ACC Coastal Division Mid-Season Awards Roundtable Part 2.

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Coastal Midseason Awards Football Roundtable #2

It’s Coastal Division midseason awards time and we are happy to have our Twitter panel back and ready to go.  We’re happy to have @younglefhander and @willsworldmn@hokieguru is the moderator here today (and will also answer some questions) at @TalkinACCSports for this great panel.

First up is @younglefhander. He is a native Atlantan, and one of a handful of males from my family that did not attend the Georgia Institute of Technology.  He actually attended Georgia State (they we have a football team now!), but his family has had season tickets to Georgia Tech football for as long as he can remember.  I write regularly for TheVictoryFormation, where I’m primarily responsible for ACC football coverage.  He hates everything associated with the University of Georgia.

Second, is @willsworldmnHe is originally from Virginia, and currently lives in Minnesota. Writer for scacchoops.com.

Let’s get this show started…

Who is the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Coastal Division Midseason Most Valuable Defensive Player?

@younglefhander: This is a pretty crowded field at this point.  As far as DBs go, Jayron Hosley and Isaiah Johnson each have 3 picks, and Johnson has taken one back for a score.  As for pass rush, J.R. Collins has registered 5.5 sacks, and Jeremiah Attaochu has 4, and he didn’t play against Maryland.  For pure tackle numbers, Julian Burnett leads with 58, and Matt Daniels has 48.  I realize pure numbers isn’t the best way to go, but without cutups of every game, it’s what I have to go on.  I’d say Attaochu has been the best player on defense, but Hosley is probably more valuable at this point, if that makes sense.

@willsworldmnJayron Hosley, Virginia Tech. The stats may not indicate it, but he’s a shutdown corner. Quarterbacks don’t throw his way often for a reason.

@hokieguru:  Jayron Hosley of Virginia Tech without question.  As Will indicated, he isn’t getting as many interceptions this year because opposing teams aren’t throwing to his side of the field.  Be assured, though, by season’s end, Jayron will have double digit interception numbers and will be a first round NFL draft pick.

Who is the ACC Coastal Division Midseason Most Valuable Offensive Player?

@younglefhanderAnother logjam.  The top 3 rushers in the conference are in the Coastal, in David Wilson, Lamar Miller, and Giovani Bernard.  Wilson also leads the conference in carries.  And then there’s Orwin Smith (GT).  Smith has only amassed 423 yards rushing, but that’s on only 28 carries.  That’s a ridiculous 15.1 yards per carry.  He also is tied for the conference lead in rushing TDs with 7.  Among receivers, Dwight Jones leads the division with 605 yards on 37 catches with 7 TDs.  Stephen Hill is next in the Coastal with 552 yards on a paltry 17 catches with 4 TDs.  At this point in the season, it’s tough for me to go with a player other than the most productive player in the most productive offense.  The Coastal Midseason Offensive MVP is Orwin Smith in my book.

@willsworldmnDavid Wilson, Virginia Tech. Before the Miami game, he was the only offense the Hokies had. He’s singled handedly won them a couple of games.

@hokieguru:  I think I probably have a tie here between David Wilson of Virginia Tech (#1a) and Orwin Smith of Georgia Tech (#1b).  Wilson with over 1000 all-purpose yards and the stats mentioned by @younglefhander make these guys the top candidates.  If either running back breaks a tackle, they can both take it to the house.

Who wins the ACC Coastal Division Midseason Coaching Award?

@younglefhanderEverett Withers deserves serious consideration considering the circumstances under which he found himself head coach in Chapel Hill.  He’s got the Tar Heels at 5-1, and looking a lot better than expected.  At the same time, that one loss was to a Coastal Division opponent.  Georgia Tech’s schedule hasn’t been exactly daunting, but Paul Johnson’s squad is 6-0, and they’ve scored more points than any other team in the conference.  The offense has come back to earth somewhat, but it’s still very dangerous.  I’d say Withers and Johnson are 1 and 1a at this point.

@willsworldmnPaul Johnson , GA Tech. I think a lot of people were projecting them to be a middle of the pack ACC team and get to another bowl. But what they’ve done so far offensively is astounding. They have a legit shot of winning the ACC.

@hokieguru:  Everett Withers of UNC… raise your hand if you had the Tar Heels at 5-1 considering all of the off-season ish they have been through?  The Heels have a sophomore starter in Bryn Renner at QB and are damn close to being undefeated.  Kudos to Withers… outstanding coaching job.

Who is the ACC Coastal Division’s surprise team?

@younglefhanderThis is sure to change in the second half of the season, but Duke at 3-2 overall, and 1-0 in the conference, while riding a 3 game winning streak takes the midseason prize.

@willsworldmnWhile Georgia Tech has been a nice surprise, Duke is on a three game winning streak, and despite the opening week loss to Richmond, they’ve looked a lot more competitive than expected. 

@hokieguru:  Georgia Tech is going to be the popular answer here… but I don’t buy it yet because of their strength of schedule… Western Carolina, Middle Tennessee State, Kansas, North Carolina State, and Maryland aren’t world-beaters… we’re going to know more about the Jackets in the 2nd half of the season.  So, for my money, it’s the Carolina schools that are the surprises… Duke has a nice 3-2 start, but I don’t think that’s going to last for long (rooting for them to make a bowl).  North Carolina, though, gets my award here.  I would not have expected the Tar Heels to be at 5-1 this point and within an earshot of being undefeated given their offseason… yes, I know the “rally the troops” mantra is a possibility, but I didn’t see it here.  Kudos to Withers.

Who is the ACC Coastal Division’s most disappointing team?

@younglefhanderThis has to be Miami.  Winless in the league so far and they’ve only scored more points than Virginia and Duke.  I’m not sure the Canes can get bowl eligible by the end of the season.

@willsworldmn: Miami has not looked as great as expected. Despite the suspensions, they should be better than they are. The home loss to Kansas State was a shocker, and the slow start they had against Bethune Cookman was a head scratcher.

@hokieguru:  I’ll make this unanimous and say Miami here.  No way did I see the Canes starting out 0-2 in the ACC.  At the same time, Miami doesn’t nearly have the defense that they had in their glory days.  There is no Ed Reed in this bunch here.

To close, here’s your chance to change your ACC Coastal Division preseason pick.  Who is going to win the ACC Coastal Division?

@younglefhander:  There’s a lot of football left, and the back half of the schedule is significantly more difficult, but I think Georgia Tech will represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship Game.

@willsworldmnI don’t like to change my predictions mid season, but I’m going to in this case. I picked Virginia Tech in the preseason, and I’m changing it to Georgia Tech. I’m amazed by how well this offense hums. The defense is a little suspect, but the offense compensates. I don’t trust Virginia Tech, even though they’re 5-1. I don’t trust Logan Thomas to win a game against a good defense if he needed too.

@hokieguru:  I did not make a midseason pick… and if I did, it would have been the Hokies… I was confident in that pick as recent as a week ago (even with the loss to Clemson).  But the Hokies have mad trouble with injuries (especially on defense).  And for that reason, I have to pick Georgia Tech to win the Coastal Division.  I think the Hokies are too young on the defensive line.

We thank our panelists for another great discussion at All Sports Discussion.

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