Thursday, November 5, 2009

ACC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT…

Don’t look now, but Duke has three players who have been named Players of the Week. This marks the first time three Blue Devils have been so honored since…well, since…ever?

CO-OFFENSIVE BACK - Jacory Harris, Miami, QB, So., 6-4, 190, Miami, Fla. (Northwestern) Miami sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris earned this third Offensive Back of the Week accolade this season after he picked up his second career 300-yard passing game in a 28-27 comeback win at Wake Forest. He completed 22-of-43 attempts for 330 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner to Travis Benjamin with 1:08 left in the game that capped a nine-play and 82-yard drive.

CO-OFFENSIVE BACK - Thaddeus Lewis, Duke, QB, Sr., 6-1, 215, Opa-Locka, Fla. (Hialeah Miami Lakes) Duke senior quarterback Thaddeus Lewis completed 24-of-40 passes for 343 yards and one touchdown to help rally Duke past Virginia, 28-17. In the process, the Blue Devils became the only team this season to throw for more than 190 yards on the Cavalier defense, which entered the contest leading the ACC and ranking fifth nationally in passing defense (151.3 yards per game). As Duke trailed 17-12 with 5:36 to play in the fourth quarter, Lewis engineered a five-play, 67-yard drive, culminating in a 42-yard touchdown pass to Conner Vernon for the go-ahead touchdown, a score that proved to be the game-winner.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN – Rodney Hudson, Florida StateBold, G, Jr., 6-2, 285, Mobile, Ala. (B.C. Rain) Florida State junior guard Rodney Hudson earned his second Offensive Lineman of the Week honor after helping to anchor a Seminole offensive line that guided Florida State to a season-high 555 total yards—tied for the third-highest mark in the league this season—in a 45-42 shootout win over NC State. Hudson, a preseason All-American, graded out at 91 percent, had two knock-down blocks, and was part of an offensive unit that did not give up a sack or a quarterback hurry.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Tydreke Powell, North Carolina, DT, So., 6-3, 300, Ahoskie, N.C. (Hertford County) North Carolina sophomore defensive tackle Tydreke Powell forced a key fourth-quarter fumble, broke up a pass, and added three tackles, including one sack, in a 20-17 win at 14th-ranked (AP) Virginia Tech. With just over two minutes remaining in the game, Powell forced a Hokie fumble which was recovered by the Tar Heels and eventually led to Casey Barth’s game-winning 21-yard field goal.

DEFENSIVE BACK – Luke Kuechly, Boston College, LB, Fr., 6-3, 225, Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier) Boston College freshman linebacker Luke Kuechly intercepted the first pass of his career and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown in the Eagles’ 31-10 win over Central Michigan. Kuechly also racked up a game high 11 tackles and anchored a defensive secondary that limited heralded Central Michigan signal-caller Dan Lefevour to 152 passing yards and no touchdowns.

SPECIALIST – Will Snyderwine, Duke, K, Jr. 5-11, 185, Potomac, Md. (Landon School)
Duke junior placekicker Will Snyderwine (#96) converted field goal tries of 44, 28, 34, 25, and 43 yards to match the fifth-best single-game field goal total in ACC history in Duke’s win over Virginia. Snyderwine got the Blue Devils off on the right foot by kicking his first three field goals to give them a 9-0 lead, then later pushed Duke to a 12-10 advantage with a 25-yarder at the 13:50 mark in the fourth quarter. His final kick of the day, a 43-yarder with 1:05 left to play, that gave the Blue Devils a 28-17 lead, and was Snyderwine’s 11th consecutive converted field goal attempt.

ROOKIE – Conner Vernon, Duke, WR, Fr., 6-0, 185, Miami, Fla. (Gulliver Prep) Duke freshman wide receiver Conner Vernon (#2) caught a game-high seven passes for 103 yards, including Duke’s go-ahead 42-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Thaddeus Lewis with 3:45 to play, in the Blue Devils’ win over the Cavaliers. Vernon’s seven receptions gave him 38 for the season, establishing a Duke single-season record for freshman, while his 100-yard receiving game was his third of the season, another school single-season freshman record.

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