Duke Archive

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It’s Duke-Carolina football week but on Thursday night

dukecarolinafootballJust five days after evening its record at 5-5 with an exciting come-from-behind victory over Pitt, North Carolina travels to Durham to face the Blue Devils, who suffered a heartbreaking loss to Virginia Tech.

The Thursday, Nov. 20 game will be televised by ESPN and will kickoff at 7:45 p.m. from Wallace Wade Stadium.

Blue Devils still control their own fate as they try to capture another Coastal Division title and a trip to the Dr Pepper ACC Championship game in Charlotte.

Georgia Tech has finished their ACC campaign with a 6-2 conference record. If the Blue Devils win their next two games (North Carolina and Wake Forest) they will be the Coastal Division champions since they beat Tech in Atlanta in October.

It’s now time to put the Virginia Tech loss behind them and get ready for the job at hand.

At the end of the day, you have to get ready for North Carolina, especially on the short week,” said David Helton, Duke linebacker. “I think it might be a good thing that we have a game so soon, because it’s going to force us to really get our minds on our next game.”

Duke coach David Cutcliffe said he’s not sure how the team will respond. “It’s not just players, all of us as coaches will have the same challenge,” Cutcliffe said. “We’ve got to pick ourselves up and respond. We have no choice. We’re playing a North Carolina team that is a really good football team and we knew that before this game. Win or lose we knew that was the case. So we better just go get ourselves ready.”

The Tar Heels (5-5 overall, 3-3 ACC) are looking to end a two-game losing streak to Duke, which enters the game tied atop the ACC Coastal Division standings. The Tar Heels are one win away from bowl eligibility. UNC’s final two games come against its biggest rivals at Duke and home against NC State (Nov. 29).

Quarterback Marquise Williams leads the league’s third-highest scoring offense, which is averaging 35.9 points per game.
Williams ranks second in the league in total offense and is pushing for All-ACC honors.

Duke saw its four-game win streak come to a halt with a 17-16 loss at home to Virginia Tech last Saturday.

QUICK HITS
* With a win over Duke, Carolina will be bowl eligible for the second consecutive season and
sixth time in the last seven years.

*Carolina has won 11 of its last 12 games in Durham. The Tar Heels have won 21 of the last 24
against the Blue Devils, but have dropped the last two.

*QB Marquise Williams is second in the league in total offense, second in passing, fourth in scoring TDs and seventh in rushing.

*Carolina has scored 40 or more points in three of the last five games. The Tar Heels are third in
the ACC and 24th in the country averaging 35.9 points per game.

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Duke, Virginia Tech football going in opposite directions

dukefootballhelmetDuke is battling for a second straight ACC Coastal Division Championship, while Virginia Tech is languishing at the bottom of the division.

That doesn’t mean the Blue Devils expect an easy game Saturday when the Hokies travel to Wallace Wade Stadium. The Duke players and coaches still remember nine years of frustration in dealing with Virginia Tech – a losing streak that was only snapped by a narrow 13-10 margin a year ago in Blacksburg, Va.

Plus, for all their problems in ACC play, the Hokies did travel to Ohio State earlier this season and hand the Buckeyes their only defeat of the season.

“Virginia Tech has been open and, I’m sure, has gotten a little healthier,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “That’s an issue they’ve had to deal with all season as they’ve had a rash of critical injuries. It’s been tough on them. I expect to see a healthier team – a team that’s going to be highly motivated.”

Indeed, the Hokies need two wins in their final three games to become bowl eligible for the 22nd consecutive season.

Duke, which became bowl eligible for the third straight season by beating Virginia on Oct. 18, has its sights set on the division title. With three ACC games left to play, the Blue Devils are the only team in the division with just one loss.

In fact, it’s possible that Duke could clinch at least a tie for the division crown this Saturday, depending on the outcome of three games. First, Duke would have to beat Virginia Tech to get to 5-1 in ACC play. Then, Clemson would have to hand Georgia Tech its third ACC loss that afternoon in Atlanta. And, finally, unbeaten Florida State would need to hand Miami its third ACC loss that night in Miami, Fla.

But that’s not something the Blue Devils are focused on at the moment.

“It’s in the back of our minds,” senior Dezmond Johnson said when asked about the division race. “But it’s not something we think about. We can only win one game Saturday. That’s our focus right now.”

