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Tag:ACC
Posted on: November 4, 2010 9:32 pm
 

Nesbitt out, but GT leads Virginia Tech 14-7

Posted by Chip Patterson

This Coastal Division showdown between perennial conference powers has already been as eventful as expected, and we are only done with 30 minutes of play.  Georgia Tech jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead thanks to two Josh Nesbitt touchdowns, one for 71 yards.  Georgia Tech's defense and special teams served up their own version of "Beamer Ball," forcing Virginia Tech into two turnovers in the first half.  But Nesbitt's heroics were short lived when he threw an interception in the end zone when Georgia Tech was threatening to claim a 21-7 lead.  Nesbitt got injured trying to make a tackle on the interception return.  He went to the locker room and at halftime was declared out for the game.    
Posted on: November 4, 2010 2:57 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 3:03 pm
 

UNC Chancellor: Davis didn't know of violations

Posted by Chip Patterson

Ever since the investigations of the North Carolina football program began this summer, head coach Butch Davis has been placed on a permanent hot seat.  At the peak of the drama many believed that there was no chance that Davis would be the head coach of the Tar Heels in 2011, with some even believing he would be gone by season's end.  But Davis did not crumble under the pressure, and faced each challenge one week at a time with a constantly evolving (and often depleted) depth chart.  Instead of waiting on the results of the investigation, Davis decided to hold out any players who might later be deemed ineligible.  While that led to many players missing games they did not need to miss, it also ensured (to the best of his ability) the integrity of the five wins the Tar Heels have accumulated so far this season.  

Davis' confidence in the program has been mistaken by some as blind faith, but that blindness to the wrong doings within the program may be what saves his job.  University Chancellor Holden Thorp spoke on the issue Thursday with the Board of Governors, and (for the moment) stood behind the Davis as the leader of the football program. 

"There's no information to indicate that he participated in or knew of any wrongdoing," Thorp told the Raleigh News & Observer.  "Mr. Baddour and I are not having meetings deciding his future. He's our football coach."

Now at 5-3 with a 2-2 conference record, the Tar Heels are two games out of first place in the Coastal Division.  While a division title is not highly likely considering the opponents left on the schedule, it is not entirely out of reach.  The Tar Heels travel to Tallahassee this weekend to face an angry Seminoles team looking to bounce back from a loss to N.C. State last Thursday.  Things won't get any easier either, after that North Carolina will host Virginia Tech and N.C. State in back-to-back weeks.  How the Tar Heels fare in this three week stretch of currently-ranked teams will determine if/where the Tar Heels go bowling.  Their final contest of the season, against Duke in Durham, should be a one-win safety net.  But you can't count on anything in late-season rivalry games, especially in the parity-filled ACC.
Posted on: November 3, 2010 6:03 pm
 

Miami won't have Damien Berry either

Posted by Tom Fornelli

So when you've already made the announcement that you'll be starting a freshman at quarterback in this week's game thanks to the concussion suffered by your starter, odds are that you're going to want to lean a bit more on your ground game.  Which is probably what Randy Shannon had been hoping to do to help out Stephen Morris against Maryland when he fills in for Jacory Harris. 

Which is a pretty solid plan to have, if it weren't for one small problem.  That running back you were hoping to lean on a bit more this week?  Well, he can't play either.  After practice on Wednesday Shannon said that Damien Berry will miss this week's game as well, saying that he's been banged up for the last few weeks.

“You  just can’t keep going and going and going. It gets tough on him,” Shannon said. “We’re not going to make it get worse than what he is when he’s already kind of nicked up. We’ve got backs right now, so the numbers are OK.”

The 'Canes do have other backs, and Lamar Miller and Mike James will have to team up to account for Berry's absence.  Berry had a bad game against Virginia, but had rushed for 100 yards in Miami's previous four games, and leads the team with 690 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Posted on: November 3, 2010 12:36 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2010 12:37 pm
 

Randy Shannon doubts Jacory will play this week

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Well, it's another day of the week, which means it's time for your daily update on Miami quarterback Jacory Harris.

Harris got knocked out of the Hurricanes' loss to Virginia last week -- and if you haven't seen the hit, feel free to check it out -- and freshman Stephen Morris was taking snaps with the first team in practice this week.  Still, the possibility of Harris returning to play against Maryland hasn't been completely ruled out.

On Wednesday Randy Shannon said that Morris will start, as Harris was held out of practice again, but he could play if he's able to return to practice on Thursday.  Though Shannon doesn't seem too confident that's what will happen.

Shannon said that he "doubts [Harris] plays this week" and that there's a 75% chance that he won't. 

Which means that Morris will be making his first career start against a Maryland team that has played surprisingly well so far this season.  Though, to be fair, the Terps are 3-1 in the conference with those wins coming against Duke, Boston College and Wake Forest.

Not exactly the best the ACC has to offer.  Though, considering how poorly the Hurricanes played last week after Harris left the game, this trip to Miami may not be that much tougher.

Posted on: November 2, 2010 12:52 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2010 12:58 pm
 

Shannon: Morris taking first-team snaps

Posted by Chip Patterson

When Miami quarterback Jacory Harris left Saturday's matchup with Virginia with a concussion due to a MONSTROUS hit from Cavalier defensive tackle John-Kevin Dolce, the Hurricanes began spinning the quarterback carousel.  First came second string quarterback Spencer Whipple, son of offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.  After throwing two interceptions in his first six attempts, Whipple found a spot right back on the sideline next to his father.  Next in for the Hurricanes was fourth-string freshman Stephen Morris.  After three scoreless quarters, Morris was able to lead Miami to 19 fourth quarter points and nearly overcame the 24-0 deficit in the losing effort for the Hurricanes.  Morris connected on 9 of 22 passes for 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while and picking up a 9 yard touchdown run of his own.

