August 1, 2015

Take a listen to what Dabo Swinney had to say on SportsCenter this morning (AUDIO)

Dabo Swinney

Dabo Swinney

The ACC coaches are making the rounds in Bristol today and tomorrow as part of ESPN’s “Coaches Carwash” segments. Dabo Swinney was on the set of SportsCenter this morning with anchors Jay Crawford and Chris McKendry. Among the typical preseason questions, Swinney was asked to about Steve Spurrier’s reference to comments Deshaun Watson made about not losing to the Gamecocks. Another interesting Swinney response came when he was asked what is more important at Clemson, an ACC title or a win over South Carolina. (Spoiler alert: There was some dancing, but the answer is an ACC title). Take a listen to the segment below.

AUDIO: Dabo Swinney on SportsCenter

Clemson lands five on the preseason All-ACC Team

Artavis Scott is looking to build on a big freshman season.

Artavis Scott is looking to build on a big freshman season.

Clemson leads all schools with five selections to the 2015 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Football Team announced on Thursday.

The team was selected by a vote of 163 media members who were credentialed for the ACC Football Kickoff earlier this week at Pinehurst Resort.

Clemson sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson, who earlier this week was voted the ACC Preseason Player of the Year, is joined on the All-ACC preseason team by Tiger wide receivers Mike Williams and Artavis Scott, offensive guard Eric Mac Lain and defensive end Shaq Lawson.

Florida State and Virginia Tech each placed four student-athletes on the 2015 All-ACC preseason team, while Pitt had three selected.

Watson, who threw for 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns despite being limited to eight games and five starts last season due to injuries, is joined in the offensive backfield by running backs James Conner of Pitt and Shadrach Thornton of NC State.

Conner, a 2014 All-American and the reigning ACC Player of the Year, led the conference and ranked among the nation’s leaders with 1,765 yards rushing and an ACC-record 26 touchdowns as a sophomore. Thornton, a rising senior, ranks 10th in NC State history with 2,369 career rushing yards and 12th all-time among Wolfpack ball-carriers with 16 career rushing touchdowns.

Clemson’s Williams and Scott are joined on the preseason All-ACC wide receiving corps by Pitt junior Tyler Boyd, the the first player in ACC history to compile 1,000 receiving yards in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Williams joined Boyd as one of four ACC players with at least 1,000 receiving yards in 2014, and Scott was close behind with 965.

Preseason All-ACC tight end recognition goes to Virginia Tech’s Bucky Hodges, a redshirt sophomore who broke in last season with 45 receptions for 526 yards and six TDs. He is joined on the offensive line by Florida State’s Roderick Johnson and Pitt’s Adam Bisnowaty at tackle. North Carolina’s Landon Turner and Clemson’s Mac Lain man the guard spots, while Duke’s Matt Skura was selected at the center position.

Three defensive ends were selected due to ties in the voting, with Virginia Tech’s Dadi Lhomme Nicolas joining Clemson’s Lawson and Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins. Adam Gotsis of defending Coastal Division champion Georgia Tech is a choice at defensive tackle, along with Virginia Tech’s Luther Maddy.

Florida State’s Terrance Smith, Wake Forest’s Brandon Chubb and Louisville’s James Burgess form the preseason All-ACC linebacker corps.

The secondary features a trio of returning All-Americans in cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey of Florida State and Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, as well as Duke safety Jeremy Cash. Virginia’s Quin Blanding, the 2014 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, also earned a spot at safety on the preseason team.

The special teams include junior All-America placekicker Roberto Aguayo, whose 293 total points in two seasons already ranks eighth on Florida State’s all-time list. Wake Forest’s Alex Kinal earned the spot at punter, while North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer is the choice at return specialist.

Pitt’s Conner led the overall voting, being chosen by 148 of the 163 media members casting ballots. Florida State’s Aguayo received 141 votes.

Others reaching or topping the century mark were Pitt’s Boyd (137 votes), Duke’s Cash (116), Florida State’s Ramsey (115), Virginia Tech’s Fuller (112), Duke’s Skura (111), North Carolina’s Turner (108), Virginia Tech’s Nicolas (108), Florida State’s Johnson (104) and Clemson’s Watson (100).

