Here are three things to look for this season in Chestnut Hill.
1. BE A DUDE: Addazio said he wants his players to be "Dudes," a mantra he borrowed from new defensive coordinator Dan Brown. What makes them dudes? Hard work, discipline and intelligence. (But, as linebacker Steele Divitto noted at ACC media day, if you have to ask, you probably aren't one.)
2. HIGH-ENERGY COACH: Everything Addazio says and does -- even meeting with reporters in the middle of the summer -- comes with the enthusiasm of a halftime speech. It's already made an impression on the players. "He just brings so much energy," receiver Alex Amidon said. "Any time you interact with him I come out ready to play a game. He pumps me up, definitely."
3. CHASE FOR THE LEADER: Quarterback Chase Rettig is playing for his fifth offensive coordinator since arriving at BC. Ryan Day, the latest to hold the position, says he wants to see Rettig emerge as a leader of the offense. "You have to be yourself, and I think Chase is learning," Day said. "These kids have been through some good, bad and ugly times. They're building a bond."
Predicted finish in ACC Atlantic: seventh.
Here are three things to watch at Clemson this season:
1: SEASON OPENER: A loss to Georgia won't deter Clemson's ACC hopes, but it would dent its chances for even bigger things -- something Swinney's discussed since the LSU victory. A defeat would also have people joking about the "same ol' Clemson," a team that can't perform on the big stage. The last time Clemson opened in the top 10 and with such high expectations was in 2008. That time, the ninth-ranked Tigers were manhandled in the Georgia Dome, 34-10. Coach Tommy Bowden lasted just five more games and Swinney took over.
2: BOY, OH, BOYD: Many of the high hopes center on Boyd, the senior quarterback who's thrown for 7,724 yards and 69 touchdowns the past two seasons. Boyd didn't return to chalk up more gaudy numbers -- he probably can't avoid it given Clemson's high-speed attack -- but to win games. "That's what I'm looking for," he said.
3. THE RUNNING GAME: Clemson opens the year without Andre Ellington, who twice rushed for more than 1,000 yards in his Clemson career. Swinney and Morris believe that Rod McDowell, a fifth-year player who's sat behind NFL backs C.J. Spiller, Jamie Harper and Ellington, is capable to assume the lead back spot. He'll be helped by an experienced offensive line and Boyd, who was second on the Tigers in rushing a year ago.
Predicted finish in the ACC Atlantic: First.
Here are three things to watch during the Seminoles' season:
1. QUARTERBACK BATTLE: Jimbo Fisher says the competition is wide open between Jameis Winston and Jacob Coker. The 6-foot-4 Winston and 6-foot-5 Coker are both mobile and have strong arms. Coker is talented enough to start elsewhere but Winston appears to be doing everything a little bit better. Winston has plenty of talent surrounding him with a pair of 600-yard rushers back and a playmaking receiver in Rashad Greene. "Whoever it is, we'll be fine," senior center Bryan Stork said. "We've (offensive line) got to keep them healthy. We have the potential to be one of the best O-lines in the country."
2. THE DEFENSIVE LINE: FSU is replacing four starters up front but all of the backups have experience. At end, Mario Edwards Jr. started in the ACC championship game and Orange Bowl as a freshman (recording a combined 10 tackles), while senior Dan Hicks will likely start on the other side. And at tackle, junior Timmy Jernigan has 73 career tackles (and two starts), and senior Demonte McAllister had 33 tackles a year ago as a backup.
3. KICKING GAME: Considered one of the top place kickers in the 2012 class, Roberto Aguayo made 5 of 6 field-goal attempts in the spring game (including two from beyond 50). It was a strong start for Aguayo, who replaces the ACC's all-time leading scorer in Dustin Hopkins.
Predicted finish in the ACC Atlantic: Second.
Three things to watch as keys to Maryland's season:
1. DIGGS THIS: Wide receiver and kick returner Stephon Diggs was one of most dangerous playmakers in the ACC as a freshman, and there's no reason to believe he will be any less effective this season. Diggs ranked second in the ACC and eighth nationally with an average of 172.4 all-purpose yards per game in 2012. He led the Terrapins in receptions (54), yards receiving (848) and touchdown catches (six). This year, with the experience he received and with Brown at the helm, those numbers should improve. "The sky's the limit for him," Brown said. "It's exciting to see what he can do. He can take a 6-yard hitch and take it 80. He makes me look good, he makes everyone look good."
