Florida State Seminoles: Robert Godhigh

ACC's lunchtime links

March, 27, 2014
Mar 27
12:00
PM ET
Here are Ernest Hemingway’s recommended readings for aspiring writers. I’ve never read any of them, but I’ve seen a few of the movies. That counts, right?

ACC Week 14: Did you know?

November, 29, 2013
11/29/13
10:00
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As always, thanks to ESPN Stats & Info and sports information departments everywhere for these tidbits.

MIAMI: Against Virginia, Miami had 45 points with only 11 first downs. The last time that happened at the FBS level was Sept. 13, 1997, when Minnesota (with 11 first downs) beat Iowa State 53-29.

PITTSBURGH: Tyler Boyd is having one of the most productive seasons by a freshman receiver in school history. With one regular-season game left, Boyd has 68 catches, the most of any freshman in the country and one catch shy of Larry Fitzgerald’s Pitt rookie record of 69.

FLORIDA STATE: Alabama and Florida State are 1-2 in the Championship Drive Ratings, while the only other undefeated team, Ohio State, was three spots back at No. 5. FSU has a Championship Drive Rating of 94.3, OSU has a 93.3. While both teams are 11-0, Florida State has controlled in-game win probability (84.6 percent to 81.2) more and has played a slightly tougher schedule (81st to 86th).

DUKE: At 9-2, Duke has already tied its most wins in season (most recently done in 1941) and will be going for its first 10-win season. Duke is looking for its first conference championship since 1989 (co-champion in ACC). The Blue Devils have won seven straight games for the first time since 1994 and are looking for their first eight-game winning streak since 1941 (won nine in a row).

NORTH CAROLINA: The Tar Heels are 21-2 against Duke in their last 23 meetings, but they dropped last year's contest in Durham, N.C. They have not lost consecutive contests to the Blue Devils since dropping three in a row from 1987-89.

WAKE FOREST: The Demon Deacons will play their final game Saturday at Vanderbilt, but they have a few records worth aiming for. Jim Grobe remains tied with "Peahead" Walker for the most wins as a head coach in school history with 77. And quarterback Tanner Price (64 total TDs -- 52 passing, 11 rushing, one receiving) remains one off the school record of 65 career touchdowns held by Riley Skinner (60 passing, four rushing, one receiving).

MARYLAND: Following Alex Amidon’s 74-yard touchdown reception for BC, linebacker Marcus Whitfield blocked the ensuing point-after attempt. Defensive back Anthony Nixon grabbed the ball and went 98 yards for the defensive extra point. It marked the first time in program history that the Terrapins have scored a defensive extra point and it is the first defensive extra point scored by an ACC team since Duke’s Kyler Brown intercepted a two-point attempt against FIU on Sept. 1, 2012. Whitfield is the first Terp to block a PAT since A.J. Francis did it against Georgia Tech on Nov. 3, 2012.

NC STATE: With the exception of one game (vs. No. 2 Florida State), Wolfpack conference games have been relatively competitive. In the Wolfpack's other ACC contests, the average difference in the score after the third quarter has been just 7.1 points. In only one game (vs. then-No. 3 Clemson) did the Pack trail by more than a touchdown, and that was only by 13 points following the third quarter.

GEORGIA TECH: Senior A-back Robert Godhigh is one of the nation’s most explosive all-around players. The 5-foot-7 former walk-on has 961 yards from scrimmage (623 rush, 338 catch), and his average of 13 yards per play leads all FBS running backs. 55 percent of his offensive touches result in rst downs or touchdowns. Godhigh has 13 plays from scrimmage of 30-plus yards, which is the fth-most among all FBS players. Of Godhigh’s 961 yards, 389 yards (40.5 percent) have come after contact.

BOSTON COLLEGE: Andre Williams has gained 958 of his FBS-leading 2,073 yards after contact, 254 more such yards than any other AQ running back. Only 35 FBS players have more total rushing yards than Williams has after contact. Williams has broken 28 tackles this season, seven more than any other AQ running back.

