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2012 ACC football schedule released

The ACC on Monday released its 2012 football schedule. As had been previously announced, N.C. State will begin play earlier than the rest of the conference. The Wolfpack will begin the season on Aug. 31 against Tennessee at Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

North Carolina opens the season on Sept. 1 at Kenan Stadium against Elon, while Duke hosts Florida International at Wallace Wade Stadium. Wake Forest, meanwhile, will begin the season on Sept. 1 at home against Liberty.

Duke falls to Georgia Tech 38-31

Updated 6:25 p.m.

DURHAM – The odds favored Duke on the play. Tight end Cooper Helfet knew it. That’s why quarterback Sean Renfree threw the ball to Helfet.

With less than three minutes left, Duke was driving for a game-tying touchdown against Georgia Tech. That’s when Renfree threw up a jump ball to Helfet, who is 6 feet 4. Guarding him was 5-10 cornerback Jemea Thomas.

Helfet jumped. Then Thomas leaped over Helfet. Thomas’ interception sealed Georgia Tech’s 38-31 victory over Duke on Saturday afternoon.

Hokies hold on for 14-10 win over Duke

Updated 7:25 p.m.

DURHAM – Duke coach David Cutcliffe has told his told players these are the games, the close ones, that are most telling. He tells his Blue Devils he loves close games, because you’re right there, one play away from victory.

Saturday afternoon at Wallace Wade Stadium, the Blue Devils needed a play against No. 15 Virginia Tech, one that could be the biggest highlight under Cutcliffe’s four-years.

No contact for UNC's Ryan Houston

PINEHURST -- UNC tailback Ryan Houston, who had shoulder surgery after spring practice, will go non-contact when the Tar Heels open fall practice on August 5.

“In talking to Scott Trulock, our trainer, he’s not going to be available for contact until probably somewhere between the 10th and the 15th of August,’’ UNC football coach Butch Davis said. “And then obviously, we’re going to be extremely smart about what you bring him back to do; you don’t put him into a 70-play scrimmage the very first day. Let him get hit a little bit, and build his confidence back up. We fully expect at this time that he’ll be ready to go at the start of the season.”

Houston redshirted last season, after rushing for 713 yards and nine touchdowns in 2009.

Ga. Tech escapes with 24-20 win over Wake Forest

Georgia Tech rallied from behind twice in the fourth quarter Saturday night to escape with a 24-20 victory over Wake Forest at BB&T Field.

Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Correy Earls with 15 seconds remaining to cap the Yellow Jackets’ comeback victory.

SI less kind to ACC football

Sports Illustrated's not as high on ACC football as it is ACC basketball. In SI's All-Decade accolades the ACC picked up "Worst BCS conference" honors and Duke was tabbed the "Worst Program."

Coach O'Brien stands and delivers

You learn a lot about people when things go wrong.

NC State is having a dismal football season, losing all four conference games thus far, including dropping a tough one Saturday in the last few minutes at Florida State, 45-42. After the game, reporter Ken Tysiac, who covers college sports for The Charlotte Observer and The N&O, was delayed in a logjam on the stairs at Doak Campbell Stadium. Tysiac was a few minutes late for NCSU Coach Tom O'Brien's meeting with reporters. 

Tysiac was the only reporter from a North Carolina newspaper to travel to the game. When O'Brien saw he wasn't there, he stepped away from the podium and said he wouldn't start until Tysiac arrived. O'Brien did his one-on-one post-game radio interview with the Wolfpack Sports Network, then returned to the podium. By then Tysiac had arrived. He thanked O'Brien for waiting for him.

Chuck Walsh, Florida State associate sports information director, said that in 22 years of working in sports information, he had never seen a coach delay a post-game conference to wait on a reporter. 

I give prominent people plenty of grief when they dodge us. So I thought I should recognize one guy who went out of his way to talk to a reporter from back home, even on a day when he must not have felt like talking at all. 

--John Drescher





Sept. 3, 2009: South Carolina 7, N.C. State 3

The N.C. State Wolfpack fall to South Carolina 7-3 in their season opener at Carter-Finley Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009.

Aug. 29, 2009: Meet the Pack day at Carter-Finley

First Look: Staff photojournalist Ethan Hyman's raw edit of the "Meet the Pack" Day at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009.

At-large bowl mess on the agenda

The confusion that ensued when N.C. State became the ACC's 10th bowl-eligible team last season was a combination of too few bowl bids on the part of the ACC (who knew the conference would need more than nine?) and hopelessly twisted NCAA rules regarding the eligibility of at-large teams for bowl games.

Michael Kelly, the ACC's assistant commissioner for football, said it was too late to change the process for this season, but expected the NCAA to have changes in place by January, at the soonest.

"There was a sense that it wasn't so much a bad process, but that we shouldn't be figuring it out during the first week of December," Kelly said.

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