The skinny Archive


UNC’s Green honored as weekly ACC defensive back winner

Dominquie Green.

Dominquie Green.

Florida State senior Rashad Greene leads the first Atlantic Coast Conference Football Player of the Week selections of the 2014 season. Greene was named the ACC Receiver of the Week following his performance in the top-ranked Seminoles’ 37-31 win over Oklahoma State in Saturday night’s season opener.

Greene, who had 11 receptions for a career-high 203 yards and a touchdown, was one of two Seminoles to earn weekly honors, as FSU defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. was recognized as the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week.

North Carolina safety Dominquie Green was named the ACC Co-Defensive Back of the Week.

CO-DEFENSIVE BACK – Dominquie Green, North Carolina, So., S, 5-11, 190, Laurinburg, N.C.

Green recovered three fumbles and returned one for 20 yards to set up a touchdown in UNC’s 56-29 win over Liberty. Green’s three fumble recoveries were part of six turnovers the Tar Heels gained in the win (four fumble recoveries, two interceptions). A year ago, Carolina recovered just seven fumbles all season.

Pitt and Louisville both joined the Seminoles in having two players recognized. Panthers running back James Conner was named the ACC Offensive Back of the Week, while senior guard Matt Rotheram earned ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors following a 62-0 win over Delaware. Louisville safety James Sample was named the ACC Co-Defensive Back of the Week, and kick returner Corvin Lamb shared the ACC Specialist of the Week honor after the Cardinals made their ACC debut with a 31-13 win over Miami on Monday night.

Virginia’s Henry Coley earned Linebacker of the Week honors, while Virginia Tech running back Shai McKenzie was named the ACC Rookie of the Week, and Syracuse kicker Riley Dixon joined Louisville’s Lamb as Co-Specialist of the Week.

OFFENSIVE BACK – James Conner, Pitt, So., RB, 6-2, 250, Erie, Pa.
Conner was the catalyst in Pitt’s 62-0 opening day win over Delaware. The sophomore tailback rushed for 153 yards on just 14 carries – an average of nearly 11 yards per attempt – and ran for four touchdowns. Conner, who was not tackled behind the line of scrimmage on any of his carries, is tied for the national scoring lead with an average of 24.0 points per game. His performance helped the Panthers achieve their largest margin of victory in a season opener since 1913 (67-0 over Ohio Northern).

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Matt Rotheram, Pitt, Sr., G, 6-6, 335, North Olmsted, Ohio

Rotheram was Pitt’s top offensive grader in the season opener, helping the Panthers roll up 409 rushing yards (7.3 yards per attempt) and seven rushing TDs. Pitt’s rushing total was its highest single-game effort since the Tony Dorsett era of the mid-1970s. Pitt running backs were not dropped for a loss on any of their 56 carries against Delaware.

RECEIVER – Rashad Greene, Florida State, Sr., WR, 6-0, 178, Albany, Ga.

Greene had 11 catches for a career-best 203 yards and a touchdown in the Seminoles’ 37-31 victory over Oklahoma State. Greene’s yardage total was the best by any “Power Five” conference player and the second-best overall in the country. His 50-yard catch-and-run TD with just under four minutes left in the fourth quarter gave FSU a 37-24 lead. In his last two games, Greene has 20 catches for 350 yards – dating back to last season’s BCS Championship.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Mario Edwards Jr., Florida State, Jr., DE, 6-3, 294, Gautier, Miss.

Edwards had had four tackles, a sack and a pass breakup in the Seminoles’ victory over Oklahoma State. Edwards’ fourth-quarter sack was a vital play as it came with FSU holding a 27-24 lead. The sack resulted in a 14-yard loss and killed the Cowboys’ momentum. Edwards’ pressure on the quarterback helped limit OSU’s potent passing attack (335 yards per game the last four years) to just 203 yards. He played every defensive snap for the Seminoles.

LINEBACKER – Henry Coley, Virginia, Sr., MLB, 6-2, 230, Virginia Beach, Va.