And the Duke veterans know enough to understand the issues Virginia Tech presents.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” quarterback Anthony Boone said, emphasizing the problems presented by legendary Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster.

“Bud Foster’s defense is a Bud Foster defense,” Boone said. “It’s pretty confusing. When it comes to coverages, they are not conventional. A lot of guys in different places. It’s kind of hard to track who’re safeties, who’re corners, who’re linebackers. He deals in confusion a little bit.

“He brings pressure. He puts those guys in good man-to-man coverage. They’re a great defense.”

Cutcliffe noted one other aspect of Virginia Tech’s team.

“This is a physical football team,” he said. “It’s been a physical war any time we play them. We have to step up to match them physically.”

A year ago, Virginia Tech limited Duke to a season low 198 total yards and forced four Blue Devil turnovers.

BEAMERBALL OR CUTCLIFFE-BALL

Virginia Tech is justly famous for their special teams excellence over the years – so much so that commentators have come up with a word to describe it: Beamerball.

But the fact is that over the last few years – especially this season – Duke has been the superior special teams team. In fact, the difference in last year’s game basically came down to the fact that Duke placekicker Ross Martin was 2-of-2 on field goals, connecting from 51 and 53 yards, while Virginia Tech placekicker Cody Journell missed 2-of-3 field goal tries.

So far this season, Martin has been perfect – 13-of-13 field goals and 38-of-38 extra points. He’s the only kicker in the ACC – and one of just three nationally – who hasn’t missed a kick this season.

And it’s not just Martin. DeVon Edwards leads the ACC in kickoff returns as Duke ranks second nationally in that category. Jamison Crowder just returned a punt for a touchdown to turn the Syracuse game around. Punter Will Monday currently has the seventh best career punting average in ACC history.

“We know we’re a unique team in that we’ve got a very experienced snapper and an outstanding one and an outstanding placekicker and an outstanding punter, an outstanding kickoff man and two REALLY outstanding return men with a lot of experience,” Cutcliffe said. “As we look at it, that’s probably one of the greatest strengths that this team has.

“It may be one of the greatest strengths I’ve been around in 39 years of coaching. That unit is as good as I been around.”

The ACC stats show that Duke is superior – and often far superior – to Virginia Tech in almost every category involving the kicking game. But Cutcliffe doesn’t put a lot of stock in those numbers.

“I don’t pay attention to statistical rankings,” he said. “I look at Virginia Tech and I know the athletes they have in their return game and I know the athletes they have on their punt team. I’m looking at big, physical fast people and the way they fly down the field.”

SIXTH YEAR FOR BROWN AND DEAVER

The Duke program got some very good news earlier this week, when the NCAA granted Kelby Brown and Braxton Deaver each a sixth year of eligibility.

“When I told our squad, the applause was incredibly loud,” Cutcliffe said. “That’s the commentary. [If you ask me] what it means to have them come back, you should have heard the squad.”

Both Brown and Deaver were preseason all-star candidates when they were hurt and sidelined for the season during preseason practice. It was particularly tragic since both players were sidelined during the 2012 season with season-long injuries.

Brown came back to earn first team All-ACC honor at linebacker in 2013. He was a preseason candidate for both the Butkus and the Bednarik awards. Deaver was the third-team All-ACC tight end in 2013, when he caught 46 passes for 600 yards and four TDs. He was a preseason candidate for the Mackey Award and was listed as the nation’s fourth best tight end by one publication.

Their return should add a lot to the 2015 Blue Devils.

“I don’t know if it’s hit me yet because I’m dealing with this team,” Cutcliffe said. “Both of them have been outstanding players and outstanding leaders.”

He said the process for getting a sixth-year waiver is far from automatic. He said that at Ole Miss and Tennessee, he had several prospects who applied and were turned down.

“We went through the process with conversation with both of them to decide what they wanted to do,” the Duke coach said. “It was a joyous decision to even apply for it and an even more joyous occasion when the decision came in.”

Cutcliffe said that neither player would participate in spring practice.

SECONDARY SUCCESS

Duke currently leads the ACC in pass defense efficiency.

The Blue Devils are giving up an average of 197.0 passing yards a game, which ranks sixth in the ACC. But Duke has allowed an ACC low five touchdown passes (the next best number in the ACC is nine) and are second in the league in opponents’ completion percentage (52.0 percent).

And Duke is doing it with a secondary that starts five second year players – three true sophomores, one redshirt sophomore and a redshirt junior transfer in his second year at Duke.

