Atlantic Coast Conference Announces Football Players of the Week
Eight schools represented on final selections of 2016 season
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Student-athletes from eight Atlantic Coast Conference schools were recognized as the league announced the final ACC Football Players of the Week of the 2016 season on Monday.
Clemson junior quarterback Deshaun Watson was voted the ACC Offensive Back of the Week following his play in the Tigers’ 56-7 rout of rival South Carolina in their regular-season finale. NC State’s Joe Scelfo earned Offensive Lineman of the Week honors after helping the Wolfpack win on the road at North Carolina. Syracuse’s Amba Etta-Tawo earned ACC Receiver of the Week following a stellar showing in his final college game.
Boston College’s Harold Landry is the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week after leading the Eagles’ win at Wake Forest, while Virginia Tech’s Andrew Motuapuaka took Linebacker of the Week honors for his play in a victory over visiting rival Virginia. Georgia Tech’s Lance Austin picked up Defensive Back of the Week honors for the second week in a row after making a key play in the Yellow Jackets’ comeback win at Georgia.
Pitt’s Quadree Henderson repeated as the ACC Specialist of the Week following the Panthers’ high-scoring win at Syracuse, and Duke quarterback Daniel Jones closed his freshman season with another ACC Rookie of the Week honor.
The ACC weekly award is the fifth of the season for Pitt’s Henderson and his third in four weeks. Duke’s Jones was recognized for the fourth time, and Syracuse Etta-Tawo for the third time this year. Clemson’s Watson, Boston College’s Landry and Georgia Tech’s Austin each earned their second ACC weekly honors of the 2016 season.
Watson completed 26-of-32 passes for 347 yards and six touchdowns in Clemson’s 56-7 win over rival South Carolina. The six touchdown passes tied an ACC record, one Watson previously owned from his performance as a freshman against North Carolina in 2014. On Saturday, the junior established a school record for touchdown passes in the rivalry game and the most passing yards ever by a Clemson quarterback against South Carolina. Watson added 19 yards on the ground, giving him 366 yards of total offense. Watson and the Tigers carry an 11-1 record into this Saturday’s Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game against Virginia Tech (9-3) in Orlando.
Scelfo played every offensive snap of the game for the Wolfpack in Friday’s 28-21 win at rival North Carolina. The steady center registered five knockdown blocks in the contest and helped the Wolfpack gain 259 rushing yards while dominating the line of scrimmage and time of possession. With the win, NC State earned bowl eligibility for the third consecutive year..
Etta-Tawo caught a career-high 13 passes for 178 yards and set a new Syracuse record with five touchdown receptions in Saturday’s high-scoring 76-61 loss to Pitt. His five touchdown grabs tied the ACC record set by NC State’s Torry Holt in 1997. Four of Etta-Tawo’s touchdown receptions came in the second half, including three in the final 7:21, as the Orange attempted to rally from a 29-point deficit. It was Etta-Tawo’s school-record seventh 100-yard receiving game of the season, and he finished his one year at Syracuse as the program’s single-season leader in receptions (94), receiving yards (1,482) and receiving yards per game (123.5). He also equaled Tommy Kane’s school season record of 14 touchdown catches first set in 1987. All four numbers rank in the top 10 in ACC history, and Etta-Tawo’s receiving yardage and receiving yards per game trail only Holt on the conference’s single-season ledger.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Harold Landry, Boston College, Jr., DE, 6-3, 250, Fayetteville, N.C.
Landry led a stout defensive effort in Saturday’s 17-14 win at Wake Forest that secured bowl eligibility for the Eagles. He recorded seven tackles, including 4.5 tackles-for-loss, and tied a career-best with 3.0 sacks as Boston College held the Demon Deacons to 287 yards of total offense. He became Boston College’s all-time single-season leader in sacks (15) in the victory. Landry is tied for the national lead in sacks. He also leads the country with seven forced fumbles and is tied for fourth nationally with 20.5 tackles-for-loss.
LINEBACKER – Andrew Motuapuaka, Virginia Tech, Jr.-r., LB, 6-0, 2350, Virginia Beach, Va.
Motuapuaka registered two takeaways (a fumble and an interception) as the Coastal Division champion Hokies head into the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game on a high note following Saturday’s 52-10 win over visiting Virginia. His 70-yard fumble return for a touchdown was the fourth score of his career, and he led Virginia Tech in tackles with six.
Austin set up Georgia Tech’s game-winning touchdown drive with an interception at Georgia’s 46-yard line with 3:39 remaining in Saturday’s game. With Georgia Tech trailing 27-21, Austin made a diving interception on a second-and-eight pass by UGA’s Jacob Eason. Eight plays after Austin’s second crucial fourth-quarter interception in as many weeks, Georgia Tech scored the game-winning touchdown with just 30 seconds remaining. Austin also had six tackles in the win.
As a return man and runner, Henderson played a vital role in Pitt’s shootout victory over Syracuse. Henderson compiled a career-high 257 all-purpose yard, 154 of which came on returns. He averaged an incredible 21.4 yards per touch – 18.7 yards on three punt returns (56 yards), 24.5 yards on four kickoffs (98 yards) and 20.6 yards on five rushes (103 yards). Henderson also had a 66-yard touchdown burst off a jet sweep to give Pitt a 49-21 lead in the third quarter.
Jones completed 34-of-50 (.680) passes for 316 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in Saturday’s road loss at Miami. The performance came against a Miami defense that entered the week allowing just 211.7 passing yards per game and had surrendered just 14 total passing touchdowns in 11 games. The 316 passing yards marked the most against the Hurricanes this season. Jones’ 34 completions were a season high, and he recorded his fourth 300-yard passing game of the season. His The 50 pass attempts without an interception set a Duke rookie single-game record.