Coley spearheaded a defensive effort that only allowed seven points by UCLA’s offense in the Cavaliers’ hard-fought 28-20 loss to the seventh-ranked Bruins. Coley led UVa with 14 tackles, two sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, forced one fumble and broke up one pass. He had nine solo tackles. The signal caller for Virginia’s defensive front, Coley made the formation calls that allowed the Cavaliers to sack UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley and force him out of the pocket numerous times. UCLA averaged 3.0 rushing yards per carry and was just 7-for-18 on third down conversions. UCLA drives totaled 25 yards or less on 11 of 16 possessions.

CO-DEFENSIVE BACK – James Sample, Louisville, Jr., S, 6-2, 191, Sacramento, Calif.

Sample led the team in tackles with eight and also recorded an interception that stopped a potential Miami scoring drive. The Louisville defense held the Hurricanes to 244 yards of total offense in the 31-13 win.

CO-SPECIALIST – Riley Dixon, Syracuse, Sr., P, 6-5, 219, Blossvale, N.Y.

Dixon, who also serves as the Orange holder, threw what proved to be the game-winning touchdown pass to Kendall Moore in the second overtime of SU’s 27-26 victory against Villanova. On fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Syracuse faked a field goal. Dixon rolled left and threw the first TD pass of his career to give the Orange a 27-20 advantage. The Orange defense rose up on the Wildcats’ second OT possession, denying Villanova’s potential game-winning, two-point conversion. In addition to the touchdown, Dixon punted five times for 217 yards (43.4 avg.) with a long of 51 yards. He placed two of his kicks inside the 20. ​

CO-SPECIALIST – Corvin Lamb, Louisville, R-Jr., 5-9, 290, Miami, Fla.

In the Cardinals’ first game as member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Lamb returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown to help spark Louisville to a 31-13 win over visiting Miami on Monday night. The 97-yard kickoff return tied for the fifth-longest in school history.

ROOKIE – Shai McKenzie, Virginia Tech, Fr., RB, 5-11, 212, Washington, Pa.

In his first game action, the true freshman rushed for 106 yards on just nine carries (11.8 yards per carry) with a 39-yard touchdown in the Hokies’ 34-9 win over William & Mary.


Duke lacrosse coach speaks at Raleigh Sports Club

John Danowski.

John Danowski.

Duke lacrosse coach John Danowski will speak at Wednesday’s Raleigh Sports Club luncheoon at Bradley Hall in Highland United Methodist Church at 1901 Ridge Road..

Cemented as one of the top coaches in college lacrosse, Danowski has helped lead the Duke men’s lacrosse team to unprecedented success during his seven-year tenure. Danowski was introduced as Duke’s eighth head men’s lacrosse coach on July 21, 2006 and quickly led the Blue Devils to some of the most successful lacrosse seasons in school history and to a pair of NCAA Championships in four seasons.

The RSC will honor local high school student Michael Rubino, the kicker on Middle Creek High School’s football team, as the Student Athlete of the Week.

Buffet lines open at 11:30 a.m. and the meeting is from noon until 1 p.m. Attendance fee for members is $15 while guest fee is $25.

The annual membership fee is $70, which helps to fund the club’s scholarship fund. Each week from late August to early April meetings include a Southern buffet, door prizes, pick sheets and introduction to a deserving Student Athlete as well as hearing from a prominent sports figure as our guest speaker.
Raleigh Sports Club Membership Form


CBS pokes a little fun at NC State’s new uniforms

stateuniforms“Now, if you’re a North Carolina State fan, who just saw your team go 0-8 in the ACC last year, you could sit there and ponder what such a narrow escape means for the 2014 season OR you could look at some new black alternate uniforms,” writes CBS college football writer Tom Fornelli

To see more, please click here.


