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Florida State, Pitt and Wake Forest lead the way with two selections apiece
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Florida State sophomore running back Dalvin Cook earned his second Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Back of the Week honor of the season after leading the eighth-ranked Seminoles to Saturday night’s 29-24 win over rival Miami, and teammate DeMarcus Walker was chosen as the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week.
Florida State was one of three schools with two student-athletes recognized among ACC Football Player of the Week selections following last weekend’s action, joining Pitt and Wake Forest.
Matt Galambos (Linebacker of the Week) and Jordan Whitehead (Rookie of the Week) were recognized for their play in Pitt’s win over Virginia. The Demon Deacons’ Zach Dancel (Defensive Back of the Week) and Alex Kinal (Specialist of the Week) were tabbed following their performances in a shutout win at Boston College.
Clemson’s Jay Guillermo (Offensive Lineman of the Week) and Miami’s Stacy Coley (Receiver of the Week) round out this week’s list of ACC honorees.
ACC Football Players of the Week are selected by a 14-member media panel.
OFFENSIVE BACK – Dalvin Cook, Florida State, So., RB, 5-11, 202, Miami, Fla.
Cook had one of the greatest performances ever in the storied FSU-Miami rivalry on Saturday night at Doak Campbell Stadium, rushing for 222 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries and catching three passes for 47 yards and another score. Listed as day-to-day with a hamstring injury, Cook was explosive from the start against his hometown Hurricanes, taking his first touch – an option pitch – 72 yards for a touchdown. He added a 36-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter and scored the game-winning touchdown on 23-yard run with 6:44 left in the fourth quarter. Cook’s 222-yard performance is the most ever by a Nole against the Hurricanes and marks his second 200-yard game of the season, which ties the school record (1981, Greg Allen).
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Jay Guillermo, Clemson, Jr., C, 6-3, 310, Maryville, Tenn.
Guillermo graded a team-best and career-high 93 percent on 61 plays in Clemson’s 43-24 win over visiting Georgia Tech. For the second straight game, he did not have a bad snap in the driving rain and helped the sixth-ranked Tigers to 201 yards rushing and 537 yards of total offense. He added three knockdown blocks and did not give up a sack. He had the key block on two Clemson touchdown runs.
RECEIVER – Stacy Coley, Miami, Jr., WR, 6-2, 287, Pompano Beach, Fla.
Coley had a career night on Saturday as he posted highs as a collegiate player in receptions (seven) and receiving yards (139) against Florida State. Coley’s 139-yard effort marked the first time he has surpassed 100 yards receiving, and his 38-yard touchdown reception gave the Hurricanes a 24-23 fourth-quarter lead over the eighth-ranked Seminoles.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – DeMarcus Walker, Florida State, Jr., 6-3, 281, Jacksonville, Fla.
Walker was a force for the Seminoles in the 29-24 win over Miami, recording a career-high two sacks and forcing a fumble. Walker also helped lead a defensive effort that limited Miami to just 20 rushing yards on 19 carries (1.1 yards per carry) – the lowest rushing yards total that an FSU defense has allowed against an FBS opponent since 2007.
LINEBACKER – Matt Galambos, Pitt, LB, Jr., 6-2, 240, Collingdale, Pa.
Galambos had two quarterback sacks and a momentum-changing interception return in Pitt’s 26-19 victory over Virginia. With Pitt holding a 17-10 halftime lead, Virginia opened the second half by driving to the Panthers’ 34-yard line. Galambos ended the threat by perfectly jumping a route, intercepting the pass and returning for 51 yards to set up what proved to be the decisive Pitt touchdown. The interception return was the longest by a Pitt player in five years. Galambos’ two sacks went for 15 yards in losses and included an 11-yard sack on Virginia’s final possession. He had five total stops on the afternoon to help Pitt move to 4-1 for the first time since 2009 and 2-0 in ACC play for the first time since joining the league in 2013.
DEFENSIVE BACK – Zach Dancel, Wake Forest, Gr., S, 6-0, 200, Ellicott City, Md.
Dancel had six tackles, including five solos in Wake Forest’s 3-0 road win over Boston College. Dancel had a tackle for loss of four yards, forced a fumble that led to Wake Forest’s field goal, and then recovered another fumble to halt an Eagles’ drive late in the fourth quarter.
SPECIALIST – Alex Kinal, Wake Forest, P, Sr.-r, 6-4, 205, Adelaide, South Australia
Kinal punted 10 times for 513 yards – a 51.3 average – against Boston College on Saturday, flipping the field on numerous occasions in the Demon Deacons’ 3-0 ACC win. Kinal had eight punts of 50 or more yards, including a 62-yarder. Four of his punts were downed inside the BC 20-yard line, and he placed two punts inside the 10. During the game, Kinal set the ACC record for career punting yards. He now has 12,383 career punting yards, exceeding the previous record of 12,000 set by Duke’s Brian Morton (1997-2000).
ROOKIE – Jordan Whitehead, Pitt, CB, Fr., 5-11, 185, Aliquippa, Pa.
Whitehead collected a game-high 12 tackles (seven solo) and was a disruptive force defending the run and the pass in the Panthers’ win over Virginia. The true freshman leads Pitt’s nationally ranked defense with 41 stops on the season. He is averaging 8.2 tackles per game, which ranks ninth (tied) in the ACC. Whitehead is the only freshman among the league’s top-24 tacklers.