Florida State leads with three selections after closing conference play with road win
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Florida State leads the way with three Atlantic Coast Conference Football Player of the Week selections following the Seminoles’ 45-14 road win at Syracuse on Saturday.
FSU running back Dalvin Cook earned ACC Offensive Back of the Week honors, while left tackle Roderick Johnson was voted the Offensive Lineman of the Week and defensive end Brian Burns the Rookie of the Week.
Pitt and Georgia Tech each had two players recognized following conference wins at home. The Panthers’ Ejuan Price earned ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week accolades, and Quadree Henderson was voted the Specialist of the Week for their play in a 56-14 win over Duke. The Yellow Jackets’ Brant Mitchell picked up ACC Linebacker of the Week honors, while Lance Austin received the nod as the Defensive Back of the Week following a 31-17 win over Virginia.
North Carolina senior Ryan Switzer was tabbed as the ACC Receiver of the Week following the Tar Heels’ 41-7 win over The Citadel.
The ACC weekly honor is the fourth of the season for Pitt’s Henderson and the third for North Carolina’s Switzer. Florida State’s Cook and Johnson and Pitt’s Price were each recognized for the second time.
The ACC Football Player of the Week selections are determined by a vote of a 14-member media panel. Selections are announced via Facebook.com/theACC Mondays at noon by the ACC Digital Network. Be sure to like Facebook.com/theACC and opt in for live alerts to be the first to be notified.
Cook rushed for 225 yards and a school record-tying four touchdowns in Saturday’s 45-14 win at Syracuse. Cook broke Warrick Dunn’s 20-year-old school record for career rushing yards during the first quarter and now ranks No. 3 on the ACC’s all-time list with 4,166 career rushing yards. Cook has also tied the Florida State record for career rushing touchdowns with 44.
Johnson had a season-best 97 percent grade on pass plays and was Florida State’s overall highest graded offensive lineman in the Seminoles’ win at Syracuse in which they registered a season-best 654 yards of total offense. Johnson paved the way for Dalvin Cook to rush for 225 yards and four touchdowns and also protected quarterback Deondre Francois, who passed for 315 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson did not allow a sack.
RECEIVER – Ryan Switzer, North Carolina, WR, Sr., 5-10, 185, Charleston, W.Va.
Switzer caught four passes for 93 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown in the second quarter of Saturday’s 41-7 win over previously unbeaten The Citadel. It marked the 11th reception of his career that covered 50-or-more yards. Switzer moved into second place at UNC with 2,651 career yards receiving. He is 189 yards shy of the school record of 2,840 set by Hakeem Nicks (2006-08).
Price collected two sacks and three total tackles for loss in Saturday’s 56-14 win over Duke. He added two quarterback hurries and was highly instrumental in helping limit the Blue Devils to just 25 yards rushing on 22 carries (1.1 yards per attempt). The All-America candidate ranks fifth in the country in both sacks per game (1.00) and tackles for loss per game (1.7). More than half of Price’s 36 tackles this season have been behind the line of scrimmage, as he has 19 tackles for loss and 11 sacks on the year.
Mitchell recorded a career-high 12 tackles and his first interception of the season in Georgia Tech’s 31-17 win over Virginia. The sophomore set a career high for tackles for the second-straight week – his 10 tackles at No. 18 Virginia Tech the prior Saturday was his previous career best – and his interception was the first by a Georgia Tech linebacker this season.
One week after his twin brother Lawrence was recognized as the ACC Defensive Back of the Week, Lance Austin followed suit after he broke up three passes and returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to seal Georgia Tech’s win over Virginia. With 4:03 remaining and Georgia Tech clinging to a 24-17 lead, Austin picked off a pass and weaved his way through a maze of tacklers to put the Yellow Jackets up 31-17. His three pass breakups were the most by a Georgia Tech player in a game this season and upped his ACC-leading total to 12.
Henderson had yet another return for a touchdown in Saturday’s 56-14 win over Duke, running back a punt 65 yards. Henderson now has four returns for touchdowns this season, including a nation-leading three on kickoffs. Saturday marked the first time Henderson had returned a punt for a touchdown, and it was the first such return by a Panther since 2013. Henderson totaled 162 all-purpose yards in the game and added a 52-yard touchdown run off a jet sweep. Henderson ranks second in the country in combined kick return yards (967) and fifth in kickoff return average (32.2). He is also averaging 17.6 yards per punt return.
ROOKIE – Brian Burns, Florida State, Fr., DE, 6-5, 222, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Burns delivered 2.5 quarterback sacks and blocked a punt in his first career start as Florida State held Syracuse’s high-powered offense to just 233 total yards – its second lowest total this season – in Saturday’s game at the Carrier Dome. Burns leads all freshmen in the nation with 8.0 sacks.