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College Football in the Carolinas

View from the East
Thursday, November 1, 2001

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

Holtz Frets About Wofford's Wingbone,
but Miss Cleo Says 'Not to Worry'


Last week’s record couldn’t have been any better, 5-0, which brought the season total to 32-14.

There are some challenges awaiting this week as North Carolina at Georgia Tech, Wake Forest at Virginia, and Florida State at Clemson all lack a clear-cut favorite.

Despite what Lou Holtz might say, South Carolina should have no trouble with Division I-AA Wofford, and Duke’s string of losses should climb to 21 as the Blue Devils host N.C. State.

Here’s what the crystal ball, the tea leaves, and a call to Miss Cleo indicate for this week:

Miss Cleo: Hello, this is Miss Cleo. How may I help you?

View from the East: Ah, yes, I was hoping you could help me on the outcomes of some college football games? Starting with Wofford at South Carolina.

Miss Cleo: Is the quarterback getting along with his girl friend?

View: I don’t know.

Miss Cleo: The cards say she was seeing somebody else last weekend when the team was on the road.

View: Oh. What about the game?

Miss Cleo: This other guy has some kind of tattoo and drives a sports car.

View: Yeah. What about the game?

Miss Cleo: She apparently has something going with the flanker, too — that the quarterback doesn’t know about.

View: Really? What about the game? And, uhh, how much is this costing me?

Miss Cleo: Basketball season’s coming up and she’s got her eye on the point guard.

View: Who are we talking about here, Madonna? What about the game — and what’s this costing me?

Miss Cleo: South Carolina, honey. If you knew anything about football, you didn’t have to call Miss Cleo to know that.

View: Right.

Miss Cleo: It’s $2.95 a minute. What other games did you want to check on?

View: Uhh, thanks, ... I’ll pick the rest myself. Bye.

Saturday, Nov. 3, 1 p.m.


USA Today did a nice feature on the Terriers in its Wednesday sports section. Perhaps Bonesville’s resourceful webmeisters can provide a link to it.

[ Editor's Note — Here's the requested link: USA Today: Wofford Won't Let Size Affect Football Vision ]

Gamecocks coach Lou Holtz sounds like Lou even though Wofford, a fill-in game after Boise State couldn’t be rescheduled, is 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the Southern Conference.

“It’s very hard to give your defense a good look at the wishbone during practice,” Holtz said. “But we’ve got to concentrate on our defensive assignments and prepare the best we can.

“I believe the last time USC played against this type of offense, they came out on the short end to The Citadel (a 38-35 USC loss in 1990).”

Holtz said wide receiver Michael Ages, an option quarterback in high school, had been trying to simulate the Wofford offense in practice. Wofford’s offense is actually called the “Wingbone,” a variation that combines elements of the single wing and wishbone.

The Gamecocks have a few bumps and bruises after a 17-10 loss at Tennessee, most notably to tailback Derek Watson, who did not practice Tuesday due to a sore shoulder and hamstring.


USC dropped from No. 12 to No. 17 with the loss to the Vols. ... Wofford lost 38-14 at Clemson in its season opener. ... The last game between these teams was in 1957, a 26-0 South Carolina win. Alex Hawkins and King Dixon boosted USC to a 332-120 lead in total yardage. Wofford won the first game 10-0 in 1895, but trails 15-4 in the series. ... Holtz has 230 career wins, third among active coaches. ... The Gamecocks are first in the SEC in turnover margin, a plus 17. ... They are last in punt returns with a 4.2-yard average.


South Carolina is bigger, stronger, faster, and deeper although the Terriers showed a lot of heart earlier in the season at Clemson.

PREDICTION: South Carolina 35, Wofford 10.

Thursday, Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m.


The ACC championship that Florida State has customarily taken for granted since joining the league in 1992, is by no means guaranteed for the Seminoles this season.

No one is more aware of that than the Tar Heels, whose 41-9 win over the Seminoles created some suspense in the title chase. What that means for UNC is that it needs a win on ESPN Thursday night to keep pace with Maryland and the Noles.

“I think our staff and players have done a real good job of handling the bye week,” said UNC coach John Bunting. “I think it was excellent for us to restore some energy, to restore the emotional part of the game. I’ve seen it out on the practice field. I feel good about that.”

Bunting plans to start redshirt freshman Darian Durant at quarterback because Ronald Curry is not yet fully recovered from a strained hamstring in Carolina’s last game, a 38-3 win at Clemson on Oct. 20.

“Ronald is looking like he’s going to be available,” Bunting said.


Carolina is No. 22 in the Associated Press poll, unranked in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. ... Tech won 42-24 last year in Chapel Hill and leads the series, 17-16-3. ... UNC is going for its sixth straight win. ... The Heels are 3-0 on Thursday night ESPN telecasts while the Yellow Jackets are 6-6. ... UNC defensive end has three interceptions this season and 30.5 career sacks. ... Tech’s Joe Burns is averaging 89.9 yards rushing, fourth in the ACC.


Georgia Tech leads the ACC in total defense and is second in total offense, but will have to avoid mistakes to stop UNC’s momentum.

PREDICTION: Georgia Tech 21, UNC 17.

Saturday, Nov. 3, 3:30 p.m.


It’s father (FSU head coach Bobby Bowden) against son (Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden) and this is the third time around. Florida State won 17-14 at Death Valley in 1999 and 54-7 last season in Tallahassee.

“After the first one, some of the shine and glamor is gone,” said the Tigers coach. “Now it’s more about preparation for a well-coached, talented team. That’s more of the focus. Now the novelty is old hat.”

