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2013 College Football Preview: ACC
By: Brian Graham - StatFox
Published: 7/25/2013  at  2:17:00 AM
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To get you prepared for the upcoming college football season, we continue our run of all FBS conference previews over the next several weeks. For complete coverage, download your copy of the 2013 StatFox Edge Football Preview. Next up is the ACC, which added both Pittsburgh and Syracuse to give the conference 14 members.

Odds to Win ACC

(For the latest Odds, connect to Sportsbook.ag)
5-to-4: Florida State
2-to-1: Clemson
6-to-1: Virginia Tech
6-to-1: Miami (FL)
10-to-1: North Carolina
18-to-1: Georgia Tech
40-to-1: Pittsburgh
50-to-1: NC State
50-to-1: Maryland
50-to-1: Virginia
60-to-1: Syracuse
60-to-1: Duke
100-to-1: Wake Forest
100-to-1: Boston College

FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 12-2 (8-1 in ACC)
ATS Record: 5-9 (36%)
Over/Under: 7-5
Points Scored: 39.3 PPG
Points Allowed: 14.7 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 16/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 4
EJ Manuel wonít be easy to replace, but it appears that redshirt freshman QB Jameis Winston (13-of-15, 205 yds, 2 TD in spring game) will be starting. FSUís best WR Rashad Greene (741 rec. yds, 6 TD) is also a star punt returner (15.4 avg, 3rd in FBS), while WRs Kenny Shaw (532 rec. yds) and Kelvin Benjamin (495 rec. yds, 4 TD) are both very reliable. The ĎNoles will remain run-heavy (206 YPG, 24th in FBS) with junior RBs Devonta Freeman (660 rush yds, 8 TD) and James Wilder Jr. (640 rush yds, 11 TD) rumbling behind an experienced O-Line. New DC Jeremy Pruitt did a fantastic job coaching Alabamaís secondary, and has plenty of talent in the back seven, such as DBs Lamarcus Joyner and Terrence Brooks (51 tackles each), and LB Christian Jones (95 tackles). But the defensive line lost all four starters, including ACC sack leaders Bjoern Werner and Cornellius Carradine.

CLEMSON TIGERS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 11-2 (7-1 in ACC)
ATS Record: 9-4 (69%)
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 41.0 PPG
Points Allowed: 24.8 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 25/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 6
The return of ACC Player of the Year QB Tajh Boyd (3,896 pass yds, 36 TD, 13 INT) makes Clemson a legitimate National Championship contender. DeAndre Hopkins, the conferenceís top wideout, is gone, but junior WR Sammy Watkins (708 rec. yds, 3 TD) returns to the nationís sixth-best scoring offense (41.0 PPG). He is poised for a huge bounce-back campaign after his injury-plagued 2012 season, which began with a suspension after a drug arrest. Senior RB Roderick McDowell (450 rush yds, 5 TD) replaces Andre Ellington as the teamís top back, but RBs D.J. Howard and Zac Brooks will also run behind a bullish O-Line. The Tigers defense has plenty of talent, especially up front with DE Vic Beasley (8 sacks) and LB Spencer Shuey (69 tackles) patrolling the middle. The one trouble spot is the secondary.

VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 7-6 (4-4 in ACC)
ATS Record: 4-9 (31%)
Over/Under: 6-6
Points Scored: 25.1 PPG
Points Allowed: 22.8 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 150/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 4
Defense: Starters Returning: 9
The Hokies are coming off their worst campaign in two decades (7-6). The offense ranked 83rd in the nation in both yards (377 YPG) and points (25.1 PPG), and is hoping new OC Scot Loeffler can work miracles with erratic QB Logan Thomas (51% completions, 2,976 pass yds, 18 TD, 16 INT). Both starting OTs and top three receivers are gone, but the Hokies do get back senior WR D.J. Coles (480 rec. yds in 2011) who missed last year with a knee injury. Top RB J.C. Coleman (492 rush yds, 4.5 YPC) returns, but he gained 50 rushing yards just once in 2012. The excellent defense (333 YPG, 18th in FBS; 99 TFL, T-9th in FBS) is loaded again. DE James Gayle (5 sacks) and LB Jack Tyler (119 tackles) headline a fierce front seven. The secondary may struggle until CB Antone Exum (5 INT) returns from a torn ACL suffered in January.

