Sunday, July 13, 2014

2014 College Football Preview: ACC

The ACC goes through a bit of change in 2014, as the realignment carousel continues to spin. Maryland has left the ACC for the "greener grass" of the Big 10, while Louisville enters the conference as a replacement piece after leaving the AAC. This basically irons out as a gain for the conference, as Louisville is a far better program than what Maryland is current day. Louisville will increase the overall year end PRS score for the conference, and Maryland likely sinks into a never ending abyss in their new home.
The conference also comes off of the high gained by Florida State taking the final BCS title in a thrilling win over Auburn last January, breaking a long string of titles won by the SEC. Jameis Winston added to the fun by taking a Heisman home, but tarnished the accomplishment at times with major off field issues, including aborted charges of sexual assault, and an ill advised attempt at shop lifting some crab legs from a Publix Market.
The conference, as a whole, after FSU has question marks abounding, as several schools have huge holes to plug heading into 2014. Sources had major problems discerning favorites after FSU, with as many as four different programs tabbed to win the seemingly wide open Coastal division.

Projected Order of Finish

1. Florida State
2. Clemson
3. Louisville
4. Syracuse
5. Boston College
6. NC State
7. Wake Forest

1. Duke
2. North Carolina
3. Miami
4. Virginia Tech
5. Pittsburgh
6. Georgia Tech
7. Virginia

Most Overrated

Most Underrated

Coaches on the Hot Seat
Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech
Mike London, Virginia

Best Coach
Jimbo Fisher, Florida State

Worst Coach
Mike London, Virginia

Conference Preview

The following teams are projected to finish with winning records/bowl births

Florida State Seminoles
Projected 2014 Record: 12-0
Head Coach: Jimbo Fisher (45-10, 5th season)

When you have Jameis Winston at QB, everything will be ok, even when you have several other losses that would be detrimental to most programs. The RS sophomore passed for over 4000 yards and scored 44 times as a freshman last season, and his impact was felt immediately in a season opening win at Pitt. He is likely to be even more developed in 2014, and that is great news for Jimbo and Company.
James Wilder is gone at RB, but Karlos Williams is promising. He rushed for over 700 yards last season, and averaged over 8 yards per carry. Look for Williams to carry 20 plus carries per game in 2014. Freddie Stevenson will start at RB as well in the pro set offense, and will likely hold a role like Williams had last season.
Rashad Greene racked up 1128 yards receiving last season, and he's back to lead a corps of young, but talented receivers. Greene will be Winston's best friend in 2014. Christian Green, a senior, is going to need to step up well beyond what he's done to date to make up for the fact that Greene will see multiple double teams.
TE Nick O'Leary, largely thought to be one of the best TEs in the nation, should be a welcome return for the Noles, and will also help take pressure off of Greene in the passing game.
The line is a huge strength for FSU, and will be a key to a run at another title. Cameron Erving (LT) and Josue Matias (LG) will anchor the left side, while Bobby Hart (RT) and Tre' Jackson (RG) will anchor on the right. The lone new starter is C Austin Barron, and even he has five career starts to his credit.

Charles Kelly comes in as the new DC with plenty of spots to fill, but he has many toys to play with, as Fisher and crew have recruited like maniacs.
Junior Mario Edwards returns to start at LDE, and he will be joined as a starting returnee on the line by junior Eddie Goldman. Nile Lawrence-Staple and Desmond Staple will likely rotate in the open RDT spot. With the LDE open, Chris Casher is leading the pack to get the start heading into camp.
Terrence Smith is the lone returning LB this fall. He finished with 59 tackles last fall, and will need to step up big this season as the new default starter in the middle of the defense. Ukeme Eligwe and Reggie Northrup emerged last spring to be the likely starters in the two open spots.
The corners are set with Jalen Ramsey and PJ Williams coming back for another go. Williams is the better of the two, breaking up 7 passes with 3 picks in 2013.
Both Safety spots remain open, as Tyler Hunter and Nate Andrews head into fall camp in the lead for those spots.

