With Virginia set to start practice in a little more than two weeks and kick off less than 45 days away, football season is ready to roll. So what does the ACC have to offer this year? How many teams are facing quarterback questions? Who are the rookies to watch for? Who wins some superlatives? Here’s Part II of a quick-hitting look at the conference from A to Z.
NFL CALLING. A total of 51 ACC players were chosen in the 2005 NFL Draft, a record for any conference and 15 more than the ACC’s previous high. The Big Ten was a distant second with 41 and the SEC was third with 37. With the addition of Miami, Boston College, and Virginia Tech through expansion, the ACC’s status among NFL pickers has grown dramatically and the numbers prove it. The three new additions to the league accounted for 41 percent (21 of 51) of the conference’s 2005 selections.
D’Brickashaw Ferguson was one of 51 ACC players to be drafted in April.
ACC Breakdown by team:
Virginia Tech (9)
Florida State (8)
N.C. State (6)
Boston College (3)
Georgia Tech (3)
North Carolina (1)
Wake Forest (1)
O? IT’S ALL ABOUT THE O. Guys, is your significant other still searching for that … Oops! That’s my article for Cosmopolitan. In its first season in the ACC, Boston College got offensive with its new league partners, leading the conference in total offense with 387 yards per game.
The Eagles could get offensive again this season as they return three starters on the offensive line – guards James Marten and Josh Beekman plus offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus. Combined, they have tallied 74 career starts. BC also returns starting quarterback Matt Ryan as well as their top two rushers from last season in L.V. Whitworth and Andre Callender . Whitworth started all 12 games at tailback and was fifth in the ACC in rushing with 807 yards. Callender had a team-high three 100-yard games and finished 10th in the ACC in rushing with 708 yards and averaged 5.0 yards per carry.
If Coach Tom O’Brien can find some receivers for Ryan to throw to, it could be another offensive boom for the Eagles.
PICK AND ROLL. Yeah, I know everyone is tired of hearing about “Beamer Ball” – but let’s face it, no team in America turns special teams’ miscues and turnovers into points better than the Hokies. Last season, the Virginia Tech defense set a school single-season record, returning five interceptions for touchdowns. The Hokies led the ACC with seven non-offensive touchdowns in 2005 and since the start of the 1993 season, Tech is 55-8 in games in which it scores at least one non-offensive touchdown. Since the arrival of Hokie coaching icon Frank Beamer in 1987, the Virginia Tech defense and special teams have combined for 101 touchdowns, including 84 in Virginia Tech’s last 150 games – in other words, VT gets one non-offense touchdown in every 1.8 games or once in every 7 quarters.
Christian Olsen is just one of four new starting QBs in the ACC this season.
QUARTERBACK QUANDARY. Four ACC teams will be breaking in new starting quarterbacks this season. The postseason hopes of many of those teams will fall into the arms of the guys behind the center. Virginia and Virginia Tech must replace a couple of elusive Hampton Roads products and will do so with prototypical drop back signal callers in Christian Olsen at UVa and Sean Glennon...
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