Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of Freese

World Series MVP David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after defeating the Texas Rangers 6-2 to win Game Seven of the MLB World Series at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Saturday ACC Football Scoreboard

Saturday, October 29th:





Heels Meet With Suits

The uncertainty that has engulfed the University of North Carolina football program for 15 months is finally nearing an end.

UNC officials appeared before the Suits From Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas) infractions committee Friday regarding violations. The school already has imposed penalties following the NCAA investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct, which led to the firing of head coach Butch Davis and prompted the looming early exit of athletic director Dick Baddour.

The 7 1/2 -hour hearing was to determine whether UNC’s self-imposed penalties— including vacated wins and scholarship reductions—will be enough to avoid further punishment.

The committee is expected to make a ruling in eight to 12 weeks.

Nothing Says Traditional Rivalry Like West Virginia vs Iowa State

The Big 12 welcomed West Virginia from the Big East and bid goodbye to Missouri before the Tigers even had a chance to finalize their move to the Southeastern Conference.

Now that the poaching of the Big East seems to be over, the beleaguered league is not backing down. It has been busy courting six schools and says it was braced for the latest loss. And despite what the Big 12 says, the Big East plans to keep West Virginia for two more years—just as it has vowed to keep Pittsburgh andSyracuse away from the Atlantic Coast Conference until 2014.

The latest round of conference realignment appears to be winding down, but tug-o-war over who goes where when likely will take a while to sort out.

Tar Heels Near Unanimous No.1 In AP Preseason Poll

Sort of AP -- North Carolina broke a tie with its fiercest rival and moved into one with college basketball’s most storied program.

The Tar Heels, who return all five starters from the team that reached the regional finals last season, were the runaway No. 1 in The Associated Press’ men’s preseason Top 25 on Friday. It is the eighth time they have received that honor since the preseason poll started in 1961-62.

That breaks a tie with Tobacco Road rival Duke and moves them into a tie with UCLA, the program that dominated the sport unlike any other under coach John Wooden.

 “It shows that North Carolina basketball has had a tremendous level of success over a long, long period of time,” coach Roy Williams said. “We are very proud of that and this is another indication of the program’s great history.”

North Carolina received all but three of the No. 1 votes cast by the 65-member national media poll, finishing well ahead of Kentucky, the team that eliminated the Tar Heels last season one step from the Final Four.

Duke was ranked No.3, but no other ACC team cracked the top 25.  The T.A.H. crack research team wasn’t sure when the last time was that only two ACC teams were in AP Preseason poll, but we’re pretty sure it’s been awhile...
The St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Texas Rangers 6-2 to win the World Series in Game Seven of the MLB World Series at Busch Stadium on October 28, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
St. Louis centerfielder Allen Craig reaches over the wall to take a home run away from Nelson Cruz in the top of the sixth.  (Photo by Al Tielmans/Sports Illustrated)
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina leaps into the arms of pitcher Jason Motte in celebration after the final out in Game 7 of the World Series.  (Photo by John Biever/Sports Illustrated)

Friday, October 28, 2011


(Joel Auebach/Getty Images)
College football teams and the young men who play for them are inconsistent by design, but Virginia (5-3, 2-2 ACC) and Miami (4-4, 2-3 ACC) are taking it to an extreme of sorts.

In the span of less than two weeks, the Wahoos have defeated Georgia Tech and Miami while losing to N.C. State (at home).  The Canes are giving rookie head coach Al Golden quite the roller coaster ride -- defeating Ohio State, Georgia Tech and North Carolina while losing to Maryland and Virginia.

Mike London’s five-win Cavalier squad is almost bowl eligible with Maryland and Duke coming up in the next two weeks.

That said, it was a smorgasbord of Wahoo big plays including a fake field goal, a halfback option for a touchdown, a 53-yard catch-and-run on a screen for a score, and 78-yard reception by a running back who slipped out wide for another.

Michael Rocco passed for 226 yards and two scores, running back Perry Jones threw one touchdown pass and caught another, and the Cavaliers held off Miami 28-21 to snap a seven-game ACC road losing streak.

(Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
On a night where the explosive play carried the Cavaliers, simple, gritty football saved the day. LaRoy Reynolds stopped Miami’s Mike James in the backfield on fourth-and-2 at the Virginia 15 with 2:10 remaining, and the Cavaliers (5-3, 2-2) held on from there.

Jacory Harris completed 21 of 30 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns for Miami (4-4, 2-3), which saw its two-game winning streak snapped and saw its chances in the Coastal Division take a huge hit.Tommy Streeter caught seven of Harris’ passes for a career-best 176 yards and two touchdowns for the Hurricanes.