Fan guide to UNC’s home opener vs. Liberty

unclibertyNorth Carolina opens its 124th college football season on Saturday, Aug. 30, when the Tar Heels host Liberty of the Big South Conference at 6 p.m. It’s the season opener for a pair of teams looking to build off the momentum of strong finishes from a year ago. Carolina won six of its last seven in 2013, including a 39-17 win over Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl, while the Flames reeled off five straight victories to end the year.

Saturday’s game is the first meeting between Carolina and Liberty on the gridiron. The two institutions squared off in the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 1994 with the No. 1 Tar Heels prevailing, 71-51.

Carolina is 1-1 in season openers under head coach Larry Fedora. In 2012, the Tar Heels knocked off Elon, 63-0, in Fedora’s debut as UNC’s coach. Last year, Carolina fell at No. 6 South Carolina on a Thursday night in Columbia, 27-10. A win over Liberty would be Fedora’s 50th as a head coach.

Carolina has won five of its last seven season openers. All five came against FCS competition.

Liberty is coached by Turner Gill, who is in his third season with the Flames. Gill previously was the head coach at Buffalo and Kansas.

Records: North Carolina 0-0, Liberty 0-0
Rankings: Carolina is ranked No. 23 in both the AP poll and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Liberty is receiving votes in the Sports Network FCS Top 25.
TV: ESPN3 (click to watch). Ryan Rose (play-by-play), Forrest Conoly (analyst) and Angela Mallen (sideline) have the call.
Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network (click to listen), a division of Learfield Communications. Jones Angell (play-by-play), Ethan Albright (analyst) and Lee Pace (sideline) have the call.
Twitter: @TarHeelFootball, @CoachFedora | @LibertyFootball, @LibertyTGill

• Carolina is ranked No. 23 in both The Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Top 25 Polls. It is the first time the Tar Heels have been ranked since 2010. That year, Carolina began the season No. 18 in the AP poll, but lost to No. 21 LSU in the season opener in Atlanta.
• Carolina had just six scholarship seniors on its 2014 training camp roster and just one senior starter on offense – tight end Jack Tabb.
• Carolina’s offensive line has just 43 starts to its credit led by junior offensive guard Landon Turner with 17. Jon Heck started all 13 games last year at right tackle and Caleb Peterson started 12 at left guard. Offensive tackle Kiaro Holts started one game in 2012 vs. Idaho.
• Carolina looks to continue its outstanding special teams play from a year ago. In 2013, the Tar Heels ranked first in the country in punt returns, 10th in net punting and 19th in kickoff returns.


Notre Dame favored to win ACC men’s soccer title; Heels third

notredamesoccerDefending national champion Notre Dame is the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s soccer preseason favorite, according to a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches.

The Irish were named by six coaches as this year’s team to beat, followed by Virginia with three first-place votes, North Carolina with two, and Louisville with one.

Notre Dame, with 64 points, was also named by six coaches as the favorite in the Coastal Division, edging out 2013 Men’s College Cup participant Virginia, which had four first-place votes and 62 points. North Carolina (53 points) received two nods for the division and was picked third, followed by Duke (37), Virginia Tech (23), and Pitt (13).

League newcomer Louisville was picked as the Atlantic Division favorite, receiving nine of a possible 12 first-place votes while totaling 69 total points. Wake Forest (57 points) and Clemson (50) both collected first-place votes, and are followed in the poll by NC State (30), Boston College (26), and Syracuse (20).

A national-best six ACC squads earned NCAA bids in 2013. Three advanced to the NCAA College Cup, marking the 13th straight year with at least one league team in the semifinals. Notre Dame’s championship marked the sixth title by an ACC team in the last nine years and the 16th in league history.

The 2014 season, which gets underway on Friday, Aug. 29, marks the first for the league under a divisional format. Each team will play every other squad in its division, plus three crossover games. The two division winners are guaranteed one of the top two seeds for the ACC Championship.