SYRACUSE: The Orange have played BC 46 times, the fifth-most frequent opponent in school history. Syracuse owns the series record, 28-18, including an 18-6 mark at home. The old Big East rivals have not met since 2010, when the Eagles won 16-7. A win Saturday would make Syracuse bowl-eligible for the third time in four years. Syracuse is one of three teams (Ohio State and Wisconsin) to not allow a 100-yard rusher this season, though it will certainly get a test from Williams.

VIRGINIA TECH: Florida's nation-best streak of 22 straight bowl appearances will be snapped, meaning the Hokies will be the new leaders, as they will go to their 21st straight bowl this postseason. Opponents have failed to gain a first down on 49 percent of their drives against the Hokies, the highest percentage in the nation. Virginia Tech is also fourth nationally in fewest yards allowed before contact per game on designed runs, giving up just 52.5 ypg.

VIRGINIA: The Cavaliers' eight-game losing streak is their longest in a single season since 1975. They actually outgained Miami by a margin of 483-304, but they were hurt by the Hurricanes' two defensive touchdowns. They are 37-52-5 all-time against Virginia Tech, but the important number to keep an eye on is 32, as Virginia has scored at least that much in each of its last seven Commonwealth Cup wins dating back to 1989.

CLEMSON: Tajh Boyd's five touchdown passes in a 52-6 Senior Day win over The Citadel gave him 102 for his career. The only other active quarterbacks in the FBS with 100 career touchdown passes are Georgia’s Aaron Murray and Old Dominion’s Taylor Heinicke. But the biggest challenge for Boyd comes Saturday at South Carolina, which is 4-0 against the Tigers during Boyd's career, with Clemson failing to score more than 17 points in any of the contests.

ACC predictions: Week 14

November, 27, 2013
11/27/13
9:00
AM ET
Andrea and Heather each went 7-2 last week, so AA retains her one-game lead in the standings with a 78-21 overall record. We disagree on a few games this week.

Now on to the picks!

Friday

Miami (8-3, 4-3) at Pitt (6-5, 3-4), 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC. #MIAvsPITT. The Canes need a victory for their first nine-win season since 2009 and to keep their slim Coastal Division hopes alive. But they are banged up in the secondary and continue to have problems stopping the run. That could end up being what cures the ailing Pitt offense, which did just enough to beat Syracuse last week and clinch bowl eligibility. Aaron Donald plays his final game at home, too, and will help the Panthers stuff the Miami run, which has been mostly ineffective since losing Duke Johnson for the season.

Andrea Adelson picks: Pitt 24, Miami 21

Heather Dinich picks: Pitt 24, Miami 21

Saturday

No. 2 Florida State (11-0) at Florida (4-7), noon ET, ESPN. #FSUvsUF. The only question heading into this game is how badly the Seminoles are going to beat the sliding Gators, who lost to FCS Georgia Southern a week ago. Injuries have taken a toll at Florida at just about every position on the field, including quarterback, where Tyler Murphy remains questionable. It seems a near certainty that Florida State will set a record with 40-plus points scored for the 12th consecutive game.

AA picks: Florida State 40, Florida 10

HD picks: Florida State 52, Florida 3

No. 24 Duke (9-2, 5-2) at North Carolina (6-5, 4-3), noon ET, ESPN2. #DUKEvsUNC. This is one of the toughest games to call on the weekend. Duke has proven itself to be worthy of a Coastal Division championship with seven straight wins -- including victories over Miami and Virginia Tech. North Carolina is surging, too, with five straight wins to clinch bowl eligibility.

AA picks: Duke 31, North Carolina 28: This game is going to come down to the fourth quarter, where the Duke defense has been stellar, allowing 34 total points all season. The Duke D will be the difference, getting the Blue Devils to the ACC championship game.

HD picks: North Carolina 28, Duke 24: Duke has been a fourth-quarter team, but a slow start this Saturday will be the difference. The Tar Heels, energized by their winning streak, Senior Day and what will be the final home game for standout tight end Eric Ebron, will jump out to an early lead and be too much for another heroic comeback by the Blue Devils. Marquise Williams will have the edge at quarterback, Ebron will close his career in Chapel Hill with a bang and the Coastal Division title will fall into the hands of Virginia Tech.

