ACC Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2013

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ACC Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2013

It's not easy getting college football coaches to honestly comment on another coach, player or team. Most coaches don't want to give opposing teams billboard material, which is why there is a lot of coach speak or overused cliches used during the year. In order to get an accurate assessment of teams heading into 2013, Athlon asked coaches in the ACC to talk anonymously about their opponents.

Note: These scouting reports come directly from the coaching staff and do not necessarily reflect the views of Athlon's editorial staff.

ACC Coaches Anonymously Scout Their Conference Foes for 2013

Boston College
Opposing coaches size up the Eagles:

“Whether it’s Tom O’Brien or Frank Spaziani, they were going to be tough. They were going to be physical. They weren’t going to beat themselves, and they make you earn it every game. That’s always Boston College’s M.O. That hasn’t produced results lately, in part because they don’t have very good talent, but they never gave up their toughness." … 

"I’ve heard Steve Addazio wants to be more like they were at Florida and spread you out. To me, you’ll have a hard time doing that at Boston College because you don’t have the speed. It will be interesting to see what they can do from a scheme standpoint." …

"They are always big on the offensive line, but nobody at the receiver position really scares you. Where they hurt is at the skill positions. But on the offensive line, it’s hard to move guys in there. You would expect that to be the same." …

"There was nobody I can remember that really sticks out on the roster as a force to be reckoned with. They’ve had some good running backs in the past, but nobody really scares you there.”

Clemson

Opposing coaches size up the Tigers:

“Tajh Boyd, for as good a year as he had, is still inconsistent. Our defensive staff feels like he’s got a chance to play as much for the opponent as he does his own team. He did a lot of good things last year and got better, lost weight, and is a lot better because of it. But sometimes he does things that make you wonder what’s he thinking." …

"The loss of (tailback) Andre Ellington is big. I don’t think he got enough credit nationally. He was a really good player." …

"The skill positions make Clemson go. They get three or four great players on offense, and they’ve got a pretty good chance to be good every year. The talent at receiver is as good as anywhere. You see their backup receivers and say, ‘My god, they are better than our receivers.’ …

"Defensively, I thought they were very average. Nobody on the D-line scares you. Nobody at the linebacker position scares you." …

"Stephone Anthony was a highly rated linebacker coming in, and he has hardly done anything. It’s time for highly recruited guys to be developed and step up.”
 

Duke

Opposing coaches size up the Blue Devils:

“David Cutcliffe has done a great job getting the players to believe they can win. Cutcliffe is very well respected. The biggest difference you see in Duke is they’ve developed depth. They had a bunch of injuries on defense but didn’t miss a beat. There’s still a drop-off personnel-wise in certain areas." …

"FSU about killed Duke’s quarterback. They still need to get a little stout up front. The FSU and Stanford games embarrassed them a little bit." …

"The cornerback, Ross Cockrell, the kid was terrible in 2011 but got a lot better last year. He’s a good player now." …

"Their linebackers are slow. They really can’t keep up.  It’s an area we felt we could expose." …

"They are losing their quarterback, Sean Renfree, and Cutcliffe made it work with him. I’m sure he’ll do the same with the new guy (Anthony Boone), who’s more of a dual-threat, option player. I think they’ll implement the option more, which is a little bit of a different look than some of Cutcliffe’s past quarterbacks, so it will be interesting to see how they make it work.”
 

Florida State
Opposing coaches size up the Seminoles:

“From a defensive standpoint and what they had last year, the one thing that jumps out is their back seven. People talked about (defensive end) Bjoern Werner, but those three linebackers and the four guys in the secondary stood out to me. The speed the linebackers had, the physicality, it’s impressive. Even our defensive staff, the week before we played them we saw them on video, and that’s all they could talk about. That’s the thing that jumps out to me about them. It’s hard to say that guy’s a linebacker and that guy’s a defensive back — they are all the same. It allows them to be very multiple. Wasn’t like they presented scheme problems; the biggest problem is just personnel." …

"They are really good, no doubt. I don’t think the loss of Werner will be a big deal. I was more impressed with Cornellius Carradine, who’s gone too. We thought Werner took plays off, but we were impressed with Carradine." …

"Offensively, the loss of EJ Manuel will be a big loss. We were impressed with him last year.”
 

Georgia Tech

Opposing coaches size up the Yellow Jackets:

“Obviously they will be in every game because of the offense. It’s a challenge. It’s hard to defend, unless you have extra time to prepare, which you usually don’t. When you don’t, it’s hard, hard, hard to defend. You have to be extremely disciplined."