The 10-team ACC Championship will be held in early November, with first round games slated for Wednesday, Nov. 5, quarterfinals for Sunday, Nov. 9, semifinals on Friday, Nov. 14, and the championship on Sunday, Nov. 16. The first round and quarterfinals will be held at campus sites, with the semifinals and final at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.


(first place votes)

Overall Champion
Notre Dame (6)
Virginia (3)
North Carolina (2)
Louisville (1)

Atlantic Division
1. Louisville (9) 69
2. Wake Forest (2) 57
3. Clemson (1) 50
4. NC State 30
5. Boston College 26
6. Syracuse 20

Coastal Division
1. Notre Dame (6) 64
2. Virginia (4) 62
3. North Carolina (2) 53
4. Duke 37
5. Virginia Tech 23
6. Pitt 13


UNC women’s soccer team picked to finish third in ACC

UNC coach Anson Dorrance.

UNC coach Anson Dorrance.

North Carolina’s women’s soccer team finds themselves in an unfamiliar situation. The Tar Heels, who open the season at home Friday night against Stanford, received just one first-place vote in a poll by the league’s 14 head coaches.

UNC did rank No. 8 in a national preseason poll issued by Top Drawer Soccer but that poll had the Tar Heels the fourth best ACC team, behind Virginia Tech.

Florida State was chosen to repeat as the Atlantic Coast Conference women’s soccer champion.

The Seminoles received eight first-place votes en route to 189 total points, followed by Virginia (five first-place votes, 183 points) and North Carolina (one first-place vote, 166 points).

Virginia Tech placed fourth in the voting, followed by Duke, Notre Dame and Wake Forest. Boston College placed eighth, followed by Clemson, Louisville, Syracuse, Miami, NC State and Pitt.

FSU, Virginia and Virginia Tech were all participants in the 2013 NCAA Women’s College Cup. A total of eight ACC teams were selected for last year’s NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship, including all four number-one seeds. It marked the first time in NCAA history that all four number one seeds had come from the same conference

Virginia leads the 2014 Coaches’ Preseason All-ACC Team with three selections among the 11 members, including 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy winner Morgan Brian. In addition to Brian, the preseason All-ACC teams features three more returning NSCAA All-Americans in Florida State’s Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Virginia’s Makenzy Doniak and Danielle Colaprico. Those four, along with Notre Dame’s Cari Roccaro and North Carolina’s Summer Green, were named to the 2014 MAC Hermann Watch List.

ACC teams are set to open regular-season play this Friday, with the first conference games slated for Friday, Sept. 19. The top four teams in the final league standings will advance to the ACC Championship, scheduled for Nov. 7 and Nov. 9 at the UNC Greensboro Soccer Stadium.

Preseason ACC Coaches Poll

1. Florida State (189 points, 8 first place votes)
2. Virginia (183, 5)
3. North Carolina (166, 1)
4. Virginia Tech (150)
5. Duke (135)
6. Notre Dame (128)
7. Wake Forest (104)
8. Boston College (95)
9. Clemson (79)
10. Louisville (72)
11. Syracuse (56)
12. Miami (44)
13. NC State (42)
14. Pitt (16)

Preseason All-ACC Team

Morgan Brian, Sr., M, Virginia
Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Sr., M, Florida State
Danielle Colaprico, Sr., M, Virginia
Makenzy Doniak, Jr., F, Virginia
Christina Gibbons, So., D, Duke
Summer Green, Jr., F, North Carolina
Kristin Grubka, Sr., D, Florida State
Stephanie McCaffrey, Sr., F, Boston College
Ashley Meier, Jr., M, Virginia Tech
Cari Roccaro, Jr., M/D, Notre Dame
Kailen Sheridan, So, GK, Clemson


McCraw, Rhodes lead West Raleigh to Ripken Series title

Team Southeast from West Raleigh, representing the USA, defeated Mexico 5-2 Saturday in the World Championship game of the 2014 Cal Ripken World Series. West Raleigh got all the runs it needed in the first inning. With a 1-0 lead, West Raleigh catcher Lane Rhodes slammed an opposite field three-run homer to right center to give the USA a 4-0 advantage. In the third, West Raleigh’s Nolan McClean lifted a […]

Garrett McCraw.

