@theACCFootball Reps Hope To Be Super On Sunday


Current league schools place eight Broncos, five Seahawks In Super Bowl XLVIII

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – If Super Bowl XLVIII evolves into an offensive shootout, look for Atlantic Coast Conference alumni to be heavily involved.

Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas already has a reputation for making game-breaking plays in the postseason. And with 92 receptions for 1,430 yards and 14 touchdowns heading into Sunday night’s contest, the former Georgia Tech star is a prime candidate to make another.

Or maybe it will come down to the nimble legs or strong arm of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who has displayed the same skill set he flashed at NC State while accounting for nearly 4,000 yards total offense and 27 touchdowns.

Last-second field goal? Seattle wouldn’t mind turning to Steven Hauschka, another former Wolfpacker, who stands 33-of-35 on his attempts this season and has connected on all three tries from beyond 50 yards.

But don’t sell the defenders short, particularly those with ACC roots. Wilson will line up opposite a pair of familiar faces, as a former rival (defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, North Carolina) and a former teammate (linebacker Nate Irving, NC State) figure heavily in the Broncos’ scheme.

On the Seattle side, strong safety Kam Chancellor (Virginia Tech) and cornerback Byron Maxwell (Clemson) are mainstays of a secondary that  left most opponents on the road to the Meadowlands frustrated and confused.

All told, the ACC boasts 13 former student-athletes in this year’s Super Bowl, and its nine starters rank second among all collegiate conferences. In addition to the aforementioned Broncos, offensive tackle Orlando Franklin (Miami) will get the nod for Denver, while offensive guard J.R. Sweezy (NC State) is set to start up front for Seattle. Sweezy’s presence gives NC State four representatives in Sunday’s game, the second-most of any school.

Also among the ACC contingent will be Denver cornerback Tony Carter (Florida State), offensive tackle Vinston Painter (Virginia Tech) and center Steve Vallos (Wake Forest). Center Dan Koppen (Boston College) is among the Broncos on the injured reserve list.

Wilson, Chancellor and Thomas were all chosen for the NFL Pro Bowl, which was played last Sunday in Honolulu, but gave up their spots due to their Super Bowl commitments.

Both head coaches spent time with current ACC programs. Denver’s John Fox worked three seasons at Pitt as defensive coordinator and secondary coach from 1986 through 1988, and Seattle’s Pete Carroll was the defensive coordinator at NC State for three seasons in the early 1980s. During part of his stint the Wolfpack, Carroll worked alongside quarterbacks coach Carl Smith, who now holds that same position with the Seahawks.

Denver’s staff also includes offensive line coach Dave Magazu, who held the same position at Boston College from 1999 through 2002; and running backs coach Eric Studesville, who worked as North Carolina’s video assistant in 1992 and 1993.

Seattle’s staff includes assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel, a Miami graduate who spent four years as a Hurricanes’ assistant coach following graduation.

Sunday night’s game will also find former ACC official David Wyant working his first Super Bowl. Wyant, who resides near Charlottesville, Va., called ACC games until 1991, when he moved to the NFL. Wyant is now one of professional football’s three oldest active game officials.

Super Bowl MVPs with ACC Connections
There are five former Super Bowl MVPs who played at a current ACC school:

Year MVP, Teams, Score (Super Bowl)
1977—Fred Biletnikoff (Florida State), Oakland Raiders over Minnesota Vikings, 32-14 (Super Bowl XI)
1978—Randy White (Maryland), Dallas Cowboys over Denver Broncos, 27-12 (Super Bowl XII)
1991—Ottis Anderson (Miami), New York Giants over Buffalo Bills, 20-19 (Super Bowl XXV)
2001—Ray Lewis (Miami), Baltimore Ravens over New York Giants, 34-7 (Super Bowl XXXV)
2003—Dexter Jackson (Florida State), Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Oakland Raiders. 48-21. (Super Bowl XXXVII)