MIAMI (FL) HURRICANES


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 7-5 (5-3 in ACC)
ATS Record: 9-3 (75%)
Over/Under: 6-5
Points Scored: 31.4 PPG
Points Allowed: 30.5 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 10
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
New OC James Coley takes over a top-flight Miami offense that scored at least 38 points in seven games last season. QB Stephen Morris (3,345 pass yds, 21 TD, 7 INT) threw for 283 YPG, 11 TD and 0 INT in his final four games, and his top two wideouts -- Phillip Dorsett (842 rec. yds, 4 TD) and Rashawn Scott (512 rec. yds, 3 TD) -- and all five O-Line starters come back. Star RB Duke Johnson (947 rush yds, 6.8 YPC, 10 TD) finished his freshman year with 492 yards on 8.8 YPC and 5 TD in his last four contests. The defense was a mess in 2012, allowing 486 total YPG (5th-most in FBS). The ĎCanes had just 13 sacks (tied for 8th-fewest in FBS), and kicked starting LBs Gionni Paul and Eddie Johnson off the team this offseason. But LB Denzel Perryman (64 tackles) and CB Ladarius Gunter (6 PD) are both primed for big seasons.

NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 8-4 (5-3 in ACC)
ATS Record: 6-6 (50%)
Over/Under: 8-3
Points Scored: 40.6 PPG
Points Allowed: 25.7 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 300/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 5
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
The Heels put up 40.6 PPG (8th in FBS) in Larry Fedoraís sped-up spread offense last year, but they have a big hole to fill with ACC top rusher Giovani Bernard gone. RBs A.J. Blue (433 rush yds, 9 TD) and Romar Morris (386 rush yds, 5.6 YPC) expect to get the bulk of carries. Underrated senior QB Bryn Renner (3,356 pass yds, 28 TD, 7 INT) is back though, as are his two favorite targets, WR Quinshad Davis (776 rec. yds, 5 TD) and TE Eric Ebron (625 rec. yds, 4 TD). The stout O-Line allowed just 11 sacks (T-9th in FBS), but lost three starters. The 4-2-5 defense gave up 32.9 PPG in conference play, and said goodbye to its two best defenders in DT Sylvester Williams and LB Kevin Reddick. DE Kareem Martin (4 sacks) and S Tre Boston (86 tackles, 4 INT) are quality players, but this unit will remain below average.

GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 7-7 (5-4 in ACC)
ATS Record: 9-5 (64%)
Over/Under: 7-6
Points Scored: 33.6 PPG
Points Allowed: 28.3 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 1,000/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
The 7-7 Yellow Jackets lost top QB Tevin Washington and top RB Orwin Smith, but the multi-faceted offense (triple-option, spread-option and Pistol formation) should thrive with supremely athletic QB Vad Lee (544 rush yds, 9 TD; 596 pass yds, 4 TD). The nationís 4th-best rushing offense (311 YPG) will thrive behind an O-Line that returns everyone. Thatís great news for RBs David Sims (612 rush yds, 4 TD) and Robert Godhigh (429 rush yds, 4 TD), but the top returning WR, Darren Waller, had just eight catches in 2012. DE Jeremiah Attaochu (10 sacks) made a seamless transition from linebacker to one of the nationís premier pass rushers. He will anchor new defensive coordinator Ted Roofís 4-3 scheme, along with LB Jabari Hunt-Days (84 tackles) and rising CBs Jemea Thomas (86 tackles, 4 INT) and Louis Young.

PITTSBURGH PANTHERS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 6-7 (3-4 in Big East)
ATS Record: 8-5 (62%)
Over/Under: 5-6
Points Scored: 26.6 PPG
Points Allowed: 20.3 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 9
Pittsburgh enters its first ACC campaign with an offense in shambles. QB Tino Sunseri and RB Ray Graham graduated, then RB Rushel Shell transferred. WR Devin Street (975 rec. yds, 5 TD) is the lone skill-position star, and he will be catching passes from either senior QB Tom Savage (16 TD, 10 INT at Rutgers) or dual-threat freshman QB Chad Voytik. Unproven junior RB Isaac Bennett (87 carries, 4.3 YPC in career) should get the bulk of the carries. The nationís 17th-best defense (331 YPG) is in great shape for new DC Matt House, who oversaw Pittís nasty secondary last year (194 pass YPG, 20th in FBS). DT Aaron Donald (18.5 TFL) is a beast, MLB Shane Gordon (6 PD) does it all, and S Jason Hendricks is excellent (90 tackles, 6 INT).

