ACC Players to Watch Blog
Posted Aug 11, 2008

The ACC players to watch and to look out for in each week's games.

ACC Players Blog

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| M-West | Pac 10 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC
ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA
| M-West | Pac 10 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC
ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA
| M-West | Pac 10 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC

By Mark Trible.

Duke- DE Wesley Oglesby.  This 6’6 Sophomore lineman must be able to contain the edges against a Northwestern team that ran for 269 yards against Syracuse.

RB Clifford Harris.  Harris ran for 95 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown in Duke’s first victory.  Expect more of the same against a defense that allowed 4.1 yards per carry last game.

Georgia Tech- QB Josh Nesbitt.  Nesbitt managed the opener against Jacksonville State in Paul Johnson’s new triple-option scheme well, running for 60 yards and adding 87 more through the air. 

DE- Michael Johnson.  Johnson will need to help supply the pressure needed to rattle Boston College’s Chris Crane who is starting his second career game

Miami-  S JoJo Nicolas.  Nicolas must help defend the vaunted Tim Tebow-led Florida Gators through the air.  If this 6’1 safety doesn’t cover a large amount of ground, it could get ugly Saturday.

MLB Darryl Sharpton.  Sharpton notched only three tackles in Thursday’s yawner against Charleston Southern.  Don’t let the stats fool you, this kid can play.  Expect him to help the Hurricane’s defense stop the Gators’ run game.

North Carolina-  Idle, Next game- September 11 @ Rutgers

Virginia- LB Jon Copper.  Copper was one of the few bright spots in the Cavaliers’ 52-7 loss to Southern Cal.  The Senior had 11 tackles and should be flying around the ball against Richmond.

RB Cedric Peerman.  After rushing for only 36 yards on eight carries Saturday, expect Virginia to give him the majority of the carries versus Richmond.  The 5’10 Senior will also have a big impact on the Cavs return game.

Virginia Tech-  RB Kenny Lewis, Jr.  Lewis carried the ball eleven times for 63 yards in a disappointing loss to East Carolina.  Offensive Coordinator Bryan Stinespring would be foolish not to get him more carries against Furman Tech’s less than encouraging Quarterback play. 

LB Cam Martin.  Martin did his part Saturday with eight solo tackles and a forced fumble.  He should help the Hokies’ defense lock down on Furman after giving up 369 total yards in Charlotte.

By Joey Whelan

Duke: 1-0

Last Week: (W) 31-7 vs. James Madison

This Week: vs. Northwestern

Player to Watch: WR Eron Riley 

Riley was the weapon of choice in the Blue Devil’s week one win over JMU; hauling in 7 receptions for 67 yards and a pair of scores. The 6’3” senior will have his work cut out for him this week though. Northwestern sports a much taller secondary that kept Syracuse receivers in check, holding the Orange to just 103 yards through the air in their 31-10 win.  With a fairly young receiving core and Riley being the only Dukie who recorded more than two catches, the upperclassman will be a big key in this game

Georgia Tech: 1-0

Last Week: (W) 41-14 vs. Jacksonville State

This Week: at Boston College

Player to Watch: RB Jonathan Dwyer

The Boston College defense could have their hands full with second year running back Jonathan Dwyer. At 6’0” and 228 pounds, Dwyer is a big, strong back, capable of running over would be tacklers; but he also has deceptive speed. Aside from the Eagles massive defensive tackles (B.J. Raji and Ron Brace) the rest of the BC defense lacks any sort of dominating size to stop Dwyer in his tracks. While he may not repeat his 10.2 yards per carry performance from last week (112 yards on 11 carries), Dwyer has the toughness to grind out another 100 yard game this weekend.

Miami: 1-0

Last Week: (W) 52-7 vs. Charleston Southern

This week: at #5 Florida

Player to Watch: OL Jason Fox

The Hurricanes top notch offensive line is anchored by junior tackle Jason Fox. A freshman All-American in 2006, Fox has only improved in his time at Miami. The ‘Canes racked up 224 yards on the ground in their win last week, and if they have any hopes of doing the same against Florida, they’ll need Fox to be at his best. Florida has ranked tops in the SEC and second nationally the last four seasons in run defense, allowing just 88.9 yards per game. Fox will be a huge key to the Miami offense.

