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    ACC News

    [2022] ACC Weekday Preview Guide: Week 2

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    Week 1 Recap

     

    Winners: :bc: 59-0 UMass, :louisville: 48-17 at Cincy, :ncsu: 31-24 ISU, :wake: 38-7 GSU, :duke: 49-10 ODU, :gt: 22-17 Ball, :uva: 55-3 ULL

    Losers: :pitt: 35-38 at PSU

    On Bye: :clemson:, :cuse:, :miami:, :vt:

     

    Players of the Week (WEEK 0/1)

    Offense: :bc: RB Jordan Godson - 23 carries for 258 yards, 4 TD

    Defense: :gt: DE Junior Mondragon - 4 tackles, 1 TFL, 3.0 sacks

    Special Teams: :uva: WR Malachi Brown - 148 punt return yards, 1 TD; 178 kick return yards, 1 TD

     

    Week 2 Previews: TNF/FNF:

     

    Thursday Night Football

    Blacksburg, VA - :tulane: Tulane Green Wave (1-0) at :vt: Virginia Tech Hokies (0-0)

    • Headliner: Easing the Tide. The Hokies welcome Tulane to Lane Stadium to kick off the season for Virginia Tech, and while many would project this to be a clean-cut win for a Hokie team looking to build off a rather exciting 2021 season, Tulane poses a threat of their own after a demolishing of Troy in Week 0. The Hokies in particular have received an alert on Green Wave quarterback Oscar Waters, who torched the Trojan secondary for 355 yards and 4 touchdowns in the opener. Can the Hokies establish their dominance and stymie Tulane's high-flying attack, or will Tulane take Virginia Tech under the water by surprise?
    • Injuries: :tulane: WR John Mosely - Mild Concussion. 
    • Player to Watch: CB Trevor McKinney. The undisputed captain of this defense takes on a special task of locking down the secondary and keeping Oscar Waters and his top target, Mordechai Caron, quiet. Caron exploded on the Trojan defense for 125 yards and 2 touchdowns, being one of two receivers to hit triple digits in receiving yards on the evening. McKinney, without question, is a far better corner than anyone Troy had to offer, but Caron's 6-foot-5 frame could give the junior corner issues on the high ball. Shut down Caron though, and the strength of this wave goes down dramatically. 
    • Prediction: Simply put, Virginia Tech is far from being at the same level as Troy. Tulane looked very solid in the opener, but Virginia Tech is too seasoned and has a roster with more pro talent than Troy could put together in the next four years. The Hokie offense might not look the cleanest in the opening week, but the defense should be expected to absolutely shut down Tulane, and that's what will happen. :tulane: TUL 10-31 VT :vt:

     

    Tallahassee, FL - :charlotte: Charlotte 49ers (0-1) at :fsu: Florida State Seminoles (1-0)

    • Headliner: Fitting the Bill. The 'Noles still looked out of sorts against Arkansas, though the Hogs were really no contest in a 28-10 win in Tallahassee. The next two games should see Florida State work to whip their offense in shape, and what better team to start that off than Chris Billings and hapless Charlotte, a team coming off a 31-20 loss to Tulsa. This game should be focused more on the spread, so our attention will turn not towards the result, but towards the offense and their rebuild. Will the 'Noles have an offense that could pose a threat to their conference, or does Charlotte keep the struggle going for Brett England and the Seminoles?
    • Injuries: None.
    • Player to Watch: WR A.K. Schwab. The first-time starter looked decent in his debut against Arkansas, putting up 70 yards and a touchdown on 6 receptions. It wasn't a flashy performance by any means, but it's a lot more reassuring knowing that Mateo Gates and Wyatt Cornett aren't the only two bodies to rely on in the passing game. Benjamin Bush will line up against Schwab, so expect England to look more towards his newest target once again. Charlotte's secondary is paper-thin outside of Kaden Jennings, so a reassuring performance from both Schwab and Gates would be a big confidence-booster for the 'Noles as a whole.
    • Prediction: Charlotte fought for three quarters against a lackluster Tulsa side before going by the wayside, and there's no reason to believe that Florida State can't put this game away sooner than that. With no running game to occupy the minds of the defense, the 'Noles can single in on Billings and his decent receiving corp. Noah Wooten should find more than enough holes to make his mark on the game, and the Seminoles should be off to a somewhat strong 2-0 start, but hey, every win counts. :charlotte: CU 13-45 FSU :fsu:

     

    Akron, OH - :miami: Miami (FL) Hurricanes (0-0) at :zips: Akron Zips (0-1)

