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Maye, Downs honored by ACC for huge performances in UNC win at Virginia 

The ACC Football Players of the Week for Week 10

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(© Jamie Lamor Thompson – Shutterstock)

QUARTERBACK – Drake Maye, North Carolina, QB, Huntersville, N.C.

Repeats as an ACC weekly award winner after accounting for 367 total yards in the Tar Heels’ 31-28 win at Virginia • Finished 26-of-37 for 293 passing yards and two passing touchdowns and ran for 74 yards and another score against the Cavaliers • With three regular-season game still remaining, Maye’s 31 passing touchdowns are already the third most in ACC history by a freshman quarterback • Named ACC Quarterback of the Week for the fifth time this season.

RUNNING BACK – Trey Benson, Florida State, RB, Greenville, Miss.

Named ACC Running back of the Week for the second consecutive week after rushing for a career-high 128 yards and two touchdowns in the Seminoles’ 45-3 win at Miami • Had runs of 42, 26 and 21 yards and ranks second in the ACC with 10 runs of 20 or more yards this year • Added a career-long 25-yard catch • FSU has run for over 200 yards in four consecutive games and leads the ACC with 211 rushing yards per game this season.

RECEIVER – Josh Downs, North Carolina, WR, Suwanee, Ga.

Made a career-high 15 receptions, one shy of the UNC single-game record in the Tar Heels’ 31-28 win at Virginia • Finished with a season-high 166 receiving yards and one touchdown • Added 57 yards on two punt returns of 19 and 38 yards • The 15 receptions are the most by an ACC receiver this season.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Dillan Gibbons, Florida State, LG, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Did not allow a quarterback pressure and blocked for an FSU offense that ran for 229 yards and passed for 225 in a 45-3 win at Miami • The Hurricanes had allowed 113.5 rushing yards per game before Saturday, but Gibbons helped the Seminoles average 7.0 yards per play • FSU leads the nation with 69 plays of 20-plus yards, including seven against the Hurricanes • One of two FSU offensive linemen that has started every game this year.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Deslin Alexandre, Pitt, DE, Pompano Beach, Fla.

Led a dominant defensive effort in Pitt’s 19-9 win over No. 22 Syracuse, compiling seven tackles, 2.5 quarterback sacks and a pass breakup • Iced the game when he sacked Orange QB Carlos Del Rio-Wilson in the end zone for a safety, giving Pitt a two-score advantage with 1:35 left • The Panthers limited Syracuse to 145 total yards, including a mere 25 on the ground.

CO-LINEBACKER – Isaiah Moore, NC State, LB, Chester, Va.

Playing his final home game two days after the death of his grandmother, Moore led the Wolfpack with 10 stops in Saturday night’s 30-21 victory over No. 21 Wake Forest • Had 2.5 tackles for loss (15 yards) and a nine-yard sack • Batted down a pass on third down to force a punt • Late in the first quarter, with the Pack up 3-0, Wake had first-and-goal from the 1-yard line • Moore stepped up with a 3-yard TFL, a 4-yard TFL and a quarterback sack of -9 yards to force a field goal attempt (that was missed) • Five of his stops were for zero or negative yards.

CO-LINEBACKER, Charlie Thomas, Georgia Tech, LB, Thomasville, Ga.

Became only the second FBS player this season – and the first since Week 0 – with 16 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in a game in Georgia Tech’s 28-27 win at Virginia Tech • Provided one of the biggest plays of the game when he forced a fumble near midfield that was recovered by Georgia Tech with 48 seconds to go in the game to seal the Yellow Jackets’ one-point victory • Joined UConn’s Jackson Mitchell (Aug. 27 vs. Utah State) as the only FBS players with 16 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in a game this season •Became only the fifth Georgia Tech player since 2000 with 16 tackles in a game.

DEFENSIVE BACK – Clayton Powell-Lee, Georgia Tech, FS, Atlanta, Ga.

After missing practice for much of the week and not starting in Saturday’s game due to illness, true freshman had an interception and a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter of Georgia Tech’s 28-27 comeback win at Virginia Tech • Interception on Georgia Tech’s 27-yard line with 6:54 to go in the game prevented Virginia Tech from expanding its lead to two scores and set up the Yellow Jackets’ go-ahead touchdown drive • Fumble recovery near midfield with 48 seconds to go sealed the 28-27 win • Georgia Tech’s third-leading tackler in the game with six stops.

SPECIALIST – Tucker Holloway, Virginia Tech, PR, Andrews, N.C.

Recorded a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Hokies’ 28-27 loss to Georgia Tech • It was Virginia Tech’s first punt return score since Tayvion Robinson’s versus Richmond on Sept. 25, 2021 and the fourth-longest punt return score in school history • The true freshman had seven punt returns for a program-record 188 yards and a touchdown • He surpassed Antonio Freeman’s 164 return yards against Pitt in 1994.

CO-ROOKIE – MJ Morris, NC State, QB, Carrolton, Ga.

Repeats as ACC Rookie of the Week after leading the Wolfpack to a 30-21 win over No. 21 Wake Forest in his first career start • Completed 64.2 percent of his passes (18-for-28) for 210 yards and three touchdowns (for the second consecutive game) • The Wolfpack did not turn the ball over in the contest and controlled time of possession • Morris also rushed for 43 yards • First true freshman since Philip Rivers (2000) to start a game for the Wolfpack • Also joined Rivers as the only NC State quarterbacks in their first start (since 2000) to throw for three TD passes.

CO-ROOKIE – Zach Pyron, QB, Georgia Tech, Pinson, Ala.

Making his first-career start, accounted for 319 yards of offense and two fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead Georgia Tech back from a 27-16 fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Virginia Tech, 28-27 • Passed for 253 yards and a touchdown and ran for 66 yards and another score • Trailing 27-16 with less than 10 minutes to go, engineered two-consecutive touchdown drives of 90 and 73 yards, capped by a 56-yard touchdown pass and a 9-yard touchdown run, respectively, to give Tech a 28-27 lead • Led Georgia Tech to a season-high 463 yards of offense • In his first three full halves of action, has led Georgia Tech to three of its four-highest single-half yardage totals against FBS competition this season (240 in second half versus Florida State, 234 in first half versus Virginia Tech and 229 in second half versus Virginia Tech).

Chris Graham

I write books, two on UVA basketball, one on pro wrestling, one on politics, which is getting to be like pro wrestling more and more each day. I've finished three marathons, but I'm over that. Oh, and I'm a progressive who voted for Biden, but I'm over that, too. (We need somebody else in 2024!) Want to reach me? Try [email protected]