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Late Hits: Sept. 14

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Clemson: You have to admire coach Dabo Swinney's honesty after Clemson's 30-27 loss to Georgia Tech on Thursday night.

“I got my butt outcoached in the first half," Swinney admitted after his team fell behind 24-0 on a series of special teams blunders.

You also have to tip your hat to Swinney, whose credentials have been questioned in this space, he got his team back in the game. If Tommy Bowden was still calling the shots, the Tigers lose by 30, not three.

Old meets new: A pair of oldtime powers got a lift from a young face on Saturday — Michigan from freshman quarterback Tate Forcier, to nip Notre Dame in the final seconds, and Southern California, from frosh Matt Barkley, for a fourth-quarter comeback at Ohio State.

And you thought only Demi Moore liked them young.

East Carolina: Pirates coach Skip Holtz summed up his team's pass defense in their 35-20 loss to West Virginia, thusly:

"Outside of the big plays, I thought our secondary did some decent things," said Holtz, whose team gave up 334 yards and big gains of 58, 55, 46 and 28.

Apart from that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

Maryland: In two games, the Terps have given up 959 total yards and 87 points. At this rate, they'll have to change their name to "Marylan." Still, the Terps can make one claim Duke or Virginia can't — they're 1-0 against the Colonial Athletic Association.


Confidence equals controversy

Duke coach David Cutcliffe knows quarterbacks but Late Hits knows press conference pump-fakes.

That's what Cutcliffe's attempt at squashing the notion of a quarterback controversy, sounded like. Freshman quarterback Sean Renfree replaced ineffective senior Thad Lewis and threw a pair of touchdowns to lead Duke to a 35-19 over Army.

"I made my mind up we would play [Renfree] regardless of circumstance," Cutcliffe said. "It's not any kind of statement in anything other than confidence in Sean."

Well, confidence and controversy both start with "con."


Ranking the ACC

Top 3
1. Virginia Tech: Fifty-two points? Who are these guys?
2. Georgia Tech: Talent and coaching is quite a combination.
3. Miami: ACC will only let ratings-winner play in primetime.

Bottom 3
10. Maryland: The Fridge petitions league to use 12 on defense.
11. Duke: Coach Cut petitions league to use two QBs.
12. Virginia: Lord Groh petitions NCAA for Matt Schaub's eligibility.

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About the blogger

Joe Giglio covers the ACC for the News & Observer, where he has worked since 1997.