Special Teams
Roberto Aguayo won the Lou Groza award last fall after hitting 21 of 22 FGs. With him back at PK, the Noles are a lock to score. Cason Beatty returns at P, but he was hardly dependable, and his problems are still evident heading into fall. FSU may need to find an able replacement.

Opening Game
8/30 Oklahoma State at Arlington, Texas

Final Overview
FSU is going to make a run at their second consecutive title this season, and may still be one of the deeper and more talented team in the nation. Jimbo Fisher has finally turned the corner for the Noles, and there is no looking back. The schedule is highly manageable, and when you return both the Heisman and Groza award winners, expectations should be high. FSU is my lock to be one of the four teams to play in the first championship tournament in 2014.

Clemson Tigers
Projected 2014 Record: 9-3
Head Coach: Dabo Swinney (51-23, 6th season)

The Tigers found an able replacement for the departed Tahj Boyd in the spring in Cole Stoudt. Stoudt is a more than able passer, and is also athletic enough to make please on the run as well. He isn't Boyd, but he'll do nicely.
The RB position is wide open heading into camp, with Zac Brooks tentatively holding the lead. DJ Howard, Wayne Gallman, and CJ Davidson all figure into the mix.
Adam Humphries is the lone returning starter at WR, but he is more of a possession type guy, and not a true unit leader or top flight target. Charone Peak blew his ACL last September, but should be ready to fill a spot. Mike Williams is the likely leader of  the group, and coaches are high on his ability. There is plenty of young talent on the bench, but there is very little in the way of experience. Stanton Seckinger is back at TE, but is not a huge receiving threat.
The interior line returns intact with LG David Beasly, C Ryan Norton, and RG Kalon Davis, but both tackles must be replaced. Isaiah Battle and Shaq Anthony figure into the open tackle jobs heading into the fall.

The D line figures to be a focal point in 2014, as three of four return , including the monster that can be DE Vic Beasley, who finished with 23.5 TFLs in 2013. Corey Crawford lines up at end on the other side, while Grady Jarrett returns in the idle at tackle. Senior DeShawn Williams will be the lone new starter, but he has experience.
Stephone Anthony returns at MLB, and is coming off a season where he collected 131 tackles. Travis Blanks returns as well, but health is an issue with him as well as with new starter Tony Steward, as both have a history with torn ACLs.
The secondary is a huge guessing game coming in, as three of four starters have departed. Only Safety Robert Smith returns. Martin Jenkins and Mackensie Alexander have the lead to start at Corner as we head into the fall., and Jayron Kearse.

Special Teams
The loss of Chandler Catanzaro is huge. Junior Ammon Lakip finished spring with the job, but he is an unknown.
Bradley Pinion was strong on directional kicks, but his overall average was garbage as a sophomore. More will be needed from him.

Opening Game
8/30 at Georgia

Final Overview
There are several questions heading into the season, and I find it highly unlikely that the Tigers will make a run at the ACC title. The schedule in the first month is absolutely brutal, as Clemson travels to Georgia and Florida State, and gets North Carolina, and later Louisville, at home. The back end of the schedule is loaded with opportunities for big wins, and the Tigers will have to make the most of it. Overall, the offense is too muddled right now to make much of skill wise.

Miami Hurricanes
Projected 2014 Record: 7-5
Head Coach: Al Golden (22-15, 4th season)

