ACC Bloggers Week Eleven Review
CFN's ACC Bloggers put the previous weekend under the microscope, looking for the Lucky 7
SB is Shawn Bridwell, NH is Nathan Heard, JH is Justine Hendricks, and BS is Bradlee Simoneaux.
1. OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
SB: Logan Thomas; QB, VT – Another week, another solid performance from Logan Thomas and the Hokies. Once again VT is in the driver's seat for an ACC Title Game berth after Thomas engineered a convincing victory at GA Tech which included a five touchdown performance.
NH: David Wilson; RB, Virginia Tech – Let's face it, without Wilson VT loses 4 games it won already this year. The #3 RB in the land deserves all the credit for carrying this team in 2011. This week he nets 175 yards against a defense that knows he's going to carry the ball & practices against strong running play all week, every week. What more is there to say? Against stiff opposition he produces well enough to put his team over the hump. He has both the ability to juke & to lower the shoulder & even more impressive he can correctly assess out which one is going to net the most yards as if he's watching himself from the stands. Just amazing.
JH: Logan Thomas; QB, VT – Thomas was 7 of 13 for 209 yards in the Hokies' win over Georgia Tech Thursday night, averaging more than 16 yards per attempt. Thomas threw for three TDs, including a 63-yarder to Danny Coale, and rushed for two more to put VT in the driver's seat for the Coastal Division title.
BS: Logan Thomas; QB, Virginia Tech – Thomas had the best game of his young career in a pivotal road contest against Georgia Tech. He accounted for five total touchdowns in the game, throwing for three and running for two. He racked up 70 yards on the ground and 209 through the air and did not make any mistakes in the game. He will need to play this well over the next three weeks for the Hokies to be able to defeat UNC, UVA, and Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.
2. DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
SB: Luke Kuechly; LB, Boston College – It is scary to imagine just how bad the BC defense would be if they didn't have Luke Kuechly. Week after week he continues to rack up silly numbers defensively. Just another day at the office Saturday with 18 stops as the Eagles managed just their third victory of the season.
NH: Luke Kuechly; LB, Boston College – Making a habit of double digit tackles, Kuechly is on track to lead the nation in tackles for two seasons in a row. He alone had more than half of his 18 this weekend to preserve the precious BC scores the offense had managed. Without him BC would not have been able to salvage as much as they have this season.
JH: Rennie Moore and Brandon Thompson; DT, Clemson – Moore and Thompson combined to sack Wake QB Tanner Price on a crucial third down in the 4th quarter. The sack forced the Deacs to punt and set up the Tigers' game-winning drive.
BS: Josh Bush; S, Wake Forest – The Demon Deacons nearly pulled off the upset at Clemson, and one of the major reasons why was the play of Bush. He helped give the Deacons a two touchdown lead in the third quarter after a 29 yard interception return set Wake up with excellent field position. He also had eight tackles in the game, including seven solo stops.
3. SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
SB: Chandler Catanzaro; K, Clemson – After opening the season 8-0 the Clemson Tigers were starring a second consecutive loss in the face, at home, to a team wearing Wake Forest jerseys. That is until Cantanzaro booted the game winner as time expired to help Clemson clinch the division title.
NH: Chandler Catanzaro; K, Clemson – He had just missed one four minutes prior from 30 yards & then found himself out on the field again from 41. What does he do? Nails it for the win. There will be no overtime today says Catman as he closes out the game with no time left & swaggers his way to the locker room. OK he wasn't that cool, but close.
JH: Chandler Catanzaro; PK, Clemson – Catanzaro kicked the game-winning field goal for Clemson, clinching the ACC Atlantic Division. Catanzaro missed on his first attempt but shook it off and made a 43-yarder a few moments later to send the Tigers to the ACC Championship game. The sophomore also went 4 for 4 on extra point attempts.
BS: Michael Campanaro; WR/PR, Wake Forest – Campanaro returned a punt 50 yards for a touchdown to tie up the game against Clemson at the beginning of the third quarter which started a 21-0 run for the Deacons. He also added nine receptions for 72 yards in an all-around effort for Wake.
4. COACH OF THE WEEK
SB: Jimbo Fisher; Florida State – The Seminoles ran their winning streak to five with a 23-19 victory over heated rival Miami. FSU had lost the interest of many after a lackluster 2-3 start but have rebounded nicely coming down the stretch in which Fisher has them playing their best football of the season. Now Virginia comes to town for a showdown of 7-3 squads both of which are playing outstanding football.
NH: Frank Spaziani; Boston College – Find a way. How do you motivate a team that has no chance for a bowl in a conference that is practically rigged to have 10 bowl teams every year? How do you improve a team that isn't good & isn't going to be good in the predictable future? How do you make them good for a day? If it sounds like I'm being harsh, I'm not; BC isn't good, but they won anyway, and that was because they had better coaching on this day. NC State has a good shot at going bowling anyway, but BC proved that if they only had a little more time, they could have had a much better season. Credit goes to the coaches that Spaziani leads for keeping the team believing.
JH: Dabo Swinney; Clemson – Swinney has to be the frontrunner for ACC Coach of the Year after hopping off his preseason hot seat to guide the Tigers to their second Atlantic Division title in three years. Clemson overcame a shaky start, a second-half deficit, and the loss of leading receiver Sammy Watkins to gain a 31-28 victory and a shot at the ACC title.
BS: Frank Spaziani; Boston College – BC won only its second conference game of the season, and this victory came against an NC State team that had been on a tear lately. The Eagles defense completely shut down the Wolfpack, allowing only 10 points and 267 total yards of offense. This has been a forgettable season for BC, but this week they were better prepared than their opposition.
