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ACC Coastal Division College Football Conference Preview with Picks and Predictions 2011
The Coastal division of the ACC is home to football programs rich in tradition like Virginia Tech and Miami, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Virginia and Duke. Last year's winner was Virginia Tech and they appear to be formidable once again. Let's take an in depth look at each team.
Virginia Tech Hokies - HC Frank Beamer is one of the best in all of college football and last year he guided his team to one of the most notable comebacks in the history of the game. After dropping the season opener to Boise St and then losing to FCS foe James Madison, the Hokies won 11 straight games before losing to Stanford in the Orange Bowl. This year's team returns 7 starters on offense and 5 on defense. While clearly it lacks the talent of last year's squad it appears that Beamer has enough to compete for the top spot in the Coastal division. DC Bud Foster has a tremendous group of DBs back and that could be the difference for this Hokies team.
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Miami Hurricanes - Al Golden really turned things around at Temple, giving them their first winning season in many years. He takes the top spot at this storied program which is begging for the days when people called them "The U" and actually meant it. QB Jacory Harris has flashed talent, but so far he hasn't lived up to expectations. He gets a great offensive line to protect him this year so he will have no excuses. RB Lamar Miller will likely take some pressure off him as he threatens to become the 'Canes first 1k yard RB since '02. The defensive line looks to be improved and Al Golden did a great job in that area while at Temple. Miami has a shot at 10 wins this year and the future looks bright behind their hot shot head coach.
North Carolina Tar Heels - Last year was supposed to be their year, but instead they mired in controversy as several players from what should have been the nation's top defense never played a down due to violations involving agents. They get back 13 starters this year and have a new QB in sophomore Bryn Renner. Replacing all time leading QB TJ Yates won't be an easy task for him. The defense has plenty to be happy about as top tackler Kevin Reddick is back at MLB. DE Quinton Coples is also back after getting 10 sacks last year. This team could sneak up on people!
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets - This rushing centric team was 6-7 last year. They lose star Josh Nesbitt and start two redshirt freshmen on offense. The defense looks better in almost all facets, but especially on the line. HC Paul Johnson has a reputation of doing more with less, but this team appears to be behind the eight ball in 2011
Virginia Cavaliers - This team gets back a combined 18 starters and has a serious chance to improve on last year's 4-8 record. Perry Jones is back after getting 680 yards at RB last year and top 5 tacklers are back too. A weak schedule provides chances to play William & Mary, Indiana, Idaho, and Southern Miss. This year could be the start of something good for second year coach Mike London.
Duke Blue Devils - Last year this team went 3-9 and they get back 8 starters on offense and 6 on defense. A tough schedule pits them against Florida State, Miami, North Carolina and Stanford. If they want to make it to bowl eligibility they cant slip up against Richmond, Tulane and FIU and they will have to pull a few upsets after that.
Additional resource - Betfirms ACC Preview
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