By Trey McCurry.
As TCI continues to aim to expand our coverage, we will bring you a weekly around the ACC article highlighting how the other ACC teams are doing on the field and any performances that stand out.
This Week: Saturday, September 3 vs. Northwestern (12:00PM; ESPNU)
Up Next: Saturday, September 10 @ Central Florida (8:00PM; CBSSN)
Notes: The Eagles have won seven straight season openers and three straight against Big Ten teams. RB Montel Harris (who is expected to miss this week) is the nation’s active rushing leader. All-American Luke Kuechly, who led the nation last season with 14.1 tackles per game, leads the BC defense.
This Week: Saturday, September 3 vs. Richmond (7:00PM; ESPN3.com)
Up Next: Saturday, September 10 vs. Stanford (3:30PM; ESPNU)
Notes: The Blue Devils play private schools in each of their first four games. WR tandem Donovan Varner and Conner Vernon have caught 253 passes while teammates and are one pace to break the ACC record of 364, set by Aaron Kelly and Tyler Grisham. Five of last year’s top seven tacklers are back on defense.
Florida State #5 in USA Today Poll and #6 in AP Poll
This Week: Saturday, September 3 vs. UL-Monroe (3:30PM; ESPN3.com)
Up Next: Saturday, September 10 vs. Charleston Southern (6:00PM; ESPN3.com)
Notes: The Seminoles are 8-0 in season-opening games against a non-conference foe since joining the ACC. RB Chris Thompson was the only player in the nation last season with two TD runs of 83 yards or more. The Seminoles placed third nationally in sacks in 2010 with 48 and return 38.5 of them, led by DE Brandon Jenkins (13.5, good for sixth nationally).
This Week: Thursday, September 1 vs. Western Carolina (7:30PM; ESPN3.com)
Up Next: Saturday, September 10 @ Middle Tennessee (7:00PM; ESPN3.com)
Notes: Paul Johnson ranked 5th among all active coaches in wins per season (9.50) and 12th in career wins (132). The Yellow Jackets are the only program in the country to have produced a 1,300-yard rusher in each of the past five seasons (AB Roddy Jones, who had 1,338 yards last season, returns in 2011). Georgia Tech’s three starting defensive lineman have accounted for 55 career starts.
This Week: Monday, September 5 vs. Miami (FL) (8:00PM; ESPN)
Up Next: Saturday, September 17 vs. West Virginia (12:00; ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU)
Notes: New coach Randy Edsall is 4-8 all-time against ACC opponents and the Terps open a season against a conference foe for the first time since 2001, when it won the ACC. QB Danny O’Brien, the 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year, begins his first full season as a starter. LB Kenny Tate, who moved to linebacker this off-season, forced four fumbles last season.
This Week: Monday, September 5 @ Maryland (8:00PM; ESPN)
Up Next: Saturday, September 17 vs. Ohio State (7:30PM or 8:00PM; ESPN or ABC)
Notes: This is the ACC’s seventh appearance on Labor Day night on ABC/ESPN, and the Canes are playing on the stage for the fifth time. Miami (FL) will be without eight suspended players this week as they continue to deal with the fallout from an NCAA investigation. RB Lamar Miller average 6.0 yards per carry as a freshman last season.
This Week: Saturday, September 3 vs. Liberty (6:00PM; ESPN3.com)
Up Next: Saturday, September 10 @ Wake Forest (3:30PM; RSN)
Notes: The Wolfpack are coming off their best season since 2002 and seven of the nine assistants have been with Tom O’Brien all five years of his tenure in Raleigh. TE George Bryan is tied for the ACC lead in active receiving TDs (13) and is eight yards short of 1,000 career receiving yards. WR T.J. Graham needs seven kickoff returns to become only the 4th player in ACC history with 100 or more.
This Week: Saturday, September 3 vs. James Madison (3:30PM; RSN)
Up Next: Saturday, September 10 vs. Rutgers (12:30PM; ACC Network)
Notes: Interim coach Everett Withers takes over for the fired Butch Davis and opens with five of his first seven games at home. The Tar Heel defense boasts four players named to the Nagurski Award preseason watch list for the nation’s best defensive player. PK Casey Barth is 50-of-62 (.806) in field goals for his career and is a candidate for the Lou Groza Award.
This Week: Saturday, September 3 vs. William & Mary (6:00PM; ESPN3.com)
Up Next: Saturday, September 10 @ Indiana (7:00PM; Big Ten Network)
Notes: The Cavaliers open with an in-state opponent for the third straight season. PK Robert Randolph is 30-for-37 (.811) in career field-goal accuracy and was won of only two kickers to score a touchdown in FBS play last season. CB Chase Minnifield is tied for the national lead in interceptions by active players (10).
Virginia Tech #13 in both the AP and USA Today Polls
This Week: Saturday, September 3 vs. Appalachian State (12:30PM; ACC Network)
Up Next: Saturday, September 10 @ East Carolina (3:30PM; FSN)
Notes: Only two FBS coaches have been at their current schools longer than Frank Beamer and his 240 wins trails only Joe Paterno among active coaches. WR Jarrett Boykin is tied for the ACC lead among active players with 13 TD receptions and leads all returners with eight career 100-yard receiving games. CB Jayron Hosley returns after leading the nation in pass interceptions last season.
This Week: Thursday, September 1 @ Syracuse (8:00PM; ESPN3.com)
Up Next: Saturday, September 10 vs. NC State (3:30PM; RSN)
Notes: The Demon Deacons will be seeking their first ever victory indoors (they are 0-3 all-time). RB Josh Harris was one of only eight players nationally with runs of 74 or more yards last season. OLB Kyle Wilber has recorded six sacks in his previous three season-openers.