A few select quotes:

“I’m tired of doing this. Tired of always having to do a comeback victory. We’re always putting ourselves in bad situations. We’ve got to come out and do better.” -- Miami QB Jacory Harris

(Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
“It’s my job to get (receivers) the ball and kind of control the game, and I feel like we did a great job of that tonight.” -- UVA QB Michael Rocco.

“We can’t have the penalties and the mental breakdowns that we did. We weren’t sharp and we didn’t execute as well as we needed to and that starts with me, period.” -- Miami coach Al Golden.

“Faith, family and football. Those are the things. … It’s a great win. Road victory against a really good team.” -- Virginia coach Mike London.

To read more, click here.

Saturday ACC Football

Saturday, October 29th:
N.C. STATE @ FLORIDA STATE (-18), Tallahassee, Fla., 12:00 PM, TV: ESPNU, (Sirius 128//XM 190)

VIRGINIA TECH (-14) @ DUKE, Durham, N.C., 12:30 PM, TV: ACC Network, (Sirius 113//XM 191)

BOSTON COLLEGE @ MARYLAND (-8), College Park, Md., 3:00 PM, TV: RSN, (Sirius 93//XM 192)

WAKE FOREST @ NORTH CAROLINA (-9), Chapel Hill, N.C., 3:30 PM, TV: ESPNU, (Sirius 128//XM 190)

CLEMSON (-4.5) @ GEORGIA TECH, Atlanta, Ga., 8:00 PM, TV: ABC/ESPN3, (Sirius 93//XM 192)

*Point spreads for recreational purposes only.

Things That Make You Go...

(Laetitia Notarianni/
The French National team plays in the men’s 6th Sport Kin-Ball World Cup in Nantes, France.  

No, we don’t know what Kin-Ball is...What? Is your Google broken?

Sammy’s YAC

(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
And when Sammy Watkins YACs, he doesn’t fool around...
Recently, ESPN's Stats & Information charted how successful Watkins is after he catches the ball -- Yards After Catch (YAC).  

Turns out , 63.1% of his yards come after the catch. In fact, Watkins has more yards after the catch than any other player on Clemson has receiving yards this season, including two games in which he gained over 100 yards after the catch. 

Sammy’s 2011 stats: 
Receptions: 54 
Yards: 819 
YAC: 517 
YAC PG: 64.6 
YAC per reception: 9.6 

Overall, Watkins has 109 more yards after the catch than any other player on a team ranked in the top 15 of the BCS standings. 
(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Most Yards After the Catch for the top 15 receivers in the BCS standings: 
Sammy Watkins, Clemson: 517 
Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma: 408 
Joe Adams, Arkansas: 337 
Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State: 305 
B.J. Cunningham, Michigan State: 292 

ESPN's Stats & Info also calculated that Watkins averages 34.6 yards per touchdown reception and all nine of his touchdowns have been on receptions of at least 10 yards. Watkins has more 10-plus yard touchdowns than any other player in the country and one more 10-plus yard touchdowns than all of the other Clemson receivers combined. 

FBS leaders in touchdown receptions of 10+ yards 
Sammy Watkins, Clemson: 9
Marvin McNutt, Iowa: 8 
Kendall Wright, Baylor: 8 
Chris Givens, Wake Forest: 8
Other than that, he’s not that good...
(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

ACC Football Links

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
By Heather Dinich/ESPN

How much credit does Mike O'Cain deserve for Virginia Tech's offensive success this season as its play-caller?

Get this: Wake Forest is playing for this year's unofficial state championship. Hokies might still win, though.

The math is simple for BC: Not enough wins, no bowl game. The pressure is on this weekend at Maryland.

It's no longer unreasonable to think Notre Dame might be interested in joining the ACC.

Think you can play better defense for Clemson? You better know your geometry.

Can FSU build upon its recent success in the running game? Jermaine Thomas would like to think so.

Hmm, what's worth more ... a national champion or two BCS bowl bids? The ACC is adding it up.

