Duke Archive

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Heels, Devils dominate preseason All-ACC lacrosse team

unclacrosseReigning ACC Champion Notre Dame has been selected as the preseason favorite in the 2015 ACC Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Poll. The announcement comes in conjunction with Inside Lacrosse’s release of its annual Face-Off Yearbook.

Head coach Kevin Corrigan’s Fighting Irish received 23 points in balloting among the ACC’s five head coaches. Syracuse followed with 22 points and was selected second. North Carolina (13), back-to-back NCAA Champion Duke (10) and Virginia (7) were selected fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Preseason All-ACC Team features 11 returning United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-Americans from all five member schools, with five selections from North Carolina, three honorees from Duke and two from Syracuse. Notre Dame and Virginia each had one student-athlete selected to the team.

Twelve of the 13 student-athletes on the Preseason All-ACC Team were also named to Inside Lacrosse’s Face-Off Yearbook Division I All-America Team. The First Team included Duke senior midfielder Deemer Class and junior midfielder Myles Jones, Notre Dame senior attackman Matt Kavanagh, Syracuse senior attackman Kevin Rice and red-shirt junior defenseman Brandon Mullins and Virginia junior defenseman Tanner Scales. North Carolina sophomore defenseman Austin Pifani, senior attackman Joey Sankey and senior midfielder Chad Tutton were named to the second team. Duke senior shortstick midfielder Will Haus was tabbed to the third team, while North Carolina senior longstick midfielder Ryan Kilpatrick and junior goalkeeper Kieran Burke earned honorable mention honors.

All five ACC teams are ranked in the top 10 in Inside Lacrosse’s Face-Off Yearbook Top 20 poll. Notre Dame led the way at No. 2 followed by Duke (No. 3), Syracuse (No. 4), North Carolina (No. 6) and Virginia (No. 10).

The 2015 men’s lacrosse season gets underway in early February. The ACC Men’s Lacrosse Championship will be played April 24-26 at PPL Park in Philadelphia, Pa. The semifinals are set for Friday, April 24 and the championship for Sunday, April 26. The fifth-place ACC team that does not qualify for the championship will play Penn at PPL Park on Saturday, April 25.

ACC Men’s Lacrosse Preseason Coaches Poll and All-ACC Team

Coaches Poll

1. Notre Dame (3 first place votes, 23 points)

2. Syracuse (2 first place votes, 22 points)

3. North Carolina (13 points)

4. Duke (10 points)

5. Virginia (7 points)

Preseason All-ACC Team

Attack

Matt Kavanagh, Jr., A, Notre Dame

Kevin Rice, Sr., A, Syracuse

Joey Sankey, Sr., A, North Carolina

Midfield

Deemer Class, Jr., M, Duke

Myles Jones, Jr., M, Duke

Chad Tutton, Sr., M, North Carolina

Defense

Brandon Mullins, R-Jr., D, Syracuse

Austin Pifani, So., D, North Carolina

Tanner Scales, Jr., D, Virginia

Faceoff Specialist

Stephen Kelly, So., M, North Carolina

Goalkeeper

Kieran Burke, Jr., GK, North Carolina

Longstick Midfielder

Ryan Kilpatrick, Sr., LSM, North Carolina

Shortstick Midfielder

Will Haus, Sr., SSM, Duke

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Duke’s Jones earns ACC rookie of the week honors

Tyus Jones.

Tyus Jones.

Freshman point guard Tyus Jones earned the first ACC Rookie of the Week award of his college career Monday, as announced by the conference office and voted on by a select panel of media members. Teammate Jahlil Okafor earned the honor the previous three weeks, making it four consecutive weeks a Duke freshman received the accolade.

The Apple Valley, Minn., native helped lead the fourth-ranked Blue Devils to an 80-70 road victory over No. 2 Wisconsin Wednesday, scoring a team-high 22 points, while also leading Duke in rebounds (six) and assists (four). Jones shot 7-of-11 from the field, including 2-of-3 from three-point range and 6-of-8 from the foul line as Duke won its eighth straight game by 10-or-more points. In the victory over Wisconsin, Duke shot an impressive 65.2 percent from the field, marking the first time in the 18-year history of the Kohl Center that a Wisconsin opponent shot over 60 percent.

Duke returns to competition Monday, Dec. 15, welcoming Elon to Cameron Indoor Stadium. The contest, scheduled for a 7 p.m. tipoff, is set to air live on ESPNU.