The Hurricanes are just a mess at QB heading into the fall, as potential new starter Ryan Williams blew his ACL. Now the job goes to freshman Kevin Olsen, and he was a disaster in the spring game. fellow freshmen Brad Kaaya and Malik Dozier are both definitely still in the race.
Duke Johnson is a beast at RB, but ifthere is no QB in place, defenses will just stack the box and make the QBs throw as they crush the run. Johnson does have an injury history, as he broke his ankle last season. His backup was Dallas Crawford, but he moves to Safety. The new backup is freshman Joseph Yearby, who enrolled early. He too got hurt in spring ball, so there is a banged up group hanging out in the backfield.
The receivers all have some experience, but are all starting for the first time regularly. Stacy Coley, Phillip Dorsett, and Herb Waters are all the starters heading into the fall camp, and Malcolm Lewis is the 4th. The problem guessed it...Dorsett and Lewis were both injured much of 2013. Clive Walford is the starter at TE, a role he held in 2013.
The left side of the line returns from Center out in Shane McDermott (C), Jon Feliciano (LG), and Ereck Flowers (LT). The right side of the line is being rebuilt, and the leaders are both sophomores in Taylor Gadbois (RT), and Danny Isidora (RG).

The defense gave up 26 points or more in each of their final six games, including the bowl, last season. They gave up 3rd down conversions like Halloween candy, and looked highly unlike historic Miami defenses.
The D Line is undersized, and lacks depth. Olsen Pierre does bring some size in the middle of the line at tackle, as does new starter Calvin Heurtelou. DE Anthony Chickillo returns at End, but he severely lacks bulk, and new starter at DE Tyriq McCord looks more like a LB than a DE.
Denzel Perryman is a beast at LB, and will hopefully spark improvement on the defensive side of the football, and collected 108 tackles last fall. Thurston Ambrister and Raphael Kirby are the likely new starters outside.
Two starters return in the secondary. Tracy Howard is back at Corner, while Rayshawn Jenkins is back at Safety. Antonio Crawford will likely step into the opening at CB, while converted RB Dallas Crawford will line up at Safety.

Special Teams
Matt Goudis will handle both PK and P duties this fall unless another punter can be found in camp. He hit 13 of 17 FG attempts last fall, and with the offense likely set to struggle early, he will need to step up production in a big way, and find more consistency to boot.

Opening Game
9/1 at Louisville

Final Overview
Some outfits picked the Canes to win the ACC Coastal this season. The division is wide open, but you'd have to be a Cane die hard or smoking crack to truly believe that this edition of Miami football could pull that off in 2014. The offense is going to struggle, and the defense was a complete train wreck at the end of last season, and I see no signs of it getting better all too quickly. Miami will probably squeeze out seven wins, and it will be tough to get there.

North Carolina Tar Heels
Projected 2014 Record: 7-5
Head Coach: Larry Fedora (15-10, 3rd season)

Marquise Williams made a huge splash over the second half of last season, and gave UNC a QB that they knew they could lean on. Williams should make some strides this season as he returns for his junior season after passing for 15 TDs over the final 5 games. There actually is a QB battle going on in camp, however, as Larry Fedora is pulling the moron move of allowing Mitch Trubisky to compete for the job. That is a huge mistake. I've never been a huge Fedora fan, and if he even leans toward playing both QBs this fall in a two QB system, then he basically backs up my thoughts of his coaching skills, because 2 QB systems rarely ever win.
Nobody is really paying attention to the RB spot, but for what it's worth, TJ Logan had a strong spring, and will return to the starting role.
The receiving corps is solid, as TJ Thorpe and Quinshad Davis return as starters. Davis had 10 TDs last season, and is the number one target. Kick return man extraordinaire Ryan Switzer will step up into a starting role, and will still return kicks.
Jack Tabb returns at TE, but he won't be the guy that Eric Ebron was.
Three starters return are back on the line in Jon Heck (LT), Caleb Peterson (LG), and Landon Turner (RG).

The line, which has been loaded with talent over the last several years, has finally seemed to have thin out. Only one starter returns this fall in Ethan Farmer (DT). Jessie Rodgers and Junior Gronkonde will likely start at DE, with Justin Thomason will likely fill the open spot at DT.
Travis Hughes and Jeff Schoettmer return to give the Heels returning starters at both LB spots in the 4-2-5 defense. Schoettmer is the leading returning tackler on the team.
The strength of the secondary will be the safeties, who all return. Norkeithus Otis, Tim Scott, and Dominique Green will man those spots. However, both corners must be replaced.