Pictures Of The Day

David Freese and the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate at home plate after hitting a walk off solo home run in the 11th inning to win Game Six of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals won 10-9. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Quarterback Case Keeum #7 holds up the game ball after defeating the Rice Owls 73-34 to regain the "Bayou Bucket" at Robertson Stadium on October 27, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  Keeum threw NINE (yes, not a misprint, that’s NINE) touchdown passes in the game.  He holds the FBS record for career touchdown passes at 135.  David Klingler (also of Houston) holds the record for most TD passes in a single game with 11 against Eastern Michigan in 1990.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Lance Berkman of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a game-tying RBI single to score Jon Jay in the 10th inning during Game Six of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals won 10-9 in 11 innings. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
David Freese of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a walk off solo home run in the 11th inning to win Game Six of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals won 10-9. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Cardinals Gerald Laird (13) and his teamates celebrate David Freese’s walk-off home run.  (Photo by Al Tielmans/Sports Illustrated)

St. Louis Cardinal David Freese starts to circle the bases after hitting a walk-off solo home run in the 11th inning of game six of the World Series. (Photo by Al Tielmans/Sports Illustrated)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ACC Football

Thursday, October 27th:
VIRGINIA @ MIAMI (-13.5), Miami Gardens, Fla., 8:00 PM, TV: ESPN/ESPN3-D, (Sirius 91//XM 91)

Saturday, October 29th:
N.C. STATE @ FLORIDA STATE (-18), Tallahassee, Fla., 12:00 PM, TV: ESPNU, (Sirius 128//XM 190)

VIRGINIA TECH (-14) @ DUKE, Durham, N.C., 12:30 PM, TV: ACC Network, (Sirius 113//XM 191)

BOSTON COLLEGE @ MARYLAND (-8), College Park, Md., 3:00 PM, TV: RSN, (Sirius 93//XM 192)

WAKE FOREST @ NORTH CAROLINA (-9), Chapel Hill, N.C., 3:30 PM, TV: ESPNU, (Sirius 128//XM 190)

CLEMSON (-4.5) @ GEORGIA TECH, Atlanta, Ga., 8:00 PM, TV: ABC/ESPN3, (Sirius 93//XM 192)

*Point spreads for recreational purposes only.

UNC To Bust Out Camo Unis For Game On Aircraft Carrier

Raise your hand if when you heard that the Tar Heels would be playing the team they vanquished in the 2009 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Championship Game, Michigan State, on an aircraft carrier your first thought was “Cool, now they can finally combine argyle with camouflage!”

No hands.  


Didn’t think so.

But alas, the unis the North Carolina basketball team will wear for its Nov. 11 Carrier Classic game against Michigan State will feature a bit of military flair.


Michigan State also will wear camouflaged green and white uniforms for the game, which will be played on the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier in San Diego next month on Veterans Day.

According to the university release on the uniforms, no player names will appear on the back of the jerseys. Instead, "U.S.A." will replace players' last names above the uniform number on the back of all the jerseys.

ACC Football Attendance

This may be the biggest reason why no ACC team has been invited to defect to the S.E.C. The numbers may surprise you.

Wake Forest (31,500): Four-game average is 32,333, or 102.6%.

Virginia Tech (66,233):  Average for five games is 66,233 or 100%.

North Carolina State (57,583): Average for four-games is 55,880, or 97%.

Clemson (81,500): Average for six games is 78,106, or 95.8%.

Florida State (82,300): Average for four games us 76,136, or 92.5%.

North Carolina (63,000): Judging from the round numbers, the Tar Heels just eyeball attendance and guess-timate. Average for five games is 55,300, or 87.8%. T.A.H. has asked the Suits In Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas) and all the media outlets in N.C. to subpoena the attendance figures along with Butch Davis' unredacted phone bills.

Maryland (54,000): Average for five games is 45,827, or 84.9%.

Georgia Tech (55,000): Average for four games is 44,228, or 80.4%.

Boston College (44,500): Average is 35,544, or 79.9%.

Virginia (61,500): Average for five games is 45,745, or 74.4%.

Duke (33,941): Average for five games is 24,922, or 73.4%.

Miami (74,916): Average for four games is 48,542, or 64.8%. 

Latest North Carolina Recruit Can Actually Fly

(Carlos Osorio/AP via SI Snapshot)
Always determined to keep his North Carolina Tar Heels on the top of the ACC basketball heap, head coach Roy Williams has travelled to many far-flung locales including points so far north it makes his argyle hurt.  Scary places like Detroit, Michigan!

In the motor city, Ol’ Roy discovered, and inked, his latest recruit Chad Layton of the Detroit Pistons Flight Crew.

As you can see from this photo, Layton can actually fly.

“Basically, he’s unstoppable,” Ol’ Roy told T.A.H. through a intermediary.  “That other school down the road is looking for a ‘flyer’ to defend him, but guys that can actually fly are hard to find, and guys who can fly with a decent S.A.T. score are even harder to find...”

