ACC Game Previews

The Clemson Tigers will face off against the North Carolina Tar Heels Saturday afternoon at Death Valley in a regionally televised game on Jefferson-Pilot sports. The Tigers will enter the 12 o'clock kickoff favored by 13 points.

Thursday, October 23

Maryland (5-2, 2-1 ACC) at Georgia Tech (4-3, 2-2 ACC)
ESPN; 7:45 p.m.
Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000)

THE GAME: Thursday night will mark the third-straight year and the sixth time since 1995 that the two teams have met in a Thursday night ESPN game ... Maryland holds a 3-2 advantage in Thursday night games, including wins the last two years ... the Yellow Jackets lead the series 10-5 and have won four of the last six meetings ... when playing in Atlanta, Georgia Tech posts a 6-1 record.

LAST YEAR: Terp tailback Chris Downs ran for a career-high 212 yards and three touchdowns as Maryland scored 28 second-half points for a 34-10 victory ... Georgia Tech QB A.J. Suggs threw for 272 yards on 28 of 45 passing.

THE COACHES: Chan Gailey is 11-9 in his second season at Georgia Tech and 35-20 in five seasons overall ... Ralph Friedgen is 26-7 in his third season at Maryland.

Fast Facts:

  • Maryland has scored on its opening drive in 12 of its last 16 games ... Georgia Tech has not allowed a touchdown on the opponents' opening drive in 37 consecutive games.

  • Georgia Tech sophomore P. J. Daniels has recorded three 100-yard rushing games ... Daniels currently ranks second in the ACC averaging 89.0 yards per game.

  • Terp placekicker Nick Novak leads all active ACC kickers with 54 career field goals ... Novak currently ranks 14th in the league record book with 275 career points.

  • Yellow Jacket senior Jonathan Smith leads the ACC with 103.6 receiving yards per game ... in Tech's seven games this season, Smith has recorded four 100-yard receiving games.

    Saturday, October 25

    North Carolina (1-6, 0-3 ACC) at Clemson (4-3, 2-2 ACC)
    JP; 12:00 noon
    Memorial Stadium (81,474)

    THE GAME: Clemson holds the upper hand in the series with a 32-18-1 record over North Carolina ... when playing in Death Valley, the Tigers hold a 15-7 advantage ... over the past four seasons, the team that has recorded the most rushing yards has won ... in recent years, the Tar Heels have a slight edge, winning four of the last seven meetings.

    LAST YEAR: Clemson QB Charlie Whitehurst recorded four touchdowns on only 12 completions to lead the Tigers to a 42-12 win over North Carolina ... the Tar Heels jumped out to a 9-0 lead only 10 minutes into the contest before being outscored 42-3 throughout the remainder of the game.

    THE COACHES: Tommy Bowden is 51-27 in seven years as a head coach, including a 33-23 mark in five seasons at Clemson ... John Bunting is 12-20 in his third season at North Carolina and 50-34-2 in eight years overall.

    Fast Facts:

  • UNC junior wide receiver Jarwarski Pollock leads the ACC and ranks 16th nationally in receptions per game (6.57) ... Pollock also ranks fourth in the ACC in receiving yards per game (75.0).

  • Clemson ranks third in the NCAA, averaging 27.06 yards per kickoff return.

  • Tar Heel quarterback Darian Durant has recorded 5,981 total offensive yards ranking him 24th in the ACC career charts ... Durant also ranks tenth in the ACC career passing efficiency leaders (140.95).

  • Clemson's Derrick Hamilton ranks second in the ACC in all-purpose yardage (121.9) ... Hamilton also ranks 19th in the ACC career charts for kickoff return yardage (1,379).

    NC State (5-3, 2-2 ACC) at Duke (2-5, 0-4 ACC)
    1:00 p.m.
    Wallace Wade Stadium (33,941)

    THE GAME: Duke leads the series 39-34-5, including a 23-15-1 record when playing in Durham ... NC State has won nine games in a row, including 12 of the last 13 meetings.

    LAST YEAR: Duke missed on the 65-yard field goal attempt as time expired giving the Pack a 24-22 victory ... NC State QB Philip Rivers passed for 364 yards and completed 26 of 37 passing attempts with two touchdowns for the Wolfpack.