    • Headliner: Storm Warning. The Hurricanes are a very polarizing group entering the season. They made their first steps towards restoring their reputation as an ACC Champ by getting back to the postseason, but this very young team is going to have to perform at a consistent level if they're going to get a step or two closer to a spot in the ACC Championship game. The running game is there, and receivers are starting to filter in from recruiting. Is the offense finally ready to hit at it again? Is the talented yet raw youth on defense going to be a blessing or a curse?
    • Injuries: None.
    • Player to Watch: QB Jason Ledford. A big factor for this Miami offense will be the consistency of Ledford in the passing game. Ronnie Peterson has proven to be a very reliable workhorse on the ground, but the passing game has been lackluster in the years following the Brett Fisher era. Akron look very strong in the middle of the front seven, meaning Ledford is going to have to make plays with his arm against a fairly weak secondary. Tim Pritchard and the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee torched this same secondary for 301 yards and 3 scores in an upset win last week, so it's hard to imagine Ledford struggling to get the ball out to Joaquin Bond, Juan Castro, and Mario Roberson.
    • Prediction: Miami's offense might not be the hardest to stop, but it's really hard seeing a team like Akron completely doing that. The Zips look overmatched at corner, and Miami's new-look receiving game should be able to expose this group comfortably. Miami's strong interior defense and talented secondary should be enough to contain the Akron offense, and Miami should come away with a strong showing in their opener. :miami: Miami 35-13 Zips :zips:

     

    Friday Night Football

    Winston-Salem, NC - :miao: Miami (OH) Redhawks (1-0) at :wake: Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-0)

    • Headliner: Stopping the Cera-nade. The Deacons dispatched Georgia State last Friday, although the game was never truly out of reach until the Deacons put together three touchdown drives in the final quarter. Now they welcome a much more challenging opponent in the form of MAC title challenger Miami of Ohio. The Redhawks demolished New Mexico in the desert last week behind the arm of senior quarterback Zack Cera, who threw for 350 yards yards on the evening. Wake is going to have to put a stop to the Redhawks' aerial assault if they're going to pull out the win and get out to a 2-0 start. That, or the Deacons are gonna need to score and score often.
    • Injuries: None.
    • Player to Watch: DT Adrian Gamble. The objective is clear: disrupt the backfield and don't let Ajani Garrett add a second dimension to this offense. Gamble played second fiddle to Lucas Barry as the Wake front seven tore apart Georgia State's backfield, recording three tackles for loss, four sacks, and forcing a fumble that was returned for a score. Miami's offensive line is playing at a much higher level than the Panthers showed last week, and with Ajani Garrett providing the Deacons with someone that has to be stopped at running back, Gamble in particular is going to have to step up and disrupt the Redhawks' backfield. Pressure on Cera and closing down Garrett before he can break into the second level of the defense will be crucial for Wake to keep this offense at bay.
    • Prediction: The Redhawks will easily provide more of a challenge than hapless Georgia State, and I'm not entirely sold on Wake being able to rise up to the challenge. Miami looked weaker against the run against the Lobos, so maybe Zion Hayward can make the same impact that he made against the Panthers, but the Wake corners are going to have their hands full and Cera should light up the Deacons, notably in the middle of the field after Casey Swann had his way last week. Expect more of a higher-scoring affair, but I need to see Wake be competitive to put more stock against these tougher opponents in order to put more stock in them. :miao: MiaO 38-31 Wake :wake:

     

    Chapel Hill, NC - :wyoming: Wyoming Cowboys (0-1) at :unc: North Carolina Tar Heels (0-1)

    • Headliner: To Tame A Horse. Simply put, the Tar Heels got smacked by Georgia two weeks ago. It's hard coming back from a game in which you give up over 600 yards of offense, 55 points, run for only 24 yards, and get sacked 5 times. The only brightside is that there's no possible the same can happen against a Wyoming team coming off a disappointing result against UTEP a week ago, with the Cowboys mustering just 262 yards against the Miners. Neither offense put up much of a fight in their respective openers, but can the Heels make do against much weaker opposition?
    • Injuries: None.
    • Player to Watch: TE Stephen Barbour. The true freshman tight end seemed to slot into the offense perfectly against Georgia, amassing 71 yards and a score on 7 receptions. Mitchell Denton seems to put his trust in Barbour over his receivers so far, as Barbour seemed to feel less smothered against the Georgia defense. A similar performance against a weaker Cowboy offense with a stud in the middle of the field via Ajani Terry could see this Tar Heel offense spring to life in a game where every point is going to matter. The Heels need a game-changer on offense, and Barbour currently seems to be the closest player to one at the moment.
    • Prediction: Do not expect a lot of points. Wyoming are yet to figure out how to best implement tight end David Grier into their offense, but Grier has the potential to make this Tar Heel defense hurt. Same could be said if the corners get exposed as they did against the Bulldogs, but it's hard seeing Wyoming's group of receivers doing the same after their showing against UTEP. I put more faith in the Heels' offense over Wyoming's offense however, though Denton is going to have to be safe with the ball this time around. Expect a rather dull game, but I see the Heels pulling this one out. :wyoming: WYO 13-17 UNC :unc:

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