*Items in italics may not be true.

ACC Football Links

WASHINGTON (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
By Heather Dinich/ESPN

Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington has been working on some technical issues this week.

If Maryland is going to become bowl-eligible, it has to start on Saturday with a win over BC.

Dennis Godfrey vs. Quinton Coples is one matchup to watch in Chapel Hill on Saturday.

Even Clemson players say Georgia Tech deserved its 2009 ACC title, which has since been vacated.

In an otherwise inconsistent season for Florida State, the defensive line has been consistent.

Virginia coach Mike London was the driving force behind the push for a new indoor practice facility.

GOLDEN (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Wake Forest can become bowl eligible before Halloween. Scary thought for the Tar Heels.

Miami has cut down on its penalties under coach Al Golden.

UVa is hoping to take advantage of a rare TV appearance.

Is Virginia Tech running back David Wilson having a Heisman-worthy season?

Duke is practicing at less than full speed for the Hokies.

Miami coach Al Golden says "the right team" will be honored on Thursday night. Translated: Florida is the wrong team. Have I mentioned lately how much I love rivalries?

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson scoffed at the notion he needs to hire a special teams coach.

One of the biggest differences in Clemson's offense this year is the communication on the sideline.

Virginia coach Mike London is trying to find a way to make true freshman quarterback David Watford successful.

JOHNSON (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
BC is trying to accentuate the positive.

The ACC earned an A for its Week 8 performances.

North Carolina's priority this week will be ball security after six turnovers against Clemson.

Florida State is once again among the nation's best in getting to quarterbacks.

N.C. State hasn't answered all of its problems, but the outlook isn't so grim anymore.

Duke, though, is hurting mentally and physically.

The quarterback saga continues at Maryland.

ACC Basketball Preview Links

This is all you really need to know...The basketball season starts November. 11.  That’s 16 days from now, but who’s counting?
(Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)

Former UNC Coach To Appear In Front Of Suits From Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas)

(Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
Former North Carolina associate head coach John Blake will appear in front of the NCAA (Suits From Indianapolis, Formerly Kansas) Committee on Infractions on Friday in Indianapolis in an attempt to clear his name.

Blake is named in three of the nine major violations charged in the Notice of Allegations sent by the NCAA to North Carolina in June. He stands accused of recruiting players for his friend, the late sports agent Gary Wichard.

Although Blake no longer is employed by the Heels, the Committee on Infractions can impose a "show cause order" that could prevent him from recruiting or coaching and make him difficult for an NCAA school to employ.

The NCAA's Notice of Allegations accuses Blake of receiving a total of $31,500 in athletically related income from Wichard's company, Pro Tect Management, in seven payments from 2007 to 2009. Blake also is accused of refusing to provide information relevant to the NCAA's investigation and furnishing the NCAA and North Carolina with false and misleading information.

He is charged with failing to provide his tax records and information regarding a $45,000 bank deposit he received. Blake also was listed as a Pro Tect employee on a brochure distributed by the company. (Do-oh!)

Blake’s lawyers have said since September of 2010 the payments from Wichard were gifts or loans to help Blake pay for private school tuition for his son.

Blake's lawyers have said he was not employed by Pro Tect, and that a Pro Tect credit card in his name was used to pay for items such as T-shirts for the "Chance to Advance" football camp he conducted when he was out of college coaching.

North Carolina officials also will appear at the Committee on Infractions (which has the power to levy additional penalties) hearing Friday as the school faces charges of nine major violations. The committee will hear the NCAA enforcement representatives' evidence and the arguments of the defendants, and typically issues its findings a few months after a hearing.