NORTH CAROLINA STATE WOLFPACK


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 7-6 (4-4 in ACC)
ATS Record: 5-7-1 (42%)
Over/Under: 5-7
Points Scored: 28.1 PPG
Points Allowed: 25.6 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 1,000/1

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 5
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
New Head Coach: Dave Doeren
After leading Northern Illinois to a BCS Bowl, Dave Doeren will try his luck in the ACC, likely trusting his hurry-up, spread offense with Colorado State transfer QB Pete Thomas (18 TD, 21 INT career). New offensive coordinator Matt Canada -- Wisconsinís OC last year -- will rely on senior WR Quintin Payton (798 rec. yds) to move the chains, and junior WR Bryan Underwood (10 rec. TD) in the red zone. The poor rushing offense (111 YPG, 111th in FBS; 3.1 YPC) hopes RB Shadrach Thornton (694 rush yds, 4.5 YPC, 3 TD) can improve greatly. New DC Dave Huxtable needs to find six new starters for his 4-3 scheme, but still has a strong D-Line (33 sacks, T-27th in FBS), star DB Dontae Johnson (70 tackles) and gets LB D.J. Green back from suspension.

MARYLAND TERRAPINS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 4-8 (2-6 in ACC)
ATS Record: 6-5-1 (55%)
Over/Under: 6-5
Points Scored: 20.1 PPG
Points Allowed: 27.2 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
Injuries forced the Terps to use LB Shawn Petty as their quarterback last year, a huge reason the team closed the season with six straight losses and had the nationís second-worst offense (285 total YPG). However, dual-threat QB C.J. Brown (7.3 YPC, 5.0 YPA career) is recovered from a knee injury, and has an outstanding WR duo in Stefon Diggs (848 rec. yds, 6 TD) and Deon Long, who caught a JUCO-record 25 TD at Iowa Western C.C. last year. The ground game (103 YPG, 114th in FBS) was to rely on sophomore RB Wes Brown (382 rush yds), but his status is uncertain after being suspended in July following an arrest for trying to punch a policeman. DC Brian Stewartís 3-4 defense held strong last year (337 YPG, 21st in FBS), but lost six starters. ILBs Cole Farrand (78 tackles, 3 FF) and L.A. Goree (46 tackles) are both back though, as are starting CBs Dexter McDougle (58 solo tackles) and Jeremiah Johnson (8 PD).

VIRGINIA CAVALIERS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 4-8 (2-6 in ACC)
ATS Record: 2-10 (17%)
Over/Under: 5-6
Points Scored: 22.8 PPG
Points Allowed: 28.9 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
UVa scored 20 points or less eight times during its 4-8 campaign, and lost QBs Michael Rocco (transfer) and Phillip Sims (academics). Either QB David Watford (4.7 YPA, 3 TD, 4 INT in Ď11) or redshirt frosh QB Greyson Lambert will start in new OC Steve Fairchildís pro-style offense. RB Kevin Parks (734 rush yds, 5 TD) paces a poor ground game (129 YPG, 98th in FBS), but TE Jake McGee (5 rec. TD) and WRs Darius Jennings (568 rec. yds, 5 TD) and Tim Smith (405 rec. yds 4 TD) are experienced pass-catchers. New blitz-happy DC Jon Tenuta was pleased with 14 sacks in the spring game, and expects DE Jake Snyder (44 tackles), 280-pound DT Brent Urban and an intact secondary, highlighted by CBs Demetrious Nicholson (15 PD) and DreQuan Hoskey (30 solo tackles), to carry a defense that lacks sure-tackling linebackers.

SYRACUSE ORANGE


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 8-5 (5-2 in Big East)
ATS Record: 7-6 (54%)
Over/Under: 7-4-1
Points Scored: 30.0 PPG
Points Allowed: 24.8 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 6
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
New Head Coach: Scott Shafer
New coach Scott Shafer, the teamís DC since 2009, and new OC George McDonald must replace the three players most responsible for the schoolís record-breaking offense (476 YPG), QB Ryan Nassib and WRs Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales. Oklahoma transfer QB Drew Allen (18-for-30, 160 yds in career) will likely orchestrate this up-tempo attack relying heavily on WR Jarrod West (588 rec. yds). The Orange wonít abandon the run though, with a loaded backfield of Jerome Smith (1,171 rush yds) and Prince-Tyson Gulley (1,112 total yds, 11 TD). The aggressive defense (100 TFL, 6th in FBS) remains stacked throughout with LBs Marquis Spruill (64 tackles) and Dyshawn Davis (14 TFL), NT Jay Bromley (5.5 TFL) and CB Keon Lyn (3 INT, 7 PD).