Special Teams
Thomas Moore returns at PK, but only connected on 14 of 19 FGs last fall. Tommy Hibbard was highly strong last fall at Punter, averaging 43 yards per kick.

Opening Game
8/30 Liberty

Final Overview
UNC finished strong last fall after a horrid start, but they also lost some serious talent that provided the spark to make that run. This team could go either way, and the new starters on defense may very well carry the day. If the defense can't keep up with recent tradition, then it may be a long season.

Louisville Cardinals
Projected 2014 Record: 10-2
Head Coach: Bobby Petrino (41-9, 5th season...1st season back)

Teddy Bridgewater is gone, and Will Gardner is the new guy at the trigger now. Gardner emerged from the pack near the end of spring ball, but he is barely holding on to the job heading into the fall.
Dominique Brown is really the power back in the offense, but Petrino will also run Auburn transfer Michael Dyer and LJ Scott often.
DeVante Parker gave up a shot at the NFL draft to return, and is one of the best in the nation. Eli Rogers and James Quick will both be new starters this fall.
TE Gerald Christian really blew up in spring ball, and may be emerging as a serious receiving threat.
Three starters return on the line in LT Jamon Brown, LG John Miller, and RG Jake Smith. Sophomore Tobijah Hughley will likely start at Center, while Aaron Epps has emerged as the leader at RT.

The defense could be a bit of a mess this season, as only four starters return. Nobody returns on the D line. BJ DuBose and Sheldon Rankins will step up at DE, while DeAngelo Brown lines up at NT.
Lorenzo Mauldin and James Burgess will add some veteran presence at LB on a unit that needs exactly that. Deiontrez Mount and Keith Brown will step into the open starting jobs at LB, and both have been in the program for a while, so neither is all that new to the job.
The corners are set with Charles Gaines and Terrell Floyd returning, but both Safeties need replacing. Gerod Hollman and James Sample will be ling up at SS and FS respectively.

Special Teams
John Wallace had a solid season last fall when he hit 20 of 24 FG attempts. Ryan Johnson returns at Punter after averaging 41.2 yards per punt last fall.

Opening Game
9/1 Miami

Final Overview
With Teddy Bridgewater gone, Louisville may be in for an era of transition. That could mean a step back, but I believe that the Cardinals are going to exceed expectations and win ten games in 2014. It's a wide open conference outside of Florida State, and so why can't Louisville succeed? They won't beat FSU, but a great bowl bid is in line if the Cards meet my expectations. Bobby Petrino's return virtually guarantees a surprising finish.

Duke Blue Devils
Projected 2014 Record: 11-1
Head Coach: David Cutliffe (31-44, 7th season)

Anthony Boone returns at QB after a huge breakthrough season in 2013. Boone has the QB job all to himself this season, and will have his top target back in Jamison Crowder. This is really the best QB/WR combo in the ACC, and one of the best in college football. Max McCarthy and Isaac Blakeney also return at WR, as does TE Braxton Deaver, giving Boone a more than solid WR/TE corps to support him.
Shaquille Powell will be come into his junior season as the starting RB. Senior Josh Snead will also get some solid carries. This could be a setback position after Jela Duncan was kicked out of school, but I don't believe that Duke misses a beat without him.
The line could bring everything crashing down if two new starters don't step up. LT Takoby Cofield, C Matt Skura, and RG Laken Tomlinson are all back as starters. Tanner Stone is the likely new starter as a sophomore, and all eyes could be on him to see how he steps up. Lucas Patrick will likely start at LG.

Duke runs a 4-2-5 defense, and they are thin on the front four. NT Jamal Bruce is the lone returning starter on the line, but there is strength and experience in the new starters (Jordan DeWalt-Ondijo and Dezmond Johnson at DE, Carlos Way at DT).
Both LBs return in Kelby Brown and David Helton. Helton led the aCC in tackles per game with 9.5 last season, and Brown was just a shade under 9 per game himself.
All three safeties return in Jeremy Cash, DeVon Edwards, and Deondre Singleton. Edwards and Singleton started as freshmen last fall.
Both corners will be new in Breon Borders and Bryon Fields, who will also both start as sophomores.