Garrett McCraw.

Team Southeast from West Raleigh, representing the USA, defeated Mexico 5-2 Saturday in the World Championship game of the 2014 Cal Ripken World Series.

West Raleigh got all the runs it needed in the first inning. With a 1-0 lead, West Raleigh catcher Lane Rhodes slammed an opposite field three-run homer to right center to give the USA a 4-0 advantage.

Lane Rhodes.

Lane Rhodes.

In the third, West Raleigh’s Nolan McClean lifted a fastball over the left center field wall to extend the lead to 5-0.

Mexico’s Jesus Castillo popped a two-run homer in the fourth to narrow the USA lead to 5-2. But West Raleigh’s pitcher Garrett McCraw buckled down and went on to toss a complete game while striking out seven Mexico batters. McCraw, who gave up only five hits, retired 10 batters in a row at one point. He also scored the first run of the game when Matthew Willadsen drove him in after he had delivered a bloop double.

With one on and two out in the final inning, Mexico’s Castillo’s ripped what looked like a single to right but outfielder McClean fielded it quickly and cleanly and fired to Penn Sealey at first to throw out Castillo to end the game.

West Raleigh has had a strong program for several years, appearing in the tournament numerous times, but it was the first time the team has won the World Series title. West Raleigh won the USA championship in 2004 and in 2013 but fell in the World Series International Game.

West Raleigh coach Ryan Holjes brushed aside tears as the players and fans celebrated the title. “This is unbelievable man, just unbelievable,” he said. “It’s surreal, it’s more than we could ever dreamed of.”

A U.S.-based team had not won the title since 2009.

The Cal Ripken World Series features teams of 11-year-old and 12-year-old baseball players from throughout the world playing in Aberdeen, Md.

The tournament is named after retired Orioles iron man Cal Ripken Jr. It’s similar to Little League except teams play on a field with 70-foot base paths and a 50-foot pitching distance as compared to Little League’s 60-foot base paths and a 46-foot pitching distance.

McCraw was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament as he sported a 3-0 tournament record along with two home runs. Rhodes was chosen as Most Outstanding Player in the championship game. Outfielder Paul Ryder was the Most Outstanding Player of the U.S. championship game Friday. He slugged a 3-run homer in West Raleigh’s 7-5 victory over Harford (Md.).


College football playoff to be exciting… and expensive

cfpSo it’s not exactly like having 64 (or 65) teams vying for a national championship in a tournament like basketball but those who have been clamoring for a playoff will see one for college football this season.

Four teams will face off in two bowls games with the two winners playing a national championship game Jan. 12 at North Texas.

This year and for the immediate future there will be three bowl games played on New Year’s Eve and three on New Year’s Day. The College Football Playoff Foundation hopes this not only keep bowls relevant but it starts a tradition of football watching on New Year’s Eve as well as New Year’s Day.

The semi-final playoff games this year will be on New Year’s Day while the games shift to New Year’s Eve next season.

The Sugar and Rose bowls will host the top four teams this season while the Orange and Cotton host next season and the Peach and Fiesta the year after that. The same combination of bowls will host the semi-finals for at least three more years after that.

A college bowl selection committee, rather than a computer system or a writer’s or coaches’ poll, will choose the top four teams to play for the national title. In addition to record, the blue ribbon panel will consider strength of schedule, head to head competition, results against common opponents and championships won.

The idea behind this entire plan, said Mike Kelly from the College Football Playoff group, is to keep the bowl tradition, not infringe on the academic calendar and still make the regular season count.

Revenues should double or triple what they were under the old BCS system, Kelly said. College Football Playoff merchandising income will go to the Foundation arm, which will support various related causes such as rewarding good teachers.

