ACC 2007 Spring Games Wrapup
Posted May 3, 2007

Quick looks at what happened in all the ACC spring games

By John Harris

2007 Preseason Lookaheads - ACC

Boston College – All-ACC quarterback Matt Ryan was just as productive in the annual Jay McGillis Memorial Spring game as he had been throughout a stellar 2006 season completing 19 of his 33 throws for 233 yards and a 59 yard touchdown heave.  New offensive coordinator Steve Logan, famous for coaching Jeff Blake and David Garrard at East Carolina, has meshed well with the Eagle star.

Clemson – 20,000 fans showed up in Death Valley to see junior Cullen Harper step to the forefront of the QB race throwing three touchdown passes for the Orange in a 35-16 victory over the Purple.  Five-star recruit Willy Korn, who entered Clemson early in January, played well in front of the home folks, completing 13 of 25 for 135 yards and a touchdown for the Purple team in a losing effort. While the starting job is Harper’s to lose, head coach Tommy Bowden has hinted that Korn will play throughout the year.

Duke – The Blue Devil defense defeated the offense in a 47-46 nailbiter that featured the debut of  new offensive coordinator Peter Vaas.  All ACC linebacker candidate Michael Tauiliili returned a fumble for a touchdown to give the defense a win over Vaas’s offense.

Florida State – Quarterbacks Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee completed 26 of 49 passes and three touchdowns at Doak Campbell in the annual Garnet and Gold game.  Under the guidance of new offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, the two QBs led the offense to a win over the defense 29-25, but also threw four interceptions to keep the defense in the game. Basically, FSU hasn’t decided on a starting quarterback yet.

Georgia Tech – The running back duo of Tashard Choice and Rashaun Grant racked up 120 yards on the ground to highlight the team’s final scrimmage against the Tech defense this spring.  Defensive end Darrell Robertson and defensive tackle Vance Walker led the defense with a pair of sacks for the Yellow Jacket defense. New QB Taylor Bennett didn’t exactly go lights out this spring, but wasn’t lousy and started to shine late.

Maryland – Quarterback Chris Turner completed 11 of 15 passes, while running back Morgan Green ran for 92 yards to lead the White to a 27-10 victory in the annual Red-White Spring game.  Although Turner was instrumental in the White’s victory, most in attendance watched counterparts Jordan Steffy and Josh Portis struggle throughout the day to complete 50% of their passes.  Each accounted for a big touchdown throw, but neither one emerged as the clear cut starter.

Miami – The Orange beat the White in a defensive slugfest 7-0 in front of 7,000 fans in Randy Shannon’s debut as head coach in the OB.  Consequently, not much was settled in the quarterback battle as Kyle Wright completed seven of 14 for 60 yards and a TD, while Kirby Freeman was eight of 19 for 117 yards and one pick. Of bigger concern was the health of RB Javarris James, who hurt his knee in the spring game. It was just a sprain and didn’t turn out to be a big deal.

North Carolina – 10,000 fans showed up in Kenan Stadium to see the Butch Davis era begin in earnest, as the offense took on the defense in a 90 minute scrimmage.  Quarterback T.J Yates completed ten of 15 passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns, while up-and-coming star wide receiver Hakeem Nicks caught three passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.

NC State – The Red knocked off the White 35-31 as starting quarterback Daniel Evans led the Red on a game winning 65 yard touchdown drive.  But, the brightest spot of the day was the trio of running backs, Toney Baker, Andre Brown and Jamelle Eugene, that ran for a combined 443 yards on 49 carries. Evans is expected to be the starter, but Nebraska transfer Harrison Beck is still in the hunt for the job.

Virginia – Quarterback Scott Deke threw a 24 yard touchdown to Simon Manka for the only score of the day as the Blue beat the White 7-0 in the annual Cavalier spring football game.  With starting QB Jameel Sewell on the sidelines and receiver Kevin Ogletree out for the year with an ACL tear, the defenses on both teams dominated the action, led by linebackers Antonio Appleby and Jermaine Dias.

Virginia Tech – Head coach Frank Beamer cancelled the remainder of spring football after the tragedy.

Wake Forest – The defending ACC champions concluded spring practice with an intrasquad scrimmage that featured the passing acumen of quarterback Riley Skinner.  In typical Skinner style, the ACC rookie of the year completed 12 of 14 passes, including 11 of in a row at one point.  On defense, defensive end Matt Robinson led the way with two sacks, making a triumphant return after missing all of last year with an injury.



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