ACC Football

David Parker, Copy Editor

ACC Football
By David Parker

In this upcoming football season, all three teams in the triangle have high hopes for favorable outcome after successful seasons a year ago.

The University North Carolina (UNC) finished the regular season with a 6-6 record but lost 21-40  to Rutgers University in the Quick Lane Bowl .  They have some returning players including senior quarterback, Marquise Williams. Williams had a total of 3,068 passing yards and 788 rushing yards in the 2014 season.  Experience at the quarterback position helps create a more favorable situation for the offense.  UNC, led by Williams and head coach Larry Fedora, looks to make improvements and build on their season last year.

North Carolina State University ended up with a 8-5 record and a bid to play in the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl against University of Central Florida (UCF).  The Wolfpack is coached by second year coach Dave Doren.  Senior quarterback Jacoby Brissett led the greatly improved wolfpack  team.  Brissett threw for 2,606 yards and 23 touchdowns along with only 5 interceptions.  The Pack got three five-star running backs in the 2014 recruiting class who will look to make an immediate impact.  The run game should be a vital role for the wolfpack’s success which is led by Matt Dayes, junior.  However the pack lost an important part of their offense, Shadarach Thorton was arrested four games into the season and will miss playing time due to possible jail time.  This much experience on the offensive side of the ball could be almost impossible to stop when it comes time for Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) play.

The Duke Blue Devils finished the season last year second in the ACC with a 9-4 record  but lost in the Hyundai Bowl game to No. 15 ranked Arizona State 36-31.  Head coach David Cutcliffe is going into his eighth season at Duke University.  Duke historically has not had a good football program but with the help of Cutcliffe, the Blue Devils have improved and have been a threat in the ACC.  With the past few successful seasons under Cutcliffe’s belt, the Blue Devils look to have an even better season than they did last year.

Wake Forest led by first year head coach Dave Clawson finished the 2014 season with a record of 3-9. The team beat Gardner-Webb, Army and Virginia Tech. Wake Forest is the sixth-smallest school in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the smallest school in the Power Five Conference. Dezmond Wortham led the offenses with a total of 241 rushing yards. Freshman quarterback John Wolford threw a total of 2,037 passing yards and scored 12 touchdowns. Redshirt Freshman, Mike Weaver went 15-19 for field goal attempts. He also led the team in points scored with 64 points. Cornerback, Kevin Johnson, was a first round pick sixteenth overall in the 2015 NFL Draft.