CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on ACC media days (all times local):
Boston College coach Steve Addazio says after qualifying for a bowl game in five of the last six seasons the next logical goal for his program is winning the ACC championship.
He knows that won’t be an easy task with four-time defending ACC champion and national champ Clemson in the same Atlantic division, but he’s not backing down. Addazio says he’s been around football long enough to know that “any team in college football is beatable,” including the Tigers, who are 34-2 against ACC foes since 2015.
He says they key to beating Clemson is being able to consistently run the football and disrupt the Tigers’ high-powered offense led by quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne.
The Eagles entered last year’s game against Clemson with a 7-2 record and played the Tigers tough before falling 27-7 at home. He says the ability to challenge the Tigers will give his team confidence this season, even in a year where Boston College has replaced its offensive and defensive coordinators.
Florida State’s second-year coach Willie Taggart says he’s impressed with how well quarterback Alex Hornibrook has meshed his new teammates after joining the Seminoles as a graduate transfer from Wisconsin.
The Seminoles are looking to bounce back from a disappointing, if not embarrassing, 5-7 first season under Taggart and will rely heavily on Hornibrook to begin the process of returning the program to notoriety. Last year was Florida State’s first non-bowl season since 1981.
Last year’s starting quarterback Deondre Francois transferred to Florida Atlantic, opening the door for Hornibrook to start.
Taggart pinned last year’s issues offensively on players’ struggles adapting to a spread offense, which differed from the pro-style offense they’d run in the past. He says he’s already seen “tremendous improvement” in the execution of the team’s offense in practice.
Taggart expects the Seminoles to “turn things around” this season behind Hornibrook, who has plenty of starting experience and was the MVP of the 2017 Orange Bowl. Hornibrook was 26-6 in three seasons at Wisconsin, throwing for 5,438 yards with 47 touchdowns and 33 interceptions.
The Clemson Tigers decided not to send quarterback Trevor Lawrence to ACC media days.
The national champs sent a “stunt double” instead.
Offensive guard John Simpson, who will represent Clemson’s offense at the annual media day, decided to wear a blonde wig to resembling the popular quarterback’s signature hairstyle, knowing everyone would probably rather talk to Lawrence. The Tigers posted a video of Simpson trying on the wig on their football Twitter site.
While the 330-pound lineman may not look a whole lot like Lawrence, at least he’s got the hair flip down.
Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford says Clemson’s recent run of success has been “great timing” leading up to next month’s launch of the league’s TV channel.
The Tigers have won two of the past three national championships along with four straight league titles. Speaking during his annual forum to start the league media days, Swofford said Wednesday it’s impossible to measure the impact of that success as the ACC Network prepares for its Aug. 22 launch.
Clemson’s opener against Georgia Tech on Aug. 29 will be the channel’s first football game.
The league needs the channel to close a growing financial gap with its power-conference peers.
The ACC’s 14 full-time members for the 2016-17 season received $26.6 million with football driving the revenues, according to the league’s federal tax filings. But the Southeastern Conference which launched its own ESPN-partnered channel in 2014 distributed nearly $41 million per school that year and while the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 all averaged more than $31 million.
The Atlantic Coast Conference opens its preseason media days Wednesday with a focus on reigning national champion Clemson and the rest of the Atlantic Division.
The Tigers have won two national championships in three seasons and four straight league titles while going 34-2 against ACC opponents dating to the 2015 season.
Syracuse is coming off a 10-win season, but there’s plenty of uncertainty throughout the division. North Carolina State is the only league school with no starting experience at quarterback, while Florida State is coming off its first bowl-less season since 1981.
There’s also a new coach in Louisville’s Scott Satterfield, while Wake Forest and Boston College are both coming off seven-win seasons.
The two-day session concludes Thursday with the Coastal Division teams.
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