ACC Football Players of the Week: Week of Nov. 25
Boston College running back Andre Williams and Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald lead a group of nine Atlantic Coast Conference Football Players of the Week announced on Monday.
The Eagles’ Williams was named the ACC Offensive Back of the Week after he rushed for 263 yards to become the first player in ACC history to surpass the 2,000-yard mark for the season in Saturday’s ACC road win at Maryland. The Panthers’ Donald, who was also named the Walter Camp Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week, picked up ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors after playing a decisive role in Pitt’s one-point ACC win at Syracuse.
Williams is one of three Boston College student-athletes to be recognized. Other ACC honorees this week include the Eagles’ Matt Patchan as Offensive Lineman of the Week, Duke’s Jamison Crowder as Receiver of the Week and Syracuse’s Cam Lynch as Linebacker of the Week. Miami’s Tracy Howard and Syracuse’s Durell Eskridge were recognized as Co-Defensive Backs of the Week, Boston College’s Nate Freese as Specialist of the Week and North Carolina’s T.J. Logan as Rookie of the Week.
The ACC Offensive Back of the Week honor is Williams’ second straight and third of the season. Duke’s Crowder was recognized for the fourth time overall (twice as ACC Receiver of the Week, twice as Specialist of the Week). Boston College’s Patchan was honored for the second straight week and second time overall. Pitt’s Donald and Syracuse’s Eskridge were also cited for the second time this season.
OFFENSIVE BACK – Andre Williams, Boston College, Sr., RB, 6-0, 227, Schnecksville, Pa
Williams carried 32 times for 263 yards and two touchdowns in Boston College’s 29-26 ACC win at Maryland, marking the senior’s fifth 200-plus yard rushing effort of the season. Williams brought the visiting Eagles within four points on a 72-yard touchdown run with 10:33 left in the fourth quarter. Later, with the score tied at 26 with less than one minute remaining, he rushed 36 yards to the Maryland 37 yard-line to set up Nate Freese’s game-winning field goal. Williams lifted his 11-game season total to 320 carries for 2,073 yards and 16 touchdowns to become the 16th running back in FBS history – and first since Connecticut’s Donald Brown in 2008 (2,083) – to record 2,000 rushing yards in a season.
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Matt Patchan, Boston College, Sr., LT, 6-7, 300, Tampa, Fla.
Patchan graded out at 86 percent with two knockdown blocks to lead Boston College’s offensive line that paved the way for Andre Williams to run for 263 yards and two touchdowns and earn a 29-26 victory at Maryland. The Eagles produced more than 250 yards on the ground for the third straight game and are averaging 220 rushing yards per game this season, a mark good for second in the ACC and 21st among all FBS teams.
RECEIVER – Jamison Crowder, Duke, Jr., WR, 5-9, 175, Monroe, N.C.
Crowder caught 10 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns in Duke’s 28-21 win at Wake Forest on Saturday. He added one rushing attempt for nine yards to finish with 130 all-purpose yards. Crowder caught touchdown passes of 10 and 58 yards from quarterback Anthony Boone in pushing his season receiving yardage total to 1,077. Crowder joined former Blue Devil great Clarkston Hines as just the second player in Duke history to post multiple 1,000-yard receiving campaigns. Crowder now has 83 catches on the season, two catches shy of the school record of 85 set last year by Conner Vernon.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Aaron Donald, Pitt, Sr., DT, 6-0, 285, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Donald made the decisive play in Pitt’s 17-16 win at Syracuse on Saturday by blocking an extra point. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy totaled nine tackles (eight solo), 3.5 tackles for loss (minus 17 yards) and two quarterback hurries. More than half of Donald’s total tackles this season (51) have come behind the line of scrimmage (26.0).
LINEBACKER – Cam Lynch, Syracuse, Jr, LB, 5-11, 230, Lawrenceville, Ga.
Lynch had 11 total tackles, including three for lost yardage and two sacks, plus a quarterback hurry in Saturday’s one-point loss to Pitt. Lynch recorded a sack for a loss of 11 yards with Pitt on the Syracuse 3-yard line, and then recorded another sack three plays later on third-and-goal to force the Panthers to settle for a field goal. Lynch’s quarterback hurry came on a third-and-7 play to force a punt that started a Syracuse scoring drive.
CO-DEFENSIVE BACK –Durell Eskridge, Syracuse, So., FS, 6-3, 207, Miami, Fla.
Eskridge led all tacklers with 12 stops in Saturday’s game against Pitt, including a career-high nine solo tackles. He stopped the Pitt receiver for short gains on the first two plays of the game, which ultimately led to the Panthers punting two plays later. Eskridge also recorded a key tackle on a Pitt ball-carrier for a loss of six yards on the opening play of a drive that would end in a punt on the first set of downs.
CO-DEFENSIVE BACK –Tracy Howard, Miami, So., CB, 5-11, 184, Miramar, Fla.
Despite recording only one tackle in Miami’s 45-26 win over Virginia, Howard made the biggest play of the game – on the game’s first snap. Howard picked off a Virginia pass on a bubble screen and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown. It was Howard’s team-leading fourth interception of the season and the first of three Miami’s defensive unit registered against the Cavaliers on Saturday.
SPECIALIST– Nate Freese, Boston College, Sr., PK, 5-11, 192, Strongsville, Ohio
Freese converted a 52-yard field goal – his third field goal of the game – as time expired to lift Boston College to a 29-26 win at Maryland. His 52-yard field goal matched his career long against Wake Forest in October 2011, and he improved to 3-for-4 in career field-goal attempts of 50 yards or more. Freese, who is now 17-for-17 in field goal attempts on the season, also converted a 35-yard PAT following a penalty in the fourth quarter, and averaged 43.4 yards per punt in the win over the Terps.
ROOKIE – T.J. Logan, North Carolina, Fr., RB/KR, 5-10, 180, Greensboro, N.C.
Logan rushed 14 times for 137 yards and three touchdowns in North Carolina’s 80-20 win over Old Dominion. He became the first North Carolina tailback to run for more than 100 yards in a game this season. Logan scored on a pair of 1-yard runs and a 63-yard run. Logan’s three rushing touchdowns were the most by a Tar Heel since Shaun Draughn versus East Carolina in 2010. Logan also scored on a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the third-longest in UNC history and the longest by a Tar Heel in Kenan Stadium. Logan’s four touchdowns were the most by a Tar Heel player since Hakeem Nicks had four (all receiving) versus Boston College in 2008.