Sun, Jul 21, 2013
GREENSBORO, NC -- Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd had a message for South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney from the ACC Football Kickoff: See you in November.
The Tigers and Gamecocks will meet in the regular season finale on Nov. 30 in game that will feature two top teams, but the spotlight will surely be focused on Boyd and Clowney, likely the top prospect in next year's NFL Draft.
Clowney told reporters at SEC Media Days in Hoover, AL, last week that he could see the fear in Boyd's eyes when the two went head-to-head on the field in 2012. Clowney recorded 4.5 sacks in that game.
Boyd said not so fast.
"I'm not afraid of anybody," Boyd said at the ACC's Media Days on Sunday. "It's never been in my nature, never been in my character. I'm a competitor. I'm going to compete against whoever wants to compete."
"I think it will take care of itself when we play in November," he continued. "Right now I'm just thinking about getting ready for the summer and getting ready for the opener."
That will be against another SEC opponent, East favorite Georgia.
WELCOME TO THE ACC... YOU GET THE 'NOLES FIRST
The defending ACC and Orange Bowl Champs will open the season at Pitt and be the first ACC opponent for the Panthers, one of two additions to the conference this year (along with Syracuse).
"I know they're going to be jacked up and ready to play us," 'Noles senior defensive back Lamarcus Joyner said. "And they're going to be threat because they're a good team. We have the responsibility of welcoming them to the ACC the right way and to prove to them why we are what people say we are."
THE 'CUSE READY FOR THE CHALLENGE
Syracuse's Macky MacPherson grew up in Syracuse as a child watching the Orange play in the Big East. So, it's a little strange to be in the ACC now, but the senior center loves the challenge ahead.
"You know youre gonna play high-quality opponents anytime you play an ACC opponent." MacPherson said. "You have the SEC, ACC, Pac-12 -- those are your top-tier conferences. Every time you play a team from one of those conferences, you know they're used to playing high-quality teams. So, you can't sleep on any team that you play, no matter what their record is."
HOKIES: NO FEAR OF ALABAMA
Virginia Tech has arguably the toughest opener in the country when it takes on two-time defending BCS Champion Alabama at the Georgia Dome.
"Expectations are always high. Our expections are always to win 10, 11, 12 games a season -- to win the ACC," said Hokies linebacker Jack Tyler. "We expect to beat teams like Alabama. Some teams might go into that game thinking, 'Well, if we lose, we'll win next week,' No, we expect to beat them. We expect to win every game. That's how are program is run."
There has never been a team not named 'Tech' to represent the Coastal Division in the ACC Championship. North Carolina, in year two with Larry Fedora as head coach, hopes to end that string this season.
"I think we've got a chance," said senior QB Bryn Renner. "Last year was a good stepping stone for us. We're looking forward to the opportunity this year to build off that momentum from last year, make that next step and hopefully play in that game."
BYE BYE BCS
A playoff will determine the 2014 national champion, so this is the final year of the Bowl Championship Series. ACC Commissioner John Swofford, the former coordinator of the BCS, looked back on ups and downs.
“I was the only guy that was crazy enough to be its coordinator twice -- I didn't learn the first time around.” Swofford joked. “For all its issues and problems I think it has been good for college football. The growth of the game during the existence of the BCS has been phenomenal. I'm not saying it was because of the BCS, but it turned the sport in a lot of ways from a regional sport to a national sport where people were interested in what was happening on the other side of the continent because it might affect who played in the National Championship game."