Wednesday, April 7, 2010

ACC 2009 Refresher - Quarterbacks

The sky is yellow with tree sex this week making it officially okay to speculate on the 2010 season, and you can’t start speculating on the future without reviewing the past. We’re starting our tour of memory lane with quick run down of the glory boys, Quarterbacks. Unfortunately, we only do passive research. So if it wasn’t on the radio or told to us in a bar then we don’t know a thing a bout it.

Patron Saint of ACC Quarterbacks


Thadeous Lewis is the Nega-Brady Quinn, and now he’s gone. Lewis was already gaining attention from those in the know around the ACC before David Cutcliffe and his big toe head came to the ACC. Under Cutcliffe, Lewis developed into a sleeper pick in this years NFL draft. Lewis put the ball in the air more than any other quarterback in the ACC last year, and still managed to throw 8 interceptions to 20 touchdowns. He leaves Duke with 48 (WARNING: There is a 75% chance that number is completely fictitious) individual records.

So how’s David Cutcliffe going to replace him? Well he’s David Cutcliffe and he’s at Duke. If his teams do one thing well his tenure with the Blue Devils will be considered a success. And that one thing is to become Texas Tech East. Cutcliffe has a bevy of young arms and one of them is going to make that magic bean fly. Sean Renfree has the most game experience out of the remaining quarterbacks and he acquitted himself well completing 68% of his 50 passes while throwing four touchdowns and two interceptions. A torn ACL suffered against Tech last season has temporarily sidelined him but there's a chance he'll be back this Fall. Rookie Brandon Connette had a good spring so he too could be an option for the Blue Devils.


Christian Ponder. Sounds like… a Midshipman on the HMS Pinafore and also hits like Midshipman on the HMS Pinafore. But he passed like Admiral Nelson sunk French ships (well and often). Ponder was approaching folk hero status when he dislocated his arm making a meaningless tackle in blow out loss to Clemson. Still, you have to like his moxie. Or is that pluck? Can’t remember.

Quite frankly Ponder made it fun to watch FSU for the first time in twenty years. The defense was horrible which set the stage for Ponder’s one-man assault on all comers. In the nine games he did play, Ponder threw the ball all over God’s green earth and did it with aplomb. Accurate? Yes. Effective? Yes. Productive? Yes. Quite frankly, FSU fans should be very excited.

Also, Jimbo Fisher flashed some real coaching mettle going 3-1 after Ponder was lost for the season with freshman EJ Manuel under center. In Manuel’s four starts he averaged 12 fewer passing attempts a game than Ponder. So FSU has a proven back-up which might be the most over hyped position this side of the passion propeller in the world.

Wake Forest

Riley Skinner’s gone…finally. Who's left? No one, that’s who.

There is something called Skylar Jones. Did not play last year.

Also a Ted Stachitas (pronounced Stau-chee-tas’ and must be Spanish for, “mustache full of cheese sauce”). Recovering from shoulder surgery. Must have dislocated brushing out the ‘stache.

There’s a Brenden Cross. Enrolled early and got right into the swing of college life by founding the Wake Forest Bronte Book club.

They also have a Tanner Price showing up this fall. Evidently a decent QB prospect.

On paper these guys sound and look more like the Men’s Glee Club than a quarterback corps, but seriously I’ll be here all night. It’s Jim Grobe. He’ll find a way to win some games he shouldn’t and at least one of theses guys will turn into a reliable field general.

NC State

It seems to us that most quarterbacks improve the most between their sophomore and junior years. If that’s the case then Russell Wilson could be in for a huge year. Wilson threw for a ridiculous 31 touchdowns last year.

Wilson took the spring off from football to focus on baseball. He should be back to football this fall. In the meantime talented Mike Glennon has a chance to show what he can do. There is some thought that Glennon could replace Wilson as a starter with a good enough performance in the spring. That seems unlikely but the fact that the sentiment exists shows how good Glennon, and transitively Wilson, is, or something.

Fun fact!!: Russell Wilson looks like a tall Lil’ Wayne right down to the tear drop tattoos. Actually that’s not true. We have no idea what Russell Willson looks like. We only found out recently he was black. Yeah, John Swofford’s doing a fine job with the ACC TV package. Well done, sir.

Jacory Harris. Great swag. Average quarterback in 2009. Granted, as a true Junior he has a chance to make a real leap like Christian Ponder did last year and Harris’ numbers compare pretty favorably to Ponder’s sophomore year. Ponder completed 55.7% of his passes for 6.31 yards per attempt 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Harris last year completed 59.6% for 8.26 yards per attempt with 24 touch downs and 17 interceptions.

Harris, much like Josh Nesbitt, is sitting out the spring recovering from surgery… on his thumb, but much like on the Flats this merely gives the Canes a chance to try out AJ Highsmith and the rest of the back-ups.


This is the thing about Toonces the driving cat. He drives…but not that well. On a certain level it doesn’t matter how bad a driver a cat is, it’s still incredible that he can drive. Just don’t get in the car with him because he’ll drive off a cliff and kill you. And that pretty much sums up Chris Turner’s career at Maryland. With Turner under center Maryland had some incredible highs, but they also had some bewildering lows. Sometimes because of Turner and sometimes in spite of Turner. All of which is to say he’s the prototypical ACC quarterback.

