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ACC Daily Links - Sept. 27

Friday, September 27, 2013 6:15am
By: Brian Geisinger

Boston College
2013-14 looks like it could be a breakout year for Steve Donahue's basketball program. The Eagles will have several opportunities to prove themselves early in the season: UConn, Washington/Indiana, and Purdue - all of which will be televised nationally on ESPN's family of networks.

Quarterback Tajh Boyd was not having his best of performances against N.C. State, but then, on 59th play of the game, he found his groove. Head man Dabo Swinney and defensive coordinator Brett Venables speak on tomorrow's opponent - Wake Forest - and the overall health of the team.

The Blue Devils have dropped two straight on the football pitch - the first two career stars of Brandon Connette's career - but they will look to turn things around tomorrow against Troy (2-2) in Durham.

Florida State
FSU pummeled Bethune-Cookman last weekend - 54-6; we know this. However, here's a drive-by-drive breakdown of their offensive performance from that game. Tyler Hunter - the junior safety that was injured in last week's game (neck) - will not play tomorrow, and will be replaced in the lineup by freshman Jalen Ramsey, who will move slide over from corner.

Georgia Tech
Quarterback Vad Lee struggled, and the Yellow Jackets dropped an ugly one last night to Virginia Tech in Bobby Dodd Stadium. Good and bad: four takeaways from last night's defeat.

As the Terps open practice today, there are several questions surrounding the team - in particular: can Maryland's backcourt cut down on the turnovers, and how will transfer Evan Smotrycz, who played at Michigan from 2010 to 2012, fare? Remember that whole exit fee situation - all $52 million of it? Well, yesterday Maryland took to a Raleigh, N.C., court to defend itself, argue against having to pay the full fee.

Last week, junior tight end Beau Sandland (great, great name) caught his first career pass and touchdown. Now, the junior college transfer is looking to build off of that performance. Play-maker Stacy Coley had his struggles in The U's season opener against Florida Atlantic, but head man Al Golden hasn't lost trust in the freshmen wideout just yet.

North Carolina
Yesterday at UNC basketball's media day, much-maligned swingman P.J. Hairston issued an apology. The question now becomes: When will Hairston play? Pop the bubbly, you guys: Larry Fedora and the Heels will be travelling up to Champaign to take on Illinois in 2016.

N.C. State
Sophomore back Shadrach Thornton only touched the ball twice last Thursday against Clemson, but he made the most of both touches, including a 21-yard TD power-run. Thornton, however, is still working to become a bigger part of the Pack's game plan. Tomorrow's game against Central Michigan - in the Carter - will be televised, but only in limited markets.

Notre Dame
Oklahoma is in South Bend this weekend for a Top 25 match-up tomorrow afternoon, which means the Irish will need to be prepared to deal with the Sooners' bruising quarterback, Blake Bell - THE BELLDOZER. 

The Panthers will play their third ACC game - wow, they grow up so fast, don't they? - against UVa tomorrow, and from the looks of it, they will have to deal with a few injuries to some key contributors. Also, the bowl-less 1963 team will be honored tomorrow.

Conference play opens up for the Orange next week, when they welcome Clemson to the Carrier Dome - orange stuff will be everywhere, I'm sure #AllOrangeEverything. How has Scot Shafer's special teams unit looked during non-conference play?

Here's what to look for when Mike London's Cavaliers hit the road for the first time this season tomorrow against Pitt. UVa will be without its starting right guard - Conner Davis - and it co-No. 1 tight end - Zach Swanson - tomorrow against the Panthers.

Virginia Tech
Tech's QB Logan Thomas has received his fair share of flak the last year or so, but the senior signal-caller was darn impressive last night, playing hurt on the road against Georgia Tech's defense: 19-25, 221 yards, and a touchdown. Thomas was also the Hokies leading rusher: 16 carries for 58 yards and a score. Maybe most importantly, though: zero turnovers. Bud Foster's defense played like it was on fire last night; they forced three turnovers, and held the Jackets to only 129 yards of rushing.

Wake Forest
Groves Stadium in Winston-Salem has played host to several upset during the Jim Grobe administration, but taking down No. 3 Clemson tomorrow will be a very tall task for the Demon Deacons. Grobe chats with Dan Collins about the firepower the Tigers possess on both sides of the ball.