North Carolina–yes, North Carolina–edges Georgia Tech in ACC Coastal

 In just six short years (1995-2000) Butch Davis built a national championship program at Miami but left for the NFL before he could really enjoy the fruits of his labor.

He exited Coral Gables after the 2000 season (one in which he should have played for the national championship but got squeezed out by Florida State, a team Miami beat in the regular season) to take a big money offer from the Cleveland Browns. But on the way out he told a friend that he was leaving “at least one national championship” and maybe more behind in Miami.

Davis was right. In 2001 Miami won the national championship under Larry Coker and in 2002 was favored to repeat with a team that was stocked full of NFL draft choices. The Hurricanes lost in double overtime to Ohio State in the BCS championship game, played at the Fiesta Bowl.

The point is, Davis knows what a very good college football team is supposed to look like and he knows how to recruit great players. So when North Carolina hired him on Nov. 13, 2006 it was with the expectation that Davis would eventually be able to stockpile enough talent to get the Tar Heels back into the race for the ACC championship, which they haven’t won since 1980.

North Carolina’s ACC title drought in football will finally come to an end in 2010 as the Tar Heels will win the Coastal Division and beat Florida State to win its first conference championship in 30 years.

 “We have a good group of veteran players who know they might have an opportunity to do something special,” said Davis.

Yes, I know. A lot of people are going to pick Virginia Tech to not only win the ACC title, but to compete for the BCS championship as well. I know I’m going against the grain of conventional wisdom here because the Hokies are going to be absolutely loaded on offense. Bud Foster is one of the best defensive coordinators of this generation but I just see too many holes in the wrong places on that side of the ball. And did we mention the Virginia Tech schedule? The Hokies open with Boise State, a consensus top five pick in the preseason. They also have back-to-back-to-back games with Georgia Tech (Nov. 4), at North Carolina (Nov. 13), and at Miami (Nov. 20). That’s tough.

In fact, I’ve got Georgia Tech finishing ahead of Virginia Tech. The Yellow Jackets, the defending ACC champs, lost four NFL draft choices (two on each side of the ball) but the offense will be good as long as quarterback Joshua Nesbitt stays healthy. And if Al Groh’s new 3-4 defense jells early and Tech can win at North Carolina on Sept. 18, the Jackets will be in the hunt at the end.

I could be completely wrong here but hey, it’s May. A lot can happen between now and August. But for now, here is our Spring review of the ACC Coastal:

 

1. NORTH CAROLINA

**–Last season: 8-5, 4-4 ACC; lost to Pittsburgh 19-17 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

**–Coach: Butch Davis, 71-38 in nine years, 20-18 in three years at North Carolina.

**–Key losses: DT Cam Thomas, DE E.J. Wilson, OT Kyle Jolly.

**–Returning starters: Offense 10, defense 9, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch: DT Marvin Austin, S Deunta Williams, LB Quan Sturdivant, DE Robert Quinn.

**–What we learned: The Tar Heels are loaded with NFL players on defense. Nine starters return from a unit that led the ACC (269.62 ypg) and intercepted 19 passes and returned them for 508 yards—an ACC record. Seven of the returning nine players have started 22 or more games in their careers. “If we can find some depth and certain positions we have a chance to have a pretty solid defense,” said Davis. Davis is actually being modest as North Carolina could have the best defense in all of college football. North Carolina is also due to win the close games this season. Of five losses in 2009, three were by a combined total of six points: Florida State (30-27), N.C. State (28-27), and Pittsburgh (19-17).

**–What we still don’t know: Can quarterback T.J. Yates hold on to his job? Yates, a senior from Marietta (Pope H.S.) has started 31 games at North Carolina but the last two seasons have been marked by injury and inconsistency. He came under significant criticism last season when he threw for 2,136 yards with 14 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Redshirt freshman Bryn Renner showed arm strength and athleticism this spring. Yates is going to start the first game of the season against LSU at the Georgia Dome, but if he struggles, Tar Heel fans are going to start clamoring for the talented newcomer. “T.J. has so much experience and he has learned that he doesn’t have to put the offense on his shoulders,” Davis said. “It is a long season and we have to have more than one quarterback who can win a game for us.” Yates is going to be under a lot of pressure because good quarterback play—or the lack of it—is the one thing that could keep North Carolina from having a big season.

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. LSU (Georgia Dome, Atlanta).