Pictures Of The Day

The caption for this photo is, “preparations continue at the track during previews to the Indian Formula One Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit on October 26, 2011 in Noida, India.” We’re a little worn out, so you have to write your own joke...Love the "Road King" on the bumper, proving, yet again, that it's all a matter of perspective.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Members of the field crew put the tarp on the field at Busch Stadium on October 26, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. Game 6 of the World Series has been postposed by Major League Baseball because of rainy weather. The game has been rescheduled for tomorrow night. Game 7, if necessary, will now be played on Friday night.  The McDonald's behind the left field wall must be HUGE...(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)
Hey look, NASCAR has a new black driver...and, he’s kinda old!  It’s really our main man Nate Newton, former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman, getting ready for a two-seater ride with Kurt Busch, driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge at Texas Motor Speedway on October 25, 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images North America)
Girls, it's B-I-E-B-E-R, not BEAVER...Jeez...or has Occupy Wall Street moved down to New Zealand? Either way, these Kiwis have missed the point.  They can't be protestors as they are too young, too clean and too well dressed and clearly (based on their posters) they know nothing about world economic policy...wait a minute, there’s a joke here!  Nah...Just kidding...Fans show their support during the New Zealand All Blacks 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup celebration parade on October 26, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. The All Blacks won the 2011 RWC Final by defeating France 8-7 at Eden Park.  The outcome made everyone in France sad and the rest of the world happy.  (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Coack K and Ol' Roy settle their differences like men by jousting...Not really.  Two kights use breakaway lances during the Fifth Annual Tournament of Phoenix Joust held at the Poway Rodeo Grounds in Poway, California.  New Miami coach Tom Larranaga called the jousting “girlie.”  (Photo by Brian Cahn/
So a horse walks into the Green Turtle bar in downtown Washington D.C. and the bartender asks “Why the long face?” Really?  Yep, these two are part of the 2011 Washington International Horse Show at the Verizon Center. Riders and their horses gathered in D.C. to compete for more than $400,000 in prize money during the annual event which run through Sunday.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Clemson And The BCS

(Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
The latest BCS Standings:
1) LSU 8-0, 2) Alabama 8-0, 3) Oklahoma State 8-0, 4) Boise State 7-0

5) CLEMSON 8-0

6) Stanford 7-0, 7) Oregon 6-1, 8) Kansas State 7-0, 9) Oklahoma 6-1, 10) Arkansas 6-1, 11) Michigan 6-1, 


13) South Carolina 6-1, 14) Nebraska 6-1 and 15) Wisconsin 6-1

Texas Tech and Michigan State did Clemson a favor by knocking out Oklahoma and Wisconsin.  Now, if the Sooners defeat Oklahoma State, that just leaves Boise State in front of Clemson if the Tigers can win out.  Obviously, either LSU or Alabama will no longer be unbeaten come Sunday.

(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
That said, this may be the Broncos year for a shot at the BCS title.  The remaining teams on their schedule are UNLV (1-5), TCU (5-2), San Diego State (4-2), Wyoming (4-2) and New Mexico (0-7).  Only the Horned Frogs are likley to give Boise State much of a game...

According to ESPN's Stats & Info department:  
  • This is Clemson’s first-ever week in the top five of the BCS standings.
  • The Tiger’s previous best was No. 7, which occurred last week and also on October 22, 2000.
  • Clemson is 8-0 for just the fourth time in school history (1948, 1981, 2000, 2011).
  • However, the Tigers could be on upset alert next week when they take on Georgia Tech. The last time Clemson started 8-0, in 2000, the Tigers also beat the Tar Heels to improve to 8-0, before losing to Georgia Tech the next week. They finished that year 9-3.
  • Do-oh!

AP Poll

1) LSU, 2) Alabama, 3) Oklahoma State, 4) Stanford, 5) Boise State


Oregon, 8) Arkansas, 9) Michigan State, 10) Kansas State, 11) Oklahoma, 12) Wisconsin, 13) Nebraska, 14) South Carolina


15) Texas A&M, 17) Michigan, 18) Houston, 19) Texas Tech, 20) USC, 21) Penn State, 22) Georgia, 23) Arizona State, 24) Cincinnati, 25) West Virginia

Georgia Tech fell out of the top 25 after losing to Miami who received six votes.

T.A.H.‘s ACC Players Of The Week

(Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)

RECEIVER -- Sammy Watkins, CLEMSON, WR




SPECIALIST --  Dr. Larry S. Bowman, Orthopedic Surgeon, CLEMSON

ROOKIE -- Every freshmen at CLEMSON

(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
FANS -- Everybody at CLEMSON


DRUNKEST -- Everybody else at CLEMSON

HOTTEST COEDS -- A bunch a girls from CLEMSON

NOT-HOTTEST COEDS -- Look, they played Maryland...CLEMSON

LOUDEST -- Everybody at CLEMSON



(Scott Halleran/Getty Images)




The ACC’s Players Of The Week

BOYD (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
OFFENSIVE BACK – Tajh Boyd, Clemson, QB, So., 6-1, 225, Hampton, Va. Boyd completed 27 of 46 passes for 367 yards and five touchdowns in leading Clemson to 59 points against North Carolina. He also had a rushing touchdown and finished with 375 yards of total offense. Boyd tied the Clemson record for touchdown passes in a game with five and he threw them to five different Tigers. He tied an ACC record for touchdown responsibility with six total, and also tied the Clemson record as Woody Dantzler had six against NC State in 2001. Boyd’s touchdown pass total is now at 24 for the season, tied for the most in the nation and just three off the Clemson single season record just eight games into the season.