"It’s kind of their M.O., but over years, it’s been harder for them. When you walked in, you had Stephen Hill to line up out there and stretch the D. We use it against them. Playing that offense, hard to recruit receivers. All they will do is block." …

"It’s hard being a defensive coordinator there because of the system you’re going into, the offense you’re going against in practice. You never get to defend against the pass." …

"Ted Roof is a good hire. Great for Tech go get a guy like that. You look at those guys on D and they play hard. I thought they had some talent on D. The secondary has its problems." … 

"You look at Tech, they struggled all year, but they still found a way to get bowl-eligible and enter the ACC title game, even if it was a fluke. They are not going to be irrelevant.”
 

Maryland
Opposing coaches size up the Terrapins

“Really curious to see what they do this year. Even though they weren’t very good, you can’t lose a bunch of quarterbacks to injury and expect to compete. You just can’t. Putting a linebacker under center won’t work. That’s what they had to do. It’s crazy." …

"It was just a year to forget for them, though that defense was really good." …

"They lost a bunch of seniors off that defense, though. Replacing them won’t be easy." …

"Sounds like they might go with a transfer at quarterback (Ricardo Young), so we’ll see what he can do. I know they like (C.J.) Brown, too. But overall you have to classify quarterback as a weakness for them until proven otherwise." …

"The stud young receiver, Stefon Diggs, is a big-time player. Whoever the quarterback is, Diggs will help the situation. And there’s a running back (Brandon Ross) who finished the year pretty well. He can play. He’s pretty athletic." …

"I think Randy (Edsall) can coach. He has a hard edge to him that worked at UConn, but it’s uncertain whether that will kind of take shape at Maryland.”
 

Miami

Opposing coaches size up the Hurricanes:

“Great looking offensive line — that’s the thing that stands out about them. Looks like an NFL offensive line. How are we going to be able to hold up to these guys? "…

"I thought the quarterback, Stephen Morris, played well for them." …

"Defensively, you would think they would be better than they were. I know they were young in some spots. Miami, you always think about defensive linemen, but nobody really scared you on that unit." …

"It was a young team that played like it at times. They found a way to win some games. Al Golden did a good job changing the culture. He’s good. I like him. I know a majority of our guys feel the same way. I think he tries to do it the right way. We like the coaches on that staff a lot." …

"They are in a tough situation. The atmosphere at their games is a joke, being as far off campus as the stadium is. It’s a pro stadium that’s pretty much empty. It’s a shame. They had a great home field advantage at the Orange Bowl, but now they have no home field advantage.”
 

NC State
Opposing coaches size up the Wolfpack:

“They didn’t play another quarterback the whole year, so I’m not sure what they have behind that. I didn’t think they were very good on the offensive line. Wide receiver-wise, they had quite a few drops in our game, but that was indicative of their season. Mike Glennon could put the ball on them, but they dropped a lot of balls." …

"It’s a really strong secondary. David Amerson came out. I thought he was really talented,  but he had an up-and-down year." …

"The defensive line is not bad. They should have solid linebackers. I think they had lost all three of their linebackers from the year before, so they were young there last year and will be better." …

"Now, I don’t know what Dave Doeren’s plans are. I do think he’ll have enough to work with. It all depends on the quarterback. The offense he ran at Northern Illinois was very quarterback-oriented. It was about running and throwing." …

"I thought the O-line was one of the weaker parts of the team. Running backs were solid, but nothing special. Tom O’Brien was solid there.”
 

North Carolina
Opposing coaches size up the Tar Heels:

“Larry Fedora, I thought he did a good job in his first year. The biggest thing was the tempo they played with. They are really fast and presented problems for a lot of teams. The tempo can wear you out." …

"The running back, Gio Bernard, was a really, really, really good player — yes, three ‘reallys.’ …

"The receivers are impressive looking. The tight end, Eric Ebron, is impressive looking. He’ll be a big part of what they do next year, I would think." …

"Butch Davis didn’t have a problem recruiting at North Carolina. That guard, Jonathan Cooper, he’s as good as we saw in the country last year. He’s gone to the NFL now, and he’ll be missed. They had great talent on offense, and combined it with the tempo they played." …

"They were just OK in the secondary. I thought it was a liability, to be honest. North Carolina State exposed their secondary last year." …

"If they aren’t good on offense, it can be all over for them on a bad day. … The quarterback played well for them.”


