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ACC Preview

FSU will be conference's top team, but not by much

Florida State 7-1 10-2
Clemson 6-2 10-2
Boston College 5-3 9-3
Maryland 4-4 7-5
N.C. State 1-7 3-9
Wake Forest 1-7 4-8
Miami 6-2 9-3
Virginia Tech 6-2 10-2
Georgia Tech 5-3 7-5
Virginia 4-4 7-5
North Carolina 3-5 6-6
Duke 0-8 1-11
ACC Championship Game :: Jacksonville, Dec. 2 :: Florida St. over Miami
Florida State At MiamiSEPTEMBER 4
Last year the Seminoles snapped a six-game losing streak in the series by knocking off the Hurricanes 10-7 in Tallahassee. Miami will be shorthanded this time: Coach Larry Coker suspended four players for violating team rules.
Clemson at Florida St. SEPTEMBER 16
Tigers coach Tommy Bowden has gotten the better of his dad, Bobby, in two of the last three meetings, including Clemson's 35-14 win last season. If Tommy can get another W in the Bowden Bowl, talk of a BCS bid will get serious in Death Valley.
Virginia Tech at MiamiNOVEMBER 4
Last November the Hurricanes rolled into Blacksburg and whipped the undefeated Hokies 27-7, dashing Virginia Tech's national title hopes. Can Tech exact revenge in a game that will likely determine the winner of the Coastal Division?
Brian ToalLB - Boston College
A 6'1" 238-pounder, the versatile junior made 53 tackles from his weakside linebacker position last season and scored six touchdowns lining up as a short-yardage back in the Eagles' First and Toal offense.
Calvin JohnsonWR - Georgia Tech
Coach Chan Gailey says he has never seen a player with the combination of size, speed and acrobatic pass-catching ability of the 6'5", 235-pound Johnson, who had 54 receptions for 888 yards and six touchdowns last year as a sophomore.
Chris LongDE - Virginia
The son of Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long, the 6'4", 278-pound junior had 46 tackles in 2005 and was credited with 10 quarterback hurries in a game against Georgia Tech.
Vince HallLB - Virginia Tech
As a sophomore last season he had a team-high 112 tackles for the nation's top-ranked defense. Hall's field vision, says defensive coordinator Bud Foster, is as good as that of any linebacker he has coached in his two decades at Tech.
Micah AndrewsRB - Wake Forest
The son of former Atlanta Falcons All-Pro running back William Andrews had 618 rushing yards while splitting time as a sophomore last season with tailback Chris Barclay, but Micah will be the featured back in the Demon Deacons' offense this fall.
Last January, NORTH CAROLINA coach John Bunting made the most significant hire of his six-year tenure when he lured offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti away from Fresno State. Cignetti, who oversaw a Fresno offense that ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring the past two seasons, will employ a West Coast-style offense that emphasizes downfield passing and between-the-tackles running. Cignetti and Bunting are considering a platoon system at quarterback, giving snaps to Joe Dailey (right), a senior who transferred from Nebraska after the '04 season, and redshirt freshman Cam Sexton.... DUKE coach Ted Roof had planned to build his program around Zack Asack, a sophomore from Westwood, Mass., who was recruited by Notre Dame and Ohio State. In six starts as a freshman Asack completed 90 of 180 passes for 966 yards and five touchdowns. But in July he was suspended for two semesters for plagiarism. Sophomore Marcus Jones is the only experienced quarterback on the roster; last year he threw seven passes.... A soft early schedule for VIRGINIA TECH -- its first four opponents, Northeastern, North Carolina, Duke and Cincinnati, were a combined 12-32 last season -- will allow quarterbacks Sean Glennon and Cory Holt to gain experience. Between them the sophomores have thrown 23 passes.... After back-to-back 5-6 seasons, MARYLAND coach Ralph Friedgen is assuming the play-calling duties from Charlie Taaffe, who resigned as offensive coordinator last February. Expect the Terps to operate out of multiple sets in Friedgen's complex scheme. -- Lars Anderson

Issue date: August 21, 2006