This year Maryland has six quarterbacks in camp, and unlike Turner these guys can run. Leading the group is Jamarrrrrrr-rrrrrr-rrrrr Robinson, who played in six games last year. Robinson played pretty well, not making a lot of huge mistakes. He also had the second highest rushing total per game among ACC quarterbacks last year. Last time Ralf Freidgen had a quarterback that could run it turned out pretty well. Of course ‘Freidge refuses to coach offensive football now days.


We deplore picking on college kids so take this in the kindest light possible. TJ Yates assassinated the Tar Heels last year. Okay, that’s not quite fair. TJ Yates and the offensive line assassinated the Tar Heels last year.

The Yates part was kind of surprising. He missed the middle of the 2008 season to injury but looked very productive when he played. Yet last year he turned into Captain Check-Down-INT, averaging 6.02 yards and attempt and throwing 15 interceptions to only 14 touchdowns.

As of this spring, Butch Davis says he is sticking with Yates. What else is he supposed to do? Adding insult to injury, this is all on top of having a terrible basketball team.


Al Groh. You've forgotten more about offensive football than he'll ever know. Wait, is that backwards?

The Cav’s sent Groh out with a whimper last year. The Spread attack never got a chance to take root. New head coach Mike London brings a run based approach which is good because the likely choice at quarterback is Marc Verica who aspires to Toonces skill level. In 2008, Verica was forced into action when Jameel Sewell took a sabbatical from class. Verica struggled as a sophomore, but he flashed the potential to be a good game manager. Other options would be redshirt freshman Ross Metheny and true freshman Michael Strauss. A few more freshmen will join the team this fall.


Kyle Parker was nice last year. Not spectacular, but nice. That and one CJ Spiller will get you to the ACC Championship Game. And don’t get us wrong, “nice” for a Freshman is very good. With Spiller and wide receiver Jacoby Ford gone this year, Parker’s going to have to step up his game and become a real difference maker. Problem is Parker may not be in Clemson come this fall as he is expected to be drafted very high in the pro-baseball draft this June.

If Parker opts for pro-baseball his likely replacement will be Tajh Boyd, a freshman product of the Virginia Tide water. We don’t know much about Boyd. Reports out of Clemson say he’s an incredible athlete but is having trouble picking up the offense. That shouldn’t be surprising for any freshman, but as a criticism it sounds suspiciously euphemistic.

Oh stop complaining! There’s a confederate battle flag in your front yard!

Boston College

We knew Chris Weinke. We saw Chris Weinke play. And you, Dave Shinskie, are no Chris Weinke. You are old, we’ll grant you that, but you are not a top ten ACC quarterback. You aspire to Toonces, but don’t take our word for it.

How good of a quarterback is Shinskie now? “I’d say I’m maybe a 6”

His goal is to be a nine, because you know, you can’t aim to high.

Virginia Poly

You know Tyrod Taylor really was an effective passer last year. Not outstanding, but he completed about 56% of his passes, threw 5 ints to 13 touchdowns and had the second highest yards per attempt average in the ACC. But this is the thing... Taylor only ran for about 370 yards last year. Which is fine, but that’s like bragging that your Lamborghini, Porsche, Corvette, Ford Mustang gets 32 mpg on the highway but you like to keep it to five miles over the speed limit.

Jumpin Jupiter in a bathtub! Why the heck doesn’t Virginia Polly join the 21st century and install a spread offense. Look at the QB’s they’ve had success with sense 2000; Michael Vick, Bryan Randal, Marcus Vick, Shemp Vick, Sean Glennon, and Tyrod Taylor. Four of those guys are incredibly athletic, one of them is not, and one of them is fictional. Frank Beamer, you are already recruiting the athletes to play that kind of offense. It fits well with your defensive personality…and…and…and, oh my god it just makes me so angry. I’m not even a fan of your team. In fact I want to Tech to destroy VPISU every time, but the pure inexplicable lack of an ability to organize a sensible offensive plan by an otherwise impeccable coach drives my left frontal lobe up the wall!

But what do I know? My only qualification is that I have the internet and a keyboard.

That goes for all of the above.



  1. Sir,
    I do not know where to begin but Jacory Harris in an ascot epic. 1000 bourbon drinks to you, Frank!


  2. Weinke played for FSU, not Boston College. Perhaps Matt Ryan would be a better comparison? Unless someone compared Shinskie to Weinke and I'm not getting that connection.

  3. Weinke = Shinskie because both started playing QB as older guys (26 or something) after trying their hand at baseball. At least I think that's right.

  4. Please delete the Vippie Sue part of your blog. Do you want them to get a clue offensively? Do you want them to do something that actually makes perfect sense? Yeah, you just wrote something ingenious and all, but would you have wanted somebody to tell Hitler how stupid he was for deciding to attack Russia? No, you would'nt have wanted that. And, I don't want you telling VPI how stupid they are either. They need "yes men" around there, not geniouses or even common sense folk. The rest of the coaches in the conference should hire an official butt kisser for Beamer telling him how perfect he is. So, keep your execellent ideas to yourself, dad gum it.

  5. A little warning before the passion helicopter link... FM IT does not like those links.

    Otherwise, high comedy. Well done, sir!

  6. Umm, what did you think "passion helicopter" referred to? And fear not Virginia Polly, for Bryan Stynespring is a GOD along the Tidewater. He shall remain in place and continue his search for football Viagra, the only thing that could invigorate that moribund offense....