Blog Entry

Eye On College Football Midseason Report: ACC

Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:56 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 1:23 pm

Posted by Chip Patterson

Offensive Player of the Year: David Wilson, Virginia Tech. One of the most important aspects of Virginia Tech's success has been their ability to lean on the ACC's leading rusher for production while new starting quarterback Logan Thomas becomes accustomed to the offense. Wilson carried the load early, averaging 129.0 yards per game in his first four outings. Thomas has shown his rapid development in back-to-back wins against Miami and Wake Forest, and now Virginia Tech is more dangerous offensively than they've been all season. Wilson not only has shown the capability to carry a 20+ attempt load, but has rushed for 120+ yard in six of Virginia Tech's seven games. Also considered: Tajh Boyd, Clemson; Lamar Miller, Miami; Tanner Price, Wake Forest

Defensive Player of the Year: Sean Spence, Miami. Few defensive players have meant more to their unit than Spence has in Coral Gables. After serving his one game suspension in the opener, the senior linebacker has reinserted himself as the playmaker of the Hurricanes defensive unit. In many cases this season, Miami's defense has been shaky - missing assignments and finding themselves out of position. On more occasions than I can count, Spence comes flying across the field to save the play with a big tackle. His game-saving sack of North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner to ice a must-win road game in Chapel Hill on Saturday was a perfect example of Spence delivering when the Canes need him most. Also considered: Luke Kuechly, Boston College. Jeremiah Attaouchu, Georgia Tech. Andre Branch, Clemson.

Coach of the Year: Dabo Swinney, Clemson. After last season's disappointing 6-7 finish, Swinney made some swift changes on the coaching staff and hit the recruiting trail hard. With 42 of his 85 scholarship players either true or redshirt freshman, the ability to bring that youth into the program and develop them quickly would be essential to the Tigers' success. Clemson's uber-talented lineup, led by sophomore Tajh Boyd and true freshman Sammy Watkins, has played with the enthusiasm and energy of their coach. Swinney's personality is all over this team, and this team is undefeated and sitting in the top 10. Pretty good job for a coach who once held the "interim" tag. Also considered: Jim Grobe, Wake Forest

Surprise: Wake Forest. After a disastrous 2010 season, with no notable additions to the roster, the media selected the Demon Deacons to finish at the bottom of the ACC Atlantic Division in the preseason poll. However, what wasn't considered is that Jim Grobe's best teams tend to show up when there is continuity from one season to the next. Grobe and his staff have a roster made of mostly of high-IQ recruits from Florida and Texas that were passed over by some of the powers that dominate those areas. Wake Forest still has several ACC challenges ahead, but the 3-1 conference start and victory over Florida State is plenty to hang your hat on at this point in Winston-Salem. Also considered: Clemson

Disappointment: Florida State. Coming into the season, the buzz was back in Tallahassee. Florida State had a strong finish to Jimbo Fisher's first season at the helm, and returned 17 starters from the squad that knocked off South Carolina in the Chick Fil-A Bowl. They gave Oklahoma everything they had in a memorable top-five bout in Tallahassee, but after that 24-13 loss things began to unravel for the Seminoles. Much of the frustrations can be blamed on a long list of injuries, but three straight losses is incredibly disappointing considering the expectations coming into the season. Also considered: Boston College

Game of the Year So Far: Clemson at Maryland. The game of the year might have been this past weekend with Clemson's 18-point comeback victory over Maryland in College Park. From the Terps' freshman quarterback CJ Brown lighting up the Tigers defense for 162 yards rushing to Sammy Watkins' 89-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter, there was no shortage of fireworks in the 56-45 Clemson win. Offensive coordinator Chad Morris (former Tulsa OC) reportedly told Swinney after the game the 28 combined fourth quarter points was "just like another night in Conference USA." Also considered: Miami at Maryland; Georgia Tech at Virginia; Oklahoma at Florida State.

Game of the Year (To Come) - Clemson at Georgia Tech, Oct. 29. With Virginia Tech turning the corner and Georgia Tech picking up their first division loss against Virginia, this game will be a must-win for the Yellow Jackets. In addition to being a rematch of the 2009 ACC title game, both teams are hoping this will be a preview of the 2011 title game in Charlotte. Georgia Tech has the offense that can keep Clemson's explosive weapons off the field, but the rushing attack has been sputtering in their last two outings. The kickoff has already been set for 8 p.m., and Bobby Dodd Stadium should be packed for a inter-division showdown under the lights.

Atlantic Division Champion: Clemson. Six conference wins normally can put you in a good spot to lock up the division, and a home victory over North Carolina will bring the Tigers to 5-0 with Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, and N.C. State left on the schedule. Even with an upset against the Yellow Jackets the Tigers should lock this up in the coming weeks.

