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2006 ACC Preview

Conference Discussion Begins and Ends with Seminoles and Hurricanes

By: Jordan Adams

It is very rare that a season opening Game in early September could decide a conference’s winner. But when Miami and Florida State meet to begin their respective ’06 campaigns on September 4th, the winner could have a leg up on the Conference title after just one Game. Both FSU and the U, however, have some question marks on offense, so never assume that the ACC is just a two horse race. Virginia Tech is due for an off year after losing Marcus Vick early as well as too many defensive starters. Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Boston College are all bowl teams and will look to knock off the top two in charge.

Florida State and Miami’s talent levels and depth are far beyond anyone else, but both lack proven quarterbacks. Drew Weatherford and Kyle Wright have yet to show they can lead a consistent offense attack. The defensive units of both will go a long way to deciding which Florida powerhouse will take higher ground this year. The Seminoles return more starters on defense, but both should be extremely stingy.

The Clemson Tigers enter year one without long time signal caller Charlie Whitehurst. Senior Will Proctor steps in and will have every chance to succeed with weapons all around him. Super sophomore James Davis had a breakout freshman year at tailback and should once again explode in his second stint as starter. Chansi Stuckey leads the receiving core, and along with the 6’4’’ Thomas Hunter at tight end, the Clemson offense should be very productive.

Senior quarterback Reggie Ball returns for his final year at Georgia Tech and is armed with one of the best wide outs in the nation. At 6’4’’, 235 junior Calvin Johnson can catch anything thrown his way and has the speed to beat most corners. Four of five offensive lineman return, so Ball should find more time to throw as well as run in Chan Gailey’s offense. Only five defenders return from its 22nd ranked unit last year. At only a shade under 104 rushing yards allowed per Game, the Yellow Jackets should produce a similar number with starting linebackers Philip Wheeler and KaMichael Hall back.

Boston College have always been a fixture in the running Game with its usual solid offensive line, but ‘06’s biggest question will be if they can throw effectively. Matt Ryan takes the reins full time as a junior but lacks a true receiving threat. The backfield has plenty of talent, though, with a solid 1-2 punch in juniors L.V. Whitworth and Andre Callender. Once again the defensive unit will impress, led by linebacker Brian Toal. As well three defensive backs return, most noticeably corner DeJuan Tribble. Finishing at 9-3 last season, BC has shown it can play with anyone in the conference. To reach that double digit win mark, it will have to prove it can knock off the big boys and break through the occasional stretch of mediocrity.

One sleeper lying in the weeds is North Carolina. Nebraska transfer Joe Dailey will start at quarterback and will have plenty off explosive talent alongside him. Senior Ronnie McGill leads this group at running back, while Jesse Holley is the team’s number one wide out and is a true speed merchant in the open field. The defense brings back seven starters and is an extremely athletic group.



Thursday, August 31
Boston College at Ohio

Saturday, September 2
Florida Atlantic at Clemson
Richmond at Duke
Notre Dame at Georgia Tech
William & Mary at Maryland
Rutgers at North Carolina
Appalachian State at NC State
Virginia at Pittsburgh
Northeastern at Virginia Tech
Syracuse at Wake Forest

Monday, September 4
Florida State at Miami

Saturday, September 9
Clemson at Boston College
Duke at Wake Forest
Virginia Tech at North Carolina
Troy at Florida State
Samford at Georgia Tech
MTSU at Maryland
Florida A&M at Miami
Akron at NC State
Wyoming at Virginia

Saturday, September 16
Clemson at Florida State
Duke at Virginia Tech
BYU at Boston College
Troy at Georgia Tech
Maryland at West Virginia
Miami at Louisville
Furman at North Carolina
NC State at Southern Mississippi
Western Michigan at Virginia
Wake Forest at Connecticut

Thursday, September 21
Virginia at Georgia Tech

Saturday, September 23
Boston College at NC State
North Carolina at Clemson
Rice at Florida State
FIU at Maryland
Cincinnati at Virginia Tech
Wake Forest at Mississippi

Saturday, September 30
Virginia at Duke
Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech
Maine at Boston College
Louisiana Tech at Clemson
Houston at Miami
Liberty at Wake Forest

Thursday, October 5
Florida State at NC State

Saturday, October 7
Clemson at Wake Forest
Maryland at Georgia Tech
North Carolina at Miami
Virginia at East Carolina
Duke at Alabama

Thursday, October 12
Virginia Tech at Boston College

Saturday, October 14
Florida State at Duke
Maryland at Virginia
Wake Forest at NC State
Clemson at Temple
FIU at Miami
South Florida at North Carolina

Thursday, October 19
North Carolina at Virginia

Saturday, October 21
Boston College at Florida State
Georgia Tech at Clemson
Miami at Duke
NC State at Maryland
Southern Mississippi at Virginia Tech

Thursday, October 26
Clemson at Virginia Tech

Saturday, October 28
Florida State at Maryland
Miami at Georgia Tech
Wake Forest at North Carolina
NC State at Virginia
Buffalo at Boston College
Vanderbilt at Duke

Saturday, November 4
Boston College at Wake Forest
Maryland at Clemson
Virginia at Florida State
Georgia Tech at NC State
Virginia Tech at Miami
North Carolina at Notre Dame
Navy at Duke

Saturday, November 11
Duke at Boston College
NC State at Clemson
Wake Forest at Florida State
Georgia Tech at North Carolina
Miami at Maryland
Kent State at Virginia Tech

Saturday, November 18
Maryland at Boston College
Duke at Georgia Tech
Miami at Virginia
NC State at North Carolina
Virginia Tech at Wake Forest
Western Michigan at Florida State

Thursday, November 23
Boston College at Miami

Saturday, November 25
North Carolina at Duke
Wake Forest at Maryland
Virginia at Virginia Tech
Georgia Tech at Georgia
Florida at Florida State
South Carolina at Clemson
East Carolina at NC State

Saturday, December 2
ACC Championship Game, Jacksonville, Fla.