Each year we ask college football coaches to tell us what they really think about the other teams in their conference. But we don't want the cliche'd press conference platitudes, so we ask them to give us their quotes off-the-record and anonymously. Here are this year's quotes in alphabetical order for each team in the ACC.
What ACC Coaches Are Saying About: Boston College
"Everybody says they overachieve, but they are good. They might not be flashy, but they are good at what they do. They are fundamentally sound. They have a scheme defensively, and they run it. Everyone knows what they are doing, and they run it very well. They make a lot of things look the same. Their pre-snap looks are the same, but when the ball is snapped they will do something different."
"They had the best linebacker in the league (Luke Kuechly), and they had two other very good linebackers. They didn’t have a Da’Quan Bowers on the edge, but they had some guys on the inside who were tough to handle. They’ve never had the killer speed-rush guy."
"Kuechly was great. He’s going to get bigger. He can really run. He was a little thin in high school."
"They don’t play a lot of man. They let everything stay in front of them, and they make you make plays consistently down the field to keep drives alive. They don’t let you make big plays. If you can consistently move the ball down the field, you will be fine. But that is hard to do."
"Quarterback Chase Rettig will be pretty good and running back Montel Harris is very good. There seem to be a lot of people high on new offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers."
What ACC Coaches Are Saying About: Clemson
"They are inconsistent. They don’t always play the way they are capable of playing, for whatever reason. It can be lack of focus. They aren’t as consistent on offense as they are on defense. Sometimes it’s bad plays, bonehead plays. That is the stuff that hurts them. If they did their jobs and didn’t make major mistakes, they would be a lot better. They just aren’t consistent."
"Their talent is right up with anybody in the league, especially on defense. Up front, they are as good as anyone. If you have guys up front that can play, it makes your job so much easier on defense. You don’t have to blitz as much. And that is something they can do. They create pressure with their front four. Most of the teams in the conference can’t do that. Florida State can. Miami can. Virginia Tech can. And Clemson can."
"(Defensive end) Da’Quan Bowers will be missed. He was very good. If you had to throw, and he knew you were going to throw, he was gonna get to the quarterback."
"Very tough place to play. You want to play there early in the day. Not at night.”
What ACC Coaches Are Saying About: Duke
"They are definitely getting better. Very well coached. They are good on offense. They play hard and they are fundamentally sound."
Their defense has struggled because of personnel. It’s more that than scheme. If they upgrade there, they’ve got a chance to win some more games for sure."
"It can be tough to play there. It is different. Most places you go, it might not be too loud, but there are people in the stands and there is some energy. When you go (to Duke) and there is no one there, it can at times make you come out flat."