Pickett’s big day in win over Virginia Tech highlighted in ACC Football weekly honors

ACC footballThe ACC Football Players of the Week have been recognized following their standout performances in last weekend’s games.

The selections are determined by a vote of a 16-member media panel.

The following are this week’s honorees:

QUARTERBACK – Kenny Pickett, Pitt, Sr., QB, Oakhurst, N.J.

Directed the Panthers’ 47-14 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday by throwing for 404 yards on 35-of-52 passing (67%) with two touchdowns • Accounted for three total TDs against the Hokies, also scoring on a one-yard sneak • Pickett’s 35 completions tied his career high (set versus Penn State in 2019) and are two shy of the school record (37, Alex Van Pelt versus Notre Dame in 1990) • Now leads the team with seven rushing touchdowns, the most by a Pitt quarterback since 1978, when Rick Trocano had seven.

RUNNING BACK – Zonovan Knight, NC State, So., RB, Bailey, N.C.

Earned his second ACC weekly honor of the month, following up on ACC Specialist of the Week selection on Nov. 9 • Helped the Wolfpack to a 15-14 win over No. 21 and previously unbeaten Liberty on Saturday night, piling up 166 all-purpose yards and scoring NC State’s two touchdowns on runs of 19 and 4 yards • Rushed 14 times for 96 yards, an average of 6.9 yards per carry • Added five receptions for 34 yards and had two kickoff returns for 36 yards.

RECEIVER – DJ Turner, Pitt, Sr., WR, Glenarden, Md.

Earned his second ACC weekly honor of the season after posting one of the top receiving games in Pitt history in Saturday’s 47-14 win over Virginia Tech • Hauled in 15 catches for 184 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown • The 15 receptions rank second in Pitt single-game history, just one shy of the record of 16 set by Harry Orszulak against Penn State in 1968 • Ranks as the most ever in a single game versus Virginia Tech, surpassing the previous mark of 14 set by Maryland’s Frank Wycheck in 1990 • His 15 catches are also the most by an ACC player in a single game this season the second-most nationally.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Bryce Hargrove, Pitt, Sr., LG, Akron, Ohio

With the Panthers fielding an offensive line with three new starters, Hargrove proved to be the unit’s veteran catalyst in Saturday’s win over Virginia Tech • Spearheaded Pitt’s offensive front, helping the Panthers compile a season-high 556 yards • Did not allow a sack as Pitt put the ball in the air 52 times for 404 yards.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Daniel Joseph, NC State, Gr., DE, Toronto, Ontario

Led all defensive linemen in tackles with five against No. 21 Liberty’s potent offense in Saturday night’s 15-14 Wolfpack win • Played 50 snaps against a Flames’ unit that came into the contest averaging 490 total yards per game • Helped the Pack defense hold Liberty to 279 total yards and a season-low 14 points • Teamed with linebacker Isaiah Moore for a 9-yard sack of Liberty QB Malik Willis, who entered the game averaging 345 yards of total offense (the Pack held him to 216 yards) • Also tallied a solo sack for another 5-yard loss.

LINEBACKER – Isaiah Moore, NC State, Jr., MLB, Chester, Va.

Led the Wolfpack in tackles with 13 in Saturday night’s 15-14 win over No. 21 and previously unbeaten Liberty • Registered two tackles for loss and a half-sack • Recorded the Wolfpack’s first safety in 10 years when he tackled a Flames’ runner for a three-yard loss in the end zone.

CO-DEFENSIVE BACK – Kei’Trel Clark, Louisville, So., CB, Richmond, Va.

Had a hand in two of Louisville’s three turnovers forced in the first half of Friday night’s 30-0 win over Syracuse • Picked off his first career pass in the second quarter and then recovered a fumble on a kickoff later in the period • Helped Louisville record its first shutout since holding Eastern Kentucky scoreless in 2019 and the first shutout against a current Power 5 team since a 34-0 victory over North Carolina in 2004.

CO-DEFENSIVE BACK – Damar Hamlin, Pitt, Sr., S, McKees Rocks, Pa.

Played both safety spots during Saturday’s 47-14 win over Virginia Tech, compiling a game-high 11 tackles and delivering several key plays • The Panthers stopped the Hokies on three separate fourth-down attempts, and Hamlin led the charge • Twice had solo tackles on Virginia Tech QB Hendon Hooker, stopping him a yard shy of the first-down marker each time • With Virginia Tech trailing by 12 in the third quarter and facing fourth-and-goal at the Pitt 1, Hamlin teamed with linebacker Phil Campbell to halt Hooker for no gain, turning the ball back over to the Panthers • Pitt scored a touchdown four plays later to seize firm control.

SPECIALIST – Alex Kessman, Pitt, Sr., PK, Clarkston, Mich.

Named ACC Specialist of the Week for the second time this season after he accounted for a career-high 17 points against Virginia Tech, converting each of his nine placements (4-of-4 field goals, 5-of-5 PATs) • Boomed field goals of 53 and 52 yards, and also added 30- and 22-yard kicks • Now has 12 career field goals of 50-plus yards, extending the ACC record • For his career, Kessman has kicked 12-of-18 field goals of 50-plus yards • His 66.7% success rate from that range is currently an NCAA record, surpassing Arizona’s Max Zendejas, who converted 14 of 23 (60.9%) from 1982-85 • Kessman’s 64 successful field goals for his career are also a Pitt record.

ROOKIE – Aydan White, NC State, Fr., CB, Asheville, N.C.

True freshman who had played just six snaps from scrimmage prior to the Wolfpack’s win over No. 21 Liberty • Saw 17 snaps against the Flames and tallied his first career interception in a crucial situation • The undefeated Flames were up 14-9 with less than seven minutes remaining and faced third-and-8 at their own 20 • White made a diving pick-off on a pass by Liberty’s Malik Willis, who had thrown just one interception the entire season prior to the game • White’s interception set up the go-ahead touchdown for NC State, which held off Liberty from there to win 15-14.


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