Boyd, Conner, Aguayo, Fuller and Ramsey were all named first-team All-ACC last year, while Scott, Williams, Nicolas, Gotsis, Smith, Cash, Blanding and Kinal all earned second-team All-ACC. Switzer, Hodges, Turner, Skura and  Rankins were 2014 third-team All-ACC selections.

 

2015 All-ACC Preseason Football Team

Offense

WR – Tyler Boyd, Jr., Pitt

WR – Mike Williams, Jr., Clemson

WR – Artavis Scott, So. Clemson

TE – Bucky Hodges, r-So., Virginia Tech

OT – Roderick Johnson, So., Florida State

OT – Adam Bisnowaty, r-Jr., Pitt

OG – Landon Turner, r-Sr., North Carolina

OG – Eric Mac Lain, Gr., Clemson

C – Matt Skura, r-Sr., Duke

QB – Deshaun Watson, So., Clemson

RB – James Conner, Jr., Pitt

RB – Shadrach Thornton, Sr., NC State

 

Defense

DE – Dadi Lhomme Nicolas. r-Sr., Virginia Tech

DE – Shaq Lawson, Jr., Clemson

DE – Sheldon Rankins, Sr., Louisville

DT – Adam Gotsis, Sr., Georgia Tech

DT – Luther Maddy, r-Sr., Virginia Tech

LB – Terrance Smith, r-Sr., Florida State

LB – Brandon Chubb, r-Sr., Wake Forest

LB – James Burgess, Sr., Louisville

CB – Jalen Ramsey, Jr., Florida State

CB – Kendall Fuller, Jr., Virginia Tech

S – Jeremy Cash, r-Sr., Duke

S – Quin Blanding, So., Virginia

 

Special Teams

PK – Roberto Aguayo, r-Jr., Florida State

P – Alex Kinal, r-Sr., Wake Forest

KR – Ryan Switzer, So., North Carolina

Steve Spurrier is tired of “enemies” talking about his age (AUDIO)

Steve Spurrier said he has heard enough talk about his age.

Steve Spurrier said he has heard enough talk about his age.

Steve Spurrier says he is sick of people talking his age. So sick that he called in impromptu news conference to tell people not to listen to his enemies. Who are his enemies? The media, according to the HBC. More specifically, someone who covers Georgia, apparently. But the HBC had plenty to say.  He got a proverbial shot in at Clemson, cited a team doctor that told him he has the body and mind of a 55 year old, and declared they had an excellent team.  And that’s only a small part of it.  Do yourself a favor and check it out.  Let us know what you think in the comments.

You can watch the video of our Periscope feed here.

You can listen to the audio below:

AUDIO: Steve Spurrier

 

Coaches and media tab UT Chattanooga to repeat in the SOCON

southern conferenceAfter capturing the 2014 Southern Conference championship, the Chattanooga Mocs have been tabbed the preseason favorites for 2015 in polling conducted by the league’s head coaches. After finishing with a perfect 7-0 mark in conference play last season, the Mocs earned seven first-place votes and 49 points in the poll. It is the second consecutive season Chattanooga has been tabbed the preseason favorite.

Samford, under the direction of new head coach Chris Hatcher, was slotted second with 40 points. The Bulldogs earned the final first-place vote. Hatcher inherits a team that returns 46 lettermen from last year’s team, which went 5-2 in league play.

Western Carolina was slotted third with 38 points. The Catamounts finished 2014 with a 7-5 record, including a  5-2 mark in SoCon play. WCU’s seven overall wins and five league victories were the highest since 2001. Coach Mark Speir returns all 11 starters on offense and 10 on defense.

Wofford was picked fourth and earned 30 points in the preseason balloting. The Terriers are under the direction of Mike Ayers for the 28th season and return 52 lettermen, including 10 starters on offense. Furman (22) was picked fifth. Head coach Bruce Fowler enters his fifth season in Greenville, S.C., and returns a total of 20 starters from last year.

In its first season as a member of the Southern Conference last year, Mercer finished 6-6 and went 1-6 in league play. The 2015 season will mark just the second year of scholarship football for the Bears, who return all but one starter from last season. Mercer (20) was picked sixth in preseason balloting.

Mercer narrowly edged The Citadel, as the Bulldogs (18) were slotted seventh. Mike Houston returns for his second season in Charleston, S.C. The Citadel returns 10 starters on offense from a team that went 3-4 in league play last year.