    THE COACHES: NC State's Chuck Amato is 31-15 in his fourth season as a head coach ... Duke interim head coach Ted Roof is 0-0 entering his first ball game.

    Fast Facts:

  • Wolfpack senior WR Jerricho Cotchery extended his string of games with at least one catch to 34 straight ... Cotchery moved into 13th place on the ACC's all-time receiving yardage list (2,483).

  • Duke's Chris Douglas became just the sixth player in ACC history to record over 5,000 career all-purpose yards ... Douglas currently ranks fifth in the the ACC for career all-purpose yardage with 5,022.

  • Pack quarterback Philip Rivers has 79 career touchdown passes which ties him with former Florida State QB Chris Weinke for the career record ... Rivers also currently ranks sixth in the NCAA's all-time passing list with 11,532 yards.

  • Blue Devil junior Senterrio Landrum leads the ACC and ranks third nationally averaging 30.6 yards per kickoff return.

    Troy State (4-3) at Virginia (4-3, 3-2 ACC)
    3:00 p.m.
    Scott Stadium (61,500)

    THE GAME: Virginia will host Troy State in its annual homecoming game ... this will mark the first meeting between the two opponents and the first independent that the Cavaliers have played since defeating Navy in 1994 ... Virginia holds a 38-38-2 record against homecoming opponents through the years ... this weekend will also mark the second time an ACC team has faced Troy State since they entered division I-A in 2001 ... the Trojans also faced Maryland in a 47-14 victory for the Terps in 2001.

    THE COACHES: Al Groh is 44-55 in his ninth season as a head coach, including a 18-15 mark in his third year at Virginia ... Larry Blakeney is 106-45-1 in 13 years at Troy State.

    Fast Facts:

  • Virginia's Connor Hughes has connected on 13 consecutive field goals and currently ranks third in the ACC in scoring (7.4).

  • Cavalier senior Almondo Curry has picked off three passes this season, including one for a touchdown, and leads the ACC in interceptions with a 0.43 per game average.

  • Virginia sophomore Wali Lundy leads the ACC with 89.7 rushing yards per game ... Lundy has rushed for over 120 yards in five of his last eight games.

  • Cavalier freshman Tony Franklin is averaging 29.1 yards per kickoff return ... Franklin currently ranks second in the ACC and eighth nationally.

    Wake Forest (4-3, 2-2 ACC) at # 6 Florida State (6-1, 5-0 ACC)
    ABC; 3:30 p.m.
    Doak S. Campbell Stadium (82,000)

    THE GAME: Sixth-ranked Florida State and Wake Forest renew their rivalry for the 22nd time when they meet in a regionally-televised game in Tallahassee ... the Seminoles have won 11 in a row and lead the series 18-2-1 ... Wake Forest's last win was a 9-7 decision in 1973 ... when playing in Tallahassee, the 'Noles hold a 13-1-1 advantage.

    LAST YEAR: Florida State QB Adrian McPherson threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns as the Seminoles defeated the Demon Deacons 34-21 ... Wake Forest RB Tarence Williams ran for 149 yards on 19 carries for the Deacs to lead all rushers.

    THE COACHES: Jim Grobe is 17-14 in his third season at Wake Forest and 50-47-1 in his nine years overall ... Bobby Bowden is 265-65-4 in 28 years at FSU and 338-97-4 in 38 seasons overall.

    Fast Facts:

  • Demon Deacon sophomore kicker Ryan Plackemeier leads the ACC and ranks fourth nationally in punting (46.1).

  • Junior quarterback Chris Rix moved into eighth place in the ACC's career passing efficiency charts with a 142.00 rating ... Rix also ranks 14th on the ACC career total offense list with 6,918 yards.

  • Wake Forest's Chris Barclay ranks third in the ACC with 76.4 rushing yards per game ... Barclay has recorded two 100-yard rushing games this season.

  • Bowden is currently tied with Penn State head coach Joe Paterno on the Division I-A victory list with 338 wins.

