Installment two of the ACC Previews from MadduxSports.com. Today, they take a look the Coastal Division where Virginia Tech is seen as a national title contender and Duke is... well Duke.
The ACC Coastal is a mix of teams with great defenses and quarterback problems. Virginia Tech is the supreme team and has an outside chance at a national title if they can upset LSU early in the non conference schedule. You can check the updated betting lines for that game and all college football odds daily at our site. Georgia Tech is the team we see fitting in the 2 hole and figures to have the best shot at upsetting the Hokies when they host them on ESPN, Thursday November 1st. The Miami Hurricanes have a new coach should bounce back to a top 15 team. Don’t sleep on the Virginia Cavaliers, their defense is vicious.
1) Virginia Tech – Defense wins championships and the Hokies have the best defense in the country. Last season the D relinquished a trifling 11 ppg. They return 8 starters which includes 5 players worthy of All-ACC status. On offense, the running game is lead by Doak Walker candidate Branden Ore. Ore rushed for 1137 yards and got into the endzone 16 times while playing behind a weak offensive line and missing parts of 2 games. The rest of the offense was average last season and as long as junior quarterback Sean Glennon doesn’t make many mistakes the defense should carry the team to the coastal division crown accompanied by a BCS invitation.
2) Georgia Tech – The Yellow Jackets lose Reggie Ball, (which could be a good thing) and Calvin Johnson. One would think that losing a 4 year starter and all American wide out would weaken an offense but things look more desirable for Georgia Tech’s offense this season. They return the ACC’s leading rusher in Tashard Choice and have a junior quarterback in Taylor Bennett who is capable to lead the troops. It also helps that Bennett will protected by and Choice will be running behind a solid line that returns 4 of 5 starters. The defense returns 8 starters and should be as good if not better than the respectable 18.4 ppg they yielded in 06.
3) Miami – The Hurricanes have a fresh coach in Randy Shannon. He's making every effort to get the Canes back to national prominence. It may not show right away because this years schedule is very harsh. They have to travel and play our 2 favorites to win the ACC divisions in Virginia Tech & Florida State. The defense should once again be nasty, which is a common theme for Miami Football. The offense struggled mightily in 06 posting just 19.6 ppg but with 9 starters back a double digit win season isn’t out of the realm of possibilities for the Canes.
4) Virginia – There is plenty of optimism for Cavalier fans after finishing the season winning 3 of their final 5 games. The reason for the optimism is the 18 returning starters including 10 on the defensive side. The offense has question marks and Jameel Sewell will need to show that is fully recovered from off-season wrist surgery. The schedule starts out very manageable and could see Virginia go 3-0 to start the season. Doing so could give the team confidence and induce a break out season for Al Groh’s Cavs.
5) North Carolina – Butch Davis has brought in 2 new coordinators to try and bring the North Carolina football program to respectability. Both former Oakland Raider coordinators, John Shoop will run the offense and Chuck Pagano will cater the defense. This season will be a rebuilding year for the Heels, but expect them to be in a position to challenge for the title in the not so distant future.
6) Duke – 11 starters return on offense but for a unit that averaged less than 15 ppg in 2006 is the coaching staff happy 11 guys return? The Blue Devils finished 0-12 last year and if they improve on that record it will be an achievement in Durham. One thing is for certain Ted Roof will finally be fired at seasons end.
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