Scott Wachenheim assumes the reigns at VMI after spending the previous five seasons as an assistant at Virginia. The Keydets returned to the Southern Conference in 2014 after spending 11 seasons in the Big South. VMI returns 39 lettermen, including nine starters on offense.

2015 SoCon Football Preseason Coaches Poll

School (First-place votes)           Points

1.   Chattanooga (7)                        49

2.   Samford (1)                              40

3.   Western Carolina                       38

4.   Wofford                                   30

5.   Furman                                     22

6.   Mercer                                      20

7.   The Citadel                               18

8.   VMI                                           7

NOTE: Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams

Media Poll

School (First-place votes)       Points

1. Chattanooga (29)                   239

2. Western Carolina (1)            190

3. Samford                                   176

4. Wofford                                  148

5. Furman                                   120

6. Mercer                                     93

7.  The Citadel                            82

8.  VMI                                        32

Preseason All-Conference Teams

Offensive Player of the Year: Jacob Huesman, Sr., QB, Chattanooga

Defensive Players of the Year: Michael Pierce, Sr., DL, Samford

First Team Offense

QB         Jacob Huesman, Sr., QB, Chattanooga

RB         Alex Lakes, So., Mercer

RB         Denzel Williams, Jr., Samford

OL         Sam Frye, Sr., The Citadel

OL         Joe Turner, Sr., Furman

OL         Gunnar Bromelow, Sr., Samford

OL         Corey Levin, Jr., Chattanooga

OL         Anton Wahrby, Jr., Wofford

TE          Duncan Fletcher, Jr., Furman

WR        Karel Hamilton, Jr., Samford

WR        Spearman Robinson, Jr., Western Carolina

First Team Defense

DL         Mitchell Jeter, Sr., The Citadel

DL         Michael Pierce, Sr., Samford

DL         Josh Freeman, Sr., Chattanooga

DL         Keionta Davis, Jr., Chattanooga

LB          Cory Magwood, Sr., Furman

LB          Justin Cooper, Sr., Samford

LB          Nakevion Leslie, Jr., Chattanooga

DB         James Bradberry, Sr., Samford

DB         Dee Virgin, Jr., Chattanooga

DB         Lucas Webb, So., Chattanooga

DB         Trey Morgan, Jr., Western Carolina

First Team Specialists

PK         Henrique Ribeiro, Jr., Chattanooga

P           Brian Sanders, Sr., Wofford

RS         Chandler Curtis, So., Mercer

Second Team Offense

QB         Troy Mitchell, Sr., Western Carolina

RB         Darius Ramsey, Sr., Western Carolina

RB         Lorenzo Long, Jr., Wofford

OL         Alec Hulmes, Sr., Samford

OL         Jacob Revis, So., Chattanooga

OL         Synjen Herren, Sr., Chattanooga

OL         Josh Wineberg, Sr., Western Carolina

OL         T.J. Chamberlain, Sr., Wofford

TE          Tony Philpot, Sr., Samford

WR        Jordan Snellings, Sr., Furman

WR        C.J. Board, Jr., Chattanooga

Second Team Defense

DL         John Mackey, Sr., Furman

DL         Austin Barrett, So., Mercer

DL         Helva Matungulu, Sr., Western Carolina

DL         Caleb Hawkins, Sr., Western Carolina

(tie) DL   E.J. Speller, Sr., Wofford

LB          Tyler Ward, Jr., Mercer

LB          Terrance Morris, So., Wofford

LB          Drake Michaelson, Sr., Wofford
DB         Alex Avant, Sr., Mercer

DB         Jamerson Blount, Jr., Samford

DB         Cedric Nettles, Jr., Chattanooga

DB         Sertonuse Harris, Sr., Western Carolina

Second Team Specialists

PK         Dillon Christopher, Jr., VMI

P           Matt Shiel, So., Mercer

RS         Will Gay, Sr., Wofford

NOTE: Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.

#ACCKickoff: North Carolina’s Larry Fedora eyes big season, opener vs USC (AUDIO)

Larry Fedora

Larry Fedora

We caught up with North Carolina coach Larry Fedora at the ACC Kickoff to get his thoughts on the Tar Heels upcoming season and the opener against South Carolina on September 5th in Charlotte.  We’ve got the interview for you to enjoy below. [Read more…]