The Atlantic Coast Conference is caught up in the nostalgia boom, everyone recalling the talents of graduated players. No exception is the defending champion North Carolina Tar Heels, who are missing eight of 11 defensive starters and Quarterback Paul Miller. Nor is the rest of the offensive backfield set. This may sound like a little too much nostalgia for a repeat as champions, but Coach Bill Dooley is unconcerned. His freshmen rolled over everyone last year with such scores as 61-0, 45-6 and 41-16 and the varsity starters who are back can play. Three All-ACC offensive linemen—Ron Rusnak, Jerry Sain and Bob Thornton—return. The brightest spot is Tailback Ike Oglesby, handicapped by a leg injury last year.
Clemson, like almost everyone else, is looking for a quarterback. Offensive Tackle Force Chamberlain and Eddie Seigler, who holds most of the Tiger field goal records, will help, but Clemson's big losses are at tight end and linebacker, vacated by two all-conference players.
Maryland has an exciting entry in Quarterback Al Neville, who led the conference in passing a year ago, and Split End Dan Bungori, the ACC record-holder for touchdown catches. Add to them a nearly veteran offensive line and the main obstacle en route to a Terrapin sweep is a young, shaky defense.
Duke has all-conference Defensive Back Bill Hanenberg and ground-gaining Tailback Steve Jones, but it also has Alabama, Washington and Stanford for its first three games. Virginia could be a surprise with speedy Tailback Kent Merritt, a veteran interior offensive line and two fine defensive ends in Billy Williams and Stan Land. But the Cavaliers need improvement at quarterback and must rely on a small, inexperienced defense.
Wake Forest has the nation's third leading punter, Chuck Ramsey, who may get more practice than he wants. The Deacons are minus most of their defensive backfield, their quarterback and the ACC's leading rusher, Larry Hopkins. At North Carolina State two talented running backs, Willie Burden and Charley Young, probably won't get a chance to show their true stuff.