Football, Sports

Football: 2014 Season ACC Preview

Miami is in its 10th year in the ACC. Teams have come and gone, but what’s certain is that the competition has increased. The Miami-Louisville game is proof. With the 31-13 loss, the Canes have discovered their weaknesses on both sides of the ball, including their difficulty with making third down conversions. No longer is the ACC the basketball conference that plays football too. Here’s The Miami Hurricane’s look at ACC teams this football season, featuring performance predictions and analysis.

 

BC-logo-COLOR

Boston College: Lots of question marks offensively and defensively, specifically losing QB Chase Rettig and arguably their best player, Andre Williams to the NFL. Tyler Murphy takes over for Rettig under center. They have a decent schedule starting out; they’ve already crushed UMass and have Pittsburgh, USC, Maine and Colorado State all at home.

Clemson_LogoCOLOR   

Clemson: Started their season out rough in Athens against eager-for-revenge Georgia. They need to have a definitive win against South Carolina State, because the schedule gets tough fast. The 23rd ranked defense of 2013 has an all-senior defensive line including All-American Vic Beasley and Preseason All-ACC tackle Grady Jarrett.

duke_logo

Duke: The only thing young about Duke is its defensive backfield with one junior and three sophomores. The upstart Blue Devils come off their best season in 20 years and return Anthony Boone at QB and one of the ACC’s best receivers, Jameson Crowder. They have an easy schedule outside of back-to-back road games in Miami and Georgia Tech. They don’t play any of the ACC powerhouses, so a return to the ACC title game isn’t farfetched.

fsu_logo

Florida State: The defending national champions and preseason No. 1 faced probably their toughest test in Oklahoma State that they’ll probably have all season. Their toughest road match is in Louisville. The 3rd-ranked defense in the nation in 2013 returns three of four starters on the defensive line and two starters in the backfield. The only question mark would be the secondary that sees all new starters this season.

georgiaTechLogoCOLOR

Georgia Tech: Paul Johnson’s triple option is always a huge advantage going into every game. Their schedule doesn’t get tough until the last two games of the season: Clemson at home and Georgia on the road. A young defense is led by LB Quayshawn Nealy, who led the team with six tackles in their season-opening win against Wofford.

61-61762

Louisville: The Cardinals have a very dangerous defense that’s continued to flex its muscles. Neither Duke Johnson nor any Miami RB had an answer for the Cardinals defensive line. Will Gardner has gigantic shoes to fill replacing Louisville’s greatest QB, Teddy Bridgewater, but shows a lot of intelligence between the lines.

north-carolinaCOLOR

North Carolina: The Tar Heels went on a roll last season after starting 1-5, winning five straight to become bowl eligible and crushed Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl. They only have one starting senior: Jack Tabb at TE. Overall, a very young team, but with a convincing win against Liberty and a moderate early schedule, they could very well return to bowl action.

ncst-logo-150

North Carolina State: The Wolfpack have a sandwich schedule, meaning winnable games at the beginning and end of the season, but in the middle they have FSU and Boston College at home and Clemson and Louisville on the road. NC State finished a paltry 61st on defense and lost eight straight to end the season.

pitt-panther

Pittsburgh: The Panthers had a statement win to lead things off; 62-0 against Delaware. They’re another team that gets the easy end of the tough ACC Atlantic and only play one ranked team, the Tar Heels. This is a team that seems to underachieve year after year.

syracuse-logojpg-9ac7ef43035df4e1

Syracuse: Very simply, they have a long season ahead of them, especially after squeaking out a win against Villanova. They have all the Atlantic division games and Notre Dame in the Meadowlands. They return three starters on their D-line in addition to their QB Terrel Hunt. The Orangemen were 39th in defense last season.

Virginia-logo-COLOR

Virginia: The Cavs made a switch at QB from Grayson Lambert to Matt Johns in the middle of an eight-point loss to UCLA at home, but it made a huge difference. The redshirt sophomore Johns threw for two late touchdowns, and its telling of Virginia’s character and desire to bounce back from a two-win season a year ago. Seasoned RB Kevin Parks is coming off the first 1,000-yard season for Virginia since 2004.

VT_logoCOLOR

Virginia Tech: The Hokies still have many of the big names in Blacksburg left, like redshirt senior FS Detrick Bonner, who’s started every game for Tech the past two seasons, and third-team all-ACC tackle Luther Maddy. The Hokies travel to Columbus to do battle against the Buckeyes on Saturday.

wake-forest-logo

Wake Forest:  The Demon Deacons try to brush off a 4-8 2013, but with a schedule that offers road trips to FSU, Duke and Louisville, there’s not much promise offered. They are starting their first true freshman in Wake history, John Wolford. Defensively they have one of the ACC’s best cornerbacks, Kevin Johnson, who was second in the conference in passes defended per game in 2013.

September 3, 2014

Reporters

Neil Dwyer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The University of Miami spring game will not be televised or streamed live on the Internet at noon S ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ Who were UM’s standouts this spring, heading into Sa ...

As the Miami Hurricanes have spent the spring trying to find answers to question after question on o ...

Navaughn Donaldson knew one thing mattered above all when he was forced to start playing center ahea ...

This spring hasn’t been easy for Miami redshirt sophomore Tate Martell, the former Ohio State quarte ...

Yvette Soler, B.M. ’96, better known as Tigrilla Gardenia, connects her music engineering background ...

Preservation Week, from April 21 to April 27, is focused on highlighting the importance of learning ...

There are numerous ways to connect with the University of Miami during the two-day tech conference o ...

A symbol of both French heritage and Catholicism, Paris’ 850-year-old gothic cathedral was gutted by ...

The Division of Student Affairs hosted a reception to present campus-wide awards and scholarships to ...

The fifth-seeded and No. 21-ranked Miami women's tennis team knocked off fourth-seeded and nint ...

Miami was leading, 10-3, when umpires suspended play at 7 p.m. on Friday. ...

Miami Athletics has become one of the leaders nationally in developing its sports psychology departm ...

No. 42 Adria Soriano Barrera collects top-25 victory against No. 21 Alexis Galarneau ...

Check out the UM Department of Athletics' e-magazine for April. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.