5. BEST GAME OF THE WEEK: Wake Forest v. Clemson
SB: Wake Forest v. Clemson – Wake Forest, although their record doesn't reflect it to an outsider, has been one of the strongest and most consistent teams throughout the season. Dabo Swinney knew he was in for a battle coming off their first loss of the season at Georgia Tech. The Demon Deacons threw every punch they had, but in the end Clemson was the team still standing after a Cantanzaro field goal as time expired lifted the Tigers to the division title.
NH: Wake Forest v. Clemson – With respect to VT @ GT, which all but settles one division, & Miami @ FSU, which is the rivalry that it is, watching the wounded & dazed Clemson program pull itself together to come from behind, in a very entertaining game that included huge offensive & defensive statement plays, & changes in lead, is too good a game to pass over. It was the most entertaining game, of the most entertaining week of the ACC season.
JH: Wake Forest v. Clemson – It didn't start out as a great game, with the Tigers taking a 14-7 lead at the half despite a sluggish offense that turned the ball over three times. Their struggles began to show up on the scoreboard, as the Yellow Jackets scored three straight touchdowns in the third to take a 28-14 lead. The Tigers kept their title hopes alive and fought back until the clock hit zero, when Catanzaro kicked a field goal for the win.
BS: Wake Forest v. Clemson – Wake Forest gave Clemson a run for its money right until the very end. The Deacons did not play well in the first half, and Clemson built a 14-7 lead. But, in the third quarter Wake took control with 21 straight points that were facilitated by turnovers and special teams. It looked like Clemson was ripe for the upset, but the Tigers came back and Catanzaro kicked the game winning field goal as time expired to preserve the outstanding 2011 season in Death Valley.
6. BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE WEEK
SB: Boston College – The 2011 season has been a trying one for Boston College. Through some major downs the team has kept their heads up and improved during the second half of the season. While it wasn't pretty by any means, the Eagles clipped NC State 14-10 with only 190 yards of offense.
NH: Boston College wins! – Yep, it's come to the point where any BC win is a little bit of a surprise. But they earned this one in classic BC fashion: with defense. BC didn't score at all in the second half. Early in this season, when the BC offense was confused & inept, the BC D was no different...but BC is a team that prides itself on defense, and it's good to see that pride lead to progress.
JH: Boston College knocking off NC State – The Eagles got their second conference win with a 14-10 victory over NC State, throwing a wrinkle in the Wolfpack's bowl hopes. NC State needs two more wins to become bowl eligible, and with only games against Clemson and Maryland remaining, winning out will be a challenge. Coming off a shutout win over in-state rival UNC, the Wolfpack outgained BC, 267 yards to 190, but couldn't pull off the win. NC State QB Mike Glennon went 28 of 40 for 220 yards, but despite throwing three times as many passes as BC's Chase Rettig (9 of 13), he couldn't get his team in the end zone.
BS: Miami's near comeback against FSU – Florida State had a commanding 23-7 lead in the fourth quarter before Miami finally decided to remember the fundamentals and stopped turning the ball over. The Hurricanes put together two outstanding drives at the end of the game, and if they could have converted the two-point tries then they could have sent the game into overtime. The Seminoles defense has got to get better at playing a full 60 minutes if FSU is going to regain its spot at the top of the ACC mountain.
7. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE WEEK
SB: Maryland – That opening week win against Miami seems moons ago, and so does Ralph Freidgen, who ironically was ACC Coach of the Year in 2010 before being let go by the University. Hindsight can sure be a dose of reality, can't it? Notre Dame dominated up front and had the game comfortably won by midway through the third quarter, handing the Terps their eighth loss in ten games. Yuck.
NH: Maryland – This isn't that big a disappointment; like many, I have already accepted that Maryland is strictly in rebuilding mode this year. But there weren't too many competing events in the ACC to be overly disappointed about this week. Three 3rd downs converted is bad, four 3 & outs is also quite bad, & two more possessions that were only one play better than a 3 & out doesn't help. But I'd rather take this opportunity to be semi-constructive rather than pile on bad vibes toward Maryland. The Terps are getting better in the yards per play dept., averaging 5.5 per play in this loss. The defense is less excusable, but at least there is one area in which to find a silver lining. Also I'm diggin' the Alice in Wonderland uniforms; I think the critics need to back off of that one.
JH: Jeremiah Attaochu's punch at Logan Thomas – GT's Attaochu drew a personal foul penalty in the third quarter of Thursday's game vs. VT when he threw a punch at Hokies' QB Logan Thomas. The Hokies' offense had 3rd and 19 deep in their own territory, but instead of forcing a punt, Attaochu's punch extended the VT drive. David Wilson broke off for a 44 yard run, and Thomas ran 12 yards for the touchdown that gave them the lead in the last few minutes of the third.
BS: Georgia Tech – After a 6-0 start to the season, it seemed like Georgia Tech was going to contend for a conference championship if not more. Four weeks later, and the Jackets now have three losses, all in conference play. They had a chance to make a huge statement with a prime time win on Thursday night, but because of stupid penalties and a lack of run defense the Jackets are now eliminated from contention in the Coastal division. GT needs to make sure it beats Duke on the road this weekend, or this season could turn into a disaster.
Please follow Justine Hendricks on Twitter , Patrick Woo @sportsstilettos , Shawn Bridwell @WooCFN and Bradlee Simoneaux @SBCFNews . @collftblmaniac
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