The championship game itself, which will be held 7-12 days after the semi-final games (this season on Jan. 12), will bring in substantial revenue as well. Tickets won’t be cheap at $450 each. Kelly notes that’s half of the price of a Super Bowl ticket. There will also be an entire championship game experience similar to the Super Bowl activities.

“Of course the ticket price for the CFP championship game had nothing to do with Super Bowl price,” Kelly said. “Last year’s national championship game was $385 at the Rose Bowl and that was proven to be below market value. With a new event and with a stadium of the highest quality we felt that going up to $450 was reasonable.”

In today’s climate, I suppose it could be considered reasonable but certainly not for the average family of four. ESPN will be the way to go for most families.

Look for the first College Football Playoff rankings from the committee to begin on Oct. 28 with the final rankings coming out after the conference championship games are complete.

There will be a selection Sunday similar to announcing the basketball tournament. Announcements will be made about the bowl matchups for the six bowls games on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, including the semi-finalists.

While the committee plans to keep lower ranked teams from getting a home-field edge, it could happen. For instance, with the games being at the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, consider the far-fetched example that if the top four teams in order are Notre Dame, Oregon, UCLA and Southern Cal.

Either Southern Cal or UCLA, both lower ranked teams, would get to play at the Rose Bowl. It will be interesting to see how the next three seasons play out.

Fiesta Bowl – Dec. 31
Orange Bowl – Dec. 31
Peach Bowl – Dec. 31
Cotton Bowl – Jan. 1
Rose Bowl – Jan. 1 (semi-final)
Sugar Bowl – Jan. 1 (semi-final)

Championship game at North Texas Jan. 12

Cotton Bowl – Dec. 31 (semi-final)
Orange Bowl – Dec. 31 (semi-final)
Peach Bowl – Dec. 31
Fiesta Bowl – Jan. 1
Rose Bowl – Jan. 1
Sugar Bowl – Jan. 1

Championship game at Arizona Jan. 11


State football not winning yet but making strides

statehelmetOk, NC State didn’t win a football game in ACC play a year ago but there appears to be excitement around the program heading into the 2014 season.

Wolfpack 2nd year coach Dave Doeren said the fans have been “very encouraging” and supportive.

“They want what we want and we want to give ‘em what they want,” Doeren said at the ACC Football Kickoff event Monday in Greensboro. “They were very appreciative of our recruiting efforts. And they came to the spring game and saw our progress. Now we need to go out and play.”

He tempered the enthusiasm a bit by adding that it’s going to take time. “It just is,” he said. “We inherited a team that didn’t have a lot of depth but we’re making a lot of progress – in a lot of areas.”

While rival North Carolina has been taking a beating over academic issues, Doeren is prideful about his team’s academic success and took plenty of time to take about it.

“We had the highest team GPA (a 2.71 grade point average) in the spring that they’ve had in 15 years,” he said adding that it’s the first time in the history of the football program that it hasn’t had a player ineligible going into the summer.”

I didn’t know such stats were kept but that is impressive. “Academically we’ve made a lot of strides,” Doeren said. “We continue to push guys off the field to make those strides. It puts us in a position where we’re not losing players… For instance, we have eight players in post-graduate programs right now, which is great.”

In addition to hiring an additional person to help with academics, the coaches have become very involved on a day-to-day basis, he said. They make sure they are on time for class and generally hold them accountable for academic excellence.

“We get information daily from our academic center and we communicate that information to our athletes and their parents,” Doeren said. “We have a hands-on approach academically with our team. I talk about it a lot – I demand it from them. It’s transparent.”

Doeren said in addition to seeing how much weight they can lift and how many squats they can do, their GPAs are recorded on the wall. “They don’t want to have bad information on the wall. It’s important for them to look good which is part of why we do it,” he said.

Another change this season will be the Wolfpack uniformly, primarily the helmet. “We have a lot of tradition with our uniform and I don’t take that lightly one bit,” Doeren said. “It’s important to respect your tradition. I also know that in today’s world and in recruiting, kids like to have some bling, some flash but I didn’t want it to take away from our tradition.”

