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Aug
29
2016

2016 ACC Coastal Division Predictions from @AllSportsDACC

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Hi Everyone, we have some ACC Coastal Division Predictions from several of our contributors and friends of the blog. If you aren’t following them on twitter, please go ahead and follow them and enjoy our predictions on the ACC Coastal Division.

Jeff – (@TalkinACCSports)

Matthew – (@HokieSmash)

Zach – (@ztevans)

Jerran – (@HereGoJayAgain)

Dave – @Res4Six

Dan – (@treadmillhorse)

ACC Coastal Division Predictions

Team

Jeff

Matthew

Zach

Jerran

Dave

 

Guest Picker:  Dan

Georgia Tech

6-6

6-6

6-6

6-6

6-6

6-6

Virginia Tech

8-4

7-5

7-5

8-4

8-4

6-6

Pittsburgh

8-4

8-4

8-4

10-2

10-2

7-5

Duke

6-6

5-7

6-6

5-7

6-6

5-7

North Carolina

9-3

9-3

11-1

9-3

10-2

9-3

Miami

7-5

8-4

5-7

7-5

6-6

10-2

Virginia

4-8

4-8

3-9

3-9

3-9

3-9

 

ACC Coastal Division Winner:

Jeff: North Carolina

Matthew:  North Carolina

Zach: North Carolina

Jerran: Pittsburgh

Dave: North Carolina

Dan: Miami

Who could surprise everyone and win the Coastal?

 Jeff: Virginia Tech – The Hokies have a tough non-conference schedule, but within the conference they avoid FSU, Clemson, and Louisville. They have some of the ACC’s top playmakers on offense in WR Isaiah Ford and TE Bucky Hodges. If Jerod Evans can develop quickly as QB, Virginia Tech could really surprise.

Matthew:  It would not surprise me at all if Pittsburgh were to win the Coastal Division.  I’ve been record on multiple occasions in saying that the Panthers are a darkhorse in the Coastal.  Pittsburgh has ridiculous depth at the RB position, a strong, beefy offensive line – and will always have a tough as nails defense under Pat Narduzzi.  I’ve got Pittsburgh’s game with Penn State circled on my calendar (that one will be fun)

Zach: Pittsburgh has the talent to win the Coastal, but faces the misfortune of playing road games at Coastal contender North Carolina as well as Clemson. The team that might truly sneak up on people is Virginia Tech. While they face most of the strong Coastal Division teams on the road, they completely avoid the brunt of the Atlantic Division’s top tier, giving them a favorable path in conference play.

Jerran: Pittsburgh winning the Coastal should surprise everybody but us, I suppose. I think they’ll win with James Conner and Qadree Ollison out of their backfield this season and one of the best offensive lines in the country. They’ll have some early tests to prove themselves on the road at Oklahoma State and on the road at UNC in an early ACC battle but I think they can survive those matchups with their balanced attack. Conner/Ollison certain gives Pittsburgh a “two headed monster” type that forces teams to not get too comfortable with stopping one or the other cause you’ve still got the passing attack to worry about. Replacing Tyler Boyd could take some time, but as a coach, with Conner/Ollison in your stable, there should be no need to panic.

Dave: I agree with Matthew, Jay, and Dan, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pitt won the Coastal so let’s call them an alternate winner rather than a surprise.  I took UNC over Pitt simply because I think UNC knocks them off in the head-to-head matchup in Chapel Hill. I have both squads going 10-2 with the winner taking the crown, hence my pick for the Tar Heels.  Pitt QB Nathan Peterman looks to build on his Junior production of 2,287 yards, 61.5 completion percentage, and 20 TDs and 8 interceptions.  While those numbers aren’t gaudy, he does what he’s asked to do in a run heavy system that welcomes back James Connor (1,765 yards 28 TDs in 2014) who won a battle against cancer last season and Sophomore Quadree Ollison who amassed 1,158 yards and 11 TDS last season.

They will have to replace Tyler Boyd at WR this year and that position is the biggest question mark but 6 foot 2 215 pound Senior Dontez Ford will hold down the fort until someone else in the corps emerges.  One name that has emerged is 6-foot-3 205 pound Jester Weah, Jester and Dontez would give the Panthers two big rooks flanking the offense.  Another one to watch is the mercurial Quadree Henderson, he’s only 5 foot 8, 170 pounds who has big play capability and maybe break out as a sophomore in 2016. All of this is speculation of course because Offensive Coordinator has yet to name a starter to pair with Ford.  The offense will be anchored up front by 4 returning starters on the offensive line and James Connor and Qadree Ollison couldn’t be happier.

The Defense brings back eight starters from last year’s squad that registered 37 sacks last season, paced by 6 foot, 250 pound Senior edge rusher Ejuan Prince’s 11.5 sacks.  Despite all that pressure the Panther’s put on quarterbacks, they only snatched ten interceptions.  In fact, Pitt broke even with the turnover margin last season with a score of 0.00.  The Panthers do not giveth nor taketh away last year.  If they are going to win the Coastal this will have to change.  If it is going to change it may very well hinge upon one player, the highly touted blue chip cornerback from Central Catholic HS in Pittsburgh.  Expectations were for Hamlin to step into a starting role immediately but recent comments from head coach Pat Narduzzi have him sitting out week 1 v. Villanova and even hinted that he may not play this year.  This could all be coach trickery on Narduzzi’s part but a dark shadow of doubt regarding his eligibility has been cast nonetheless.

His nagging injury has hampered his camp time and he may not have gotten enough work to see the field even if he is given a clean bill of health. If he can’t go, Pitt will rely heavily on 5 foot 9 170 pound Andre Maddox to shut down the opposition’s top WR and most likely 6 foot, 190 pound SR corner Ryan Lewis to fill the spot Hamlin was recruiting to take.  The good news is that ACC Defensive Freshman of the Year Jordan Whitehead will be there to provide over the top support, when he’s not blitzing off the edge of course.

Dan: Pitt could surprise and win the Coastal division. Although they have a difficult schedule, the ACC part of the schedule is manageable. Pitt has difficult road games at North Carolina, Miami and Clemson. If Pitt can win the North Carolina and Miami games on the road, they are in a good position to win the division. They also return six starters on offense and six starters on defense. Don’t forget they also get James Conner back after losing him last season. Their challenge will be to find receivers for Nate Peterman to throw to. If they can find those receivers, Pitt should be in a good position to challenge for the Coastal crown.

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