How about this for a change in the norm: two Clemson players picked up ACC Player of the Week honors and neither one of them plays offense. Defensive end Vic Beasley and linebacker Stephone Anthony were both recognized Monday for their play in the win over NC State last week. Here is the full list of the players the league highlighted.
OFFENSIVE BACK – Tom Savage, Sr., QB, Pitt, 6-5, 230, Springfield, Pa.
Savage completed nearly 70 percent of his passes (23 of 33) for 424 yards and did not throw an interception in the 58-55 victory at Duke, Pitt’s first ACC win. Savage’s six touchdown passes were the most by an ACC player since 1999 and matched the conference record initially set in 1987. Savage’s scoring strikes covered 27, 67, 69, 14, 21 and 17 yards. His passing yardage against Duke was the highest at Pitt since 1994 and ranks fourth overall on the school’s all-time list.
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Shaq Mason, Georgia Tech, Jr., OG, 6-1, 305, Columbia, Tenn.
Mason graded-out the highest among Georgia Tech’s offensive line following the Yellow Jackets’ 28-20 win over Coastal Division rival North Carolina on Saturday. Mason helped the Yellow Jackets churn out 324 rushing yards and 428 total yards in the win over the Tar Heels. Mason and his fellow offensive linemen allowed just one sack – their first sack allowed this season.
RECEIVER – Devin Street, Pitt, Sr., WR, 6-4, 195, Bethlehem, Pa.
Street averaged an incredible 27.6 yards per catch and helped propel the Panthers to their highest point total since 1995 in the win at Duke. Street totaled six catches for a career-high 166 yards and two TDs. His touchdowns covered 67 and 21 yards, and he also provided a key block at the goal line to help teammate Tyler Boyd score on a 27-yard catch-and-run. Street is averaging an ACC-best 129 receiving yards per game (fourth in NCAA).
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Vic Beasley, Clemson, Jr., DE, 6-3, 225, Adairsville, Ga.
Beasley had three sacks and five total tackles in Clemson’s win 26-14 Thursday night win over NC State. It was the second consecutive year Beasley has recorded three sacks in a game against the Wolfpack, and one of his sacks changed the course of this year’s game. With NC State trailing by just 13-7 in the third period in Clemson territory at the 47, Beasley registered a sack and caused a fumble, which was recovered by Clemson linebacker Spencer Shuey. The Tigers went on to score a touchdown on the next drive to go up 20-7.
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest, Sr., NG, 5-11, 250, Wylie, Texas
Whitlock made a career-high 14 tackles in Wake Forest’s 25-11 win over Army, the most tackles by a Wake Forest defender since 2009. Whitlock had seven solo stops and seven assists with three tackles for a loss of six yards. He was also credited with one forced fumble and one pass break-up. Army came into the game ranked seventh in the nation in rushing, and Whitlock led a defensive effort that held the Black Knights to 271 rushing yards, 43 yards below their average.
LINEBACKER – Stephone Anthony, Clemson, Jr., LB, 6-2, 245, Polkton, N.C.
Anthony led the Clemson defense in tackles with 14 in the Tigers’ 26-14 win in last Thursday night’s game at NC State. Anthony had six first hits and eight assists in recording his career high in tackles in his home state. He also contributed two tackles for loss.
DEFENSIVE BACK – A.J. Hendy, Maryland, Sr., S, 6-0, 205, Bowie, Md.
Hendy recovered two fumbles and returned an interception 28 yards for Maryland’s second touchdown in a 37-0 win over West Virginia. The interception was Hendy’s second of his career, both of which he has returned for touchdowns. Hendy and the Maryland defense forced six West Virginia turnovers and held the Mountaineers to 175 yards of total offense. It was the first shutout for the Terps since blanking Wake Forest on Oct. 18, 2008 (26-0), and their first shutout of West Virginia since defeating the Mountaineers 33-0 on Sept. 18, 1999.
SPECIALIST – Jamison Crowder, Duke, Jr., WR, 5-9, 175, Monroe, N.C.
Crowder was named ACC Specialist of the Week for the second time this season following a three-touchdown day in the 58-55 loss to Pitt that included an 82-yard punt return for a score. Crowder became the first Blue Devil to score touchdowns via reception, rush and kick return since former wide receiver and current Duke associate head coach Scottie Montgomery did so against Wake Forest in 1999. Crowder finished Saturday’s game with 279 all-purpose yards (141 receiving, 109 punt returns and 29 rushing). The 279 total yards were the fifth-highest in school history, and the 82-yard punt return tied for the fifth-longest ever at Duke.
ROOKIE – Tyler Boyd, Pitt, Fr., WR, 6-2, 185, Clairton, Pa.
Boyd had three touchdown catches to help Pitt achieve its highest point total since 1995 and outlast Duke. He averaged 19.3 yards per reception, catching eight passes for 154 yards, and became the first Pitt freshman to catch three touchdowns in a game since 2002 (Larry Fitzgerald). Boyd has posted back-to-back 100-yard receiving games, the first by a Pitt freshman since 1999 (Antonio Bryant). Boyd’s touchdowns covered 27, 69 and 14 yards. He leads the ACC and ranks fifth nationally in all-purpose yards (195.0 avg.) and leads the ACC and ranks ninth nationally in TD catches (four).