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News and Notes from the ACC Coaches Teleconference 8/28

Coaches from around the ACC spoke today via teleconference, including Miami's Al Golden.

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Audio files and full transcripts of the  teleconference can be found later this afternoon on

Al Golden of Miami:

  • Coach Golden talked about the team being focused on FAU, and how honoring the 1983 team and Coach Howard Schnellenberger should make for a "great atmosphere" this Friday.
  • Coach also said that he was a Miami fan growing up, as his brother was a former walk on (1981) at UM.
  • On redshirt freshman CB Nate Dortch: He praised his increase in strength and said Dortch would be starting on several special teams.
  • He also said the status of Deon Bush was "up in the air" but that he has been "cleared to play."  He advised that the comfort level of Bush would determine if he played or not on Friday.
  • On Rayshawn Scott,  "He is playing the best football he has played all training camp."  But,  "He needs to be consistent and continue to improve."
  • On the NCAA,  Golden first joked he was "glad" it was brought up and laughed.  But that he and his staff was focused on FAU and that contingency plans were in place based on any/all possibilities of the NCAA ruling. He called game day preparations "therapeutic" in dealing with the NCAA.
  • Golden also said that Duke Johnson being stronger and heavier then last year, should increase his touches. He also praised Johnson as being "humble and hungry" and that it's "hard to imagine anyone loving the sport more" than Johnson.

News and Notes from around the rest of the ACC:

