 ACC wins for them, with other teams improving like they did..

They have an amazing RB tandem also.are we talking about the same team?  The same RB tandem that finished in LAST place in rushing yards last season, and 112th nationally!? Cedric Peerman is gone, who accounted for nearly 70% of the rushing attack... so that leaves Mikell Simpson who is the only other rusher to take more than 16 carries all season.
Unless UVA has some stellar backs coming in, I'm not sure where this elite rushing attack will be coming from. Your best blocker is gone, from a line that was at best average in the ACC.... they need huge improvements before i put them in a 5 win or even a 4 win column...

Since: Jun 30, 2009
Posted on: August 23, 2009 9:03 pm

ACC Coastal Breakdown

You and Dodd are so wrong about Virginia.

They have the best quarterback line-up they've had in years with 3 experienced starters - Sewell returning after a year ineligible will get the start and led them to a 9-win season 2 years ago.

They have the best secondary they've had in years - arguably the best in the conference.

They have an amazing RB tandem also.  The questions are replacing guys on the lines and the WRs ... but the Freshman wideouts in camp look better than anyone they had last year and the new Lineman and linebackers are all experienced and well-sized.

Beyond that - look at our schedule.... with VT and GT at home there are no "sure loses" and at least 4 "sure wins".

9-3 overall, 5-3 conference looks very possible.  1-7 is ridiculous - you're predicting the worst season Virginia's had in 50+ years when we have one of the strongest teams we've had in the last 5.

Since: Oct 31, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2009 11:50 am

ACC Coastal Breakdown

So California is going to win the Pac-10? ....
Thanks for the input GTRULES93 although I think GT will have a solid year, I still don't believe that GT can be see as a "Powerhouse" type football team. If they do, as you say, winn the ACC-Championship, and the defense(still questions on the D-Line) finishes in the top 3 of ACC teams then Maybe, I'll look at them in a new light. As of right now all they have is a tricky offense, and a smart coach, that can take you a long way, but the defense will need to really improve (from what I think they will be) to be considered a Top-Tier team(#1 favortie year-in and year-out, like a VT)

Thats not to say I don't think they CAN'T do it, just they would need to establish alot more strength on the defensive sid before I call them a great team....

Since: Nov 16, 2008
Posted on: July 31, 2009 12:17 pm

ACC Coastal Breakdown

Alright, this is how it's gonna go:

Georgia Tech is going to win the ACC, hands down. I predict my Jackets going 10-2 (7-1), with their only losses coming in very close losses to FSU and UGA. VT will play well this season, also going 10-2 (7-1), but this time Georgia Tech will beat VT and win the ACC Coastal Division via tie-breaker. GT will get their revenge over FSU in the ACCC, and then they will cruise to an Orange Bowl victory over California. UNC will also hang in there, going 10-2 but losing all of the wrong games (i.e. to GT and VT.) Sorry Hokies, but this year Georgia Tech is going to win the tie-breaker and establish themselves as powerhouses in the ACC.

Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: July 27, 2009 11:34 am

ACC Coastal Breakdown

Why everyone has Miami losing to Virgina Tech is beyond me, Did VT get better without me noticing? I think Miami got better. Didn't Miami beat VT last year?! Oh ok. Don't get pre season rankings or predicitions, shouldn't you actually wait till you see that team play? Maybe its just me

Since: Oct 31, 2008
Posted on: April 21, 2009 11:28 am

ACC Coastal Breakdown

I definitly feel like The U could lose a couple more, just like i feel UNC might lose a couple of more games
... i jsut the thaht Miami wins the matchups with people in their division, they could lose 2 games VT and GT, but I don't see UNC beating them, but hey you never know, maryland loses to Middle Tenn. St. and virginia (31-0) then beat teams like UNC WF and NCSU...

anything can happen and the ACC has shown that... but agreed that all 4 go bowlin'...

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: April 21, 2009 5:57 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 31, 2008
Posted on: April 20, 2009 10:22 pm

ACC Coastal Breakdown

VT returns alot of young essential starters and are always a tough team to beat... I don't think they will be National Champ. Contenders .... but they will be a highly ranked team. Top 5 is where I see them sitting for the majority of the year.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or