“We’ve got good people – everything starts with that,” Cutcliffe said. “We’ve got good coaches. Jim Knowles schematically does a great job of giving people a lot to deal with. They’re well-coached.

“I also think our linebackers come into that. We’ve done better job of hurrying people – we’d like to have more sacks.”

Sophomore cornerback Breon Borders came up with two pass interceptions last Saturday – one easy one on a bad throw and one ridiculously difficult one along the sideline.

“I kind of had to work for one,” Borders said. “The other one? Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time.”

Borders has been in the right place a lot in his brief career at Duke. Through 23 games, he has six interceptions and 12 pass breakups. Two of his picks came against 2013 Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston in the ACC title game.

Cutcliffe expects to see more from his young corner.

“Breon has a knack – I’m surprised he doesn’t have more [interceptions] at this point,” he said. “He’s got great, great ball skills. He’s just touching the tip of what he can do.”

THE BLIND SIDE

Virginia Tech has one of the best pass rushes in the ACC, recording 31 sacks in nine games – second only to Clemson.

On the other hand, Duke has allowed just four sacks this season – the lowest number in college football. The Blue Devils’ offensive line hasn’t allowed a sack since the Miami game in September.

A lot of the credit has to go to senior left tackle Tacoby Cofield, who protects Anthony Boone’s blind side. But the 310-poind veteran suggests that Duke’s low sack total is a product of many players performing at a high level.

“It’s not really just us as an offensive line,” Cofield said. “It’s the entire offense – the backs picking up blitzes; Boone knowing what’s coming and knowing the coverages; the receivers running the right routes.”

Still, Cofield understands the pivotal role he plays at left tackle.

“It’s a big responsibility,” he said. “I have a great relationship with Boone. We kind of laugh about it sometimes, but I told him, ‘If something’s going wrong, I’ll yell your name so be ready to run or get rid of the ball.’”

That hasn’t happened often this season.

“It’s great to know we’re protecting the quarterback so well,” Cofield said. “It’s something we’ve taken a lot of pride in.”

- Duke Sports Information news release

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UNC field hockey hosts NCAA tourney games; Duke also makes field

uncfieldhockeySix ACC field hockey teams earned bids to the 2014 NCAA Field Hockey Championship, announced Sunday night by the NCAA Field Hockey committee. The league claimed five of the eight at-large spots in the tournament and two of the four host sites were awarded to ACC programs.

North Carolina earned the top overall seed and will host first and second round games. Syracuse was also selected as a host site and enters the field as the No. 4 seed. Wake Forest clinched the league’s automatic berth by winning the ACC Championship, while Boston College, Duke, and Louisville claimed at-large bids and will begin tournament play on the road.

The announcement marks the second-straight year that at least six ACC teams have earned a postseason bid, while at least half of the league has claimed a tournament spot for 20 straight years.

North Carolina (17-3), the top overall seed in the tournament for the third time in the past four years, will face the winner of the Richmond/ Liberty play-in game. The Tar Heels will be making their 31st appearance in the tournament in the last 32 years. Duke (12-6) will also open tournament play in Chapel Hill and will face Big Ten champion Northwestern in the first round. Both the Tar Heels and Blue Devils advanced to the national semifinals last season, with Duke finishing as the national runner-up.

Syracuse (15-5) earned a postseason bid for the seventh consecutive year and second straight as a host site. The Orange will take on Boston University in the first round. Boston College (13-6) will play Penn State in the opening round at Syracuse.

ACC champion Wake Forest (14-6) is in the field for the 14th time in the last 16 years and will face Albany in the first round in College Park, Maryland.

Louisville (15-5) is headed to Storrs, Connecticut, and will open tournament play against Stanford. The Cardinals are making their fourth tournament appearance in program history and first since 2008.

The six ACC tournament teams are ranked in the top 11 spots in the NFHCA Top 20, and have all been ranked during the entire season. The league combined to go 70-11 against nonconference competition, the best record of any conference, and was 19-4 against NCAA tournament teams during the regular season.

The first round on Saturday, Nov. 15, and the second round on Sunday, Nov. 16, will be held at campus sites. The semifinals and championship, hosted by the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland, will be played on Nov. 21 and 23.