  • Dabo Swinney, of Clemson spoke about the huge challenge of facing #5 Georgia, saying they might be the "best offense" they face this year. He also mentioned the history and tradition of the schools as a reason for excitement. When asked about Tajh Boyd facing a tough Bulldogs D, Swinney cited Boyd's experience as a key reason why he felt comfortable with Boyd under center. Coach Swinney undersold the importance of beating UGA because they were an SEC school. Swinney also said he felt good about "5 guys" in his secondary, but that the depth was a concern.  On his offense, he said the goal was to run "82 plays and above", and playing fast was always a goal.  Injured CB Jerrod Williams and TE Jordan Leggett were both practicing and expected to play this weekend according to Swinney.
  • Jimbo Fisher, Florida State's Head Coach praised his team's work ethic during fall camp. He called Pitt a "sound football team" and said his team would need to be on it's A game to defeat the Panthers Monday. Fischer noted he is especially wary of their D, that was ranked 17th in the Nation last year.  On his own D, he noted that while the system was new, many of the principles would be the same with some "new wrinkles". He noted that the experience of Tim Jernigan and Christian Jones would help the transition of the new starters. On freshman QB Jamesis Winston, he mentioned that he would lean on the experienced players, but when needed "would have to make a play."
  • Randy Edsall, of  Maryland called his preseason "healthy and productive."  On playing FIU, Edsall called Jake Medlock an "outstanding QB" and mentioned their offensive line cohesion as a concern on facing them. He also mentioned that facing a new coaching staff made them difficult to prepare for.  On his own QB CJ Brown, he mentioned "he was moving well and throwing the ball very well."   He mentioned the importance of the leadership council (one leader per position, 11 total per Edsall) on his team, especially with the youth on his team (2 senior starters on offense, 2 senior starters on defense).
  • Scott Shafer, of Syracuse who makes his coaching debut this weekend in the Meadowlands against Penn State, called his team "fired up"  and that the game being in New Jersey was important with so many of his players being from the NJ/NY area. Shafer talked about streamlining the game plan this week because he wanted his team to "play fast."  The Nintany Lions TEs were mentioned as a match-up concern.  He also called PSU Coach Bill O'Brien a "great offensive mind."   Not knowing who their starting QB would be, made them "difficult to prepare for."   On his own QB's  Shafer said the flow of the game would dictate whether or not he used 2 QB's (Dew Allen and Terrel Hunt).  He said the two had similar skill sets.
  • Jim Grobe, Wake Forest's Head Coach said his team had a "good August"  and that he liked where his team was. On star WR Michael Campanaro, he said that his injury last year really hurt the team,  and they wanted to "get the ball to him on every snap."  Grobe said he "catches the ball effortlessly" which "makes everything else easier."  Campanaro's health however was mentioned as a concern. 
  • Paul Johnson, of Georgia Tech said his team was "excited to get started."  He spoke of his team's health being good,  and that they were looking forward to facing Elon this weekend. Johnson said that redshirt freshman QB Justin Thomas, who was banged up,  was cleared to play this weekend.  Vlad Lee however remains the starter, but Johnson hinted Thomas would see action. On his WRs he said that while no one has emerged yet as a superstar, he liked the overall depth of the unit.
  • Larry Fedora, North Carolina's Head Coach spoke about the tremendous challenge of facing #6 South Carolina, and that his team was especially excited to do it on a National stage. On QB Bryn Renner facing the Gamecocks, he said "he wouldn't want anyone else out there."  He said the entire front 4 and not just Jadaveon Clowney were a concern.  On facing SC on the road, "they are going to be pumped and ready to go"  and that they were going to be "sound in everything they do and be well coached."   On his own offensive line he said they "were getting better and better, and starting to gel."   On replacing the production of Giovanni Bernard, he said that they "wanted to max the production"  but that they may go RB by committee.  He also said that he didn't feel his team was carrying the banner for the ACC against the SEC,  but that if the conference was to accomplish what it wanted,  these were the type of games it needed to win.
  • Paul Chryst, of Pittsburgh praised his Labor Day opponent FSU, and said they had a "tremendous amount of respect" for the Seminoles. On facing a team with a lot of new defensive starters and a new DC, he mentioned it as a challenge and that the team would worry more about the things they could control.  Due to the health of his offensive backfield he said he expected to use "RB by committee"  but that he hoped banged up James Conner could go. Chryst confirmed that Tom Savage would be the starting QB, who he said has "good football knowledge and has become one of the leaders on the team."  On recruiting in the State of Florida, he said recruiting Pennsyvania and Western Pennsylvania was still very important,  but he hoped the exposure of playing in new states helped the team branch out.
  • Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech's legendary skipper,  started off speaking about how impressed he and his staff were with the Crimson Tide. On the importance of gaining respect against the SEC, Beamer said that doing well against the "best conference in the country" was certainly important to the ACC's reputation. On his return game he expressed confidence in Demetri Knowles among others. He talked about taking care of the ball as a big focus for QB Logan Thomas, and that he was more concerned with the players surrounding Thomas, then the QB himself. On comparing the current Crimson Tide dynasty to the Miami teams of the early 2000s, he said he felt this Bama team was "the best overall team they had ever played." 
  • Mike London, of Virginia spoke about this weekend's game against BYU at home as a chance to "show how much we have improved."   On new starting QB David Watford, London praised his "maturity level" and "understanding of defenses."   He said that having veteran WRs and the protection given by the offensive line and backs would all be factors in Watford's success. He said the fans in Charlottesville were "upbeat" and looking forward to his team facing BYU as well as Oregon in week 2.
  • Steve Addazio, of Boston College, who makes his debut this weekend, spoke of his team's energy and said his team was relatively healthy.  Addazio spoke about Villanova as an underrated opening opponent and that their having 7 returning starters on defense would make them especially challenging.  He called them an "explosive team"  and a "veteran team."   He mentioned that while they did not get to play their spring game (due to Boston Marathon Tragedy)  he felt his team accomplished a lot during spring practice. He also said the offensive philosophy of the team would be to be "more balanced."  On QB Chase Rettig,  he called him a "proven thrower" and that they would exploit his talents despite taking a more balanced approach.  Addazio also expressed excitement in the potential of "explosive" D lineman Kaleb Ramsey.
  • David Cutcliffe, Duke's Head Coach said his team was anxious to play and that breaking in a new starting QB (Anthony Boone) was an exciting process.  Cutcliffe also praised the maturity and experience of Ohio State transfer DB Jeremy Cash, in dealing with the hype surrounding his debut with the Devils. On the possibility of using Brandon Connette as more then a change of pace QB, he expressed confidence and stated they would have to "use him smartly" but that he could fill in as a full time QB if needed.

  • Dave Doeren, of NC State said his team was looking forward to playing Louisana Tech at home,  a team "that has always been touch against BCS opponents."   Doeren said his team was still looking to find its' identity, and that seeing them in game action would give his staff a better feel for team.  He praised both of his competing QBs Pete Thomas and Brandon Mitchell and said the Coaches has an idea of how playing time would break down but that it was a "long season" and a lot could change,

Be sure to check in every Wednesday for weekly updates from the ACC Coaches'  Teleconference.