DUKE BLUE DEVILS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 6-7 (3-5 in ACC)
ATS Record: 6-7 (46%)
Over/Under: 10-2
Points Scored: 31.5 PPG
Points Allowed: 36.0 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 5
After ending a 17-year bowl drought, the Blue Devils will rely on dual-threat QB Anthony Boone (6 rush TD; 5.6 YPA, 6 TD, 3 INT career) in a more spread offense, as opposed to the pro-style attack under departed QB Sean Renfree. Five-foot-9 WR Jamison Crowder (1,025 rec. yds, 8 TD) is tough to contain. Four starters return to a solid O-Line that hopes to open up more holes for the nationís 100th-ranked rushing offense (101 YPG) that rotates RBs Jela Duncan (553 rush yds, 4 TD), Josh Snead (496 rush yds) and Juwan Thompson (352 rush yds). The defense, which allowed 49.2 PPG during an 0-5 finish to 2012, still needs a ton of work, especially the makeshift secondary. 2010 Freshman All-American LB Kelby Brown (ACL) should be healthy to join standout DE Kenny Anunike (5 sacks) and CB Ross Cockrell (5 INT).

WAKE FOREST DEMON DEACONS


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 5-7 (3-5 in ACC)
ATS Record: 5-7 (42%)
Over/Under: 5-6
Points Scored: 18.5 PPG
Points Allowed: 31.8 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 8
Defense: Starters Returning: 8
After ranking in the nationís bottom-10 in points (18.5 PPG) and yards (301 YPG), the Demon Deacons will run more option plays this year with QB Tanner Price (2,300 pass yds, 12 TD, 7 INT). The O-Line should be healthier to create more holes for Price and RBs Josh Harris (608 rush yds, 5 TD) and Deandre Martin (484 rush yds, 6 TD). When Price drops back, heíll look mostly to WR Michael Campanaro (763 rec. yds, 6 TD), who nearly set an ACC record with 79 catches. The 90th-ranked defense (433 YPG) allowed 37+ points six times, but returns nearly everybody. The D-Line isnít impressive, but the back seven sure are, especially CB Kevin Johnson (15 PD, 3 INT), FS A.J. Marshall (76 tackles) and LB Justin Jackson (81 tackles, 4 sacks).

BOSTON COLLEGE EAGLES


2012 Statistics:
SU Record: 2-10 (1-7 in ACC)
ATS Record: 4-8 (33%)
Over/Under: 5-6
Points Scored: 19.8 PPG
Points Allowed: 29.7 PPG
Odds to Win 2014 BCS National Championship: 50/1 (Field)

2013 Preview:
Offense: Starters Returning: 7
Defense: Starters Returning: 7
New Head Coach: Steve Addazio
After a dreadful 2-10 campaign where they scored just 13.9 PPG in the final seven games, the Eagles start fresh with Steve Addazio, who posted a 13-11 record in two seasons at Temple. He has plenty of experienced players, most notably RB Andre Williams (584 rush yds, 4 TD), who will be the focal point of a run-heavy attack that mustered 91 rushing YPG last year (6th-fewest in FBS). Ryan Day was promoted from receiversí coach to offensive coordinator, giving QB Chase Rettig (3,060 pass yds, 17 TD, 13 INT) his fourth OC in four years. Heíll look to star WR Alex Amidon (1,210 rec. yds, 7 TD) most often. New DC Don Brownís defense will attack more after tallying a nation-low six sacks and 45 TFL in 2012. DE Kasim Edebali (59 tackles), LB Steele Divitto (92 tackles) and DB Spenser Rositano (3 INT) can all play.

All 2013 College Football Previews:

MAC
Conference USA
Mountain West
Sun Belt
American Athletic
Independents
ACC
Big 12 - July 29
Big Ten - August 5
Pac-12 - August 12
SEC - August 19
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