Sept. 29, 2008
GREENSBORO, N.C. — North Carolina Quarterback Cameron Sexton and Duke Linebacker Michael Tauiliili headline the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Players of the week for the games of Sept. 27. Sexton came off the bench to lead the Tar Heel offense back from a 14-point deficit to beat Miami, 28-24. Tauiliili was named National Defensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation with 16-tackles en route to snapping Duke’s 25-game ACC losing streak. Joining them this week are Virginia Tech Center Ryan Shuman, North Carolina Safety Trimane Goddard, Maryland Punter Travis Baltz, Florida State Kick Returner Michael Ray Garvin and Boston College running back Montel Harris.
Sexton earned Offensive Back of the Week as he completed 11-of-19 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over Miami. He also commanded the Tar Heel offense on a game-winning seven-play, 56-yard drive that culminated in a 14-yard touchdown pass with 46 seconds remaining. Tauiliili took Defensive Lineman of the Week accolades with 16 tackles and had a hand in creating three of the six Virginia turnovers, recovering a fumble, causing a fumble and intercepting a pass.
Tech’s Shuman was named Offensive Lineman of the Week honors by posting seven knockdown blocks and opening massive holes to allow the Hokies to rush for 206 yards and gain 377 yards overall on the road at Nebraska. Goddard claimed Defensive Back of the Week honors with an eight-tackle, two interception day, capped off by one of the top plays of the week, an interception in the end zone to seal the Tar Heel win.
Baltz and Garvin share Co-Specialists of the Week honors. Baltz averaged 43.9 yards per punt on Saturday. He pinned the Tigers deep three times and allowed only two return attempts on the seven punts for only 11 yards. Garvin took a kickoff back 94 yards for his first career return touchdown and FSU’s first since 2002.
Harris captured Rookie of the Week honors by rushing 18 times for 143 yards in Boston College’s rain-soaked victory over Rhode Island on Saturday. Harris rushed for over 100 yards for the second consecutive game.
OFFENSIVE BACK—Cameron Sexton, North Carolina, QB, 6-1, 190, Jr., Laurinburg, N.C.
Junior quarterback Cameron Sexton came off the bench to lead the Tar Heels to a 28-24 victory at Miami. The Laurinburg, N.C., native was 11 of 19 for 242 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner with 46 seconds. Sexton came in on Carolina’s third possession of the game and led the Tar Heels on a 58-yard scoring drive. In the second half, with Carolina trailing by 10, he hit Hakeem Nicks in stride for a 74-yard touchdown play. It was the longest pass completion of Sexton’s career. Finally, with time winding down and Carolina trailing by three, he led the Tar Heels on a 56-yard scoring drive, going 3 for 4, including a perfectly thrown pass in the corner of the end zone to Brooks Foster for the game-winning touchdown.
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN—Ryan Shuman, Virginia Tech, Center, 6-3, 313, R-Sr., Fork Union, Va.
Shuman had a season-high seven knockdown blocks in helping lead a line that opened holes for Tech’s offense in the road win at Nebraska. Tech rushed for 206 yards as a team and put up a season-high 377 yards of total offense on the evening.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN—Michael Tauiliili, Duke, MLB, 5-11, 235, Sr., Houston, Texas
Tauiliili led Duke to a 31-3 win over Virginia by collecting a career-high 16 total tackles. He was named the National Defensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation. He had a hand in three of the six turnovers forced by the Duke defense, a fumble recovery in the second quarter, an interception in the fourth quarter and a forced fumble recovered by teammate Catron Gainey in the fourth quarter. He spearheaded the Duke defense that allowed just three points and 304 total yards including just 178 yards over the final three quarters. Tauiliili leads the ACC in tackles (46) and tackles per game (11.5). He has reached double figures in tackles twice in 2008 and 14 times in his career. In 38 career games, he has been credited with four interceptions, three fumble recoveries and seven caused fumbles while ranking eighth on Duke's all-time tackles chart with 340 career stops.
DEFENSIVE BACK—Trimane Goddard, UNC, S, 5-11, 195, Sr., Robersonville, N.C.
Senior safety Trimane Goddard posted a team-high eight tackles, intercepted two passes and broke up another in Carolina’s come-from-behind 28-24 victory at Miami. On the final play of the game, Goddard picked off a pass in the back of the end zone, knocking it out of the hands of the intended receiver and holding on for his second interception of the day as the game ended. Earlier, he returned an interception 35 yards. It was the second time in his career Goddard had two interceptions in a game at Miami (2005).
CO-SPECIALIST—Travis Baltz, Maryland, Punter, 6-2, 200, So., Whitehouse, Ohio
Baltz punted seven times for an average of 43.9 yards per attempt in Saturday’s win over Clemson. Three of those punts landed inside the Tigers’ 20-yard line and his hang time allowed just two returns for 11 yards. The sophomore was especially sharp in the first half when the Terps found themselves behind early. His first punt went just 36 yards, but was not returned. His second one was fumbled and set up a Maryland field goal. His final punt of the half came from his own end zone, traveled 48 yards and was returned just five yards. Baltz currently ranks second in the ACC and 13th nationally in punting average (44.3).
Michael Ray Garvin, Florida State, KR, 5-8, 182, Sr., Upper Saddle River, N.J.
Senior Michael Ray Garvin earned his first career touchdown on a kickoff return as he gave the Seminoles a 25-14 fourth quarter lead over Colorado lead with a career-long 94-yard return. His return was the first kickoff returned for a touchdown by a Seminole player since Leon Washington returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown against Clemson on Oct. 3, 2002. Garvin’s 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown is tied for the 10th longest in school history. For the game, Garvin earned a career-high 119 kickoff return yards and increased his career total to 1,195 yards.
ROOKIE—Montel Harris, Boston College, RB, 5-10, 192, Fr., Jacksonville, Fla.
The true freshman had 18 carries for a career-best 143 yards and 3 touchdowns in Boston College’s 42-0 win over Rhode Island, as the Eagles rushed for 289 yards on a rain-soaked day in Alumni Stadium. Harris averaged 7.9 yards per carry. Saturday’s performance followed last week’s game vs. UCF in which he had 13 carries for a game-high 113 yards and caught three passes for 23 yards.