Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The ACC Football Championship Race

ACC Atlantic Division
Wake Forest 5-1 (9-1 overall)
Maryland 5-1 (8-2 overall)
Boston College 4-2 (8-2 overall)

ACC Coastal Division Georgia Tech 6-1 has clinched a berth in the Championship game, which is Saturday December 2 at 1:00PM in Jacksonville, FL

Remaining Schedule:
Maryland at Boston College 11/18 at 12:00PM, vs Wake Forest 11/25 at 7:45PM
Boston College vs Maryland 11/18 at 12:00PM, at Miami 11/23 at 7:30PM
Wake Forest vs Virginia Tech 11/18 at 7:00PM, at Maryland 11/25 at 7:45PM

Three different scenarios favor Maryland's heading to the title game:
• Maryland wins its last two games against Boston College and Wake Forest.
• The Terps lose at Boston College, but beat Wake Forest and BC loses to Miami.
• Maryland loses at Boston College but beats Wake Forest, BC beats Miami, and Wake Forest beats Virginia Tech. The Terps would win the resulting three-way tie because they would have the best conference record of the three teams.

Excerpts from coach Ralph Friedgen's 11/14/06 News Conference

Opening Statement: "Our kids seem to be excited, they had a lot of energy [Monday] night even though they were feeling a little sore and a little beat up. That comes from week in and week out playing tough opponents. We are looking to have a good work day today and are planning on having a good game this week."

On Boston College: "We are preparing for another tough game; Boston College is another fine football team with a very good balanced offense. Their quarterback is probably one of the better quarterbacks in the league and they have two fine running backs, they have a very good offensive line and very good receivers. Defensively, they are one of the better teams in the league also. On special teams, they have an excellent return game."

On the level of play this season: "I think our kids are playing tremendous. They are just playing with everything they've got and we are playing good teams. I was just told we have the seventh-toughest schedule in the country and we are 8-2. That speaks a lot for our players and what kind of kids they are."

On the success of the team: "I remember saying that way back when, that if this team experienced success we could be a very good team. I think we could still play better than how we are playing. We are finding ways to win and we are having the ball bounce our way, there's no doubt about it. I think it takes that to have a good season."

On the margin of error and its importance against Miami: "I don't think we had that many penalties, dropped balls, or turnovers. It was pretty good even though we didn't have that many plays. It's very important, there's no doubt about it. It has been on every level I have coached at and it is something I believe in very strongly. I think it is one of the reasons we won our first year here."

On the rest of the season: "I told them yesterday, `I could go through all of the scenarios, but I am going to keep it real simple for you. You win the next two games and you're playing Georgia Tech on December 2nd. That's all you have to worry about, win the next two games.' The game coming up right now is Boston College. That's all I am focusing on and all the rest of the stuff will take care of itself. We don't need to get into the `if this happens', let's go make it happen."

On Darrius Heyward-Bey: "I don't think he's even come close to touching his potential. He is still learning the position. He works at it every day and I think that's why he has really improved. He has become a better route-runner and has learned to catch the ball better. One thing he has is speed and that is something you can't coach. Hopefully he will continue to gain confidence from this and just get better and better."

On Donnie Woods: "All of the tests have come back negative. We are going to continue to monitor his progress. Right now he looks like he is doubtful for the game, but he's in good shape. He just came back from a specialist this morning and looks like he is going to be okay."

It's been a tough couple seasons for Maryland, finishing 5-6 in 2004 and 2005. Like I lot of Terps fans I was crushed when they got hammered like they did against West Virginia. They had a tough loss at Georgia Tech, but they have come together since. It's sure been a lot of fun in Section 19 Row EE this season.

No comments: