This week pits the last two ACC Coastal Division champions, Georgia Tech and Duke, against each other in what looks to be one of many crucial division game sin a wide-open division. This game does not carry the animosity you would get with Alabama-Auburn or Michigan-Ohio State, but a nice little war or words has developed this week between the head coaches at both ACC schools.
Duke head coach David Cutcliffe touched a nerve with his comments about Georgia Tech’s inability to be able to recruit talented playmakers at positions like wide receiver because of the offensive style run by Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson. Cutclife asked a rhetorical question about why a wide receiver would choose to go to Georgia Tech. Demaryius Thomas was the last 1,000-yard receiver at Georgia Tech, in 2009. Only two wide receivers since then have had at least 400 receiving yards in a season. Johnson took aim in his response to Cutcliffe’s comments.
“How many receivers have they put in the NFL?” Johnson asked according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I can tell you. None. They’ve had one offensive player (drafted by) the NFL in his six years there. … He probably ought to worry about his own business.”
Cutcliffe attempted to clarify his statements during the weekly ACC coaches conference call. He toned it down a little and suggested he was not attempting to criticize Johnson or Georgia Tech.
“I think young people today, and you go across this country and anybody like I said that knows football, like I was saying, it’s a different type of offense,” Cutcliffe said Wednesday. “We’re different. We’re not a pro-style offense or defense. So what it does, and certain kids — I think Coach Johnson would tell you the same thing. Certain kids don’t like to think about playing in that type of system.”
For what it is worth, Duke and Georgia Tech have two of the ACC’s top wide receivers this season. Duke’s Jamison Crowder is All-ACC caliber and is fifth in the conference with 343 receiving yards. Georgia Tech’s DeAndre Smelter is right behind him with 339 yards and four touchdowns to Crowder’s two. A win for Georgia Tech would improve their ACC mark to 3-0 with wins against Duke, Virginia Tech and Miami already behind them. Duke would drop to 0-2 in the ACC.