2. GETTING DEFENSIVE: In Brian Stewart's debut as Maryland's defensive coordinator last year, the Terrapins ranked second in the ACC and 21st in the nation in fewest yards (336.8) allowed per game. That sounds pretty good, except Maryland yielded an average of 40.25 points over its last four games. Six starters from that unit are gone, most notably tackle Joe Vellano. But the returnees include Kilgo, who started 11 games, and cornerback Dexter McDougle, who's gotten 24 straight starts. Fortunately, there is a feeling of continuity with Stewart back for a second season. "Seeing a new system every year is kind of hard," McDougle said. "When you're under one system for a year, you learn and understand what's going on more. We're all on the same page."
3. BROWN OUT: The Terrapins will play the entire season without running back Wes Brown, who has been suspended for the year. The sophomore was charged with felony wiretapping, second-degree assault and theft of less than $1,000 in early July. Prosecutors dropped all charges against Brown, but the school's judicial system issued the suspension for his violation of the student code of conduct. Brown ranked second on the team in 2012 with 382 yards rushing. Predicted finish in the ACC Atlantic: Fourth.
North Carolina State
Here are three things to watch with the Wolfpack this season:
1. OFFENSIVE LEADER: The battle for quarterback is focused on Colorado State junior transfer Pete Thomas and Arkansas graduate transfer Brandon Mitchell, who played receiver last year. Doeren has said he'll let the competition go as long as necessary. Mitchell said the Wolfpack need both guys no matter who wins the starting job against Louisiana Tech on Aug. 31. "The better we both are," Mitchell said, "the better the team is going to be."
2. PROTECTION UP FRONT: N.C. State lost R.J. Mattes, Zach Allen and Cam Wentz -- who had a combined 113 career starts -- from the interior of the offensive line. Tackle Rob Crisp is back to lead this year's group, but it's going to take time for the new unit to build chemistry.
3. PUSHING THE PACE: N.C. State's new offense will be a work in progress, as evidenced by the turnover-prone spring game in April. But if the Wolfpack successfully speeds up the pace, things could get easier as the game goes on.
Predicted finish in the ACC Atlantic: Third.
Three things to watch for from Syracuse:
1. ROOKIE COACH: Shafer replaces Marrone after four years as a defensive assistant. He as lost considerable talent on both sides of the ball. Marrone preached discipline, accountability, character, and integrity, rejuvenating a team that went 10-37 under his predecessor, Greg Robinson.
2. ROOKIE QUARTERBACK: Ryan Nassib is gone after one of the finest careers a Syracuse quarterback has ever had. To help replace him, Shafer lured Oklahoma graduate transfer Drew Allen to do what Greg Paulus did a few seasons back and give the offense a one quick fix.
3. RUNNING TO DAYLIGHT: The backfield duo of Jerome Smith (1,171 rushing yards in 2012, fifth highest in school history) and Prince-Tyson Gulley gives the Orange a solid 1-2 punch on the ground. Predicted finish in ACC Atlantic: Sixth
Here are three things to watch during Wake Forest's upcoming season:
1. 'CAMP' CAN'T DO IT ALL: There has to be more to Wake Forest's offense this season than just throwing it to WR Michael Campanaro. He led the team last year with 79 catches for 763 yards, was its third-leading rusher and gained 871 all-purpose yards -- or, nearly 19 percent of the team's total -- despite missing 2½ games with a broken hand. In the games he missed, QB Tanner Price -- a career 58 percent passer -- hit just 35 percent of his throws.
2. PRICE MUST BE RIGHT: Grobe says the Demon Deacons might unshackle his senior QB -- Price was a 1,000-yard rusher in high school -- and let him run the ball more often because "I don't think we've maxed out Tanner's ability."
3. WHAT HAPPENS AT RB?: The biggest question of the preseason was answered when the NCAA approved a waiver to restore the eligibility of Josh Harris, the team's leading rusher in two of his three seasons, for his senior year.
Predicted finish in ACC Atlantic: fifth
-- Associated Press