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Duke, UNC fall in men’s ACC soccer tournament

uncsoccer2Top-ranked Syracuse beat Duke 2-0 while Louisville upset North Carolina 1-0 in the ACC Men’s Soccer Championship Quarterfinal this afternoon in front of 2,533 fans at Syracuse Soccer Stadium.

The Orange scored a pair of first-half goals and locked down Duke’s offense in the second half to post a 2-0 win over the No. 7 seed Blue Devils.

Duke drops to 9-9-1 overall record, while Syracuse moves to 15-2-1 on the year.

“Credit to Syracuse today,” said head coach John Kerr. “We gave up that early goal and they were organized and strong in the back to keep us off the board. I’m proud of the way these guys played hard in these past four games and the senior leadership we’ve gotten in this final stretch of the season.”

No. 2 and third-seed North Carolina were knocked out of the tournament by the 19th-ranked and sixth-seeded Cardinal.

Louisville (9-6-3) got the only goal of the match in the 76th minute by Ivan Gutierrez off a feed from Ricardo Velazco.

UNC held a 9-6 shot advantage over the Cardinals.

The Blue Devils and the Tar Heels will await their fate for NCAA Tournament selections on Monday, Nov. 17.

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Duke women 7th, UNC 13th in USA Today basketball poll

Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams.

Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams.

ACC women’s basketball is well represented in the USA Today Sports Preseason coaches poll and the Associated Press Preseason All-America Team announced this week.

The ACC has five teams ranked in the Top 25, including four in the Top 13. Notre Dame is the highest ranked ACC team at No. 3, while Duke is ranked No. 7, Louisville No. 11, North Carolina No. 13 and Syracuse No. 25. ACC Teams receiving votes include Florida State and NC State.

Two ACC student-athletes are among the five selected to the Associated Press Preseason All-America Team in Notre Dame junior Jewell Loyd and Duke senior Elizabeth Williams.

Loyd, the ACC’s Preseason Player of the Year as selected by Blue Ribbon Panel and the league’s head coaches, is back for her junior season following a successful sophomore campaign. A Wade Trophy and Wooden Award finalist as a sophomore and the MVP of last season’s ACC Tournament, Loyd averaged a team-high 18.6 points, plus 6.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and team-high 1.6 steals per game. The Lincolnwood, Ill., native scored in double figures in every game (including 13 games of 20 points or more) and earned spots on the Associated Press, USBWA, WBCA, espnW and Full Court Press All-America teams.

Williams enters her final year at Duke after becoming the first Blue Devil in school history to be named Associated Press All-America in each of her first three years. The three-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Williams averaged 13.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.1 blocks, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals as a junior.

The 6-3 forward/center needs 104 blocks to break the Duke and ACC career blocks record held by Alison Bales (434). She also is 24 blocks away from 25th on the NCAA career blocks list (331). Williams currently ranks third on the ACC’s all-time blocks list.

The 2014-15 women’s basketball season tips off on Friday, Nov. 14 with 12 ACC teams in action.

For more information on ACC women’s basketball, visit theACC.com and be sure to follow on Twitter: @accwbb.

Last week’s First-place

Rank School (record) Points rank votes

1. Connecticut (40-0 800 1 32

2. South Carolina (29-5) 739 9 0

3. Notre Dame (37-1) 736 2 0

4. Tennessee (29-6) 683 8 0

5. Texas A&M (27-9) 630 10 0

6. Stanford (33-4) 608 3 0

7. Duke (28-7) 566 13 0

8. Maryland (28-7) 543 4 0

9. Baylor (32-5) 531 6 0

10. Kentucky (26-9) 484 11 0

11. Louisville (33-5) 474 5 0

12. Texas (22-12) 458 NR 0

13. North Carolina (27-10) 407 7 0

14. California (22-10) 366 20 0

15. Michigan State (23-10) 343 23 0

16. Nebraska (26-7) 305 17 0

17. West Virginia (30-5) 274 12 0

18. DePaul (29-7) 246 16 0

19. Iowa (27-9) 217 NR 0

20. Oklahoma State (25-9) 164 15 0

21. Oregon State (24-11) 123 25 0

22. Dayton (23-8 117 NR 0

23. UCLA (13-18) 116 NR 0

24. LSU (21-13) 65 24 0

25. Syracuse (23-10) 55 NR 0

Others receiving votes: Penn State (24-8) 50; Rutgers (28-9) 45; Purdue (22-9) 37; Georgia (20-12) 29; Vanderbilt (18-13) 24; Gonzaga (29-5) 17; Brigham Young (28-7) 16; Florida State (21-12) 16; St. John‘s (23-11) 16; North Carolina State (25-8) 14; Iowa State (20-11) 12; South Florida (23-13) 11; Ohio State (17-18) 10; Arkansas (19-11) 9; Oklahoma (18-15) 8; Oregon (16-16) 8; Middle Tennessee (29-5) 7; Southern California (22-13) 7; Western Kentucky (24-9) 5; James Madison (29-6) 3; Arizona State (23-10) 2; Albany (28-5) 1; Arkansas State (22-12) 1; Cal State Northridge (18-15) 1; Marist (27-7) 1.