The helmet maintains the red, gray and black coloring but not really much white. In addition, a wolf’s eyes peer out the back of the helmet. “It definitely honors the wolf,” Doeren said. “I thought it was a good blend of tradition and flare. Our players loved it.”

New matching uniforms will be coming in soon. Will the wins follow? One thing at a time.


FSU picked to win ACC title; Duke chosen 2nd in Coastal

accfootballDefending national champion Florida State is the consensus choice to repeat as Atlantic Division champion and defeat Miami in the 10th annual Dr Pepper Atlantic Coast Conference Football Championship Game, according to a poll of media members in attendance at the 2014 ACC Football Kickoff at Grandover Resort.

Reigning Heisman Trophy winner and Walter Camp National Player of the Year Jameis Winston, who led the Seminoles to an unbeaten season and their third national title as a redshirt freshman in 2013, was chosen to repeat as ACC Player of the Year.

Florida State was picked as the likely overall ACC winner on 104 of 112 ballots cast. The Seminoles were picked to finish atop the Atlantic Division by 109 voters and amassed 780 total points. Clemson received the remaining three-first-place votes and placed second with 660. ACC newcomer Louisville placed third at 564, followed by Syracuse (368), NC State (326), Boston College (301) and Wake Forest (136).

Miami’s 26 first-place votes placed third among Coastal Division teams, but the Hurricanes’ 614 total points led overall. Defending division champion Duke received 33 first-place votes and finished with 597 points, followed by Virginia Tech with 571 points and 23 first-place votes. North Carolina was just behind in fourth place with 570 points and 27 first-place votes, followed by Georgia Tech (322 with one first place vote), Pitt (319 with two first-place votes) and Virginia (142).

Winston is one of 15 returning starters for Florida State, which seeks its third straight ACC title. The Seminoles own 14 ACC football championships in 23 seasons as a conference member, tying Clemson for most league titles all-time.

This marks the third time in four years that the Seminoles have led the ACC media preseason voting. Florida State was also voted first in 2011 and 2012, and in each of its first 14 seasons after joining the ACC (1992 through 2005).

Winston led the preseason ACC Player of the Year balloting with 99 votes, followed by Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley with six. Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder, Miami running back Duke Johnson and Virginia Tech quarterback Brenden Motley received one vote apiece.

Last season saw Winston, of Bessemer, Alabama, become the youngest player to win the Heisman Trophy (19 years, 342 days) and just the second freshman to receive the honor. A dazzling playmaker, he led the Seminoles to a 14-0 record and engineered the game-winning drive in a 34-31 win over Auburn in the 2013 VIZIO BCS National Championship Game.

Named the offensive MVP of the national title game, Winston also received the Davey O’Brien Award and the Manning Award as the nation’s best quarterback after setting national freshman records for passing yards (4,057) and touchdown passed (40) in 2013. His pass efficiency rating of 184.8 set an ACC record and led the nation.

ACC Championship Votes

1. Florida State – 104

2. Clemson – 2

3. Virginia Tech – 2

(4 voters made no selection)

Atlantic Division

(First place votes in parenthesis)

1. Florida State (109) – 780

2. Clemson (3) – 660

3. Louisville – 564

4. Syracuse – 368

5. NC State – 326

6. Boston College – 301

7. Wake Forest – 136

Coastal Division

(First place votes in parenthesis)

1. Miami (26) – 614

2. Duke (33) – 597

3. Virginia Tech (23) – 571

4. North Carolina (27) – 570

5. Georgia Tech (1) – 322

6. Pitt (2) -319

7. Virginia -142

ACC Player of the Year

1. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State – 99

2. Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson – 6

3. Duke Johnson, RB, Miami – 1

4. Jamison Crowder, WR, Duke – 1

5. Brenden Motley, QB, Virginia Tech -1

(4 voters made no selection)