The Atlantic Coast Conference is hosting its annual “ACC Kickoff” event at the Westin hotel in Charlotte as the league’s football programs gather to discuss the upcoming season. David DeGuzman and Ryan Moye have updates from Charlotte as the event unfolds.
Day 1 Wrap-Up
That’s all for Day 1 at the “ACC Kickoff”. We’ll hear from the Hokies and Hoos tomorrow when the Coastal Division programs take center stage in Charlotte. Good night!
With media fixated on Week 3 rematch with Clemson, Syracuse focuses on Liberty
Liberty finished its first full season in FBS football with six wins. And that’s reason enough for Syracuse head coach Dino Babers to call the Flames a dangerous team.
LU and the Orange meet in the season opener on August 31.
“I’m already up there watching film and getting ready for them so I’m excited,” Syracuse defensive lineman Kendall Coleman said.
Although they may be thrilled to play in Lynchburg, the Orange know the Flames pose a serious threat.
“We’ve got to go in there and handle our business right away. Like coach Babers said, they have a great coach over there and they have a lot of offensive talent,” Coleman said. “It’s going to be a game where we’re going to really have to hone in on them.”
Syracuse finished the 2018 season with ten wins and came close to beating Clemson for the second year in a row. But they’re not overlooking the Flames.
“We’ve got to give them the most respect possible,” Syracuse quarterback Tommy Devito said. “We can’t try to treat them just because they may not be in the ACC like they’re not in a bigger division or something like that. You just have to treat them like you’d treat anybody else.”
Coleman thinks other teams would overlook small schools like Liberty.
“The minute that you do that, you’re putting yourself in a tough spot because these small schools are waiting for us,” Coleman said. “They want nothing more to take down a major name.”
With the season opener inching closer, the Orange say they’re up for the challenge.
“We’re worried about that first game but we can’t wait,” Devito said.
Babers admitted he’s not comfortable speaking about the season-opening matchup at Liberty.
Babers: “I think we’re going to have our hands full.”
Hokies have Eagles’ full attention
While we’ll hear from the Hokies tomorrow when the Coastal Division schools take center stage, we did get the perspective of Boston College, who opens the season against Virginia Tech on August 31.
The Eagles beat Tech, 31-21, last season during the Hokies’ homecoming. But BC has been looking forward to this game for a while, ever since their bowl game against Boise State was canceled.
” I think Virginia Tech is a tough team We’re going to have to bring our A-Game obviously,” Boston College defensive tackle Tanner Karafa said. “We’re just going to have to be as prepared as possible and come out with the energy that opening games. It’s going to be a lot of energy. It’s at home. We’ll have our fans there.”
The Eagles think opening the season against an ACC opponent presents a unique opportunity to set the tone for the year.
“Starting off with them sends a message of who we’re going to be this season. It’s a big game for both teams,” BC running back AJ Dillon said. “I don’t know what the mentality is for both sides but I know for us, we have it penciled down, that’s going to be our main focus going into camp. Them and how we can all be our best to show our level of intensity in that game. “
And for Karafa, an Ashburn, Va.-native, the first game of the fall will take on some extra significance. And not just because he was looking to get recruited at Virginia Tech.
“My brother actually went to Virginia Tech. That was one of the reasons why I didn’t want to go,” Karafa said. “A whole load of friends went to Virginia Tech, went to UVA, all the Virginia schools so that one has a bit of meaning, just because of my friends.”
All hail the reigning champs
Sights and sounds from #ACCKickoff
Liberty’s first opponent, Syracuse, takes the stage
Season opener vs. Hokies takes on extra significance for Tanner Karafa
Boston College defensive tackle Tanner Karafa grew up in Ashburn, Virginia and his brother attended Virginia Tech. Karafa discusses how the season opener against the Hokies takes on extra significance for him.
Fire alarm interrupts #ACCKickoff
Boston College takes the stage
EJ Manuel: “I feel like I’m still part of the game.”
WFXR’s Ryan Moye catches up with former NFL quarterback EJ Manuel, who is joining ACC Network as an analyst.
ACC discusses launch of upcoming network
As expected, the majority of the Commissioner’s forum talked about the upcoming launch of its linear channel, ACC Network. In partnership with ESPN, the network is set to launch on August 22. However, major cable companies, including Cox and Comcast, have yet to pick up the channel, which is scheduled to broadcast at least two Virginia Tech football games, including the season opener on August 31 at Boston College. ACCN is also set to broadcast the first three games of the Virginia Cavaliers’ season.
“We’re very confident that ESPN are the best in the world when it comes to distribution,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. “It’s part of the Disney family and when you combine ESPN sports with what Disney does, that’s strong. That’s one of the reasons why we feel so confident as this peels out with who we’re partnered with.”
Swofford also noted that fans will have access to ACC Network, even if it means switching to providers that have already agreed to carry the channel at launch, including DirecTV, Verizon Fios, Google Fiber, Hulu and Playstation Vue.
Representatives from ESPN said that the ongoing conversations with major cable providers have been productive and promising but still requires fans to request the network.
“There are already options for fans to have access to ACC Network with the distributors who are already on board as partners. So I would encourage fans to check with their distributors,” ESPN senior vice president of college networks Rosalyn Durant said. “Don’t assume that your distributor has it, know for sure. Call them, ask them, demand it. And if they don’t have it, know that you have other options.”