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ACC Notebook: Hokies turn to freshman

TECH HAS A NEW LB

BY TAFT COGHILL JR.

An edge in athleticism has won out over experience on the Virginia Tech defense.

Hokies head coach Frank Beamer revealed on the Atlantic Coast Conference coaches teleconference Wednesday that redshirt freshman Ronny Vandyke has replaced senior Jeron Gouveia–Winslow as the team’s starting whip linebacker.

Vandyke infringed on Gouveia–Winslow’s playing time in the Hokies’ 37–0 win over Bowling Green last Saturday, but now the pecking order is official.

Vandyke will start when the Hokies take on Cincinnati Saturday at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

“He brings a little more quickness to the position. He’s been coming along,” Beamer said of Vandyke. “[Gouveia–Winslow] is a very smart guy, knows the game, knows where he needs to be. But I think Ronny brings a little more quickness.”

GOOD TIME FOR A BYE

The Maryland Terrapins finished their nonconference schedule 2–2. They’re coming off of a hard-fought 31–21 loss at West Virginia.

Second-year head coach Randy Edsall said the upcoming bye week couldn’t come at a better time. All eight of the Terrapins’ remaining games are against ACC opponents.

Edsall said after one-quarter of the schedule he’s learned he has dynamic young players that will contribute big plays, but also make mistakes.

“I like to play the nonconference games first, get them out of the way, then you go and focus,” Edsall said. “It just so happened we had the bye at this point in time in the schedule. I think it comes at a good time for us.”

Edsall said the bye will allow his injured players to heal and his young players to continue to develop.

“As we go forward, we have a better idea of who we are, what we can do,” he said.

A TACKLING MACHINE

Boston College senior linebacker Nick Clancy leads the nation in tackles (14.3 per game). Clancy registered 24 tackles in a loss to Northwestern on Sept. 15 and was named ACC Linebacker of the Week. Clancy learned a lot last season from former Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, who was a first-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in April.

Kuechly led the nation in tackles in 2011 (15.9 per game).

“Nick has been a pleasant surprise,” Boston College coach Frank Spaziani said. “He came back as a fifth-year senior with no guarantee of anything other than we needed him, his leadership and his attitude, his institutional motivation. The opportunity to play has certainly turned into production for him.”

’NOLE IN THE HUNT

Florida State senior quarterback E.J. Manuel may have inserted his name into the Heisman Trophy conversation with his performance last Saturday against Clemson.

Manuel completed 27 of 35 pass attempts for 380 yards and two touchdowns in the No. 4 Seminoles’ 49–37 comeback win.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said the Heisman is not what Manuel plays for. He said his quarterback can do without the media attention that comes with Heisman contenders.

“The scenario is ‘Do you want show dogs or hunting dogs?’” Fisher said. “Show dogs get all that hype, which is great. But I’d rather have guys that can hunt, can handle all that and go play well. I think E.J. understands that.”

Taft Coghill Jr.: 540/374-5526

tcoghill@freelancestar.com

  • SCHEDULE
  • BOSTON COLLEGE vs. Clemson

    Saturday, 3:30 (ESPN2)

    CLEMSON at Boston College

    Saturday, 3:30 (ESPN2)

    DUKE at Wake Forest

    Saturday, 12:30 (Raycom)

    FLORIDA STATE at South Florida

    Saturday, 6 p.m. (ESPN)

    GEORGIA TECH vs. Middle Tennesse

    Saturday, noon (CSN)

    MARYLAND vs. Wake Forest

    Oct. 6 (TBA)

    MIAMI vs. N.C. State

    Saturday, noon, (ESPNU)

    NORTH CAROLINA vs. Idaho

    Saturday, 3:30 (CSN)

    N.C. STATE at Miami

    Saturday, noon (ESPNU)

    VIRGINIA vs. Louisiana Tech

    Saturday, 3:30 (ESPN3)

    VIRGINIA TECH vs. Cincinnati (FedEx Field)

    Saturday, 3:30 (ESPNU)

    WAKE FOREST vs. Duke

    Saturday, 12:30 (Raycom)

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/sports/2012/09/26/acc-notebook-hokies-turn-to-freshman/