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UNC, Duke well-presented on All-ACC volleyball team

accvolleyballNorth Carolina senior libero Ece Taner has been named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, and North Carolina’s Joe Sagula was named Coach of the Year as the All-ACC Volleyball Team was announced Wednesday.

Miami senior outside hitter Savanah Leaf has been selected as the 2014 Atlantic Coast Conference Volleyball Player of the Year.

Duke’s senior setter Kelsey Williams was named Setter of the Year, and Miami’s Haley Templeton was chosen as the Freshman of the Year. Templeton headlines the nine-person All-Freshman Team. The awards were decided based on a vote of the league’s 15 head coaches.

Leaf, a native of San Anselmo, California, ranks first in the conference and 16th in the nation with 4.56 kills per set. She is just the second student-athlete from Miami to earn Player of the Year honors and the first since Lane Carico in 2011. Leaf led the Hurricanes to a third place finish in the conference with a 14-4 record.

Taner earns the second Defensive Player of the Year honors after helping the Tar Heels earn the 2014 ACC Volleyball Title. Taner ranks second in the conference with 4.48 digs per set and becomes the second libero from North Carolina to earn the award since its inception in 2009.

Williams is awarded the first-ever Setter of the Year honor after ranking first in the conference and sixth nationally in assists per set with 11.70. The inaugural winner was instrumental in the Blue Devils’ ACC leading 14.18 assists and 14.97 kills per set.

Templeton is the second Miami student-athlete and the first since Carico in 2008 to be named ACC Freshman of the Year. As a rookie, Templeton ranked second in the conference with 11.02 assists per set and played a key role in Leaf’s conference leading kills per set average.

North Carolina’s Sagula led the Tar Heels to a 26-2 overall and, 17-1 ACC record in earning his fourth ACC Coach of the Year honor (1998, 2002, 2005, 2014). Overall, Sagula has been at the helm for six (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2014) of North Carolina’s 16 conference titles in program history. Under his guidance during the 2014 season, North Carolina saw four players named members of All-ACC teams, a ranking as high as No. 7 in the AVCA poll and the No. 7 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Eleven different schools are represented on the All-ACC Team, led by Duke and Florida State’s five student-athletes. Four from North Carolina were recognized, followed by three from Louisville, Miami and Pitt, two from Virginia and Virginia Tech and one apiece from Clemson, Syracuse and Wake Forest.

Joining Templeton on the All-Freshman Team are Clemson’s Kate Federico, Florida State’s Milica Kubura, Louisville’s Tess Clark and Maggie Dejong, NC State’s Kaitlyn Kearney, Notre Dame’s Sam Fry and Wake Forest’s Kylie Long and Caroline Wolf.

ACC teams will begin play in the 2014 NCAA Championship on Thursday, Dec. 4, with Florida State in action, while Duke, Miami and North Carolina will get their postseason underway on Friday, Dec. 5.