 

 

2. GEORGIA TECH

**–Last season: 11-3, 7-1 ACC; beat Clemson 39-34 in ACC championship game; lost to Iowa 24-14 in Orange Bowl.

**–Coach: Paul Johnson, 127-46 in 13 years, 20-7 in two years at Georgia Tech.

**–Key losses: RB Jonathan Dwyer, DE Derrick Morgan, S Morgan Burnette, WR Demaryius Thomas.

**–Returning starters: Offense 7, defense 8, specialist 2.                                           

**–Players to watch: QB Joshua Nesbitt, RB Anthony Allen, CB Jerrad Tarrant, LB Brad Jefferson.            

**–What we learned:  Georgia Tech now has a defensive identity. The fact is Georgia Tech tried a lot of different things on defense last season to the point where players were confused and uncertain. That has changed with the arrival of new coordinator Al Groh. Groh, who has been the head coach at Wake Forest, Virginia and the New York Jets, installed a 3-4 defense that will allow Georgia Tech to be more aggressive. Georgia Tech has a clear identity with Paul Johnson’s offense and now it will be the same on defense. The Yellow Jackets will now recruit to this system. “I think it is a simpler system that allows guys to just go play,” said Johnson. “We’ve got some good athletes on that side of the ball. I like what I saw over there.”

**–What we still don’t know: Georgia Tech lost four difference makers—Dwyer, Morgan, Burnette, and Thomas—to the NFL Draft. Can the Yellow Jackets replace that big-play potential? Morgan and Thomas were taken in the first round. Dwyer, the 2008 ACC offensive player of the year, fell to the sixth round but has first or second round talent. Burnette was a very underrated safety. Johnson believes that the program has recruited well enough to absorb the losses. Last season, Johnson recalled, the experts said that Georgia Tech would take a dip because it would everybody’s second look at the option offense. Tech won the ACC championship.  “I think we’ve got some other good players,” he said. “We’ve got 15 starters back from our team that won the league. We’re not ready to throw in the towel; we’re going to still show up. Those guys were good players and (now) somebody else will have an opportunity.”

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. S.C. State.

 

 

3. VIRGINIA TECH

**–Last season: 10-3, 6-2 ACC; beat Tennessee 37-14 in Chick-fil-A Bowl.

**–Coach: Frank Beamer, 229-115-4 in 29 years, 187-92-2 in 23 years at Virginia Tech.

**–Key losses: TE Greg Boone, OT Ed Wang, DE Jason Worilds, FS Kam Chancellor, DT Cordarrow Thompson.

**–Returning starters:  Offense 8, defense 5, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch: RB Ryan Williams, RB Darren Evans, QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Jarrett Boykin.

**–What we learned: The Hokies are loaded on offense. Let’s start at the running back position, where Virginia Tech has an embarrassment of riches. Sophomore Ryan Williams became the first freshman to ever lead the ACC in rushing (1,655 yards) and scoring (22 touchdowns) last season. He was the All-ACC running back and was easily the choice for the conference rookie of the year. But the reason Williams got a shot last season was that Darren Evans, the 2008 rookie of the year, was injured and sat out the season. Now both are back. And there are some incredibly talented runners waiting in the wings like David Wilson and Tony Gregory so Beamer will probably redshirt a running back who could start for any other team in the conference. Tyrod Taylor, who led the ACC in passing efficiency, is back for his senior season. WR Jarrett Boykin averaged 20.9 yards per catch last season. If a couple of new starters can be found on the offensive line, this has a chance to be Beamer’s best offense since Michael Vick led the Hokies to the national championship game in 1999.

**–What we still don’t know: By the standards of defensive coordinator Bud Foster, 2009 was an average year. The Hokies finished second in the ACC behind North Carolina in total defense and No. 12 nationally. There are some major holes to be filled as six starters are gone, including both defensive ends (Jason Worilds, Nekos Brown), a really good outside linebacker in Cody Grimm, and a free safety (Kam Chancellor) who started 41 career games and was basically the quarterback of the defense. “This is going to be the first time in a long time that we’ve had to replace so many starters up front,” Foster said. “We’re going to be as young this year as we’ve been in a long, long time. There are a lot of question marks.” Some of those questions need to be answered soon because the Hokies open the 2010 season on Sept. 6 against Boise State at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. Boise State returns 21 of 22 starters from a team that went 14-0 last season and beat TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. Beamer, being the special teams guru, is worried about finding a new punter and placekicker.