North Carolina: 1-0

Last Week: (W) 35-27 vs. McNeese State

This Week: at Rutgers

Player to Watch: WR Brandon Tate

All eyes will be on the senior receiver this week to see what he will do next. Tate opened the season with a record setting performance, accumulating 397 all-purpose yards in leading North Carolina to a victory. Tate showed the ability to be dangerous in almost any situation, scoring on an 82-yard punt return, reeling off a 54-yard run that set up another touchdown and hauling in a 57-yard reception. Against a stingy Scarlet Knight defense the Tar Heels are going to need another big performance from Tate.

Virginia: 0-1

Last Week: (L) 52-7 vs. USC

This Week: vs. Richmond

Player to Watch: WR Kevin Ogletree

There’s no question that Ogletree is Virginia’s deep threat at receiver. The junior was the team’s top receiver in 2006 before missing all of last season due to injury. Though his 4 reception 21-yard performance in a blowout loss to USC was less than impressive, this week’s match up with the Richmond Spiders could prove to be Ogletree’s welcome back game against a secondary less talented than the Trojans.

Virginia Tech: 0-1

Last Week: (L) 27-22 at East Carolina

This Week: vs. Furman

Player to Watch: QB Sean Glennon

We know that Glennon is capable of putting up big numbers; we saw it last year in wins over Virginia and Georgia Tech. The senior struggled mightily in the Hokies loss to the Pirates, but he is still the man in Blacksburg for now. While the East Carolina defense did a solid job disrupting the VA Tech offense, this week’s contest with a much weaker Furman squad will be the perfect opportunity for Glennon to get back into a rhythm.

By Chris Womack

Georgia Tech
………Georgia Tech K Scott Blair.  The Jackets and their new option attack looked good in the tune-up against Jacksonville State.  The lone area of deep concern was the kicking game.  Freshman Scott Blair missed two field goals and an extra point.  While this goes otherwise unnoticed during a rout, mistakes like that can result in a loss against Boston College on the road. 

Miami……….Miami DT Eric Moncur.  If Miami has any shot against Tim Tebow and the Gators, they will need an exceptional defensive effort.  Moncur, who led the 2007 ‘Canes in sacks is recovering from hernia surgery and missed the opener against Charleston Southern.  Da ‘U will need him in the swamp.

Virginia Tech………..Virginia Tech QB Sean Glennon.  OK so this is obvious, but I can’t ignore the elephant in the room.  After Frank Beamer announced that Glennon would start and that Sophomore Tyrod Taylor would be redshirted, Glennon passed for 139 yards, 2 picks and no TD’s in a losing effort to East Carolina.  Having a big game against Furman won’t necessarily quiet the Tyrod Taylor fan club, but a mediocre performance will continue to put Beamer’s decision in doubt.

Virginia……….Virginia LB Clint Sintim.  Although it was somewhat embarrassing, nobody expected the Cavaliers to hang with USC.  However, if the Cavs struggle against Richmond, the grumbling can officially begin.  Sintim and the defense can wash the bad taste out by shutting down Richmond early and giving the offense some needed opportunities to score.

Duke………..Duke DT Vince Oghobaase.  Duke broke a home game losing streak dating back to 2005 with an opening win over FCS power James Madison.  Northwestern comes to town this week and present a much more formidable challenge.  If Duke wants to increase their home win streak to two, Oghobaase and the defense will have to limit Tyrell Sutton; who is fresh off a 144 yard performance against Syracuse. 

North Carolina………..North Carolina Promotions Department.  Since UNC is off this week, they might want to spend some time on quality control for pre-game entertainment.  Last Saturday, the skydivers meant to entertain the Tarheel faithful ended up landing in the middle of Duke’s stadium during pregame warmups.