With Harris' status for Saturday's game against Maryland up in the air, Hurricanes head coach Randy Shannon already has Morris taking snaps with the first-team offense in practice this week.  Shannon has yet to name a starter, as doctors continue to monitor Harris' condition after the concussion.  Shannon said that Jacory wants to play, but the fourth-year head coach said the decision will be made based on what's best for Harris' well being.  Morris did show flashes of big-play potential in the fourth quarter of the Virginia game, but he also threw two interceptions.  Some Hurricanes fans were surprised to see Morris come off the bench ahead of A.J. Highsmith (son of famous Miami running back Alonzo Highsmith), but Shannon revealed to WQAM on Tuesday that he would "probably be redshirted" due to a wrist injury.  Highsmith is also expected to switch to defensive back in the spring.
Posted on: November 2, 2010 11:15 am
Edited on: November 2, 2010 11:17 am
 

Kyle Parker era at Clemson winding to a close?

Posted by Chip Patterson

Kyle Parker became the toast of Clemson, SC with his decision to return to the gridiron for one last season with the Tigers.  The sophomore quarterback was drafted 26th overall by the Colorado Rockies this summer, but agreed to a contract that would allow him to play one more season of football at Clemson.  Both Parker and head coach Dabo Swinney have maintained that the deal, worth $1.4 million, has had very little to do with any football decisions once Parker committed to the team in August.  At the beginning of the season,  there were the makings of a heroic final run for the baseball standout.  Parker started the first three games tossing six touchdowns and just one interception, and had an impressive 220 yard performance in a 27-24 overtime loss to now top-ranked Auburn.  In that game against the Tigers, Parker was beat up by Auburn's defense and sustained a rib injury.  Since then it has been a different Parker under center.  In the month of October, Parker threw just two touchdowns and five interceptions in five games. 

After Saturday's 16-10 loss to Boston College, Swinney has begun to consider the future with his quarterback decisions in 2010.  Backup quarterback Tajh Boyd told the Charleston Post and Courier on Monday that he has been told he will play on Saturday against N.C. State.  Swinney met with the redshirt freshman for about 30 minutes on Monday, and while he did not promise any number of series or snaps, did tell Boyd to be ready to play against the Wolfpack.  At this point in the week Parker is still the Tigers' starter under center, but with the nagging injuries and drop-off in performance it is not surprising to see Swinney start to look towards grooming the replacement for the baseball star.
Posted on: November 1, 2010 3:58 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2010 4:01 pm
 

VT's Williams nearing full strength

Posted by Chip Patterson

Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams has not had the kind of season he was expecting after setting the ACC single-season rushing record as a redshirt freshman in 2009.  A slight hamstring tear in the third game of the season has kept Williams out four games before finally returning to the field October 23 for a six carry warm up int he 44-7 victory against Duke.  Williams has benefited from the Hokies' off week to continue to heal and prepare for Virginia Tech's primetime matchup with division rival Georgia Tech on Thursday in Blacksburg.  After Saturday's practice, the sophomore running back announced himself "85-90 percent" healthy, but some particularly insightful analysis was offered by offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring.  

"I thought he made some nice cuts," Stinespring said. "He hit a gear very quickly. I thought he turned it loose a couple times. If you'd have asked me up until this week, I always thought there was a little bit of hesitation in him. But (Saturday), I thought he felt good, looked good. Looked like he had a bounce in his step out there."

Williams' only two complete games all season were the Hokies' only two losses against Boise State and James Madison.  At this point in the season, that 0-2 start seems like an ancient memory in the ACC.  Since the joining the conference, Virginia Tech has consistently competed for division and conference titles week in and week out.  The heart-wrenching loss to the Broncos and upset at the hands of their in-state FCS rivals have no effect on Frank Beamer's pursuit of his fourth ACC title since joining the conference in 2004.  At this point, Virginia Tech controls their own destiny in the conference title race.  Miami and Georgia Tech are tied for second place in the division with 3-2 records, and the Hokies face both opponents in the final stretch of the regular season.  A win over Georgia Tech on Thursday would create a crucial advantage over Miami, allowing some breathing room before the Hokies have to travel to Coral Gables on November 20.
Posted on: November 1, 2010 12:01 pm
 

Jacory Harris' status up in the air

Posted by Tom Fornelli



Seriously, seeing that hit again leaves me feeling woozy.  Jacory Harris suffered a concussion on Saturday on that very play, which leaves his status for this week a bit up in the air.  Obviously, my philosophy -- one I've stated here around 5,000 times already -- with concussions is that any player who suffers one should sit out at least a week, maybe more depending on the severity.  Unfortunately, I don't have any actual say in the matter, and even if I did, I'd be too scared to tell Randy Shannon because Randy Shannon could beat me up.

Still, considering how the hit looked, I think it's more than likely that Harris will be not be starting for Miami when it takes on Maryland this weekend.  As for whether or not he'll miss any more time than that, Shannon isn't sure.

"Too early to tell," Shannon told the Miami Herald. "Our medical staff does such a wonderful job evaluating the whole big picture. It wasn't, `Let's check his head.' They did a thorough exam of everything: neck, head, shoulder, back, hip, arms -- everything. Anytime you have a hit like that, safety is the most important thing.''

Shannon went on to say that if Harris can't play this weekend, Stephen Morris will get the start in his place. Morris replaced Spencer Whipple on Saturday after Whipple struggled in place of Harris.  Shannon also said that should Morris have to start against Maryland, he'll be working with a stripped-down playbook.

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