RECEIVER – Chris Givens, Wake Forest, WR, Jr., 6-0, 195, Wylie, Tx. Givens caught six passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns in Wake Forest’s 24-23 win over Duke. Givens caught a 26-yard scoring pass from QB Tanner Price that put the Deacons ahead 7-0 in the first quarter. After Wake Forest fell behind 23-17 in the fourth quarter, Givens caught a pass on a curl route and turned it into a 66-yard touchdown catch, avoiding blockers and side-stepping a diving defender. Five of his six catches resulted in first downs. In addition, Givens rushed the ball once for 13 yards and a first down. Givens recorded his 23rd straight game with a reception, tied a school record with his fourth consecutive 100-yard receiving game, and also caught a scoring pass for the fifth straight game.

GIVENS (Gerry Broome/AP)
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Landon Walker, Clemson, T, Sr., 6-6, 305, North Wilkesboro, N.C. Walker had a 93 percent grade and five knockdown blocks in Clemson’s 59-38 win over North Carolina. He played 82 total snaps as he helped the Tigers score 59 points, the most points Clemson has scored in the history of the series with North Carolina and the most points for any Clemson team in an ACC game since 2001. Walker did not allow a sack, an important stat as the Tigers threw the ball 46 times when he was in the game.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Kourtnei Brown, Clemson, DE, Sr., 6-6, 255, Charlotte, N.C. Brown had two defensive returns for touchdowns in Clemson’s 59-38 win over North Carolina. He made a leaping interception and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown to give Clemson a 24-10 lead, and picked up a fumble and ran 26 yards for a score in the third quarter, making him the first Clemson defensive player since 1954 to score two touchdowns in the same game. He was only the third FBS player to score two touchdowns by interception return and fumble return in the same game in the last 12 years. Later, Brown had his hands in on a third turnover as he deflected a pass that was intercepted by a teammate. He was also credited with two tackles. Brown was named National Defensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Foundation.

BROWN (Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)
LINEBACKER – Sean Spence, Miami, LB, Sr., 6-0, 224, Miami, Fla. Sean Spence was again the Canes’ leader on defense. The prolific linebacker played in the middle against the Yellow Jackets and racked up 10 tackles to lead all Miami players. The senior had six solo stops and a tackle for a loss of two yards. As the defensive captain, Spence helped hold Georgia Tech—one of the nation’s most potent offenses—to a season-low seven points, 35.9 off of its average.

DEFENSIVE BACK – David Amerson, NC State, CB, So., 6-3, 194, Greensboro, N.C. The national leader in interceptions, Amerson added to his gaudy pickoff numbers with a pair of interceptions against the Cavaliers. He returned his second interception 12 yards for a touchdown that more or less iced the victory for the Wolfpack. That was NC State’s first interception return for a TD this season. A sophomore cornerback from Greensboro, N.C., Amerson also recorded six tackles and returned a kickoff 25 yards. Amerson now has eight interceptions on the season, tying the school record, set in 1937 and tied in 1938, both times by Art Rooney. Amerson now has two interceptions in a single game three times in 2011, and has done so in each of the Pack’s last two games.

AMERSON (Ethan Hyman/News & Observer)
SPECIALIST – T.J. Thorpe, North Carolina, WR, Fr., 6-0, 190, Durham, N.C. Freshman T.J. Thorpe returned a third quarter kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, just the second 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in school history, the other coming by Tyrell Godwin at Stanford in 1998. Thorpe becomes just the 15th player in ACC history to return a kick 100 yards, and he finished with 182 yards on four returns, two yards shy of the single-game school record. Thorpe leads the ACC and stands 15th in the country in kickoff return average.

ROOKIE – Devonta Freeman, Florida State, RB, Fr., 5-8, 200, Miami, Fla. Freeman became the first true freshman running back at Florida State to string together consecutive 100-yard rushing performances when he gutted the Maryland defense for 100 yards on 11 carries (9.1 ypc), including a 41-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, which matched the longest run from scrimmage by the Seminoles this season. Coming off a 109-yard performance at Duke, Freeman was instrumental in the Seminoles’ second half dominance against the Terrapins, carrying seven times for 78 yards. FSU controlled the second half clock (17 minutes) by grinding out 198 yards on 29 carries.

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