Week 12 of the 2017 college football season was filled with several intriguing matchups and storylines. Miami got off to a slow start against Virginia but eventually pulled away in the second half to remain unbeaten. The Hurricanes have one more matchup (at Pitt) before the showdown against Clemson in the ACC Championship. Elsewhere in the ACC, Virginia Tech used a goal-line stand on the final play to beat Pitt, Wake Forest knocked off NC State, Lamar Jackson had another big performance in Louisville's victory over Syracuse, and Duke upset Georgia Tech. Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina and Boston College picked up wins in non-conference action.
With the 12th weekend of the 2017 season in the books, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor some of the top performances. Here’s a look at Athlon Sports’ picks for the offensive, defensive, coordinator, team, freshman and unsung hero from Week 12:
ACC Week 12 Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Jackson torched Syracuse’s defense for 270 yards and two touchdowns through the air and added 111 yards and two more scores on the ground.
Defensive Player of the Week: Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami
Johnson led the way for Miami’s defense in Saturday’s win over Virginia. The junior safety registered nine tackles (four solo and one for a loss), one sack and one interception. Johnson’s interception in the third quarter was returned for a score, which tied the game at 28.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Warren Ruggiero, Wake Forest
The Demon Deacons made the most of their opportunities in Saturday’s win over NC State. Ruggiero’s offense only had 56 snaps but recorded 334 yards (6.0 per play) and went four-for-four in red zone trips. Additionally, Ruggiero’s group converted two fourth-down attempts and did not allow a sack to NC State’s standout defensive line.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Jim Knowles, Duke
Duke’s defense limited Georgia Tech to 277 rushing yards in Saturday’s upset victory, which was well below the per-game average (324) from coach Paul Johnson’s flexbone attack. The Blue Devils did not allow a scoring drive in the second half, forced a turnover in the second quarter and stopped two drives on downs in the final 15 minutes.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College
With Dillon leading the way on offense, Boston College secured bowl eligibility with a 39-16 victory over UConn. The freshman gashed the Huskies for 200 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): Joshua Kaindoh, DE, Florida State
Kaindoh registered six tackles (four for a loss) and four sacks in Saturday’s win over Delaware State.
Team of the Week: Miami
Considering the atmosphere and overall impact of last week’s win over Notre Dame, it was no surprise Miami got off to a slow start against Virginia on Saturday. However, the Hurricanes rebounded in the second half to secure a 44-28 victory and remain unbeaten going into Week 13 at Pitt. Miami’s offense recorded 358 yards, while the defense forced three turnovers and registered five sacks.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Essang Bassey, CB, Wake Forest
Bassey’s interception in the final seconds secured a victory for Wake Forest over NC State. He finished the game with eight tackles (one for a loss), two pass breakups and one interception.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Reggie Floyd, S, Virginia Tech
Floyd led Virginia Tech's defense with eight tackles, with his most important stop coming deep in the fourth quarter. After Pitt receiver Jester Weah caught a pass for a 75-yard gain, Floyd stopped him just short of the goal-line and the game-winning score. The Hokies proceeded to stop the Panthers on four tries from the one-yard line to secure the victory as time expired. Floyd also intercepted a pass in Saturday's win.