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Carolina field hockey beats Duke in OT to advance to ACC semifinals

uncfieldhockey2Nina Notman converted a penalty stroke with seven minutes left in the first overtime as No. 2 North Carolina defeated host and seventh-seeded Duke, 2-1, in the first round of the 2014 ACC Field Hockey Championship in Durham.

The win sends North Carolina to the semifinals, where it will take on Syracuse who advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament with a 5-2 upset over Boston College.

After a scoreless first half, the Blue Devils broke the tie five minutes after the break when Jessica Buttinger fed a pass across the front of goal and found freshman Ashley Kristen on the back post who scored for her fourth of the season.

North Carolina tallied the equalizer in the 46th minute as Samantha Travers fired a shot off a penalty corner, which was deflected in by Emma Bozek for her team-leading 12th goal on the year.

The game winner came after North Carolina’s Emily Wold was awarded a penalty stroke. Notman sent the stroke past Duke goalkeeper Lauren Blazing for her 11th goal of the season and a 2-1 North Carolina victory.

“It’s not easy to beat Duke at Duke, and we knew that coming in,” said North Carolina head coach Karen Shelton. “I’m incredibly proud of our team and of Nina Notman for performing under pressure.”

North Carolina held an 11-9 advantage in shots and had four penalty corners to Duke’s two.

With the win, the Tar Heels move to 43-13 all-time in ACC Tournament play and 3-0 in overtime this season.

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ACC notes: Duke ranked in inaugural college playoff rankings

dukefootballFour ACC teams were ranked in the inaugural College Football Playoff Committee Top 25 rankings on Oct 28 with Florida State (2), Clemson (21), Duke (24) and Louisville (25) all earning a spot.

Three ACC teams are ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 and the Amway Coaches poll this week with Florida State remaining No. 2, but Clemson climbing to No. 19 in both polls and Duke at No. 22 in AP and 20 in the Coaches. Additionally, three other ACC teams received votes in the Coaches poll: Georgia Tech, Louisville and Miami, with Tech and Louisville also earning votes in AP.

In all, seven ACC teams are bowl eligible: Boston College, Clemson Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Miami.

Duke
The competition for the Coastal Division crown is still crowded, but clutch wins last weekend by Duke, Georgia Tech
and Miami have pushed those three teams to the forefront. Duke, the defending Coastal champion, has a one-game lead and would clinch its berth in Charlotte by winning out at Syracuse, and at home against Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Wake Forest.

On Saturday, Coastal Division leader and 22nd-ranked Duke, coached by David Cutcliffe travels to meet Syracuse in
the Carrier Dome (12:30 p.m., Regional Sports Networks) in one of three cross divisional contests slated for this weekend.

The Atlantic Division holds a 90-82 advantage since the ACC went to divisional play for the 2005 season, but the divisions have split the six prior meetings this year.

The Blue Devils, led by QB Anthony Boone, WR Jamison Crowder and LB David Helton are looking to maintain their hold on the Coastal Division race, having won 15 of their last 18 games.

Boone has a 15-3 record as Duke’s starting QB, while Crowder moved into second place on the ACC’s career receiving lists last week and now has 247 career receptions.

Helton leads the ACC in tackles per game 10.9 and was named one of the 17 National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame’s Scholar-Athletes for 2014.

Last Saturday, QB Thomas Sirk powered his way into the end zone from five yards out on Duke’s second overtime possession, lifting the visiting Blue Devils (7-1, 3-1) to the key Coastal Division 51-48 victory over Pitt. Sirk’s winning score came after Duke QB Anthony Boone and Pitt RB James Conner traded touchdown runs on the first possessions
of overtime and Panthers PK Chris Blewitt — who missed a 26-yard attempt that could have won the game at the end of regulation — connected on a 43-yarder to give Pitt (4-5, 2-3) a short-lived three-point lead.