Wake Forest (4-7, 2-6) at Vanderbilt (7-4, 4-4), 12:21 p.m. ET, GamePlan. #WAKEvsVANDY. The Deacs have lost four games in a row and will not be going to a bowl game for the fourth time in five seasons. Wake Forest's defense has played well enough to win in a majority of its games this year, but the offense has not been able to get out of its own way. Vanderbilt has a clear edge in this game at just about every position and should not have any problems getting the win.

AA picks: Vanderbilt 35, Wake Forest 17

HD picks: Vanderbilt 28, Wake Forest 17

Maryland (6-5, 2-5) at NC State (3-8, 0-7), 12:30 p.m. ET, GamePlan. #MDvsNCST. AA picked NC State on a flyer last week to beat East Carolina, then watched the Wolfpack confirm their status as one of the worst teams in the ACC. We have no doubt NC State is going to be supremely motivated to avoid a winless season in ACC play, on Senior Day no less. But the Wolfpack have been unable to overcome their major issues at quarterback, while Maryland is much more stable with C.J. Brown under center.

AA picks: Maryland 31, NC State 20

HD picks: Maryland 28, NC State 21

Georgia (7-4, 5-3 SEC) at Georgia Tech (7-4, 5-3), 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC. #UGAvsGT. The Bulldogs have dealt with injury issues all season, and now they have to go up against Georgia Tech without starting quarterback Aaron Murray, who is out for the season with a torn ACL.

AA picks: Georgia 35, Georgia Tech 31: But it might not be as dire as it seems. Backup quarterback Hutson Mason helped the Georgia offense gain 309 yards on 37 plays in a lopsided win over Kentucky last week after Murray's injury. Mason had two scores himself. Todd Gurley also is in the backfield, which is huge for Mason and the entire offense. Georgia Tech is much better than Kentucky, but the Jackets have only beaten one team with seven or more victories this season (Duke, back in September).

HD picks: Georgia Tech 31, Georgia 28: Yes, Georgia has Gurley, but it doesn’t have its quarterback. Mason, who has 82 career passing attempts, is the next man up, and he’ll be facing a Georgia Tech defense that has made significant strides under Ted Roof and is led by Jeremiah Attaochu, whose 27 career sacks are the third-most by any active FBS player. The Jackets’ answer to Gurley will be Robert Godhigh, who leads all FBS running backs with 13 yards per play. Paul Johnson is 1-5 all-time against Georgia, including one loss as coach at Georgia Southern. With Murray out, this is the game in which Johnson starts to improve that record.

Boston College (7-4, 4-3) at Syracuse (5-6, 3-4), 3:30 p.m. ET, GamePlan. #BCvsCUSE. The teams revive their Big East rivalry as ACC teams in the same division. Syracuse needs a victory to become the 11th bowl-eligible team in the ACC, but faces a formidable task of trying to slow down Andre Williams, the top rusher in the nation with 2,073 yards. What makes the Eagles' running game so effective is their ability to wear down teams in the fourth quarter. Williams also has broken more tackles than any back from an automatic-qualifying conference, despite typically facing a loaded box. Expect more of the same this week.

AA picks: Boston College 28, Syracuse 21

HD picks: Boston College 27, Syracuse 21

Virginia Tech (7-4, 4-3) at Virginia (2-9, 0-7), 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU. #VTvsUVA. The Hokies had a bye week, after their tough loss to Maryland, to prepare for their in-state rivals. They need a victory in this game and a Duke loss to keep ACC Coastal Division hopes alive. Virginia, meanwhile, needs a victory to avoid its worst season since 1982, when the Cavaliers finished 2-9 under first-year coach George Welsh. Virginia Tech has won nine in a row in the series and has the clear edge on defense.

AA picks: Virginia Tech 30, Virginia 7

HD picks: Virginia Tech 28, Virginia 24

No. 6 Clemson (10-1, 7-1) at No. 10 South Carolina (9-2, 6-2 SEC), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2. #CLEMvsSC. Tajh Boyd and his teammates do not need anybody to tell them what is on the line. They need a victory, and they need it badly. South Carolina has looked beatable for most of the season, but Connor Shaw is one of the guttiest quarterbacks in America and a healthy Mike Davis is one of the toughest runners the Tigers will face this season.

