Florida State senior Rashad Greene leads the first Atlantic Coast Conference Football Player of the Week selections of the 2014 season. Greene was named the ACC Receiver of the Week following his performance in the top-ranked Seminoles’ 37-31 win over Oklahoma State in Saturday night’s season opener.
Greene, who had 11 receptions for a career-high 203 yards and a touchdown, was one of two Seminoles to earn weekly honors, as FSU defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. was recognized as the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week.
Pitt and Louisville both joined the Seminoles in having two players recognized. Panthers running back James Conner was named the ACC Offensive Back of the Week, while senior guard Matt Rotheram earned ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors following a 62-0 win over Delaware. Louisville safety James Sample was named the ACC Co-Defensive Back of the Week, and kick returner Corvin Lamb shared the ACC Specialist of the Week honor after the Cardinals made their ACC debut with a 31-13 win over Miami on Monday night.
North Carolina safety Dominquie Green was named the ACC Co-Defensive Back of the Week. Virginia’s Henry Coley earned Linebacker of the Week honors, while Virginia Tech running back Shai McKenzie was named the ACC Rookie of the Week, and Syracuse kicker Riley Dixon joined Louisville’s Lamb as Co-Specialist of the Week.
OFFENSIVE BACK – James Conner, Pitt, So., RB, 6-2, 250, Erie, Pa.
Conner was the catalyst in Pitt’s 62-0 opening day win over Delaware. The sophomore tailback rushed for 153 yards on just 14 carries – an average of nearly 11 yards per attempt – and ran for four touchdowns. Conner, who was not tackled behind the line of scrimmage on any of his carries, is tied for the national scoring lead with an average of 24.0 points per game. His performance helped the Panthers achieve their largest margin of victory in a season opener since 1913 (67-0 over Ohio Northern).
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Matt Rotheram, Pitt, Sr., G, 6-6, 335, North Olmsted, Ohio
Rotheram was Pitt’s top offensive grader in the season opener, helping the Panthers roll up 409 rushing yards (7.3 yards per attempt) and seven rushing TDs. Pitt’s rushing total was its highest single-game effort since the Tony Dorsett era of the mid-1970s. Pitt running backs were not dropped for a loss on any of their 56 carries against Delaware.
RECEIVER – Rashad Greene, Florida State, Sr., WR, 6-0, 178, Albany, Ga.
Greene had 11 catches for a career-best 203 yards and a touchdown in the Seminoles’ 37-31 victory over Oklahoma State. Greene’s yardage total was the best by any “Power Five” conference player and the second-best overall in the country. His 50-yard catch-and-run TD with just under four minutes left in the fourth quarter gave FSU a 37-24 lead. In his last two games, Greene has 20 catches for 350 yards – dating back to last season’s BCS Championship.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Mario Edwards Jr., Florida State, Jr., DE, 6-3, 294, Gautier, Miss.
Edwards had had four tackles, a sack and a pass breakup in the Seminoles’ victory over Oklahoma State. Edwards’ fourth-quarter sack was a vital play as it came with FSU holding a 27-24 lead. The sack resulted in a 14-yard loss and killed the Cowboys’ momentum. Edwards’ pressure on the quarterback helped limit OSU’s potent passing attack (335 yards per game the last four years) to just 203 yards. He played every defensive snap for the Seminoles.
LINEBACKER – Henry Coley, Virginia, Sr., MLB, 6-2, 230, Virginia Beach, Va.
Coley spearheaded a defensive effort that only allowed seven points by UCLA’s offense in the Cavaliers’ hard-fought 28-20 loss to the seventh-ranked Bruins. Coley led UVa with 14 tackles, two sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, forced one fumble and broke up one pass. He had nine solo tackles. The signal caller for Virginia’s defensive front, Coley made the formation calls that allowed the Cavaliers to sack UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley and force him out of the pocket numerous times. UCLA averaged 3.0 rushing yards per carry and was just 7-for-18 on third down conversions. UCLA drives totaled 25 yards or less on 11 of 16 possessions.
CO-DEFENSIVE BACK – James Sample, Louisville, Jr., S, 6-2, 191, Sacramento, Calif.
Sample led the team in tackles with eight and also recorded an interception that stopped a potential Miami scoring drive. The Louisville defense held the Hurricanes to 244 yards of total offense in the 31-13 win.
CO-DEFENSIVE BACK – Dominquie Green, North Carolina, So., S, 5-11, 190, Laurinburg, N.C.
Green recovered three fumbles and returned one for 20 yards to set up a touchdown in UNC’s 56-29 win over Liberty. Green’s three fumble recoveries were part of six turnovers the Tar Heels gained in the win (four fumble recoveries, two interceptions). A year ago, Carolina recovered just seven fumbles all season.
CO-SPECIALIST – Riley Dixon, Syracuse, Sr., P, 6-5, 219, Blossvale, N.Y.
Dixon, who also serves as the Orange holder, threw what proved to be the game-winning touchdown pass to Kendall Moore in the second overtime of SU’s 27-26 victory against Villanova. On fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Syracuse faked a field goal. Dixon rolled left and threw the first TD pass of his career to give the Orange a 27-20 advantage. The Orange defense rose up on the Wildcats’ second OT possession, denying Villanova’s potential game-winning, two-point conversion. In addition to the touchdown, Dixon punted five times for 217 yards (43.4 avg.) with a long of 51 yards. He placed two of his kicks inside the 20.
CO-SPECIALIST – Corvin Lamb, Louisville, R-Jr., 5-9, 290, Miami, Fla.
In the Cardinals’ first game as member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Lamb returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown to help spark Louisville to a 31-13 win over visiting Miami on Monday night. The 97-yard kickoff return tied for the fifth-longest in school history.
ROOKIE – Shai McKenzie, Virginia Tech, Fr., RB, 5-11, 212, Washington, Pa.
In his first game action, the true freshman rushed for 106 yards on just nine carries (11.8 yards per carry) with a 39-yard touchdown in the Hokies’ 34-9 win over William & Mary.