The younger Bowden was asked about FSU’s unaccustomed vulnerability this season, which has resulted in one-sided losses to the Tar Heels and No. 1 (other than in the BCS) Miami.

“Florida State has had a couple of scenarios that they have never had to deal with before,” said Tommy Bowden, an assistant for his dad at West Virginia and FSU. “They started the year with an inexperienced quarterback. They have had season-ending injuries, similar to what we have had, and the abundance of turnovers with an inexperienced quarterback.

“At halftime of the Miami game (a 49-27 FSU loss), Miami had five first downs and nine yards rushing. There were some turnovers by Florida State and that made the difference.”


ABC will show the game. ... FSU leads the series 12-2, has won nine in a row, and is 6-0 at Death Valley. ... Clemson will hold a 20th-year reunion of its 1981 national championship team. ... Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler is averaging 308.7 yards of total offense, fifth in the nation. ... FSU has been ranked in the AP poll 206 straight weeks since the fifth week of 1989. ... Noles wide receiver Atrews Bell caught four passes for 104 yards against the Terps and has at least one catch in 20 straight games. ... FSU quarterback Chris Rix leads all freshmen and is ninth nationally in passing efficiency (158.8). ... 13 of Clemson’s 16 catches in a 21-14 win last week at Wake Forest were by freshmen. ... Tigers wide receiver Derek Hamilton is averaging 5.3 receptions per game, tops among ACC freshmen.


The Noles appeared to have regained their quick-strike capability last week in a 52-31 win over Maryland. They’ll use it at Clemson, which hasn’t played as well at home this season.

PREDICTION: Florida State 34, Clemson 24.

Saturday, Nov. 3, 1 p.m.


It’s been 20 games since the Blue Devils put a notch in their gun handle but they’ve still got some bullets, in particular sophomore running back Chris Douglas, who ran for 169 yards in last week’s 42-28 loss to Vanderbilt.

“He certainly provides a lot of offense for us,” said Duke coach Carl Franks. “... We try to find as many ways as we can to get the ball in his hands. He’s got a lot of speed, which is one of his best assets.

“He’s learned to run low, to get his shoulders down and fall forward. He’s an exciting guy to watch play.”

Douglas has 1,477 all-purpose yards this season, just 89 yards away from the school record with three games left.

“He breaks so many tackles,” said State linebacker Levar Fisher, who is on the cusp of his own school record — for career tackles. “He’s strong. He’s fast and he’s just a quality running back. We know that he’s going to be hard to stop.”

Douglas got a scholarship offer from Notre Dame but chose Duke. Durham is closer to home for Douglas, who played at Bandys High, and he wanted his parents to be able to see him play.


Fisher has 447 career tackles, nine behind Wolfpack leader Damien Covington. ... Duke leads the series 39-32-5 but State has won seven in a row and 10 of the last 11. ... State coach Chuck Amato is 12-7 at his alma mater. Franks is 3-27 at his. ... State quarterback Philip Rivers has completed 20 or more passes in seven straight games. Just a sophomore, Rivers is fifth on State’s career passing list with 4,748 yards and third in touchdown passes with 35. ... NCSU defensive end Terrance Chapman (ankle), defensive tackle Terrance Martin (appendectomy) and middle linebacker Dantonio Burnette (knee sprain) are expected to be available for more action than in last week’s 24-0 win over Virginia. Fisher has played the last two games with a knee brace. ... Duke leads the ACC in punt returns at 14.3 yards.


State’s talent will overcome Duke’s youth.

PREDICTION: N.C. State 31, Duke 17.

Saturday, Nov. 3, Noon


Wake has lost three of its last four to fall to 3-4 while Virginia (3-5) has a four-game losing streak. Wake coach Jim Grobe said it’s important to think positively despite adversity — an issue he addressed in preseason.

“A proposition I gave them was, ‘If we’re 0-10, how hard are you going to play in the last game? And If we’re 10-0 how hard are we going to play?,’ ” Grobe said. “We talked about it being a season and that we are in it for the long haul.”

Effort hasn’t been an issue for the Deacons but turnovers and missed opportunities have in close losses to Maryland, N.C. State and Clemson.

“We are definitely frustrated,” said Deacons wide receiver Jax Landfried. “We were a play away from a big play and winning the game. It’s tough to swallow, we need to keep our heads up and focus on the next game.”

A Deacons defense that was riddled by Clemson’s Woody Dantzler last week will have to deal with Billy McMullen, the ACC’s top receiver, this week.

“It is a major concern,” Grobe said. “They really have a good group of receivers. ... The thing that bothers you most is that not only do they have good receivers but they have good height.”

The Wake coach is not optimistic that quarterback Anthony Young or running back Tarence Williams will be available.


Virginia has won 17 straight and leads the series 31-11. ... Wake’s total offense is up to 388.3 yards per game from 294.4 last year. ... The Deacs are allowing about 62 yards less per game defensively. ... Wake leads the ACC in fewest sacks allowed, 10. ... Virginia ends the regular season with four straight home games. ... First-year Cavs head coach Al Groh coached Wake Forest from 1981-86, going 26-40. Groh was defensive line coach at Virginia, his alma mater, when Grobe was a redshirt freshman there. ... Quarterback James MacPherson and running back Fred Staton, who is averaging 55 yards a game rushing, will have to carry the load if Young and Williams are out.


Virginia seems to have Wake’s number and injuries to key personnel will probably hinder the Deacons.

PREDICTION: Virginia 27, Wake Forest 23.

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02/23/2007 01:03:20 AM

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