AA picks: South Carolina 30, Clemson 28: I give the edge to Jadeveon Clowney and his linemates against the Clemson offensive line, and they will be the difference in the game.

HD picks: Clemson 31, South Carolina 28. For the first time in four games, Clemson will not lose the turnover battle. (South Carolina overall has won in that key statistic 9-3 in the past four meetings.) For the first time in three games, Boyd will have the upper hand – and the pass protection he needs to do it (he’s been sacked 14 times for minus-15 yards). The one thing that won’t change too much is that Clemson will continue to struggle to run the ball against the Gamecocks. But Boyd will stay on his feet long enough to sustain drives and snap a four-game losing streak in the series.

ACC predictions: Week 13

November, 21, 2013
11/21/13
9:00
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Hard to believe that only two weeks remain in the regular season. Andrea is clinging to a one-game lead on Heather in the overall predictions standings at 71-20, after they each went 4-2 last week. Neither saw Maryland coming into Blacksburg, Va., and upsetting Virginia Tech. Bet we were not alone there.

On to the picks!

OLD DOMINION (8-3) at NORTH CAROLINA (5-5), noon, ESPN3. #ODUvsUNC. The Tar Heels are going for their fifth straight win and bowl eligibility against a team that is 0-2 against ACC competition already this year. Old Dominion has put up some points this season, but the Tar Heels' D has been vastly improved in this recent winning streak and will be able to shut the Monarchs down. With another punt return for score, Ryan Switzer would tie the ACC single-season record.

AA picks: North Carolina 40, Old Dominion 17

HD's pick: North Carolina 44, Old Dominion 24

DUKE (8-2, 4-2) at WAKE FOREST (4-6, 2-5), noon, ESPN2. #DUKEvsWF. Before winning last season, Duke had lost 12 straight games to the Deacs. But the Blue Devils today are the superior program, with better athletes all the way around. They have successfully used two quarterbacks all season, and their defense is filled with young talent and playmakers at linebacker. Duke is 3-0 on the road and should pick up another win against an offensively challenged Deacs team still trying to find some answers with Michael Campanaro out.

AA picks: Duke 35, Wake Forest 20

HD's pick: Duke 24, Wake Forest 21

CITADEL (5-6) at No. 7 CLEMSON (9-1), noon, ESPN3. #CITvsCLEM. It's senior day at Clemson, giving the Tigers the opportunity to honor Tajh Boyd and his fellow seniors. The question is just how much Boyd will play after bruising his collarbone last week, especially with a big game looming next week against South Carolina. Coach Dabo Swinney says he prefers to have an FCS opponent in this slot, giving the Tigers ample time to prepare for their in-state nemesis.

AA picks: Clemson 56, The Citadel 3

HD's pick: Clemson 45, The Citadel 10

VIRGINIA (2-8, 0-6) at MIAMI (7-3, 3-3), noon, ESPNU. #UVAvsMIA. Miami's issues against UVa are common knowledge, so this game sets up to be closer than what some might anticipate. Plus, the Hurricanes have lost three straight after a 7-0 start and have seen their defense drop off considerably. Virginia does not scream offensive juggernaut, but neither did Virginia Tech and the Hokies racked up 42 points in a win two weeks ago. The Hoos have a solid back in Kevin Parks, No. 3 in the ACC in rushing, and a good tight end in Jake McGee, who will make some plays, but ultimately, Stephen Morris and the Miami offense will make a few more plays to win.

AA picks: Miami 28, Virginia 27

HD's pick: Miami 34, Virginia 24

EAST CAROLINA (8-2) at NC STATE (3-7), ESPN3. #ECUvsNCST. The Pirates took down North Carolina earlier this year, nearly beat Virginia Tech, and go into this game as the favorites. NC State has looked like a ragged bunch, losing six straight in its worst season since 2006. There is no doubt East Carolina has the much better quarterback, as Shane Carden has turned in an outstanding season. But NC State is going to find a way to dig deep and come out with a win thanks to a few big plays from its pass game.

