Thursday, November 12, 2009

ACC FOOTBALL: COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA

ESPN’s ACC football blogger Heather Dinich has a penchant for making good points. In a post yesterday, she points out how some teams have been a bit unlucky in terms of injury. While injuries are an obvious part of the game, a pile up on any given team is problematic.

According to Dinich: Five ACC teams are currently bowl eligible, but it’s unlikely the conference will fill its nine allotted bowl slots this year. A closer look at the conference, though, shows several of these struggling teams aren’t as bad as their records indicate. They’ve just fallen on some tough luck:

*Maryland has played 24 freshmen (10 true, 14 redshirts) this year, the most ever during Friedgen’s tenure. Seven have been on the defensive line. Paul Pinegar and Phil Costa are the only two offensive linemen to start all nine games. Overall, injuries have kept potential starters out of 32 games.

*At UNC, injuries have accounted for 23 missed starts. Three offensive linemen and the starting tight end have missed at least four games each. Six players on the team have had season-ending injuries, and UNC has missed three tailbacks, two fullbacks, two wide receivers, two tight ends, and three offensive linemen because of injuries. Conversely, only a backup safety has been out for the defense. And Tar Heels fans wonder what's wrong with their offense.

*NC State has had six starters on defense miss games, causing the Pack to start eight different lineups in nine games. This team would’ve been capable of more with the ACC’s No. 3 offense. A dozen players have suffered season-ending injuries. A total of 13 starters have missed a total of 39 games due to injuries.


*The Deacs have lost five games each by three points or fewer, including two games in overtime. It’s a school record. John Mackovic’s 1980 Wake Forest squad lost four games by three points or fewer. Wake Forest lost five games by a combined 13 points. This might be the unluckiest team in the country.

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