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Nov. 22, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Virginia Tech sophomore tailback Ryan Williams and NC State junior wide receiver T.J. Graham headline a list of seven players honored as the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Players of the Week announced Monday by the ACC. Williams accounted for two touchdowns as the Hokies topped Miami, 31-17, clinching the Coastal Division title. His 84-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter was the fifth-longest in school history. Graham returned a punt 87 yards for a touchdown, giving the Wolfpack its first lead en route to a 29-25 victory over North Carolina. He also became the program's career leader in kickoff return yardage.
Miami earned two recognitions on the week as sophomore Brandon Washington was named the offensive lineman of the week and running back Lamar Miller the rookie of the week, his second honor of the season. Boston College sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly claimed his fourth honor of the season in being named the defensive lineman of the week, while Georgia Tech senior cornerback Mario Butler and Florida State sophomore safety Nick Moody were tabbed co-defensive backs of the week.
OFFENSIVE BACK - Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech, TB, r-So., 5-10, 202, Manassas, Va. (Stonewall Jackson) Williams, who has battled a slightly torn hamstring for much of the season, finally returned to his form of last year as the Hokies wrapped up the Coastal Division with a win at Miami. Williams rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns in the win and had a 7-yard catch. He scored the go-ahead touchdown on an 84-yard run early in the fourth quarter - the fifth-longest run in school history.
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN - Brandon Washington, Miami, OL, So., 6-4, 330, Miami, Fla. (Northwestern/Milford Academy) Washington graded out at 98 percent for the Miami offensive line, which helped the `Canes post a season-high 262 rushing yards. Washington had seven pancake blocks and three lumberjacks. The work of the UM offensive line has led to 200-yard rushing games for Miami in five of the last six games.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN - Luke Kuechly, Boston College, LB, So., 6-3, 235, Cincinnati, Ohio (Saint Xavier) Kuechly registered double-digit tackles for the 20th game in a row - the longest active streak in college football - in Boston College's 17-13 win over Virginia. The nation's leading tackler registered 15 tackles, including 10 solos and one TFL that resulted in an eight-yard loss for the Cavaliers. He also broke up one pass. The Eagle defense, stingiest against the run in college football entering Saturday's game, gave up 125 net yards rushing to Virginia.
CO-DEFENSIVE BACK - Mario Butler, Georgia Tech, CB, Sr., 6-1, 184, Jacksonville, Fla. (Nease) Butler, who played his final home game and made his 38th consecutive start, almost single-handedly turned Saturday's game around. With Georgia Tech trailing 13-9 mid-way through the third quarter, Butler tackled Duke's Donovan Varner for a six-yard loss on first down. On the next play, Butler intercepted a Brandon Connette pass and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown. The return tied for the longest by a Yellow Jacket in an ACC game. Tech never trailed after Butler's pick-six.
CO-DEFENSIVE BACK - Nick Moody, Florida State, S, r-So., 6-2, 226, Wyncote, Pa. (Roman Catholic) Moody turned in a career-high 13-tackle performance and returned the first interception of his career 96 yards for the game-clinching touchdown with 36 seconds remaining. The first defensive touchdown of the season for the Seminoles was also the fourth-longest interception return for a score in Florida State history. Moody's game-changer continued a trend for FSU's defense, which forced the Terrapins to settle for three field goals in five red zone visits. With the Seminoles clinging to a 23-16 lead, Maryland QB Danny O'Brien drove his team 57 yards on 14 plays to the FSU 19 when Moody came up with the interception. It denied Maryland its first touchdown since the opening quarter. A first-year starter, Moody's previous high for tackles was 10, set last season against Jacksonville State.
SPECIALIST - T.J. Graham, NC State, WR, Jr., 6-0, 180, Raleigh, N.C. (Wakefield) Graham had a milestone afternoon for the Wolfpack. He gave NC State its first lead of the game with an 87-yard punt return a minute into the fourth quarter. That return tied for the third-longest punt return in school history. Graham also returned five kickoffs for 100 yards, giving him a new school record for career kickoff-return yards with 2,073. He finished the game with 188 yards in total return yardage.
ROOKIE - Lamar Miller, Miami, RB, r-Fr., 5-11, 210, Miami, Fla. (Killian) Miller ran for a Miami season high 163 yards on just 15 carries against the 14th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies. Miller's output was a career high and included a touchdown. Miller averaged 10.9 yards per carry on a night when he posted five runs of 12 yards or more, including gains of 28 yards and 47 yards.