AA picks: NC State 28, East Carolina 24

HD's pick: East Carolina 41, NC State 14: ECU is No. 10 in the country in scoring offense at 41.5 points per game, and Carden leads the No. 8 passing offense in the country. The Pirates undoubtedly have the edge at quarterback, as NC State has struggled with both Brandon Mitchell and Pete Thomas. The two have combined for 15 interceptions and five touchdowns. Carden threw that many TDs by himself last week. If North Carolina was embarrassed by the Pirates at home, there’s no reason to believe the Wolfpack will fare much better. ECU is a solid eight-win team that, unlike NC State, is bowl eligible.

PITT (5-5, 2-4) at SYRACUSE (5-5, 3-3), 12:30 p.m., ESPN3. #PITTvsCUSE. This game is a toss-up, as is nearly every league game these two teams have played this season (excluding Clemson and Florida State). Both are coming off losses, and both need one win for bowl eligibility. The problem for the Panthers is they have no real identity on offense. Syracuse does, and that is pounding the football. The Orange will get enough out of their run game and keep Aaron Donald at bay to win a close one.

AA picks: Syracuse 24, Pitt 23

HD's pick: Syracuse 21, Pitt 17

ALABAMA A&M (4-7) at GEORGIA TECH (6-4), 1:30 p.m., ESPN3. #AAMUvsGT. Like Clemson and Florida State, Georgia Tech also gets a warm-up game before it closes with its in-state rival next week. Coach Paul Johnson says the focus is on getting better at what his team does this week. You can bet Robert Godhigh will have another terrific performance, following his 100-yard rushing/100-yard receiving day against Clemson. Godhigh is on pace to set the ACC mark for highest average yards per carry, currently at 9.5.

AA picks: Georgia Tech 55, Alabama A&M 3

HD's pick: Georgia Tech 56, Alabama A&M 10

IDAHO (1-9) at No. 2 FLORIDA STATE (10-0), 3:30 p.m., ESPNU. #IDAHOvsFSU. Once again, the question is how long will Jimbo Fisher keep his starters in, especially with a bigger game against rival Florida looming. This also seems as good a time as any to get backup quarterback Sean Maguire some reps. Idaho is one of the worst teams in the entire country, and this game should be out of hand by the end of the first quarter.

AA picks: Florida State 65, Idaho 0

HD's pick: FSU 72, Idaho 3

BOSTON COLLEGE (6-4, 3-3) at MARYLAND (6-4, 2-4), 3:30 p.m., ESPN3. #BCvsMD. This may have been the toughest game to pick this week. Maryland is coming off an impressive win at Virginia Tech, while Andre Williams has put together two straight games of incredible performances. So which direction will this game go? It is hard to pick against the Eagles given what Williams and the offensive line have done this season. Simply put, they have worn the opposition down. Maryland has had injuries to contend with on defense, so I think BC will end up wearing the Terps down in the end.

AA picks: BC 24, Maryland 21

HD's pick: Maryland 21, Boston College 17: This game could go either way, but with it being the final home game in Byrd Stadium, it was hard to pick against the Terps. More importantly, Maryland has fared well this year in stopping the run, and is ranked No. 30 in the country in rushing defense, holding opponents to 139.8 yards per game. Boston College has made its living this fall with its running game, and Williams is certainly no secret. The Terps will be looking to slow down the ACC’s all-time single-season rushing leader, and they’ve also got the advantage in quarterback with C.J. Brown.

ACC helmet stickers: Week 10

November, 3, 2013
11/03/13
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Florida State delivered another big pitch for a BCS championship bid, Virginia Tech's spiral continued, Georgia Tech locked up bowl eligibility, and North Carolina and Syracuse took big steps toward doing the same. But these are the top individual performances of Week 10 in the ACC.

Florida State tailback Devonta Freeman: On a night when Jameis Winston was off his game -- for him, 325 yards and one touchdown constitutes an off night -- the ground game picked up the slack for FSU, and the rushing attack was led by Freeman. The Miami native had 176 yards of offense and scored three TDs. His 48-yard receiving touchdown was the game's highlight, but he delivered a series of punishing blows running the football that set the tone in a physical rivalry game.

