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Clemson’s Watson heads list, also earns national accolades
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Clemson sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson leads the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Player of the Week selections after accounting for six touchdowns and 437 yards of total offense in Saturday’s 56-41 win over NC State.
ACC Football Players of the Week are selected by a 14-member media panel.
Watson, also named the National Offensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, earned his second ACC Offensive Back of the Week honor of the 2015 season. He is joined by teammate Joe Gore, who was named the Offensive Lineman of the Week.
A pair of student-athletes from both Florida State and Miami joins the two Tigers, while Louisville and Virginia each had one player recognized for ACC weekly honors.
Florida State’s Travis Rudolph was selected as the ACC Receiver of the Week, and Seminole freshman running back Jacques Patrick was named the Rookie of the Week for their play in Saturday’s win over visiting Syracuse.
Miami’s Jermaine Grace earned Linebacker of the Week honors, while Hurricane teammate Corn Elder was recognized as Specialist of the Week following the Hurricanes’ road win at Duke.
Louisville’s Trevon Young was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week for the second week in a row following his performance in the Cardinals’ win at Wake Forest, while Virginia safety Quin Blanding was tabbed as Defensive Back of the Week following his effort in the Cavaliers’ win over visiting Georgia Tech.
OFFENSIVE BACK – Deshaun Watson, Clemson, So., QB, 6-2, 205, Gainesville, Ga.
Watson completed 23 of 30 passes for 383 yards and five touchdowns in Clemson’s 56-41 win at NC State. He also rushed for 54 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries to finish the day with 437 yards of total offense and six total touchdowns. The six touchdowns tied for the second-most in a game in Clemson history. Watson had a passing efficiency rating of 238.91, the best in Clemson history given a minimum of 30 attempts, and the best by an FBS player this past week with a minimum of 30 attempts. He led the Tigers’ offense to 623 yards and seven touchdowns. The 623 yards were the second-most in a road game in Clemson history.
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Joe Gore, Clemson, Gr., OT, 6-5, 290, Lake Waccamaw, N.C.
Gore played all 80 snaps for the Clemson offense and graded a career-best 91 percent in the Tigers’ win at NC State. He had three knockdown blocks and did not allow a sack or have a penalty. Gore was a big reason Clemson had 623 yards of total offense, second most in school history in a road game, and scored 56 points on seven touchdowns and three field goals.
RECEIVER – Travis Rudolph, Florida State, So., WR, 6-1, 184, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Rudolph had the top receiving performance in the ACC this season in FSU’s 45-21 victory over Syracuse. Rudolph caught five passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns. His 191-yard performance is the most in the ACC this season, the 14th-best in Florida State history and the sixth-best by a Power 5 receiver this season. Rudolph had four catches and 172 yards and two touchdowns by halftime, including a highlight reel-worthy 75-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter that sparked the FSU offense and featured several broken tackles and an assertive stiff arm.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Trevon Young, Louisville, Jr., DE, 6-4, 237, Des Moines, Iowa
Young recorded three quarterback sacks and forced a game-clinching fumble in Friday night’s 20-19 road win at Wake Forest. It marked the second consecutive game with three sacks for Young, giving him a season total of 8.0 sacks – all in the Cardinals’ last three games. Young spearheaded a defensive effort that limited the Demon Deacons to 40 yards and 266 yards of total offense.
LINEBACKER – Jermaine Grace, Miami, Jr., LB, 6-1, 208, Miami Gardens, Fla.
Grace was a one man wrecking crew Saturday night for the Hurricanes as he totaled a career-high 17 tackles in Miami’s 30-27 win at No. 18 Duke. His 17 tackles were the most by a Hurricane defensive player this season. Grace also tallied one tackle for loss and one forced fumble. His nine solo tackles were also a single-game career high.
DEFENSIVE BACK – Quin Blanding, Virginia, So., FS, 6-2, 215, Virginia Beach, Va.
Blanding led the Cavalier defense with 15 tackles including eight solo stops in the Saturday’s 27-21 victory over Georgia Tech. Blanding had seven of his stops in the fourth quarter and broke up two passes, including a fourth-down throw on Georgia Tech’s final offensive play. The UVA defense limited the Yellow Jackets to just 144 rushing yards on 33 carries. The Yellow Jackets had only one run play in excess of 10 yards. Georgia Tech’s rushing total was its second lowest of the season. The Cavaliers held the Yellow Jackets to five-of-13 on third down and 0-for-3 on fourth-down conversions.
SPECIALIST – Corn Elder, Miami, Jr., CB, 5-10, 183, Nashville, Tenn.
Elder scored the game-winning touchdown in Miami’s 30-27 win at 18th-ranked Duke on Saturday night. Elder was on the receiving end of the Hurricanes’ eighth lateral toss, which he then took 75 yards to the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown with no time remaining. Elder’s kickoff return for a touchdown is the second special teams touchdown he has recorded this season. He is the only player in college football this season to record an interception, a punt return for a touchdown and a kickoff return for a touchdown.
ROOKIE – Jacques Patrick, Florida State, Fr., RB, 6-2, 235, Orlando, Fla.
Patrick powered Florida State’s ground game in the 45-21 victory over Syracuse in his first career start by rushing for 162 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries, while adding six receptions for 62 yards to account for 224 all-purpose yards. Patrick’s rushing performance is the fifth-highest total ever by a Florida State freshman running back.