**–Opening game: Sept. 6 vs. Boise State, FedEx Field, Landover, Md.

 

4. MIAMI

**–Last season:  9-4, 5-3 ACC; lost to Wisconsin 20-14 in Champs Sports Bowl.

**–Coach: Randy Shannon, 21-17 in three seasons at Miami.                    

**–Key losses: RB Jevarris James, OT Jason Fox, LB Darryl Sharpton, CB Sam Shields.

**–Returning starters: Offense 6, defense 8, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch: QB Jacory Harris, LB Sean Spence, RB Graig Cooper, CB Brandon Harris.

**–What we learned: The ‘Canes look like they are finally ready to break out. Miami went 9-4 last season against a very difficult schedule. But there was the nagging sense that the Hurricanes could have been even better. Shannon said recently that this was the best spring Miami has had since he became head coach in 2007. Part of that was because the Hurricanes finally have enough depth to have competition at almost every position. Quarterback Jacory Harris, who is set to begin his third season, sat out the spring while he recovered from an injury to this throwing hand. Shannon said on an ACC coaches’s call on April 21 that Harris would be back to throwing “within the next two weeks.” Harris suffered the hand injury on Nov. 14 against North Carolina and played the final three games wearing a brace. This schedule, by the way, is still ridiculous with non-conference trips to Ohio State (the Big Ten favorite) and Pittsburgh (a favorite to win the Big East) in September.

**–What we still don’t know: Who is going to be the featured running back? Jarvarris James (492 yards) is gone and Graig Cooper (Miami’s leading rusher with 695 yards) suffered a severe knee injury in the Champs Sports Bowl last December. His status for the 2010 is still uncertain but Cooper’s rehab, which is supposed to take 4-6 months, is ahead of schedule. Shannon spent the spring looking at four candidates: Damien Berry, Storm Johnson, Mike James, and Lamar Miller (who is the fastest back on the team). No one, Shannon said recently, separated themselves from the pack during spring practice but it looks like Berry,   a senior who had 616 yards last season despite not seeing action until the fifth game, will be the starter. Shannon has also said that he wants his defense to be “a little nastier” this season. Can the Hurricanes, who were fifth in the ACC in total defense (329.62 ypg), give Shannon his wish? They can with more players like Allen Bailey (Sapelo, Ga.), who can play end or tackle and will be an All-American this season, and LB Sean Spence, who is set for a big junior year after injuries limited him to 10 games in 2009.

**–Opening game:  Sept. 2 vs. Florida A&M.

 

5. DUKE

**–Last season: 5-7, 3-5 ACC. 

**–Coach:  David Cutcliffe, 53-44 in nine years, 9-15 in two seasons at Duke.

**–Key losses: QB Thaddeus Lewis, DT Vince Oghobasse, LB Vincent Rey.

**–Returning starters: Offense 9, defense 6, specialist 2.           

**–Players to watch: QB Sean Renfree,  OT Kyle Hill, C Bryan Morgan, WR Donovan Varner.

**–What we learned: Sean Renfree will replace Thaddeus Lewis (46 career starts) at quarterback but Renfree missed spring practice while he recovered from knee surgery. Renfree did participate in 7-on-7 drills, however. “Sean was actually able to do more than we thought he would be able to do and that was a position,” Cutcliffe said.  Cutcliffe, however, had a couple of young, talented quarterbacks to work with during the spring in redshirt freshman Sean Schroeder and true freshman Brandon Connette, who enrolled last January. Another talented quarterback, Anthony Boone, arrives this summer. Connette, from Corona, Calif., was very impressive this spring, said Cutlciffe. “I like our athleticism at quarterback,” Cutcliffe said. “These are maybe four guys who are as talented as I’ve been around at any one time in a program. They are just young.” The good news for all the quarterbacks is that four of five starters return on the offensive line and two of them, C Bryan Morgan (25 career starts) and tackle Kyle Hill (24 career starts) will push for post-season honors. Duke also returns a 1,000-yard receiver in Donovan Varner, who led the ACC with 65 catches.