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd: His 33-yard scoring throw to Sammy Watkins to open the game gave Boyd 113 touchdown passes for his career, passing former NC State QB Philip Rivers as the ACC's all-time leader. Boyd didn't stop there. He finished the game 24-of-29 for 377 yards and three TDs (plus a fourth touchdown on the ground), including a 96-harder to Watkins on the first drive of the third quarter that ended Boyd's afternoon. For his part, Watkins finished the game with eight catches for 169 yards, too.

Boston College defensive end Kasim Edebali: All due respect to tailback Andre Williams, who had another stellar performance with 33 carries for 166 yards and two touchdowns, but it was the BC defense that was the story in Saturday's win over Virginia Tech. The Eagles forced four turnovers, including a 33-yard interception return for a score by Kevin Pierre-Louis. But of all the big performances on D, Edebali may have been the most impressive. The senior finished with a game-high eight tackles, including three for a loss with two sacks. Edebali also broke up a pass and forced three fumbles.

Georgia Tech running back Robert Godhigh: The Yellow Jackets are going bowling once again, picking up win No. 6 against Pitt on Saturday. It was a solid overall performance for Georgia Tech, but Godhigh was the showstopper. The senior running back racked up 89 yards on just six carries, including two touchdowns. Godhigh has emerged as a big-play threat in the past two weeks, totaling 247 yards of offense (and three TDs) on just 13 touches. Godhigh had scores of 33 and 11 yards Saturday.

Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald: The Panthers did little on offense against Georgia Tech, but Donald was so good on defense, he deserves a helmet sticker even in a losing effort. Donald finished with 11 tackles -- all solo -- including a whopping six for a loss. Donald had a sack and forced two fumbles in the effort, too.

ACC helmet stickers: Week 9

October, 27, 2013
10/27/13
9:00
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In a week of sluggish performances around the ACC, a handful of players stood out, carrying their teams to much-needed wins. Here are the five who made the biggest impact.

Miami running back Duke Johnson: Twice on Saturday the Hurricanes' undefeated season appeared doomed, and twice Johnson responded with a game-saving run. The sophomore finished with 168 yards on 30 carries -- eight more than his previous career high -- and scored twice in the fourth quarter to help Miami sneak past Wake Forest. The Hurricanes took their first lead of the game with 5:36 left on a 51-yard TD drive in which Johnson carried six times for 44 yards. Wake responded with a score of its own, but Johnson clinched the win by carrying seven times for 42 yards, including the 1-yard go-ahead TD.

Duke linebacker David Helton: On a day when the Blue Devils' offense struggled mightily, it was Helton and the defense that came up with one big play after another. Helton finished with a game-high 19 tackles -- he was one of three Duke defenders with double-digit tackles -- and deflected a Logan Thomas pass on Virginia Tech's final drive that was picked off by Kelby Brown. Brown's INT was one of four by the Blue Devils, and he finished the game with 14 tackles.

Florida State receiver Rashad Greene: Jameis Winston was sharp once again, throwing three TD passes in Florida State's win over NC State, but plenty of credit is due to his receiving corps, which was led, once again, by Greene. The junior finished with eight catches for 137 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown grab. It's Greene's fourth 100-yard game of the year. Seven of his eight catches went for Florida State first downs.

Clemson's Sammy Watkins and Roderick McDowell: The Tigers rebounded from last week's devastating loss to Florida State and this week's slow start against Maryland largely because of two of their best offensive weapons. Watkins caught a career-high 14 passes for 163 yards, while McDowell carried the ground game, rushing 30 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns.

Georgia Tech running backs: The Yellow Jackets had three runners top 100 yards in their win over Virginia, led by junior Zach Laskey, who rushed 16 times for 133 yards and two touchdowns. David Sims scored twice as well, and finished with 107 yards on 12 carries, while Robert Godhigh's 65-yard TD run highlighted a five-carry, 111-yard performance. The 394 rushing yards matched a season high for Georgia Tech, while Jemea Thomas (15 tackles) and the defense sealed the game.

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