Special Teams
Ross Martin was one of the best kickers in the nation last season, when he hit on 23 of 27 kicks. Will Monday is back at Punter, and is also a star after averaging 43.7 yards per punt last fall.

Opening Game
8/30 Elon

Final Overview
This will not be a popular pick, but I think that Duke is likely the second best team in the ACC other than Florida State this fall. I like their mix of veterans and young players, and they return key athletes on offense. The defense fell apart in the ACC title game, and collapsed in the Peach Bowl against Texas A&M, but there was a great deal of youth playing last fall, and those mistakes won't be repeated this season. The schedule sets up very nicely early, and they miss Florida State, Clemson, and Louisville this season. That helps. I really love Duke's chances.

Virginia Tech Hokies
Projected 2014 Record: 7-5
Head Coach: Frank Beamer (224-109-2, 28th season)

The maddeningly inconsistent Logan Thomas has moved on at QB for the Hokies, but that doesn;t mean that the position will be better this year over last. Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer is likely the starter, but that battle will move into fall camp with Brendan Motley and Mark Leal.
Trey Edmunds will return as the starting RB, and will share carries with JC Coleman. Neither one of them really stands out to this point, so we will see what they bring this fall. Sam rogers returns at FB.
Demitri Knowles and Josh Stanford will both be back at WR, but neither receiver broke over 50 catches last fall. One of them, or both needs to step this season, but how much of their lacking star power was a result of on and off QB play last season?
Junior Ryan Malleck will step in as the new starter at TE.
Both Tackles (Jonathon McLaughlin and Laurence Gibson) return, as does Caleb Farris at Center. Both Guards have to be replaced.

The defense could be a total mess this season, as only four starters return.
Luther Maddy is the only starter returning in the entire front seven in 2014 at DT. The rest of the line and the entire LB corps must be replaced in the starter ranks.
The secondary is much better off, as only one CB needs to be replaced. Kendall Fuller is a star at CB, while Detrick Bonner and Kyshoen Jarrett could be poised for big seasons at Safety. Brandon Facyson will likely be the new staring CB.
There are several upperclassmen looking to step up into the starting ranks on defense, but depth could be a huge concern.

Special Teams
There are three PKs competing heading into the fall for the job, and they are led by Richmond transfer Remington Hinshaw. AJ Hughes is returning to his punting duties after averaging over 44 yards per punt in a huge season for him.

Opening Game
8/30 William & Mary

Final Overview
Frank Beamer is slipping, and there is no doubt of that. His dominant days are behind him a Tech, and UCLA exposed that in a very big way at the Sun Bowl last December in a 42-12 crushing defeat. The talent level has severely dipped, especially at QB, where it's been a good long while since the Hokies have had one of note. The running game doesn't pound like it used to, and the defensive stars are lacking. Maybe it's time to finally move on, but maybe Bud foster isn't the lead candidate anymore either. New blood is coming soon, and it had better come sooner than later, because seven win seasons aren't going to cut it anymore. I was cited on a Bleacher Report article for calling out Frank Beamer during the offseason, and while my call for Beamer wasn't disagreed with entirely, the question of who can step up was a good one indeed. Chad Morris or Brent Vanables, anyone?

Pittsburgh Panthers
Projected 2014 Record: 7-5
Head Coach: Paul Chryst (13-13, 3rd season)

The skill set players are almost entirely new this season, as Chad Voytik will likely start at QB. James Conner is the new RB, and Jaymar Parrish is the new starting FB. Manasseh Garner will be a new starter at WR. Of the skill position guys, only WR Tyler Boyd and TE JP Holtz returns.
Three starters will return on the line in LT Adam Bisnowaty, RG Matt Rotheram, and RT TJ Clemmings. Dorian Johnson (LG), and Artie Rowell (C) will likely be the new starters. With so many new starters, depth and inexperience will be a real problem.