**–What we still don’t know: Can Duke overcome its youth, especially on defense? When Duke gathers in August to begin preseason practice, 54 of its 83 scholarship players will be freshmen or sophomores. Nine of Duke’s 14 defensive linemen will be freshmen. “We are much faster and more athletic on defense but we are a whole lot younger,” said Cutcliffe. “Between graduating some good players (DT Vince Oghobaase had 44 career starts) and dismissing some others, we’re going to be in a position where we really have to grow quickly there.” Cutcliffe has reassigned some duties on his defensive coaching staff and DC Marion Hobby, the former Tennessee defensive tackle, will be calling more of the signals.

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. Elon.

 

6. VIRGINIA

**–Last season: 3-9, 2-6 ACC.

**–Coach: Mike London, 24-5 in two seasons, first season at Virginia.

**–Key losses: CB Chris Cook, WR Vic Hall, OT Will Barker.

**–Returning starters: Offense 6, defense 6, specialist 2.

**–Players to watch:  CB Ras-I Dowling, LB Steve Greer, QB Marc Verica, DE Matt Conrath.

**–What we learned: Mike London has a lot of work to do but the defense has a chance to be decent. London, a former assistant at Virginia, won a Division I-AA national championship at Richmond in 2008 before returning to Charlottesville to replace the departed Al Groh for this season. London earned his stripes as a defensive coordinator at Virginia (2006-07) and if the Cavaliers are going to be at all competitive in 2010, the defense will have to carry the load.  London installed a 4-3 defense, replacing the 3-4 which was favored by Groh, now the defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech.

**–What we still don’t know:  Who are going to be the playmakers? Wide receiver Kris Burd (31 catches) is back but after that the pickings seem pretty slim from a unit that finished dead last in the ACC in total offense and scoring offense. Fifth-year senior Mark Verica threw for over 2,000 yards in nine starts in 2008 and appears to be the likely replacement at quarterback for Jameel Sewell. There are two freshman quarterbacks, Ross Metheny and Michael Strauss, who got a good look in the spring.  Verica has experience (he completed 63.8 percent of his passes in 2008 but also had 16 interceptions) but didn’t help himself by completing only 8 of 23 passes with two interceptions in the spring game. We also don’t know who the starting running back will be. Right now it appears to be sophomore Torrey Mack, the leading returning rusher who had 73 yards last season. There isn’t a whole lot to get excited about on the offensive side of the ball. This season has a chance to be pretty ugly for the Cavaliers.

**–Opening game: Sept. 4 vs. Richmond.

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324 comments Add your comment

forrestgumps

May 6th, 2010
6:15 pm

The tarholes are not coming into tally and beating the Noles…that is just nuts Tony….we’ll beat them by 2 scores…

forrestgumps

May 6th, 2010
6:16 pm

I think it’s going to be FSU vs Ga Tech for the ACC Title..NC is not even in the same league tony..

JacketFan

May 6th, 2010
6:17 pm

@we’re going – I think you’ll find that I’m not one of those Tech fans who has said anything about preseason polls one way or another. I noted the rankings here for the benefit of the UGAg fans who seem to put so much value on them.

forrestgumps

May 6th, 2010
6:18 pm

Tony has been wrong ALOT…..

Paddy

May 6th, 2010
6:20 pm

forrestgumps…..you are correct sir. UNC will not beat FSU aby 2 td’s. It also adds a field goal to win by 17. No championship this year gumster, sorry.

Fresh Idea

May 6th, 2010
6:22 pm

Not that anyone of intelligence is going to respond to me, but for the record…GT having 350-400 people at T-Day is a myth. No, it wasn’t over 30k and making national headlines, but it was probably hovering around 10 thousand. That’s with severe weather (not just rain) forecast for the afternoon AND a last minute time change (moved ahead by an hour). I was there. I only made it because I live on campus. I commend anyone who braved the weather to drive downtown and make an annoying early kickoff time. I’m tempted to think if the weather was like last year and the schedule was un-screwed-with, Tech’s spring game could have been a much bigger deal.

Okay, anyone with an IQ below 60 and an SAT score to match may now go ahead and blast me. I expect some made-up crap about hot dogs and cokes, our “tiny” (actually medium-sized by capacity) stadium, our nerdiness, the new defense (said they were running some schemes not meant to stop the option, just practicing), or of course how amazing U(sic)GA is…have at it!

kEVIN

May 6th, 2010
6:23 pm

Love this video of Drew Brees winning MVP in the Super Bowl, all 6′ 0” of him, Murray is 6′ 1”, good to know, Murray reminds everybody of dREW BREES:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4ruh-ujts0

P.S. Colt McCoy said Aaron Murray was the best he’d ever seen.