2014 ACC Volleyball Individual Awards

Player of the Year: Savanah Leaf, Sr., OH, Miami

Defensive Player of the Year: Ece Taner, Sr., L, North Carolina

Setter of the Year: Kelsey Williams, Sr., S, Duke

Freshman of the Year: Haley Templeton, Fr., S, Miami

Coach of the Year: Joe Sagula, North Carolina

2014 All-ACC Volleyball First Team

Jeme Obeime ! Sr. OH Duke

Emily Sklar ! Sr. OH Duke

Kelsey Williams Sr. S Duke

Sarah Burrington So. MB Florida State

Katie Mosher ! Sr. L Florida State

Nicole Walch ! Jr. OH Florida State

Katie George Jr. S Louisville

Janelle Jenkins So. OH Louisville

Savanah Leaf ! Sr. OH Miami

Emani Sims # Sr. MB Miami

Chaniel Nelson # Sr. OPP North Carolina

Paige Neuenfeldt ! Jr. MB North Carolina

Ece Taner Sr. L North Carolina

Amanda Orchard Jr. MH Pitt

Kathryn Caine ! Sr. MB Virginia Tech

Lindsey Owens So. OH Virginia Tech

2014 All-ACC Volleyball Second Team

Karis Watson Sr. MB Clemson

Sasha Karelov So. L Duke

Jordan Tucker So. MB Duke

Katie Horton So. OH Florida State

Kiara Wright Jr. MH Florida State

Tess Clark Fr. MB Louisville

Haley Templeton Fr. S Miami

Victoria McPherson ! Jr. MB North Carolina

Delaney Clesen Sr. L Pitt

Kate Yeazel Sr. RS Pitt

Silvi Uattara So. OH Syracuse

Jasmine Burton ! So. OPP Virginia

Lauren Fuller ! Jr. S Virginia

Jazmen Russell Sr. OH Wake Forest

2014 All-ACC Freshman Team

Kate Federico S Clemson

Milica Kubura RS Florida State

Tess Clark MB Louisville

Maggie Dejong MB Louisville

Haley Templeton S Miami

Kaitlyn Kearney MB NC State

Sam Fry MB Notre Dame

Kylie Long OH Wake Forest

Caroline Wolf L Wake Forest

! – Two-time selection

# – Three-time selection

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Four Heels, three Devils take All-America field hockey honors

uncfieldhockey3Fifteen Atlantic Coast Conference field hockey student-athletes earned 2014 All-America honors from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, the organization announced Monday. The total is the most for any conference in the nation.

All seven ACC teams had at least one player recognized, led by North Carolina which had a national-best four All-Americans. Duke and Syracuse had three players selected, followed by Wake Forest with two and Boston College, Louisville, and Virginia with one each.

Of the 16-member first team, seven are from ACC schools with two from Syracuse and one each from Boston College, Louisville, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wake Forest. Four league representatives are on the second team, and four garnered third team honors.

Wake Forest’s Anna Kozniuk is the 14th player in league history to earn four career All-America honors. Boston College’s Emma Plasters, and North Carolina’s Charlotte Craddock and Emily Wold were recognized for the third time.

North Carolina’s field hockey team was ranked No. 1 before losing 3-2 to No. 4 Syracuse in an NCAA semifinal game less than two weeks ago. It was the second year in a row that UNC has been eliminated in a penalty shootout following 70 minutes of regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods. The Heels finished the season 19-4.

ACC on the 2014 NFHCA All-America Teams

First Team

Emma Plasteras, Boston College

Alyssa Voelmle, Louisville

Emily Wold, North Carolina

Alyssa Manley, Syracuse

Emma Russell, Syracuse

Tara Vittese, Virginia

Anna Kozniuk, Wake Forest

Second Team

Aileen Johnson, Duke

Lauren Blazing, Duke

Charlotte Craddock, North Carolina

Samantha Travers, North Carolina

Third Team

Abby Beltrani, Duke

Nina Notman, North Carolina

Lieke Visser, Syracuse

Georgia Holland, Wake Forest

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ACC proposal would allow loss-of-value insurance

accteamsThe Atlantic Coast Conference on Monday announced three legislative proposals that have been submitted to the NCAA as part of the recently adopted Division I autonomy process as approved by the league’s Council of Presidents.

The proposals focus on the issues of cost of attendance, loss-of-value insurance and scholarship renewal. The ACC will work with the NCAA to finalize legislative language in anticipation of the January NCAA Convention.

“The ACC’s continued discussions related to enhancing the student-athletes’ experience has resulted in our submission of three legislative proposals,” said Donna E. Shalala, Chair of the ACC Council of Presidents and President of the University of Miami.

“These three proposals create a pathway to additional benefits for student-athletes, which continues to be the top-priority,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “Our Council of Presidents and membership will continue to explore ways to enhance our student-athletes’ experience within the collegiate model.”

A brief synopsis of the proposals submitted by the ACC follows:

Cost of attendance: This proposal will permit an institution to provide an athletics scholarship to any student-athlete up to their cost of attendance at the institution. The cost of attendance figure shall be determined using federal regulations and in a manner consistent with institutional policies for the establishment of the value for all students. This proposal will be permissive and apply to student-athletes in all sports. The effective date would by August 1, 2015 and agreements may be executed prior to that date to take effect in the 2015-16 academic year.

Loss-of-value insurance: This proposal is intended to permit a student-athlete to borrow against his or her future earnings potential to obtain loss-of-value insurance. The proposal will make the treatment of loss-of-value insurance consistent with that of disability insurance. The effective date would be immediate.

Scholarship renewal: This proposal precludes an institution from not renewing a student-athlete’s athletic scholarship for athletics performance or injury reasons, even after the period of the award. The effective date would be Aug. 1, 2015.