NC State
Georgia Tech will look to keep pace with Duke when the Yellow Jackets travel to Raleigh, N.C. to meet NC State at Carter-Finley (12:30 p.m., ACC Network.)

The Wolfpack, coached by Dave Doeren, and led by QB Jacoby Brissett on offense and DE Art Norman on defense,
need one more victory to become bowl eligible.

Brissett is third in the ACC in total offense (242.9 yds/gm) while Norman is tied for 6th in the league in sacks.

Last Saturday, the Wolfpack (5-4, 1-4) earned its first ACC victory since late in the 2012 season with a 24-17 road win at the Syracuse Carrier Dome. With his team down 14-9 in the third quarter, NC State DE Pharoah McKever returned an interception 82 yards for the go-ahead score and changed the momentum of the game. The Pack defense caused three second-half turnovers and had eight sacks on the day to secure the win.

UNC
RB Duke Johnson rushed for 177 yards, including touchdown runs of 1 and 90 yards, as the Miami Hurricanes (6-3, 3-2) earned bowl eligibility and remained in the Coastal Division chase with their third consecutive win – a 47-20 whipping of North Carolina.

Johnson, who now has 3,080 career rushing yards and passed Edgerrin James for second place on Miami’s all-time list, also raced 37 yards for another touchdown on a screen pass from QB Brad Kaaya, who finished his day with three touchdown passes.

Miami RB Joe Yearby added another 104 yards rushing, and TE Clive Walford had two touchdown catches, becoming the first Miami tight end to do so in a single game since Greg Olsen in 2005.

QB Marquise Williams had a pair of touchdown runs, and LB Cayson Collins returned a fumble 39 yards for a score for North Carolina (4-5, 2-3), But Miami limited the Tar Heels to just six net yards rushing and 258 total yards — their lowest output under third-year head coach Larry Fedora and their least since Nov. 5, 2011, versus NC State. UNC had averaged 448 yards per contest in its previous 36 games.

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ACC soccer tourney: State travels to Duke, Heels hosts Louisville

accsoccerchamp2Notre Dame and Syracuse hold the top two seeds for the 28th annual Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Soccer Championship, set to begin on Wednesday, Nov. 5.

The Irish, the defending national champions, finished the regular season with 19 points in league play to clinch the Coastal Division title and the top overall seed. Fifth-ranked Notre Dame (10-4-3, 6-1-1 ACC) will open play in the tournament when it hosts the winner of No. 9 Virginia Tech (7-7-2, 2-5-1) and No. 8 Virginia (9-5-2, 3-3-2) in the quarterfinals.

Second-seeded Syracuse (14-2-1, 5-2-1), currently ranked No. 3 in the NSCAA Poll, earned a shared of the Atlantic Division title with 16 points and will host a quarterfinal match against the winner of No. 10 NC State (7-6-4, 1-4-3) and No. 7 Duke (8-8-1, 4-4-0).

North Carolina (12-4-1, 5-2-1) claimed the No. 3 seed with 16 points in ACC play and is ranked No. 6 nationally. The Tar Heels will host sixth-seeded and 22nd-ranked Louisville (8-6-3, 4-3-1), which will be making its ACC Championship debut, in the quarterfinals.

Clemson (10-6-1, 5-2-1), which earned a share of the Atlantic Division title, will be the fourth seed in the tournament and will host fifth-seeded Wake Forest (10-7-0, 5-3-0) on Nov. 9. The Tigers won the regular season match between the two teams, 3-1, on Sept. 26.

The first round and quarterfinal games will be held on campus sites, with the first round on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. and the quarterfinals on Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. The semifinals and championship will be hosted by WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C., with the semifinals at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Nov. 14 and the final at 2 p.m. on Nov. 16.

Single session tickets for the games at WakeMed Soccer Park are available for $10 for adults and $5 for youth and seniors.

For more information on ACC Men’s Soccer, visit theACC.com or follow on Twitter @ACCMSoccer. Fans are encouraged to use the #ACCMSoccer hashtag during the championship.

2014 ACC Men’s Soccer Championship

Wednesday, November 5 (Campus Sites)
Match 1 – No. 9 Virginia Tech at No. 8 Virginia, 7 p.m.
Match 2 – No. 10 NC State at No. 7 Duke, 7 p.m.