Beast from the East

May 6th, 2010
6:33 pm

1….Miami
2….GT
3….VT
4….UNC
5….Duke
6….UVA
Top 4 teams are pretty tough and really wouldn’t be too surprised if any one of them took it. Kind of like the SEC West. It will be a tough season and doubt anyone will have a chance to get through it unbeaten. Might be year when a non BCS conference fianlly gets their shot at the BCSNCG. Can you say BSU vs OSU?

GT ALL THE WAY!

May 6th, 2010
6:48 pm

I COUNT THINGS THE WAY I WANT TO COUNT THEM, EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE ZERO AP/BCS TITLES, I’M GONNA SAY FOUR! WOOHOOOOOOOO!

John Lankford

May 6th, 2010
6:53 pm

Ormewood, I don’t place blame on Yates as many other Carolina fans do. I think our defense just dropped the ball in some key games. The only games where you can really fault Yates would be the games against Georgia Tech and Virginia of all teams. UNC’s defense put it out on the field against ECU and was 3-0 at the time but all you heard was Georgia Tech motivated to get revenge on UNC. Our defense played well for three quarters and fell apart when Yates couldn’t get the offense moving. I clearly remember a turning point in that game when UNC was in the red zone and Yates had a miscue when his center hiked the ball and Yates wasn’
t even ready for it. You should have saw the faces on the defense after that blungled stupidity by Yates and the offense. I think our defense just gave up. Robert Quinn even made comments in the locker room when he said you can’t win with only one side of the team putting out. I donot see Yates as the type of quarterback that can win games for you. He made try not to lose a game but he is no Tyrod Taylor,Harris or Nesbitt. Now if we are talking about the new guy,Brenner, that is a different story. Does Davis and Shoop have the guts to see what the kid can do. It might be the whole differencwe in getting over the top for UNC’s offense. It sure looked that way to me in the spring but all I hear is the same ole crap from Davis and Shoop. Loyalty can only take you so far.

KGator79

May 6th, 2010
6:56 pm

Kevin…yeah and Ron Powlus was supposed to win 3 heismans before he played. Matt Barkley was supposed to be the best freshman QB we had seen in years. Kyle Wright was supposed to be the best QB Miami has ever had. Chris Rix was supposed to be the most physically gifted QB FSU had ever had. See the trend? Lets wait and see Murray actually play in a college game first against a Florida or Alabama type defense. Funny things occur when that happens, those freshman QBs end up looking like freshman QBs.

Beast from the East

May 6th, 2010
7:17 pm

KGator79, I think you said it. I remember Danny W. struggled several times early in his career. Murray might turn out to be all that he is talked about but he will have some really rough games along the way. I guarantee you that South Carolina will be coming after him hard. They really need to try and deliver with the running game the first 3-4 weeks or it could be a disaster.

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
7:30 pm

KGator79,

Actually I coulda sworn that Beano Cook said Powlus would win 4 Heismans. I kid you not. And Jimmy Clausen suggested that they could win 4 national titles when he committed to ND. ND must have something hallucinogenic going on around ND. QB is definitely the hardest position on the team to predict future success.

Phillip Rivers came out of Athens, AL. The guy wasn’t even recruited by Alabama or Auburn and I don’t know if any SEC powers recruited him. He goes to NC state cause they were one of the few schools offering and the rest is history. Lots of qbs in the NFL that people have no idea where they came from and lots of qb busts like the ones you mentioned. Some other notable sec busts are Jordan Jefferson so far at LSU and Russell Sheppard who was a 5 star qb dual threat and is now a permanent wide receiver.

As for the Tech game I felt really bad for the Tech folks when I read there were only 300-400 people there and kinda wondered if that was really true. 10,000 sounds more right. We had 91,000 again but our fans understand that Lord Satan I mean Saban commands that we show up in the interest of impressing the recruits.

KGator79

May 6th, 2010
7:38 pm

Tide Rising….Yeah in regards to Sheppard, was he even given an opportunity at QB? I remember he was being pursued by schools like Florida big time and to me it just seems like at no time last year was he given a chance to play QB or even use his athletic abilities. Now you hear how he wont be a QB at all. Just a little strange, but again the genius that is Les Miles is growingly being exposed as a fraud.