    By the Numbers:

    0 - In Saturday's 42-13 win over Duke Saturday, Wake Forest did not have a turnover or commit a penalty.

    1 - Yard needed by Maryland's Bruce Perry to become the eighth Terp to reach the 2,000-yard plateau in career rushing yardage.

    4 - Passes attempted by Wake Forest in its' 42-13 win over Duke Saturday - the fewest by the Deacons since attempting only three passes against North Carolina in 1971.

    6 - Number of touchdowns allowed by the Florida State defense in its first seven games in 2003.

    6 - Overtime games played by ACC teams this season - a league record ... ACC teams are 2-3 in non-league overtime games in 2003 and 6-9 all-time.

    10 - NC State leads the ACC with 10 scoring drives of 80 yards or longer.

    10 - Clemson's Kevin Youngblood has 10 straight games with three or more receptions.

    13 - Consecutive field goals made by Virginia's Connor Hughes ... Hughes is third in the ACC in scoring (7.4).

    26 - Florida State junior quarterback Chris Rix has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 26 of his 29 career games.

    30.6 - Duke's Senterrio Landrum leads the ACC and is third nationally in kickoff returns averging 30.6 yards per return.

    30.8 - Over his last four games, FSU WR Craphonso Thorpe is averaging 30.8 yards per catch (13-for-400).

    34 - Consecutive games with at least one reception by NC State's Jerricho Cotchery.

    37 - Georgia Tech has not allowed a touchdown on the opponents' opening drive in 37 consecutive games.

    49 - Maryland placekicker Nick Novak has made 49 of his last 57 field goal attempts (86%) ... four of Novak's six misses have been from 50 yards or more.

    74 - ACC field goal kickers have made good on 77 of 104 field goal attempts (.740) in the first eight weeks of the season.

    89.7 - League-leading per game rushing average by Virginia sophomore Wali Lundy ... Lundy has rushed for over 120 yards in five of his last eight games and has seven 100-yard games in 15 career starts.

    105.2 - Georgia Tech's P.J. Daniels has averaged 105.2 yards rushing in his last five games ... following his career-high 175-yard effort against Wake Forest Saturday, Daniels moved into second in the ACC in rushing with an 89.0 yards per game average.

    130 - North Carolina QB Darian Durant has thrown 130 consecutive passes without an interception.

    192 - Florida State has scored in 192 consecutive games, dating back to the season opener of the 1988 season.

    200 - ACC teams are 13-0 in 2003 when they rush for 200 or more yards.

    247.0 - Over his last four games, Georgia Tech QB Reggie Ball is averaging 247.0 yards in total offense ... Ball is already 10th among ACC's freshmen passing (1,276 yards) and total offense (1,448 yards) leaders.

    269.5 - Over his last two games, Duke freshman QB Mike Schneider is averaging 269.5 yards per game in total offense.

    300 - Five different ACC quarterbacks have thrown for 300 yards or more 12 times this season ... a year ago the ACC had only ten 300-yard passing games.

    338 - Career victories by Florida State's Bobby Bowden tying him with Penn State's Joe Paterno as the all-time winningest Division I-A head coach.

    361 - Passing yards needed by NC State's Philip Rivers to become the first quarterback in ACC history to pass for 3,000 or more yards in a single-season three times ... Florida State's Chris Weinke (1999 & 2000), Duke's Ben Bennett (1982 & 1983) and Rivers are the only three ACC quarterbacks with multiple 3,000-yard seasons.

    1,207 - Yards thrown for by Virginia's Matt Schaub in his last four games ... has thrown for two TDs in each of the past four games ... has 143.01 passing efficiency mark on the season which, if he were eligible, would rank him second in the ACC and 24th nationally ... Schaub will become eligible for statistical ranking following Virginia's game with Troy State this Saturday.

    3,206 - Yards passing by Clemson's Charlie Whitehurst in his 12 career starts - a 267.2 yards per game average.

    2,483 - NC State's Jerricho Cotchery is 13th on the ACC's all-time receiving yardage list with 2,483 yards.

    5,022 - Duke's Chris Douglas moved into fifth place on the ACC Career All-Purpose Yardage list with 5,022 yards.

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