There could be some real experience issues up front for the Panthers, as only DE David Durham returns on the line. Anthony Gonzalez and Todd Thomas are back at LB, but sophomore Matt Galambos will bring more youth and inexperience at LB.
Lafayette Pitts is back at CB, and FS Ray Vinopal will be back in the secondary, but there will be new starters at SS and CB. Sophomores Titus Howard (CB) and Terrish Webb (FS) will likely step into starting roles.

Special Teams
Chris Blewitt hit 11 of 13 FGs last fall, and returns to start at PK. The starting P job is being handed to a freshman in Ryan Winslow, and so anything can happen.

Opening Game
8/30 Delaware

Final Overview
Thank the Gods for manageable schedules, as due to that fact the Panthers will manage to find seven wins. If injuries set in, however, reaching that win total could be lofty. There is little depth, and every offensive skill position is loaded with questions and issues. Paul Chryst needs to get this ship running in a straight line rather than the zigzag course it has taken for the last two seasons.

NC State Wolfpack
Projected 2014 Record: 7-5
Head Coach: Dave Doeren (3-9, 2nd season)

Jacoby Brissett finally gets to show off his arm in 2014 after sitting out last fall after transferring from Florida. Brissett had a huge spring, and that news could not be any better for Coach Doeren after a trio of QBs played like a wreck last fall.
Shadrach Thompson should benefit at RB from an emergence of a QB, as he struggled to gain 768 yards last fall as teams stacked up because they didn't respect the pass. There will be a trio of new full time starters at WR, so that could be a problem, as Bryan Underwood and his 32 receptions are as good as it gets from this group based on 2013 numbers. Someone must step up big. It's possible that Bo Hines steps in and blows up as a freshman.
TE David Grinnage returns as the starter, but caught just 14 passes last fall.

The front six is in trouble, as only DE Art Norman returns in the 4-2 front. A freshman may be starting at DT in BJ Hill, so depth will likely be an issue on the line.
MJ Salahuddin and Rodman Noel are both upperclassmen at LB, so there is some veteran presence there.
The secondary returns three starters in CB Juston Burris, CB Jack Tocho, and S Hakim Jones. This unit ranked 47th against the pass last fall. The bad news is that both new starters at safety may likely be freshmen in Josh Jones and Germaine Pratt.

Special Teams
Niklas Sade will be back as PK after hitting 19 FGs last fall. Will Baumann is back at Punter after averaging over 42 yards per punt. This will be an area of strength.

Opening Game
8/30 Georgia Southern

Final Overview
There are many questions and lacking depth on this roster, but there should be enough there for a major uptick in victories from 3 to 7. A bowl game is right there to grab in a wide open conference. Dave Doeren is a solid coach who has much rebuilding to do. Look for solid progress despite young players getting a bunch of reps this season. The schedule is light, especially early on, so getting some wins early is a must.

The following teams are projected to finish with losing records and will miss bowl games...

Syracuse Orange
Projected 2014 Record: 5-7
Head Coach: Scott Shafer (7-6, 2nd season)

The Good
Almost every skill position player returns on offense, but all of them need to step up in a big way for the Orange to get over the hump and match or better their record last fall. Terrel Hunt has a bit of skill, but he needs to get out and lead. Ashton Broyid and Jarrod West had solid springs, and improvement starts with them making plays. There is depth at RB if someone would just step up and be the guy.
Experience on the O line is deep with Sean hickey and Rob Trudo, who have a combined 45 starts between them.
Eight starters return on defense, including 5 of the front 7. Marcus Coleman looks to be the new starter on the D line at DT, while Marquez Hodge should step up to take the open LB spot. The LB corps (Dyshawn Davis and Cameron Lynch) should be a strength, but could still improve.
The secondary returns both safeties in Durell Eskridge and Darius Kelly, and Brandon Reddish is also back at CB.