Sunday, November 9 (Campus Sites)
Match 3 –Match 1 Winner at No. 1 Notre Dame, 1 p.m.
Match 4 – No. 5 Wake Forest at No. 4 Clemson, 1 p.m.
Match 5 – No. 6 Louisville at No. 3 North Carolina, 1 p.m.
Match 6 – Match 2 Winner at No. 2 Syracuse, 1 p.m.

Friday, November 14 (WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C.)
Semifinal #1 (ESPN3), 5:30 p.m.
Semifinal #2 (ESPN3), 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 16 (WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C.)
ACC Championship Game (ESPNU), 2:00 p.m.

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Duke, State, UNC football notes

Duke
Duke S Jeremy Cash (Miami, Fla.) is one of 15 semifinalists for the Thorpe Award, an honor presented to the nation’s top defensive back.

A second team All-America pick last year, Cash has compiled 63 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two INTs, three caused fumbles, four PBUs, four QB pressures and one fumble recovery.

In the ACC, Cash ranks first in caused fumbles per game (0.43), tied for fourth in interceptions per game (0.29) and fifth in tackles per game (9.0).

The Blue Devils take on Pittsburgh Saturday. “We have a huge challenge in Pittsburgh, who I think is as physical a team as anybody we’ll see,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “An extremely well-coached football team. They don’t make mistakes very often. I know they had a unique circumstance last week. Sometimes that happens to us all.

“But this is a Pitt team that is, as I said, well-coached, strong, physical, good on both sides of the ball, and the kicking game. So a huge November challenge for us.”

UNC
North Carolina QB Marquise Williams (Charlotte) is one of five players in the country leading his team in both passing yards and rushing yards. He ranks second in the ACC and 15th in the country in total offense, averaging 316.5 total yards per game.

Williams is tied for fifth at UNC in career touchdown passes with 33 and he owns the school record for most career rushing TDs (14) by a quarterback at UNC.

The weekly news conference turned humorous as UNC coach Larry Fedora talked about playing at Miami.

Media Question: I know a lot of fans are talking about how Miami is favored by 16, 17 points. Is that something you use in the locker room to motivate your players, use the underdog notion coming into the game?

COACH FEDORA: How much are they favored by?
Q. 17, last time I saw it.

COACH FEDORA: I haven’t used that, but I got plenty of things to use. We got plenty of things going against us in a lot of different areas. So, yeah, I’ll just throw that in the hat, too. That will be good. I appreciate that.

Q. Glad I could help.

COACH FEDORA: Any time (smiling).

NC Statedukestateunc2
Seven different true freshmen have earned starts for NC State in 2014–the fourth-highest total in the FBS. A total of four newcomers earned starting nods last time out in the game at Louisville, including three on defense.

True freshman WR Bo Hines (Charlotte) has started five contests for the Pack, offensive guard Tony Adams (Charlotte) has started four and LB Airius Moore (Beavercreek, Ohio), S Germaine Pratt (High Point), DT B.J. Hill (Oakboro), TE Cole Cook (Carrollton, Ga.) and WR Stephen Louis (West Palm Beach,Fla.) have each started once. Only Tulane (12), Tennessee (8) and Southern California (8) have had more freshmen starters.

The Wolfpack takes on Syracuse Saturday. “Excited to be back in a game week. Definitely had a good bye,” NCSU coach Dave Doeren. “Got a lot of guys some rest that needed it. Were able to focus on some fundamentals, really get down to
some needed self-scout on all three phases of our team, and also focus on some recruiting things that we needed to do. So it was a good week I think mentally and physically for the staff and the players.”

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State, Carolina men’s soccer close out regular season on TV

ncstatesoccerThe final weekend of the regular season will see three division match-ups on Friday and three on Saturday.

On Friday, NC State (7-5-4) visits Clemson in a game televised on the league’s Regional Sports Networks and ESPN3, Boston College is at No. 3/7 Syracuse, and Duke is in Blacksburg to play Virginia Tech.

Saturday’s three games will feature five ranked teams with No. 6/3 North Carolina (12-4) hosting No. 21/25 Virginia (ESPN3), No. 5/11 Notre Dame at Pitt, and #22/9 Louisville at No. -/22 Wake Forest.

The bracket for the 2014 ACC Men’s Soccer Championship, which gets under way on Nov. 5, will be announced following the conclusion of Saturday’s games.