Pittsburgh
Opposing coaches size up the Panthers:

“The quarterback, Tino Sunseri, who’s gone now, was hot and cold." …

"I think Paul Chryst will do a good job getting guys to run his system. He’s perfect for Pitt. They will recruit fits. If they get in Eastern Pennsylvania, they’ll be fine. They always turn out good offensive linemen." …

"It’s a transitional year for them. From what they were under Dave Wannstedt to Todd Graham to Paul, that roster was in flux for awhile." 

"That defense was better than given credit for, though. Physical, strong up front, good against most run teams." …

"I think Paul will do a good job, but they’re probably a little bit behind where they want to be at quarterback." …

"As the season progressed, they got better. They lost to Youngstown but beat Virginia Tech, so that explains it for you." …

"Talent’s probably middle of the road. Paul will maximize what they have." …

"The biggest thing in the ACC is overall team speed week-in and week-out. Getting that consistently for eight weeks will be a big deal, especially while breaking in a new quarterback.”


Syracuse
Opposing coaches size up the Orange: 

“That was a really physical group. We had a bunch of kids banged up after playing them. They have good linebackers and safeties. They have no one like Chandler Jones anymore, but it’s a good group of guys that run and hit." …

"I think they’ll have a dip there because they’ve lost some players. I think they’ve done some junior college things there because of that." …

"I think they’ll probably be a little inconsistent. They’ve struggled in the red zone in the past. They were a good passing team but not efficient. Protection could have caused (quarterback) Ryan Nassib problems." …

"The running backs will still be strong there. Good receivers, not dominant." …

"They may take a little dip. I could be wrong. The Big East was a better league than people think. There were some good ball coaches down there.”

Virginia
Opposing coaches size up the Cavaliers:

“They’ve recruited well, but now you have to develop talent. They’ve taken quite a few guys who can’t play at this level in order to get a pipeline at the same schools." …

"They totally mangled the quarterback situation last year. Michael Rocco is a good player. Phillip Sims, to me, is very average. Alabama can say what they want, but they don’t let him walk out of there if they think he’s the answer at quarterback. It’s a little bit of politics with Sims being from the Tidewater area. That’s an area they recruit. Rocco, the year before, won eight games." …

"It will be interesting to see the change in coordinators. Steve Fairchild was predominantly an NFL guy, and he has no ties to the area. The offensive line will always be impressive looking." …

"Defensive end Eli Harold is going to be a big-time player. He can rush the passer." …

"A lot was made of Mike London’s in-game management. To me, they had some issues with the clock that were head-scratchers. That’s the main reason they brought in Tom O’Brien.”
 

Virginia Tech
Opposing coaches size up the Hokies:

“They really had a subpar year for their standards, but the talent is there. They have guys that can run at every position on defense. They run, they have length. They are really a good-looking football team. And they still recruit well. They just did not play very tough for whatever reason." …

"Something was wrong with that team last year. You could see the talent on film and everything. They didn’t play like it." …

"The quarterback, Logan Thomas, was supposed to be special and he was very below average. He’s a big, good-looking sucker. He has an accuracy problem. Turned the ball over way too much." …

"They built that team on running the ball. They’ve always had great running backs. I don’t know if it was an offensive line problem or they didn’t have a special running back, but they couldn’t run it consistently. I say all this and they may kill us next year."  …

"Frank (Beamer) made a lot of changes. A lot of coaching changes, and it sounds like they are pushing for more toughness this offseason.”

Wake Forest
Opposing coaches size up the Demon Deacons:

“They are going to be very well coached, really solid all the way around, but as far as talent, nothing stood out. Just the one kid, the receiver Michael Campanaro. He really is special. I think he broke some sort of ACC record. He was pretty good. He needs help on the outside. I don’t recall anybody that really stood out beyond him." …

"Wake’s not an easy place to recruit because you’ve got three in-conference programs just down the road, but they could use some upgrades." …

"I think they were dealing with some injuries. They used to have the quarterback (Riley Skinner) who kind of held it all together. I’ve heard they could look to be more multiple in the offense with the quarterback they have now (Tanner Price), who has a lot of experience." …

"They must improve their secondary play. I think they have a lot of young guys there that they want to develop, but late in the season a lack of depth really hurt them. Notre Dame, which wasn’t exactly a polished passing attack, threw it all over Wake.”

 

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