ACC Football: Camp Storylines


With 60 days until the 2016 College Football season kicks off, it is time to discuss some camp story lines as teams start to form their identity going forward. As teams are getting prepared  and ready for what looks to be an exciting ACC Football season, let’s look at what’s got some teams buzzing…

The Return of James Conner

James Conner returns after a long off-the-field battle with cancer. Conner declared he was cancer-free in May after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and missing the entire 2015 season. Conner burst on to the scene in 2014 for Pittsburgh rushing for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns, breaking Tony Dorsett’s single-season record for rushing scores, which was set in 1976.

Pittsburgh could be dubbed early favorites to win the ACC Coastal and with James Conner’s return, it could spell trouble for the rest of the ACC. Pittsburgh could be a two-headed monster this season with James Conner and Qadree Ollison both toting the rock for the Panthers. Ollison started last season as a third-string RB and finished as a 1,000 yard rusher with 11 rushing touchdowns. Barring injury, Pittsburgh should do their best to showcase Conner and Ollison as best they can this season as this season looks like a better season than any to take home an ACC Coastal crown.

New Coaches in the ACC

Dino Babers, Syracuse. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech. Mark Richt, Miami. Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia. Four new coaches in the ACC who all bring different tools to the table and all have big shoes to fill at their respective programs. All eyes will be particularly focused on the learning curves these programs face as they look to new beginnings for success. With current names like Jimbo Fisher, Dabo Swinney, Bobby Petrino, and David Cutcliffe already in the mix, expect for this new breed of coaches to propel ACC Football to the next level. Just when you thought ACC Basketball had a stacked lineup of coaches!

Heisman Hopefuls

How will the ACC Heisman hopefuls fare this season?

Deshaun Watson hopes to have Clemson back in this year’s College Football Playoffs and barring injury, that should happen. Watson finished 3rd in Heisman voting as a redshirt sophomore, if he can repeat or even surpass last year’s season of 4,104 passing yards and 1,105 rushing yards, he could become Clemson’s first Heisman winner.

Brad Kaaya gets a major boost with the addition of Mark Richt as his coach. Richt should bring a sense of discipline to a team that lead the conference in penalties yards per game with 84.2 yards and penalties per game with 9.3. Penalties’ effect games and offense from a rhythm standpoint and also confidence. If Mark Richt can right the ship with Kaaya as his leader, expect Kaaya to be the reason for Miami’s ceiling for success.

Dalvin Cook rushed for 7.4 yards per carry on his way to 19 touchdowns and 1,691 rushing yards. If Cook can stay clean off the field and stay elusive on the field, look out! As the Seminoles transition to a new quarterback this season, look for Cook to take some pressure off of them whether it be Deondre Francois or Sean Maguaire. Cook finished 7th in Heisman voting in 2015.


Keep the Bowl Streaks Alive!

If there’s one message coaches can send today in camp, it’s KEEP THE BOWL STREAK ALIVE! Today, @PickSixPreviews posted their longest active bowl streaks in the FBS era. FSU leads with 34, Virginia Tech is 2nd with 23, and Clemson is tied for 8th with 12. Is anybody’s bowl streak in jeopardy this season?

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1 comment

  1. Hokie Mark says:

    It’s a shame Georgia Tech fell off the bowl streak list.

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