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Duke places four on All-ACC football first team

allaccfootballThe Triangle ACC teams aren’t particularly well represented in the post-regular season All-Atlantic Coast Conference football team as voted on by the ACC sportswriters and announced Monday. However, Duke did manage four first-team selections.

The Blue Devils’ Jamison Crowder took two of those spots – one at wide receiver and one at special teams player. Duke guard Laken Tomlinson was named to the first-team offense while linebacker David Helton was named to the first-team defense.

N.C. State senior punter Wil Baumann was the only other Triangle area team player to make first team.

UNC quarterback Marquis Williams made the second team as did Duke safety Jeremy Cash.

Duke and North Carolina were well represented on the third team offense with honors going to Duke’s Takoby Cofield (tackle), Matt Skura (center), Ross Martin (kicker), DeVon Edwards (special teams) and North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer (receiver) and Landon Turner (guard).

There were a number of honorable mentions, which you will see listed at the bottom of the article.

Atlantic Division champion Florida State led the 2014 All-ACC Football Team voted on by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).

The defending national champion and nationally-second-ranked Seminoles placed 17 members on the squad, including 10 first-team selections, as voted upon by 55 ACSMA members. Coastal Division runner-up Duke had nine players overall selected, including four on the first team. Eight student-athletes were chosen from Virginia, while Coastal Division champion Georgia Tech followed with seven and Clemson, Louisville and Miami each placed six student-athletes on the squad.

Each of the ACC’s 14 football member schools placed at least one player on the first-, second- or third teams.

The All-ACC offensive first team features a number of national leaders at their positions, including the reigning Heisman Trophy winner in Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston and Seminoles offensive lineman Cameron Erving, the ACC’s two-time Jacobs Blocking Trophy recipient.

The first team also boasts the ACC’s top two rushers in Pitt’s James Conner (fourth nationally with 1,675 yards and second nationally with an ACC-record 24 rushing touchdowns) and Miami’s Duke Johnson (11th nationally with 1,520 yards and 13 total TDs).

FSU’s Winston, who leads the ACC in passing yardage (3,250 yards) and total offense (302.3 yards per game) is joined on the first team by Seminole teammate Rashad Greene, who leads the league in receiving (1,183 yards on 86 catches). The All-ACC first-team receiving corps features two other repeat performers from the 2013 squad in Duke’s Crowder (78 receptions for 942 yards) and Pitt’s Tyler Boyd (69 catches for 1,149 yards and eight TDs).

Crowder was also selected to the first team as a kick returner and is one of three players who earned All-ACC honors at two positions. FSU’s Erving was chosen at both first-team offensive tackle and second-team center. Pitt’s Boyd was selected as a first-team receiver and a second-team kick returner.

The defensive first team features Louisville safety Gerod Holliman, who tied a national record with 14 interceptions in the Cardinals’ 12 regular-season games. One of the defensive end spots is manned by Clemson grad student Vic Beasley, who leads the ACC this season with 11 quarterback sacks and leads all active FBS players in career sacks with 32. The first team also includes the ACC’s leading tackler in Duke’s Helton (10.4 per game).

The kicking game is well-represented with 2013 Lou Groza Award winner Roberto Aguayo of Florida State (22-of-24 field goals, 49-of-49 on extra points) earning a spot on first team. NC State punter Baumann, who ranks seventh nationally with a 45.3 average per kick, was voted first team at his position.

Twenty-two student-athletes chosen to the 2014 All-ACC Football team by ACSMA are repeat selections from last season.

2014 All-ACC Football Team

(As voted upon by ACSMA; Listed by position and total points. Capital Sports’ ballot for first and second team is in parentheses.)

1st Team Offense

WR Rashad Greene, Sr., Florida State…….. 157
(Rashad Greene)
WR Jamison Crowder, Sr., Duke ……………. 150
(Jamison Crowder)
WR Tyler Boyd, So., Pitt ……………………….. 149
(Tyler Boyd)
TE Nick O’Leary, Sr., Florida State ………. 131
(Clive Walford, Miami)
T Cameron Erving, Sr.-R., Florida State 133
(Cameron Erving)
T T.J. Clemmings, Sr.-R, Pitt………………… 90
(Sean Hickey, Syracuse)
G Laken Tomlinson, Sr.-R, Duke ………… 114
(Laken Tomlinson)
G Tre’ Jackson, Sr., Florida State ………. 121
(David Beasley, Clemson)
C Andy Gallik, Sr.-R, Boston College ….. 105
(Andy Gallik)
QB Jameis Winston, So.-R, Florida State 142
(Jameis Winston)
RB James Conner, So., Pitt …………………… 164
(James Conner)
RB Duke Johnson, Jr., Miami ………………. 159
(Duke Johnson)
K Roberto Aguayo, So.-R, Florida State.. 153
(Roberto Aguayo)
Sp. Jamison Crowder, Sr., Duke ……………… 86

