ACC players of the week
NC State redshirt-junior quarterback Russell Wilson and teammate Nate Irving, a redshirt-senior middle linebacker, each set career bests Saturday and headline a list of six players recognized as the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Players of the Week, announced Monday by the ACC.
Wilson accumulated a career-high 368 passing yards – which ranks 18th in school history – and three scores while passing to 10 different receivers as NC State topped Georgia Tech 45-28. Irving, who was honored as the Walter Camp Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week Sunday, tallied a career-high 16 tackles against the Yellow Jackets, including 4.5 for loss.
Also recognized were Miami’s Orlando Franklin, the offensive lineman of the week selection, and North Carolina’s Bruce Carter, the defensive back honoree. Virginia Tech’s Chris Hazley was named specialist of the week, while Maryland’s Danny O’Brien earned rookie of the week honors.
OFFENSIVE BACK – Russell Wilson, NC State, QB, r-Jr., 5-11, 201, Richmond, Va. (Collegiate)
Wilson had a record-setting day in the Wolfpack’s victory over the Yellow Jackets. Wilson completed 28 of 41 passes for a career-high 368 yards and three touchdowns. His 28 completions went to 10 different receivers. Wilson also ran the ball nine times for 16 yards and a six-yard touchdown. Wilson’s 368-yard passing game ranks 18th in school history. His previous career high for passing yards was 349 versus Florida State a year ago. The Georgia Tech game marks the seventh time in his career that he has passed for 300 yards or more and the 10th time he has thrown at least three touchdown passes in a game. Each of Wilson’s touchdown passes came at the end of long nine-play drives that immediately followed touchdowns by the Yellow Jackets. Those three drives went for 69, 78 and 74 yards, and culminated with touchdown passes of 21 yards to Steven Howard, five yards to Jarvis Williams and 23 yards to T.J. Graham. Wilson did throw an interception in the game, snapping a streak of 168 pass attempts without an interception. He holds the NCAA record of 379 consecutive throws without being picked off.
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Orlando Franklin, Miami, OL, Sr., 6-7, 312, Delray Beach, Fla. (Atlantic)
Franklin graded out at 96 percent in helping Miami win at Pittsburgh by a 31-3 score Thursday night. He finished the game with eight pancake blocks and two lumberjacks in helping Miami’s offense rack up 348 yards (248 passing, 100 rushing) yards of total offense. On the season, Franklin has also graded out at 95 percent against FAMU and 96 percent against Ohio State. He has a total of 12 pancake blocks in three games.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Nate Irving, NC State, MLB, r-Sr., 6-1, 231, Wallace, N.C. (Wallace-Rose Hill)Irving had a career-high 16 tackles vs. the Yellow Jackets. He had nine solo hits, two sacks for 11 yards in losses, and 4.5 tackles for losses totaling 15 yards. On Sunday, the Walter Camp Foundation named Irving its National Defensive Player of the Week. He led a defense which limited Georgia Tech, previously the nation’s third-best rushing offense, to 96 yards below its previous average.
DEFENSIVE BACK – Bruce Carter, North Carolina, LB, Sr., 6-3, 235, Havelock, N.C. (Havelock)
Carter blocked a punt, returned an interception 55 yards and had seven tackles in Carolina’s 17-13 win at Rutgers. With Rutgers driving in Carolina territory, Carter made a leaping grab of Tom Savage’s second-quarter pass and returned it to the Rutgers 28-yard line. Carolina went on to score a touchdown and cut the lead to 10-7. In the fourth quarter, with Carolina holding a 14-13 lead, Carter blocked a punt, his sixth career blocked kick, and the Tar Heels took over at the Rutgers 35. Carolina kicked a field goal on the ensuing drive. Carter also added a 4-yard tackle for loss.
SPECIALIST – Chris Hazley, Virginia Tech, PK, r-Sr., 6-1, 196, West Chester, Pa. (Henderson)
Hazley was a big factor in Tech’s 19-0 win at Boston College as the senior hit a career-high four field goals. He had a career-best long of 45 yards and also made two kicks of 29 and 32 yards.
ROOKIE – Danny O’Brien, Maryland, QB, Fr., 6-3, 215, Kernersville, N.C. (East Forsyth)
Starting the first game of his collegiate career, O’Brien completed 18 of 27 passes for 250 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. O’Brien, who was the first freshman quarterback to start for Maryland since Latrez Harrison (11/20/99), and just the fifth in school history, threw touchdown passes of 9 and 68 yards. O’Brien led the Terps on five scoring drives and had an efficiency rating of 168.89, seventh-highest mark by a freshman in the FBS this season.