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ACC football notebook: Younger Beamer in demand

BY NATHAN WARTERS

Georgia State is interested in speaking with Virginia Tech assistant Shane Beamer about its open head coaching job, Hokies head coach Frank Beamer told the Newport News Daily Press on Tuesday.

Shane Beamer, 35, has been Virginia Tech’s associate head coach and running backs coach the last two seasons after spending the previous 11 years as a college assistant in the South.

He was the recruiting coordinator at Mississippi State and South Carolina and also recruited the metro Atlanta area for the Gamecocks in 2009–10.

Georgia State, in Atlanta, has yet to ask for permission to talk to Beamer. He told reporters Monday that he is focused solely on preparing for Saturday’s home game against Virginia.

Georgia State is looking to replace Bill Curry, who retired after starting the program and coaching the first three seasons. He went 1–11 this year in his final season as coach.

THEIR BOWL IS NOW

The energy is still high in the locker rooms at North Carolina and Miami, despite the fact neither team will play in the postseason.

The Tar Heels, who own the third-best record in the ACC, have known all season they won’t play in the ACC championship game or a bowl after the NCAA handed down a one-year postseason ban back in March. The Hurricanes, on the other hand, self-imposed a postseason ban Monday, leaving the players with seemingly little to play for.

But Miami coach Al Golden said his players are approaching their final game Saturday at Duke with the same enthusiasm they did when they were still in the hunt for the ACC championship.

“I was energized as a coach, as was the staff, by the approach and overall tenor of the team Monday,” Golden said of his team, which could still clinch first place in the Coastal Division with a win over the Blue Devils.

“I’m both humbled and grateful for some of the comments that have been relayed to me by the likes of [running backs] Mike James and Randy [Duke] Johnson, just talking about what it means to play here and how they wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Golden added.

UNC coach Larry Fedora said he has seen the same intensity from his team the entire year. He said he and the players are disappointed, however, that it ends when the final whistle is blown in their home game against Maryland on Saturday.

“They’ve known there was only going to be 12 games,” Fedora said. “We knew where the end of the tunnel was. I think our guys have done a good job preparing week in and week out.”

NOT MEETING EXPECTATIONS

The ACC isn’t going to fill its eight bowl spots, even if Virginia Tech and Wake Forest become eligible Saturday.

Only five ACC schools are bowl eligible, with the Hokies and Demon Deacons still in contention.

If neither becomes eligible, which is a realistic possibility, and No. 12 Clemson beats No. 13 South Carolina at home Saturday—which could clinch an at-large BCS bid for the Tigers—five ACC-affiliated bowls will have to look elsewhere for teams.

BOYD WINS CAMP HONOR

Clemson junior quarterback Tajh Boyd was named the Walter Camp National Player of the Week for his eight-touchdown performance against N.C. State on Saturday.

Boyd, a Hampton native, set an ACC record for most total touchdowns in a game. The previous record was six, which Boyd tied against Duke on Nov. 3.

Boyd, who was also named ACC offensive back of the week, has accounted for 41 touchdowns this season, and he has already matched his passing touchdown total of 33 from last season. Former N.C. State quarterback Philip Rivers holds the ACC single-season passing touchdown record with 34.

HOPKINS CLIMBS CHARTS

Florida State senior kicker Dustin Hopkins broke the ACC’s career field goal mark with a career-long 56-yard kick against Maryland on Saturday.

Hopkins now has 85 career field goals and needs only three more to break the NCAA career field goal mark set by Georgia’s Billy Bennett from 2000–03.

Hopkins is already the ACC and NCAA record-holder for career points scored by a kicker with 448. He has the fourth-best scoring total among all players in Football Bowl Subdivision history, behind only former Miami of Ohio running back Travis Prentice (468 points from 1996-99), current Wisconsin running back Montee Ball (464 from 2009-current) and former Texas running back Ricky Williams (452 from 1995-98).

HIGH OCTANE ACC

The two highest-scoring games in ACC history have occurred the last two weekends. Clemson and N.C. State combined for 110 points in the Tigers’ 62-48 victory Saturday, only one week after Georgia Tech and UNC combined for 118 in the Yellow Jackets’ 68–50 win.

Clemson (754 yards) and N.C. State (597) combined for the most total yards (1,351) in ACC history. The old record was 1,292 set by Florida State and Maryland back in 1992.

Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442

nwarters@freelancestar.com

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