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Sep
21
2013

Are Maryland and Georgia Tech your newest ACC Contenders?

GTMD

I guess you’ve noticed there’s been a little inactivity on the blog for a few days. Sometimes the day job throws a little snag in the blogging. I got winged out of the country for the week, but I’m back. I’ve been following what’s been going on, and a couple of ACC teams not named Clemson, Florida State, or Miami are starting to warrant some attention. Those two teams are Maryland and Georgia Tech.

Coming into today, I was still a little unconvinced either could be a legit contender in the ACC. I didn’t trust Maryland’s offense outside of Stephon Diggs, and I wasn’t sure yet if Georgia Tech’s defense wasn’t going to be a liability. After today’s results I’m starting to believe these teams, while not in the category of the Tigers, Noles, or Canes could be capable of making some noise in these division races.

Let’s start with Maryland. The Terrapins moved to 4-0 with an impressive 37-0 shellacking of West Virginia. The Terps were so impressive that @HokieSmash is considering calling them his ACC team of the week. Beating FIU, Old Dominion, and UCONN doesn’t catch anyone’s attention, but destroying a down but credible Mountaineer team does. The Terps are only giving up 10 points a game while scoring nearly 40 a game.

They are doing it on both sides of the ball. CJ Brown has proven to be effective dual threat QB, and of course Diggs is one of the country’s most explosive players. I don’t expect the Terrapins to win at Florida State next week, but would you be shocked if they were 6-1 when Clemson comes to College Park following what’s sure to be an emotional game with Florida State? Suddenly that game looks a lot more interesting.

When you talk about Georgia Tech, you know about the offense. Paul Johnson is going to get his yards and points on offense. If you still believe you’re going to “figure” it out I have some swamp land to to sell you. It’s the defense though that has taken major strides forward this year. In combination with a potent offense Georgia Tech could be contender in the ACC Coastal. In their 3-0 start Georgia Tech has outscored it opponents 136-34. Yes there was a 70-0 win over Elon, but they held Duke to 14, their lowest total of the season.

Saturday they UNC’s fast paced offense only had 20 points. Ted Roof is making a difference at defensive coordinator and you can see it in the results. How far can the Yellow Jackets go? If they knock of Virginia Tech on Thursday night, it would set up a showdown with Miami on October 5th. that probably would decide the Coastal Division.

It’s the balance that both teams have shown, getting contribution from their offenses and defenses, that is leading me to believe that you better not overlook Maryland and Georgia Tech this season in the ACC.

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