The Bad
Depth in the secondary behind the starters is a real problem, and the Orange ranked just 63rd against the pass last season. The defense also ranked just 56th in scoring defense.
The offense wasn't very good last fall, and ranked just 98th in scoring.
The O Line has to be rebuilt, and that may not help the passing game that ranked just 102nd last fall.
The defense has not had much success rushing the passer, and that may not get much better if the secondary doesn't step up and improve coverage.
The middle of the schedule is just brutal.

Boston College Eagles
Projected 2014 Record: 5-7
Head Coach: Steve Addazio (7-6, 2nd season)

The Good
The secondary returns every starter from last season.
When you look at the overall state of the program, 5 wins would be a huge positive.

The Bad
The Eagles have lost all everything RB Andre Williams, and many other offensive skill players. As a matter of fact, only three starters return, and they are all on the line, and include no tackles.
Despite every starter returning in the secondary, that secondary ranked 111th against the pass last fall.
The schedule is just a mess for the Eagles, not just in conference, but out of conference as well, with games against USC and Colorado State.
There is absolutely no depth at all, anywhere. What the hell has this staff been doing when it comes to recruiting? What the hell was Frank Spaziani doing when he was collecting a paycheck as coach of this program?
On defense, there is only one returning starter on the line, and only one returning starter at LB.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Projected 2014 Record: 4-8
Head Coach: Paul Johnson (47-32, 7th season)

The Good
Both receivers return, but Tech doesn't pass. Maybe that should change this fall a bit?
Three starters return on the line. That's important because of injuries to the backfield in spring ball may bleed over to the fall, and better protection could help keep that issue from getting worse.
The defense was strong last fall, and enough talent returns to keep the unit playing top flight football.

The Bad
Vad Lee has transferred out to James Madison, and the QB battle isn't going well. Justin Thomas is heading the battle, but he has no real hold on the job.
Synlyn Days and Deon Hill are expected to start at the A Back spot, but both had some concerning injury issues in the spring, and missed a good deal of practice.
The defense was solid against the run, ranking 11th nationally, but the secondary couldn't stop the pass, ranking 83rd.
With injury issues in the backfield and a waning QB situation, Tech will likely be a rambling wreck on offense, and their ranking of 26th in scoring will likely take a large hit.
The schedule is tougher than it looks, especially in the middle.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Projected 2014 Record: 3-9
Head Coach: Dave Clawson (1st season)

The Good
Three starters return on the line. They are the only starters returning on offense.
Brandon Chubb and Hunter Williams are returning at LB, and are the only starters back in the front seven.
Merill Noel and Kevin Johnson have the CB spots locked down, and SS Ryan Johnson got valuable starting experience as a freshman last season.
Alex Kinal will be back at Punter, and Chad Hedlund is back at PK, but he must get stronger and must get more opportunites after hitting 8 of 12 FGs last season.

The Bad
There are no starters on offense returning at any skill positions, and the guys who are starting are largely young and inexperienced.
The entire D Line will be brand new starters, even though they are all upperclassmen.
The offense was absolutely awful last fall, ranking 114th in scoring, 116th rushing, 96th in passing, and 118th in total offense. That was enough to get a coaching change made.
Dave Clawson has never been a huge success as a coach, and may not have been even remotely the best choice for the job.

Virginia Cavaliers
Projected 2014 Record: 2-10
Head Coach: Mike London (18-31, 5th season)

The Good
There could be a QB change, so that's a good thing. Greyson Lambert is in line to take the job.
Kevin Parks was the first 1000 yard rusher in ten years for the Cavs last fall, and if the line improves, he could get there again.
Three starters return on a line that did manage to produce a half decent back in Parks last fall.
The entire secondary returns this fall, and they were the best part of a largely terrible defense last fall. They will be a key group for DC Jon Tenuta to lean on.

The Bad
It starts at the top, as Mike London really showed his nine lives after surviving the firing squad after last season.
The offense ranked 109th last season and the defense ranked 98th. It can only get better. Seriously.

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