2nd Team Offense

WR Phillip Dorsett, Sr.-R, Miami……………… 96
(Phillip Dorsett)
WR Mike Williams, So., Clemson…………………… 84
(Mike Williams)
WR Artavis Scott, Fr., Clemson ……………… 80
(Artavis Scott)
TE Clive Walford, Sr.-R, Miami ……………. 101
(Nick O’Leary, FSU)
T Ereck Flowers, Jr., Miami …………………. 69
(TJ Clemmons, Pitt)
T Jamon Brown, Sr., Louisville ……………. 50
(Jamon Brown)
G Shaquille Mason, Sr., Georgia Tech… 102
(Tre’ Jackson, FSU)
G Josue Matias, Jr., Florida State………… 48
(Landon Turner, UNC)
C Cameron Erving, Sr.-R, Florida State…. 71
(Shane McDermott, Miami)
QB Marquise Williams, Jr., North Carolina. 89
(Marquise Williams)
RB Zach Laskey, Sr., Georgia Tech…………… 69
(Zach Laskey)
RB Dalvin Cook, So., Florida State …………. 63
(Shadrach Thornton, NC State)
K Ian Frye, Jr.-R, Virginia……………………… 67
(Ross Martin, Duke)
Sp. Tyler Boyd, So., Pitt ………………………… 58

3rd Team Offense

WR DeAndre Smelter, Sr.-R, Georgia Tech…………. 72

WR DeVante Parker, Sr., Louisville…………… 62

WR Ryan Switzer, So., North Carolina …….. 54

TE Bucky Hodges, Fr.-R, Virginia Tech …… 38

T Sean Hickey, Sr., Syracuse………………… 48

T (tie)Bobby Hart, Sr., Florida State…………… 42

(tie)Seth Betancourt, Sr.-R, Boston College 42

(tie)Takoby Cofield, Sr.-R, Duke………………. 42

G Landon Turner, Jr., North Carolina …… 42

G Matt Rotheram, Sr.-R, Pitt………………. 42

C Matt Skura, Jr.-R, Duke ……………………. 44

QB Justin Thomas,So., Georgia Tech………. 35

RB Kevin Parks, Sr., Virginia…………………… 60

RB Jon Hilliman, Fr., Boston College……….. 51

K Ross Martin, Jr., Duke……………………….. 48

Sp. DeVon Edwards, So., Duke ………………. 48

Honorable Mention/Offense (20 or more points):

QB–Brad Kaaya, Miami (21). RB–Shadrach Thornton, NC State (33); Synjyn Days, Georgia Tech (24). WR–Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech (24); Mack Hollins, North Carolina (20). TE–Cam Serigne, Wake Forest (25). T–Bryan Chamberlain, Georgia Tech (40); Ian Silberman, Boston College (35); G–David Beasley, Clemson (39); Bobby Vardaro, Boston College (34); John Miller, Louisville (31); Jon Feliciano, Miami (30); Kalon Davis, Clemson (28). C–Shane McDermott, Miami (36); Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech (35); Jake Smith, Louisville (26). PK–Ammon Lakip (32), Clemson; SP–Rashad Greene, Florida State (37); Darius Jennings, Virginia (28); Ryan Switzer, North Carolina (23); Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech (20).