KGator79

May 6th, 2010
7:42 pm

Also, one has to wonder in regards to Murray, if he was so good, why did he never see the field last year over an average at best Joe Cox? In todays college football world, you coach and play to win today, not save for tomorrow and one would think if Murray was that much better than Cox he would have played.

kEVIN

May 6th, 2010
8:10 pm

The ole “if murray’s so good, why didn’t he start last year” make Florida’s Bentley look even worse because he sat the bench FOR 3 YEARS….

Murray has THE QB developer as his coach who got 2 QB’s a Heisman, and a 3rd QB 2nd in the Heisman, and a 4th QB #1 in NFL Draft, so Murray will be better than good.

HBTD

May 6th, 2010
8:11 pm

Tony. Congrats!! You’ve created quite a “buzz” over here in Loserville. Keep up the great work.

kEVIN

May 6th, 2010
8:12 pm

p.s. florida’s qb bentley reminds me f joe cox, good in mop up stats, good in high school, yet sat the bench for 3 years. cox went 8-5, bentley won’t even win 8 games–his rb’s can’t run–see SEC Champ–16 yards for the rb’s.

Ormewood

May 6th, 2010
8:20 pm

UF QB is Brantley, not Bentley. You think Florida is only winning eight? I’ll take the over on that one.

Beast from the East

May 6th, 2010
8:35 pm

You’ll see plenty of “Bentley” in Jax.

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
8:49 pm

KGator79,

Your question about if Murray is so good why didn’t he start last year is a valid question. I can understand Richt starting the 5th yr senior Cox over a true freshman. But what I’m shocked about is that throughout his redshirt season that he couldn’t make a run at attaining the backup job over the hapless Logan Gray. The only td I saw gray throw was to Brandon Spikes.

At Bama we had AJ McCarron who midway through the season beat out Star Jackson for the #2 job. We kept the redshirt on him but McElroy got his ribs cracked in the Florida game and was still hurting in the Texas game. McCarron was confident and ready to go if McElroy couldn’t make it through the Texas game.

To me it speaks volumes that Murray couldn’t beat out Logan Gray last year and that it was a 3 way mix to begin with going into spring and as Richt said the race may go into the fall. The fact that gray was ready to leave the team because he apparently thought he was better than Murray should also tell you something. Bottom line is that Gray is a bad qb and that if Murray couldn’t decisively separate himself from Gray than how good can this kid really be? The consensus that I saw was that Murray was the guy most dog fans wanted going into spring, then Mett outplayed him during the spring and was “the guy” that most dog fans wanted, then Mett got booted, and now Murray is the guy by default.

I am the dog

May 6th, 2010
9:06 pm

HBTD please turn off your computer. You give all UGA fans a black eye and stomach cramps. Please shut up or pull for someone else

KGator79

May 6th, 2010
9:21 pm

Kevin….really, did you just ask if Brantley was so good why didnt he start for 3 years? I’ll let you figure that one out on your own. As for the great developing of those QBs you say by Richt…it must be getting really bad for UGA fan when they are having to reference FSU QBs under Richt back in the 90s. This is your praise for Richt? As for your #1 pick Stafford..yeah he did ok. 1-2 vs. Florida. 0 National titles, 0 SEC titles, 0 SEC East titles. Yeah impressive!

Reptiles Rule

May 6th, 2010
9:24 pm

Tide Rising, it is because Murray couldn’t beat out Gray (the year before) or in the Spring game the very reason that Richt got on his knees and begged Gray to stay after he went to Richt with his intentions to transfer. All of the sudden, the #1 position on the depth chart didn’t mean a thing and the job was “wide open” again for the fall. Richt is fully aware that he may well have to turn back to Logan Gray should Murray struggle and when/if that happens you can bet Richt will start feeling the heat. I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see Gray playing by the middle of the season. The question is, with LeMay coming in next year, will Gray stick around and take that chance??

KGator79

May 6th, 2010
9:24 pm

Tide Rising….good points. Which makes your wonder even more about UGA’s latest QB commitment for 2011. Typically you do not get a high profile QB commit like that when your looking to start a freshman you think is all world this year.

Technophobia

May 6th, 2010
9:27 pm

Carolina is loaded on defense but they’ve had a lot of talent before and inconsistency always seems to be their downfall. VT’s schedule may keep them from winning it so despite the losses to the NFL, Tech could repeat if they play their cards right. No question it’s gonna be very interesting in the Coastal division this fall. We have as many teams in the preseason top 25 as the entire SEC has.