Coastal Division Champion: Virginia Tech. The beginning of the season showed a Hokies team struggling to impress while Georgia Tech was setting all kinds of offensive records. At the midpoint, Virginia Tech is playing their best football while the Yellow Jackets are looking to get back on track on both sides of the ball. Typical early loss, strong finish season for Frank Beamer will result in another ACC title game appearance.

ACC Champion: Clemson. After that memorable comeback win against Maryland, you have to feel like the Tigers have that never-say-die attitude needed to claim the conference crown. After falling short in 2009, Clemson claims their first ACC title since 1991.

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Since: Oct 19, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 8:25 am

Eye On College Football Midseason Report: ACC

You pro's prove everytime I read your reports that anyone can be a sports writer! Give me a break! there's not a good time in the ACC Take Clemson and Maryland they look like to high school teams playing there 2nd team. Neither team has a defense neither team can stop the run or the pass! And you have Clemson as the ACC Chamion Give me a Break . JUST TELL THE TRUTH 

Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:33 am

Eye On College Football Midseason Report: ACC

stl hokie...wilson carried the hokies against clemson ? he had some fine runs but if memory serves he never crossed the goal line. doesnt that make your fg kicker that nights offensive mvp ? no offense sir...but our defense manhandled ya...and our offense did just fine as well.

Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: October 19, 2011 1:30 am

Eye On College Football Midseason Report: ACC

this article should include positional grades for all  of the player positions. david wilson is really all the hokies have right now..logan thomas looks confused. watkins and boyd should be 1 and 2 followed closely by wilson then geo bernard and possibly the frosh receiver from fsu. i like the spence pick but kuechly is a beast as well as andre branch and brandon thompson. there is no meaning to a midseason list on accolades...too much football to be played to call anyone the best right now.

Since: Feb 28, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:38 pm

Eye On College Football Midseason Report: ACC

David Wilson singlehandily carried the VT offense through the first 5 games of the season. There is no way that you can try and say that DW isn't the ACC player of the year. He's rushed for over 100 yards and is THIRD in the Nation in Rushing Yards. Sammy Watkins is a good reciever, but look what he did when he actually played a top defense in VT, like 2 catches for 35 yards, virtually nonexistent. DW still has the stats edge in this repsect as well. Plus, DW eats Chick-Fil-A on Sundays.
What I am surprised about is defensive player of the year. How can you not have Luke Keuchly, who for the THIRD year in a ROW, is leading th NATION in Tackles. Yes, he may be playing for BC, but it's obvious that he isnt getting too much help, and he's the only reason this team isnt getting blownout every week.

Since: Oct 18, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:52 pm

Chip Patterson's grade on this article...

What a horrible mid-season report! Are you sure you even follow the ACC? Here are the correct observations mid-season... Off player of year: David Wilson at this player is laughable. He isn't even the best offensive player on his own team! Logan Thomas has won those games for the Hokies. And how can you possibly leave Sammy Watkins off of that lost. You have college football experts saying he is one of the best PLAYERS in the nation, yet he can't make your ACC list?? Maybe you missed last weekend where he broke CJ Spillers all purpose yards as a freshman. Def Player of year: Glad to see that a team that is lucky to be a very mediocre 3-3 actually has a player that "has never meant more to their unit"....what a joke! Surprise: Wake??? Take away the FSU win and are they any different than what we thought?? Who would have believed Clemson would be 7-0 at this point! Game of the year: agreed Game of the year to come: agreed The rest of your predictions are probably close...we shall see. Have to give you a C- on this one Chip!

Since: Nov 6, 2010
Posted on: October 18, 2011 8:05 pm

Eye On College Football Midseason Report: ACC

Chip...have you heard of Taj Boyd...from Clemson.

He's your Offensive Player of the Year in the ACC.

Since: Sep 12, 2008
Posted on: October 18, 2011 4:01 pm

ACC Champion: Georgia Tech

The road goes through Atlanta, my friend.

Since: Dec 2, 2007
Posted on: October 18, 2011 2:07 pm

Eye On College Football Midseason Report: ACC

I can't believe their picking VT over GT for the Coastal division as I don't see that as a definite yet.  VT hasn't looked that good in their wins.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:57 pm

Eye On College Football Midseason Report: ACC

Great selection for DAVID WILSON of VT being the first half selection for Offensive Player due to his consistency on the field. We'll see how this plays out the rest of the season with David, but it's his and the VT Offense award to lose at this point and time.

Since: Oct 18, 2011
Posted on: October 18, 2011 1:41 pm

Eye On College Football Midseason Report: ACC

David Wilson is not better than Sammy Watkins(he WILL be the Offensive Player of the Year).

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