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UNC's Arnold happy on offense

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina's Cooter Arnold missed having the football in his hands. First when he was switched from running back to safety after his freshman season. Then last year as a junior, when he was suspended for the first five games by new head coach Butch Davis.

So after returning from his suspension — which he said was partially because of an academic issue — Arnold asked to be switched back to the offense.

Now as a wide receiver, he's making a last-ditch grab to help the Tar Heels to a winning season and bowl berth.

White expands staff at Duke

Tags: ACC Now | Duke

Duke AD Kevin White hired two new assistants, Stan Wilcox and Boo Corrigan, and promoted assistant AD Chris Kennedy on Tuesday.

Kennedy, who has worked at Duke since 1977, is now deputy director of athletics. Wilcox and Corrigan both worked for White at Notre Dame. Wilcox, also a deputy director of athletics, will oversee the football program.

Corrigan, the youngest son of Gene Corrigan, the former AD at Duke and Notre Dame, is the senior associate director of athletics for external affairs. As such, he will work with corporate partners and marketing.

Ten games that matter for the ACC

Will the Gators be celebrating again on Nov. 29?

 

Quick name the ACC's last important nonconference win football.

You remember Maryland's win over 10th-ranked Rutgers last season, right? Nevermind Rutgers went 8-5 and finished tied for fifth in the Big East, that was huge for the ACC. It was almost as big as Boston College's double-overtime win over BYU in 2006.

Get the point? It has been awhile since the ACC won a genuine game in the national scheme of things (you know, that BCS losing streak being eight games and all).

Alas, this football season offers the conference a shot, or 10, at proving its not the worst among its BCS brethren. These 10 games will go a long way in determining the ACC's national reputation.

Spurrier still having fun

Steve Spurrier had a better winning percentage in his three seasons at Duke than he does after three seasons at South Carolina.

That fact makes some college football fans wonder if the Ol' Ball Coach is fixin' to get from the dead-end job in Columbia. The OBC begins his fourth season with the Gamecocks, he's 21-16 compared to 20-13-1 at Duke from 1987-89, on Aug. 28 against N.C. State.

Spurrier talked with Tony Barnhart about his state of mind after losing five straight to end the 2007 season at 6-6.

“I’m still having fun," Spurrier said. "Our goal is always to win the SEC championship and that is not going to change. But we know we’re not there yet."

More questions than answers for VT

Virginia Tech hasn't made any ground on deciding its No. 1 quarterback, No. 1 running back or No. 1 receiver. Other than that, coach Frank Beamer feels great about the Aug. 30 opener vs. ECU in Charlotte.

"All I know is we're not a 15th-ranked team right now," Beamer said in the Roanoke Times, referring to the Hokies' ranking in the coaches preseason poll.

"Hopefully, we can get wind up getting that way. But we've got a lot of work to do. We've got all these wide receivers running around here, we've got all these tailbacks running around here, and who is on our second-team defense?"

The toughest job in Hokieville might belong to quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain. VT has two capable quarterbacks in Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor and both played well in rotation last season but Beamer has said he wants to use just one this season.

"To be very honest with you, I don't think it's going to get sorted out," O'Cain said.

Hoos quiet on who's QB

Tags: ACC Now | Virginia

N.C. State isn't alone with its complicated quarterback situation. Virginia, with two less starting candidates than the Wolfpack, needs to replace Jameel Sewell, who was ruled academically ineligible.

Scott Deke or Peter Lalich or Marc Verica will start for the Cavaliers when USC visits on Aug. 30. Who knows? In a shocking turn of events, UVa coach Al Groh isn't offering any clues.

Lalich, who played well in the team's first scrimmage and pushed Sewell early last season, would be the logical choice but logic's not a given with Groh.

Remember last season when another Bill Parcells/Belichick disciple played the hide-and-go-fish with the starting quarterback? That worked out well for Charlie Weis and Notre Dame, didn't it?

Pack gets another S.C. commit

While preparing for its Aug. 28 season opener at South Carolina, N.C. State is establishing a recruiting presence in its border state to the south.

Wide receiver Quinton Payton of T.L. Hanna High in Anderson, S.C., on Monday became the second South Carolina player to commit to the Wolfpack in two weeks. Hanna coach Kenya Fouch said Payton is an excellent student and also considered Wake Forest and Duke.

Added bulk could help Pack's Young

Willie Young led N.C. State with six sacks and 16 tackles for loss last season, but was light for a defensive end with 225 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame.

Now he is up to about 245 pounds.

"At the point of contact, it’s a lot more effective," Young said.

Duke loses Boyette

Re'quan Boyette, Duke's leading rusher, is out indefinitely after injuring his knee in the team's scrimmage on Saturday night. The senior running back underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Sunday, according to the team.

Duke offered no time table for Boyette's return.

Boyette led the Blue Devils with 432 rushing yards in 2007 and for the first time in his career had the starting running back job to himself. Without Boyette, Duke will lean on Clifford Harris, converted safety Tony Jackson and two true freshmen — Jay Hollingsworth and Patrick Kurunwune.

The Devils ranked last in the ACC and 117th in the country in rushing offense in 2007, averaging 64 yards per game.

Beck, Burke held out of Pack scrimmage

RALEIGH — Junior Harrison Beck and sophomore Justin Burke didn’t play Sunday during N.C. State’s second preseason scrimmage.

Coach Tom O’Brien didn’t shed much light on what that means for what was a five-player race for the starting quarterback position entering preseason camp.

O’Brien said he wanted to get a closer look at redshirt freshman Russell Wilson and freshman Mike Glennon. O’Brien was asked if the exclusion meant that Beck and Burke were out of the race for the starting position.

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