Beast from the East

May 6th, 2010
9:28 pm

Al Horford’s got 16 pts and 5 rebs at the half. Hawks are up at 1/2 time.

Reptiles Rule

May 6th, 2010
9:36 pm

By the way, I find it funny as well (and you described it well) how last year when Cox struggled, the doggies were all calling for Gray…until he played in the Florida game. Then as you pointed out, Murray became the newborn King until Berger Boy started to outperform HIM, then ZM became the next Matthew Stafford only better. Then when Metts got the boot it was back to Murray. I laughed how Richt said Murray was the clear cut guy “all along”…I mean, what else is he gonna say?? But Murray is king again and the Dawg fans have once again annointed him the next coming like nothing ever changed….and who can blame them, who else they got??? Hutson Mason??

Beast from the East

May 6th, 2010
9:42 pm

If Grey left and Murray went down, they’d probably move Samuel from LB to QB and Patrick would be calling him the next Tebow!

Reptiles Rule

May 6th, 2010
9:42 pm

Also how did McElroy get hurt in the Florida game?? I can’t remember us even touching the guy. Did he fall off the bench or something?? I’m still mad at Dunlaps idiocy and the way our D played in that game. I’ll be blunt about it…we got trucked.

Reptiles Rule

May 6th, 2010
9:58 pm

No, he doesn’t say too much about Tebow. He seems to stay away from those particular statistics, he’d much rather talk John Brantley and ramble on about some spring scrimmage. Of course he doesn’t give much credence to the actual spring game because evidently he was in the coaches pre-game meeting when Meyer decided to call off the dogs…hilarious. No wait, he was talking about how bad the D was…hell I’m sorry…I can’t recall WHICH side of his mouth he was talking out of. …

KGator79

May 6th, 2010
9:59 pm

Reptiles Rule….I think what happened is they felt it was a given to win that game. They beat up FSU to go to 12-0 and partied. Thats what is going to make the Oct. game pretty interesting. To say Florida will be motivated probably in a similar fashion as Bama was last year, is an understatement and I have to believe, similar to going into the 2008 season when all offseason all they saw was Moreno running all over them, I have to believe similar video will be playing this offseason throughout their workouts of Bama running all over them. Should be interesting to see how it plays out with the possibility of two teams facing one with a 28 game in season winning streak (Bama) and another with a 26 game in season streak (UF). Someone will lose their first regular season game in a long time.

Reptiles Rule

May 6th, 2010
10:15 pm

KGator79, I know what you’re saying but how could UF look at an undefeated Alabama team in the most crucial game of the season, playing for an SEC championship and what everyone deep down inside knew…a National Championship…and to even imagine that game was in the bag. I’ve heard alot of rumors about the party and Billy Gonzalez and what really happened. All I know is that when I got up that morning and read about Dunlaps arrest, I just kinda threw my hands up and said, “we’re done”. I just felt right then that we lost that game. Of course it didn’t help that Bama came out and played like the champions that a month later they would in fact become. But it kills me because I know we could have handled Texas as well……..

Reptiles Rule

May 6th, 2010
10:18 pm

Bama will be tough to beat in that first meeting. I’m just hoping we can win the second one. I think we’ve hijacked this blog, but no one else is commenting. Have a good eve………..

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
10:20 pm

Reptiles Rule,

Maybe be we didn’t see it but apparently one of the gators laid the wood to McElroy sometime during the game. The hit was hard enough to crack 2-3 ribs.

Anyway your post at 9:36 pretty much summarized exactly how neutral fans saw the whole qb derby. It went exactly like in your post.

I think Georgia could be pretty decent everywhere except at qb. This kid just didn’t look solid in the spring game. I just don’t think he has it. I think Christian LeMay knows that because it is indeed extremely unusual for a high profile qb to commit to a program with the possibility of sitting for 3 years. Usually they commit to a program that has a jr or sr qb. But like I said if you have trouble beating out a guy like Logan Gray than how good can you really be? LeMay knows that and I have a scary feeling the that the rest of the bulldog nation is gonna find that out in the fall.

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
10:23 pm

Reptiles Rule,

If we do win the first meeting then I’ll be a bigger bulldog fan than Patrick Sulley. I would much rather play UGA in the seccg than have to play you guys twice. If you’re playing another great team its hard enough to beat them once let alone twice. That’s why I’ll be a dawgs fan if we win the first one and hope there won’t be a second one.