1st Team Defense

DE Vic Beasley, Sr.-R, Clemson …………….. 159
(Vic Beasley)
DE Mario Edwards Jr., Jr., Florida State …. 112
(Mario Edwards Jr.)
DT Eddie Goldman, Jr., Florida State …….. 129
(Thomas Teal, NC State)
DT Grady Jarrett, Sr., Clemson ……………… 127
(Grady Jarrett)
LB Denzel Perryman, Sr., Miami …………… 145
(Denzel Perryman)
LB David Helton, Sr., Duke …………………… 104
(David Helton)
LB Stephone Anthony, Sr., Clemson ……………….. 101
(Terrence Smith, FSU)
CB Kendall Fuller, So., Virginia Tech ……… 119
(Garry Peters, Clemson)
CB P.J. Williams, Jr., Florida State …………. 105
(P.J. Williams)
S Gerod Holliman, So.-R Louisville ……… 132
(Gerod Holliman)
S Jalen Ramsey, So., Florida State ………… 92
(Jeremy Cash, Duke)
P Wil Baumann, Sr., NC State ……………… 108
(Alexander Kinal, Wake Forest)

2nd Team Defense

DE Dadi Nicolas, Jr.-R, Virginia Tech ………. 101
(KeShun Freeman, Georgia Tech)
DE Eli Harold, Jr., Virginia……………………….. 65
(Eli Harold)
DT Adam Gotsis, Jr., Georgia Tech…………………… 48
(David Dean, Virginia)
DT Tylor Harris, Jr., Wake Forest…………….. 43
(Corey Marshall, Virginia Tech)
LB Terrance Smith, Jr.-R, Florida State ……. 82
(Cameron Lynch, Syracuse)
LB Lorenzo Mauldin, Sr., Louisville …………. 79
(Lorenzo Mauldin)
LB(Tie)Henry Coley, Sr.-R, Virginia …………….. 68
(Anthony Gonzalez, Pitt)
LB(Tie)Quayshawn Nealy, Sr.-R, Georgia Tech 68
(Jeff Schoettmer, UNC)
CB Garry Peters Sr., Clemson ………………… 63
(Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech)
CB Maurice Canady Jr., Virginia ……………… 56
(Brian Walker, UNC)
S Jeremy Cash, Jr.-R, Duke …………………… 83
(Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech)
S Quin Blanding, Fr., Virginia………………… 71
(Deon Bush, Miami)
P Alex Kinal, Jr.-R, Wake Forest …………….. 86
(Riley Dixon, Syracuse)

3rd Team Defense

DE Sheldon Rankins, Jr., Louisville……………. 45

DE Ken Ekanem, Jr., So.-R, Virginia Tech….. 40

DT Corey Marshall, Jr.-R, Virginia Tech ……. 41

DT Connor Wujciak, Jr., Boston College …… 41

LB Reggie Northrup, Jr., Florida State……… 54

LB Cameron Lynch, Sr., Syracuse……………. 45

LB Max Valles, So., Virginia…………………….. 45

CB Ronald Darby, Jr., Florida State………….. 51

CB Charles Gaines, Jr.-R, Louisville …………. 47

S Anthony Harris, Sr., Virginia………………. 56

S Jamal Golden, Jr., Georgia Tech………….. 43

P Justin Vogel, So., Miami …………………… 40

Honorable Mention/Defense (20 or more points):

DE–Art Norman, NC State (25); KeShun Freeman, Georgia Tech (23); Anthony Chickillo, Miami (21); B.J. Dubose, Louisville (20); DT–Olsen Pierre, Miami (38); David Dean, Virginia (37); Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech (33); Nigel William, Virginia Tech (29); Thomas Teal, NC State (27); Ethan Farmer, North Carolina (22); Josh Banks, Wake Forest (20). LB–Brandon Chubb, Wake Forest (30); P.J. Davis,. Georgia Tech (25); Josh Keyes, Boston College (22); Keith Kelsey, Louisville (20). CB–Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest (45); D.J. White, Georgia Tech (40); Merrill Noel, Wake Forest (34); Brian Walker, North Carolina (27); MacKensie Alexander, Clemson (22). S–Deon Bush, Miami (36); DeVon Edwards, Duke (26); Robert Smith, Clemson (20), P–Will Monday, Duke (29); Riley Dixon, Syracuse (23).

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Carolina releases statement after players damage Duke locker room

Bubba Cunningham.

Bubba Cunningham.

UNC football coach Larry Fedora and athletics director Bubba Cunningham issued a joint statement regarding the Tar Heels football team damaging the Duke visiting locker room.

“We would like to apologize to the Duke Football program and Duke University for some inappropriate actions after last Thursday night’s game in Durham. Our team took the celebration too far when they were painting the bell, resulting in damage to some of the facilities at Duke. We take full responsibility for our actions and will be paying for all costs associated with the cleanup. We view this as a rivalry built on mutual respect and we expect our players to behave better in a way that is more befitting of the rivalry.”

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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.