Posted on: September 4, 2009 11:22 am

NCSU... Take[1]

Well, well, what a great way to kickoff the NCAA College Football season! Such intensity, such great passion, it was just so invigorating!
...ok, maybe not... more like "What a pathetic game, by both teams, in all aspects of the game".

::First off, it was great to see Toney Baker back after missing virtually two seasons with this injuries.
:Josh Czajkowski returns and continues to kick well.
::Russell Wilsons streak continued.

The Good:Diamonds in the Rough...
*Russell Wilson
continued his streak towards Andre Woodsons record for the most consecutive pass attempts without an interception. He still has a ways to go, but he's protecting the ball well. USC scored when they recovered the NCState fumble, shows how important keeping possesion is.
*Toney Baker looked surprisingly healthy (outside of the first carry). They later hit him with a short screen pass in which he made the first man miss, and later sidestepped his way through a whole on the line of scrimmage and showed us the burst that he still has from his High School days, where he still holds the All-Time North Carolina high school record for career rushing yards.
*Good Defense. [To an extent]They only gave up 7 points, and held their ground late in the game and deep on their side of the field, something that plagued them last season. I liked the pressure, and the stunts they used to get to Garcia, but the containment wasn't there and couldn't hold him inside. Nate Irving was great at keeping QB's at bay[last season], Garcia running allowed them to extend drives, and wear down the defense. Don't forget they did this without Irving, Morgan, and with a group of very young DB's.(Bytheway:Great job by R.Smith, he was maybe the only defensive player outside of Cole that was really throwing his body around, and sticking his nose hard into the action. ALTHOUGH I think they dropped the Lineman (Young and McKeen) into coverage way to much...
*Involving TJ Graham well, its good that they looked his way, and really tried to utilize his skills, but he didn't decide to show up.... dropping multiple balls. Good effort on the part of the Offensive coordinator Bible, poor effort on Grahams part...

The Bad:Could easily be improved....
*133 Yards
of offense is just pathetic, not sure who to blame, they're all at fault for this. Eric Norwood(LB, USC) played a solid game, but Wilson just wasn't himself until desperation sat in, late in the game. With all the hype surrounding this team and their potential, this is just a pitiful effort showing, it wasn't even an effort.
*Offensive Line now, I know that Vermiglio was out, but the ENTIRE left side of the line was 2, no, 3 steps slower than USC's defensive line. Players were constantly beating them around the end, with very little resistance, and Wilson never stepped up in the pocket, just dropped back and either sat there, or barely put in the effort to scramble away from pressure(knee maybe still bothering him?)
*Russell Wilsons Big Play
was absent this game. Last season they would try a deep ball to Owen Spencer here, and a 15yd crossing route to Jarvis Williams there, but that was completely ignored last night. Again, he went to the checkdown to quickly. He went deep twice and had success, One was called back due to the Offensive line penalty, and the other allowed Spencer to have room to run after the catch and gained 15 yds. Then the poor effort by Williams in the endzone...
*South Carolina Rushed for 107yds!?... thats pathetic in itself.
*Poor tackling... Justin Byers, good kid, but everytime he wants to "Lay the Wood" on someone, rather than sure up the tackle.That along with injuries, made him sit out some of last year Just flying around throwin' your body into people works sometimes, but you'll just bounce of a good running bakc, or a physical receiver. He and Audie Cole and Byers had Tori Gurley stopped for a big loss one smoke route, just ran in there, lowered his head, and just wanted to hit him, rather than tackle him. We all love to see the big hit, but make sure the guy will go down first. Also , you let Stephen Garcia hurdle your defense!!??!!?? Thats never a positive thing... =/

The Ugly
*Dropped Passes,
haven't they had ALL offseason to work on this problem... Well it didn't improve, with just barely better than a .50% completion rating for Wilson. Jarvis Williams put in a good effort in diving for the fingertip ball, it is absolutely inexcusable why a DB who you have a GREAT height advantage over should beat you to a jump ball in the endzone! Get position on him, get up there and grab the football at your highest point, don't let them get position on you and NEARLY make an interception. Good effort on breaking it up on the way down, but how about you catch it so you don't put yourself and your team into that spot next time!?.... There is no GOOD reason why they dropped as many balls as they did, thru the hands, juggle and drops, two dropped in the endzone, and no effort to go hard accross the middle 10-12yd range.
*Russell Wilson I know, I had him in the "Good", but he just seemed to play the whole game slow, and afraid to either test his knee, or afraid to test the coaching staff and run for a gain. He was chased down from behind 2 or 3 times yesterday by Lineman and Linebackers, and last year he just had this top level of speed to just get away from defenders, and I'm really afraid his knee might still be bothering him. Also being chased from behind results in turnovers, very luck that ball rolled out of bounds, rather than Norwood gaining full possession.
*TJ Graham I've been his biggest supporter, in wanting to see him get more involved in the offense, but in doing so, he dropped the first 3 passes that came his way(good diving effort on one), but the other two were inexcusable.
*BLOCKED PUNT!?... pathetic, then go to the ineffective but safe rugby style punt....

Rashard Smith showed great athletic ability and has good instinct trying to get into the passing lanes of the opposing QB's.
James Washington has great top speed, and is a smaller, and quicker than Jamelle Eugene, and Toney Baker. He was in during, basically, their only real successful drive..
Steven Howard showed solid hands... Him and George Bryan would be the only men I trust right now.
Owen Spencer virtually absent, even though he was much bigger than the opposing DB's, and has trackstar type speed...
Josh Czajkowski tied a career long FG last night with a 42 yarder, and he cleared it fairly well, still hitting the mesh in the back. Could've made it from 47-49 yds.
DT's/DE's quiet game from McKeen, and Michael Alan-Cash, and Willie Young was dominate like the coached had hoped, but still plated a solid game.

Onto Murray State, and Gardner-Webb. Good time for Wilson to get back up to speed, and the offense better show up, otherwise Gardner Webb may pull out the upset =O!

Wouldn't that be a terrible way to start the season.

Overall the game wasn't THAT bad, alot of mental errors and mistakes that can easily be fixed to improve this team. Although they didn't live up to peoples expectations in this first game, they have the two weeks to improve, get healthy, and return to play a tough game against Pittsburgh. I find it hard to believe that a team with this much offensive potential can only amass 3 pts. v. USC, and i highly doubt that will repeat this season.


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

ACC Coastal Breakdown

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]

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