Uli Kunkel

May 6th, 2010
10:36 pm

I feel dummer for having read (a portion of) these comments. Thanks for reminding me why the ACC is superior regardless of what happens on the gridiron… FTR, UNC is going to a$$maul LSU.

Reptiles Rule

May 6th, 2010
10:43 pm

By golly you’re right Tide Rising…it was Brandon Spikes that broke 2 of his ribs in the SECCG. Boy did Alabama keep THAT under wraps, which was very very smart. But hey, look at it this way, at least he still had his eyesight! ……..And that, and his 40 time, cost Brandon some serious jack and rightfully so. And Dunlap got financially drilled for his situation too, millions! Hope these guys learned a valuable lesson. We know it was an expensive on.

Urban Meyer

May 6th, 2010
10:45 pm

Please Dr.Phil..I need help!

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
10:58 pm

ReptileRule,

It was kept well under wraps, no one even knew about it I don’t think. It was only after the Texas game it was revealed. Our backup AJ McCarron was ready to go. He had won over the backup spot over Star Jackson in the 6th week of the season. Star’s stats weren’t unimpressive either. Anyway, that’s the main reason why I question whether Murray is any good. If he couldn’t win over the backup job over the hapless Logan Gray the way AJ won the backup job at Bama then you really gotta wonder about the guy.

CrackDaddy

May 6th, 2010
11:02 pm

I believe there are a lot of UNC haters out there. The fact is, that UNC has more charisma than any school in either the ACC or the SEC. People are afraid that UNC is on ther verge of turning their football program into one that rivals there BB program. And for those who cite UNC’s most recent past as an example of their what they are capable of, well they have not had the players (since Mack Brown, when they were as good as almost anyone in the nation) in the past, but this year they do. So don’t talk about the past. UNC rocks!

Missing Important Piece of Info

May 6th, 2010
11:35 pm

Tide Rising, Murray hurt his elbow midway through the season when replacing Cox would have made the most sense. Under your logic, you are saying that all three UGA backup QB’s last year don’t have the potential to be better than Joe Cox. I just find that very hard to believe.

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
11:44 pm

Missing piece of info,

Judging from the spring ball it looked to me like Mett had the potential to be the guy and be much better than Cox. All I’m saying is that I just don’t see it with Murray. That’s all. And while I understand he had tendinitis in the elbow last year I’m still saying that going into the spring he still was listed behind Gray who I’m sure everybody can agree just doesn’t have it. Not from what I’ve seen anyway. The other concern is that from what I read 18 and 19 year olds shouldn’t be getting tendinitis just from throwing the football. I’m not a doctor obviously but I’m just sayin it can’t be good to be having elbow problems that early in your career. And while he may yet have the potential to be better than Cox I just can’t see him being a great one. Hopefully for you dog fans he will prove me wrong.

Tide Rising

May 6th, 2010
11:47 pm

Crackdaddy,

Mack Brown was a good coach. But when you say under Brown that Carolina was as good as almost anyone in the nation well thats a little over the top. Not hatin on the heels. Just sayin I don’t ever remember them being a top 5 fixture or playing in bcs bowl games under Mack Brown. If they are going to break through though this may well be the year.

Gen Neyland

May 7th, 2010
5:54 am

One reason NC doesn’t get the love it may deserve going into this season is that over the years, NC football has been known as a filler sport to NC basketball season. People have been watching the football program grow under the radar and Davis is the ACC’s version of the SEC’s Saban. Davis had to start more at scratch than Saban did at Alabama but has silently weaved NC into being a player in the ACC. Will this be the year or will it ake one more..?

UGASlonnerknocker

May 7th, 2010
6:24 am

Is there anything more boring than ACC football talk?

Ormewood

May 7th, 2010
7:15 am

Yes, UGA hoops.

Gt4ever

May 7th, 2010
7:52 am

In a VERY weak league, it’s GT’s to lose……If GT has any Defense, then it will be a runaway. We will get beat by a GOOD team in the BCS bowl, because we still don’t have the horses to play with an elite team….. THWG!

Gt4ever

May 7th, 2010
7:53 am

BTW, UGA, although most of their fans believe it to be, is NOT an elite program… We have a chance to beat them again in Athens….

Gt4ever

May 7th, 2010
7:55 am

CrackDaddy, you must be kidding…. UNC football will never be Elite…… You were at your best when the Texas coach was at the helm…. Get off the crack……..