Scattershooting: Cavaliers work on ramping up the run - The Daily Progress: Sports

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Scattershooting: Cavaliers work on ramping up the run

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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2013 6:00 am

Scattershooting around the ACC, while wondering how Virginia will use this bye week to get better …

Coach Mike London explained during Wednesday’s ACC coaches teleconference what the Cavaliers will do with the bye week. UVa doesn’t play again until Sept. 21 at home against FCS opponent VMI, then plays at Pittsburgh in a huge game for the Cavaliers on Sept. 28.

“We want to take the time necessary to get us straight,” London said. “To get us to improve our team. We want to take the time to make sure that we are examining and exploring all of the opportunities for those guys that can run the ball, whether it’s including our quarterback more or whether it’s doing some other things with personnel groupings. Not out of disrespect to any team, it’s about us right now.”

London said the Cavaliers will scrimmage with the younger players on the team Friday to see how they have developed the first two weeks and to make sure none of them have been overlooked as possible contributors.

Still, me thinks that the coaches will be taking a long, long look at Pitt, for whom they essentially have three weeks of preparation time for (bye week, VMI week, Pitt week).

All hail, ACC

After being the butt of national football jokes for the past few years, the ACC is starting to make the country take notice.

With Clemson beating Georgia, Miami topping Florida, Virginia knocking off BYU (which then clobbered No. 15 Texas), things are looking up. With three teams in the AP Top 25 (No. 3 Clemson, No. 10 FSU, No. 15 Miami, and future ACC’er Louisville No. 7), the league has gained more respect.

There was even a report on Twitter that after Miami upset Florida last weekend that Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was so excited that he threw up a “U” with his arms.

“The only problem the ACC has is we have not produced a dominant team, period, as of late,” Swinney said. “Historically the teams that are in this conference have been outstanding. We just haven’t produced that 13-0, 12-1 team. I think as we continue to win [big] games, then those perceptions change. The bottom line is if this league produces a 13-0, 12-1 team, they’re going to be in the [national championship] mix.”

Quote of the week

Nothing really cool from ACC coaches this week, so we took this one from BYU running back Jamaal Williams, who said of the Cougars' loss to Virginia before upsetting No. 15 Texas: “It’s over now. I had my boohoos after the [UVa] game. I talked to my mom and the coaches. I knew after that, the game was over with. Virginia is out of my mind already.”

Stat of the week

Pitt wide receiver Devin Street leads the ACC in receiving yards per catch this week after hauling in six passes in the opener vs. Florida State for 141 yards, an average of 23.6 per catch.

Timing isn’t everything

Miami coach Al Golden confused us a little bit when he said during Wednesday’s ACC Coaches teleconference that hitting the recruiting trail after a potential program-turning win over Florida maybe isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things.

“If this was decision time, then timing is important,” Golden said. “In other words, if a kid was going to make a decision, he and his family had said, ‘OK, sometime after the Florida game we’re going to make a decision,’ then, obviously that would be favorable to us. But in terms of the timing of it, it’s just a function of getting out [on the recruiting road].”

I kinda see what he’s getting at, but personally I would think that after beating the Gators in front of what Golden himself said last week was a “Who’s Who” of prospects, that the Hurricanes coaches would be out beating the drum louder than ever. Put the pressure on them while the the focus is on Miami and not the rest of the state.

Eye on Lee

Boston College coach Steve Addazio has his Eagles off to a 2-0 start but must travel to Los Angeles and face an angry Southern California team this weekend.

While USC played two quarterbacks equally and lost last week at home to Mike Leach’s Washington State team (10-7), Addazio said it doesn’t matter what Trojan QB starts against his team. He’s more worried about playmakers such as All-America candidate wide receiver Marqise Lee, who has struggled early this season.

“Receiver-quarterback chemistry is critically important,” the BC coach said. “I’m guessing just listening and watching that right now they’re trying to find that but you’re not going to hold down a receiver like Lee. I’m sure these are really good football coaches out there (USC fans would beg to differ), and they’re going to get that ball to him. [Lee] is a next-level player.”

Factoid of the week

The Virginia High School League turned up an interesting note with its research this past week. Here is a breakdown of positions played by NFL players born in the state of Virginia: Defensive backs 72; running backs 58; linebackers 53; wide receivers 44; defensive ends 28; offensive tackles 23; defensive tackles 23; tight ends 20; guards 20; quarterbacks 11; centers 9.

Short yardage …

…Florida State ran a lot of its version of the “pistol” offense against Pitt two weeks ago and coach Jimbo Fisher said he plans to mix it in with the rest of his offense this season. …After a turnover-plagued loss at BC, Wake coach Jim Grobe said he was tempted to shelve the option part of his offense (QB Tanner Price fumbled two option pitches away) and just go with the Deacs’ passing game, which is essentially the same as last year, but he decided to stick with the plan, at least for now. …Carolina is in a bye week and no doubt working extra on facing Georgia Tech’s triple option in a big Coastal Division clash (good timing for a bye week). … Pitt is trying to develop a second wide receiver to compliment star Devin Street. Look for that guy to be Tyler Boyd.

…With Duke having lost starting quarterback Anthony Boone to injury, the Devils are going with Brandon Connette. UVa fans will remember Connette from the 55-48 shootout loss in Durham in 2010, when Connette came in to run Duke’s “wildcat” plays very effectively. Coach David Cutcliffe is now faced with whether to burn Parker Boehme’s freshman redshirt and use him as a backup. …Miami coach Al Golden is not treating this as a bye week, but rather as a “process week,” when his team can get better after upsetting state rival Florida last week. The process week began at 6 a.m. last Sunday morning and Golden was the first guy in the building.  …Finally, N.C. State having to come from behind at home to beat Richmond. Really?

The picks

Last week: 11-1. To date: 21-4. Upset specials: 1-3. This week: Southern California 33, Boston College 27; Maryland 40, Connecticut 13; Syracuse 44, Wagner 9; Florida State 38, Nevada 17; Georgia Tech 40, Duke 14; Wake Forest 27, Louisiana Monroe 13; Virginia Tech 33, East Carolina 20;  Pittsburgh 28, New Mexico 14; (Future ACC’ers: Notre Dame 44, Purdue 21; Louisville 36, Kentucky 7.

Hootie’s Power Rankings

 1. Clemson. The preseason pick to win the league, the Tigers are in great position for national title hopes at No. 3 in the country if they can beat FSU and South Carolina and avoid an upset along the way.

2. Florida State. Looked great in the opener. Is Jameis Winston good enough to take Seminoles to the Promised Land this season?

3. Miami. Plenty of firepower on offense. Defense was unexpectedly improved against the Gators.

4. North Carolina. Will be curious if the Tar Heels can hang on. Waiting for the big Georgia Tech game in two weeks.

5. Virginia Tech. One of the best defenses in the country, but is offense the Achilles Heel?

6. Georgia Tech. Should roll over Duke, but the big test is against the Heels in two weeks.

7. Syracuse. Should have beaten Penn State two weeks ago but took a step back at Northwestern. Potential is there.

8. Virginia. Cavaliers could get on a roll if the O-line can open holes. One of the RBs must step up as well as a WR. David Watford must make strides in a hurry.

9. Boston College. Looked good against Wake, but how good is Wake?

10. Maryland. Good defense and with a healthy QB, the Terps could make some noise.

11. N.C. State. Jury is out after having to come back to beat Richmond at home.

12. Duke. 2-0, but this could go south in a hurry.

13. Pitt. Looked ragged in opener. Lots to prove.

14. Wake Forest. Disappointing start by Tanner Price. He’s key if Deacs are to win.

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